Not Proclaiming Exclusive Economic Zone Costing 28 Billion Kuna

By 25 April 2019

ZAGREB, April 25, 2019 – MOST MPs Nikola Grmoja and Tomislav Panenić said on Thursday that Croatia is losing between 170 and 270 million euro each year for not declaring an Exclusive Economic Zone in the Adriatic and that for that reason, it has lost around 3.7 billion euro since 2000.

Grmoja told a press conference that during Wednesday's parliamentary debate on a MOST-sponsored motion for Croatia to declare an EEZ, Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) whip Branko Bačić admitted that "it was our and the SDP's (Social Democratic Party) mistake not to declare the Exclusive Economic Zone prior to joining the European Union."

"Because of that every year we lost funds equalling the value of one Pelješac bridge," Grmoja said and added that the ruling majority rejected MOST's motion because they did not want to protect Croatia's sea and fishermen.

He recalled that during negotiations to form a coalition with MOST, the HDZ claimed that it was in Croatia's interest to declare an EEZ yet today it does not want to do just that for reasons unknown.

Grmoja further said that during the debate members of the ruling majority presented no arguments as to why the EEZ should not be declared except that Croatia's rights are already protected with the Ecological and Fisheries Protection Zone (ZERP) even though they themselves had previously explained the difference between the two. ZERP encompasses the sea that the zone covers while the EEZ also includes the sea bed as well as the air space above the zone, he said.

Panenić recalled that the government was reluctant even when it came to declaring the ZERP and wondered why it did not want to take what belonged to Croatia, thus ensuring equality and protecting national natural resources.

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