Minister Says Intensive Talks Underway With Two Potential Partners for Orljava

By 18 August 2021
Minister Darko Horvat
Minister Darko Horvat Marko Dimic/PIXSELL

ZAGREB, 18 Aug 2021 - Physical Planning and State Assets Minister Darko Horvat said on Wednesday that workers of the Orljava clothing manufacturer had received three wages that had been promised to them and that intensive talks were underway with two potential partners for that Požega-based company.

Commenting on statements made earlier in the day by a member of parliament Katarina Peović and New Union leader Mario Iveković, Horvat said that problems in Orljava had begun in 2012 and recalled that the government had promised to secure the payment of three overdue wages and do its best to find a strategic partner for the company.

The wages have been paid and talks are currently underway with two potential partners, Horvat said after a meeting of the inner cabinet.

The minister recalled that a major complaint by the German company Olymp, which returned its order to Orljava, was one of the reasons for the difficult situation at Orljava.

Olymp does not want to maintain its business relationship with Orljava but it does want to maintain cooperation with the Đakovo-based Hemco, and talks have been underway with that company, he said.

Hemco is interested in taking a lease on Orljava's premises and hiring back about 70 Orljava workers, Horvat said, stressing that the approach to ailing companies had changed, which was why bankruptcy proceedings were launched for Orljava on 13 July.

So far Orljava's losses have been covered by the government or from the state budget but the government no longer wants to maintain that approach. As long as there is interest in the brand and products, the government will try to have all workers hired back but it will also help find a strategic partner to invest in the company and raise production to a higher level to make its products competitive, Horvat said.

Earlier in the day, MP Peović and union leader Iveković warned about the difficult situation at Orljava, noting that the government should provide more significant support to it, considering that it was its sole owner.

Warning that on 22 July most of the remaining 172 workers were laid off, Peović said that responsibility for that rested solely with the government.

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