Friday, 10 June 2022

15 Contracts Awarded for Island Development Projects

ZAGREB, 9 June 2022 - Minister of Regional Development and European Union Funds Nataša Tramišak on Thursday awarded 15 contracts at the Split-Dalmatia County offices from the Island Development Programme for financing small capital infrastructure projects.

The Ministry implements the program once a year, and its goal is to enable island communities to implement small capital infrastructure projects in an attempt to systematically reduce regional development inequalities and differences in Croatia.

This year, a total of 56 projects were selected. Along with the 15 projects in Split-Dalmatia County another 41 projects were selected for Primorje-Gorski Kotar, Lika-Senj, Zadar, Šibenik-Knin, and Dubrovnik-Neretva counties.

"These funds are for investments in the small municipal infrastructure that makes everyday life easier. Islanders are having their settlements beautified and in some way the level of development raised, but we know that the needs to live on the islands are much bigger," said Tramišak.

She underscored that, along with state funds, a total of €150 million will be available from the European Regional Development Fund, because the Integrated Territorial Programme for Islands in the period from 2021 to 2027 is one of the programs planned for funding in the new European Union program period.

This year the Island Development Programme received a record number of applications, Tramišak underscored.

"There are more and more applications, both from local government units and businessmen, more than 500 this year. This is a sign to us that we need to further strengthen and increase these programs," she said.

The state budget for 2022 has HRK 17.6 million available for the Island Development Programme.

Among the selected projects in Split-Dalmatia County, the largest possible amount of HRK 450,000 was allocated for the completion of the Pučišća Stonemason's School on the island of Brač, the reconstruction and energy renovation of the Starine Business Zone on Vis island, a playground next to the kindergarten in Bol on Brač, and the second phase of construction and equipping the Borići Park in Nerežišće. Other projects will be financed with amounts of HRK 105,000 to 420,000.

For more, check out our politics section.

Wednesday, 23 March 2022

Minister Tramišak Says She Has Received Threats

ZAGREB, 23 March 2022 - Minister of Regional Development and EU Funds Nataša Tramišak has confirmed for the Jutarnji List daily that she has received threats which she hasn't officially reported yet, saying that the problems started when she did not extend a contract with the Omega Software company.

"Unfortunately, I can't say that the rumours of the threats I am receiving as reported by the Nacional weekly aren't true. I have been receiving indirect threats for months now and all because of business decisions I make as Minister of Regional Development and EU Funds. The last one I received said '... There will be blood...' and was conveyed to me by a man whom I'd rather not name but who was in the ministry in January this year," said Tramišak.

The Wednesday issue of the Jutarnji List daily said that the problems for Minister Tramišak started when she decided not to extend a contract for the eFond information system with the Omega Software company and awarded it to the Financial Agency (FINA).

Not one of the threats were directed or sent to her personally, so she did not officially report them.

"However, in that last conversation with that man and following his comment that 'there will be blood', I said I would then seek asylum in Brussels," said Minister Tramišak.

She said that she did not discuss this with Prime Minister Andrej Plenković but had told her friends and colleagues about it.

"I didn't discuss the threats with Prime Minister Plenković," she said, stressing that she had a few witnesses who were present at the meetings when the threats were conveyed to her.

Asked whether she would name the persons conveying the threats, if they were the people the Nacional weekly wrote about and if speculation was true that it was Milijan Brkić, Tramišak said that she had never spoken with Brkić.

"I heard from FINA unofficially that Brkić had met with them when we terminated our cooperation with Omega Software and hired FINA," said Tramišak.

There is no official confirmation that Brkić allegedly conveyed the threats.

The Jutarnji List tried to contact Brkić but he did not respond to its calls or messages.

Plenković's advisor Zvonimir Savić has frequently visited the ministry, however, Tramišak said that the purpose of his business visits was of a completely different nature.

"I don't know who is behind those messages. I don't know if Omega Software - which has in the meantime reportedly changed its owner - has a shadow owner, but the messages aren't stopping, in fact, they have intensified and I do not feel comfortable," she said.

Omega Software was taken over by the M SAN Group in October.

Omega Software said they cannot comment on "unverified and sensationalist media reports" of which they have no knowledge, claiming that someone evidently wanted to slur the company's reputation, the Jutarnji List daily said.

For more, check out our dedicated politics section.