Friday, 15 July 2022

Butković Wins Vote of Confidence to Become Deputy PM

ZAGREB, 15 July 2022 - The Croatian Parliament voted confidence in the Minister for the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure, Oleg Butković, to take up the office of Deputy Prime Minister, previously held by Finance Minister Zdravko Marić who had resigned at his own request.

The longest-serving minister in the present government received votes from 79 lawmakers, 49 voted against and one abstained from the vote.

Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković wished Butković success in his new office.

Butković thus become one of the four deputy prime ministers, alongside Tomo Medved, Davor Božinović and Anja Šimpraga. He will take charge of the government's coordinating body for the economy.

Butković announced earlier that the government would increase large-scale investment in infrastructure and continue to ease the tax burden.

For more, check out our politics section.

Thursday, 14 July 2022

Butković More Than Competent To Take On Deputy PM's Role, Plenković Says

ZAGREB, 14 July 2022 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said on Thursday that Sea, Transport and Infrastructure Minister Oleg Butković had been in the government the longest and that he was more than competent to assume the role of a deputy prime minister.

Presenting Butković at the parliamentary Constitution, Standing Orders and Political System Committee as a candidate for deputy prime minister, Plenković said he had extensive political experience, knew well how the government worked and would need no major adjustment.

Butković is a vice president of the HDZ party, the president of its Primorje-Gorski Kotar branch and runs a ministry in charge of big investment and infrastructure projects, with the upcoming inauguration of Pelješac Bridge as the crowning achievement, Plenković said.

He added that last night, after this week's decision on Croatia's accession to the euro area, Fitch increased Croatia's credit rating and that other agencies announced they would, too.

With his experience and the government's economic team, Butković will contribute to finding solutions, notably in the context of the energy and food crisis and inflationary pressures, Plenković said.

 

For more, check out our politics section.

Friday, 1 July 2022

Minister: Final Works Going On as Planned, Pelješac Bridge to Open on 26 July

ZAGREB, 1 July 2022 - All is going as planned concerning Pelješac Bridge and access roads, and the inauguration of the bridge is expected on 26 July, Transport and Infrastructure Minister Oleg Butković said on Friday.

"All is going on well," said Butković after a meeting of the coordinating team in charge of the "the Road Connectivity of South Dalmatia" project.

He admitted that the current spell of the heatwave is making work more difficult.

Nevertheless, the operating permit is due to be issued on 18 July, he said, without revealing the details of the programme for the inauguration ceremony on 26 July.

or more, check out our politics section.

Monday, 27 June 2022

Croatia's Part of Vc Corridor to be Completed in 2024, Minister Says

ZAGREB, 27 June 2022 - The Pan-European transport corridor Vc's section to Beli Manastir will be opened in late October and Croatia's 88-kilometer-long part of the corridor will be completed in 2024, Transport and Infrastructure Minister Oleg Butković said in Osijek on Monday.

After visiting the construction site, he said works were proceeding very well and that after the inauguration of the Osijek-Beli Manastir section, the HAC motorway operator would invite bids for the remaining five kilometers to the Hungarian border, a section estimated at HRK 300 million.

The total investment, including the bypass near Beli Manastir, is HRK 570 million, the minister said.

This transport corridor has big prospects as it will connect Budapest and the southernmost Croatian seaport of Ploče, he said, adding that works on the corridor in Bosnia and Herzegovina are expected to intensify.

HAC director Boris Huzjan said more than 90% of the Osijek-Beli Manastir section had been completed.

The 17.5-kilometer section is worth HRK 495 million, he said, adding that 59 kilometers of the Croatian part of Vc are currently in use and that 83 will be in use after the completion of the Osijek-Beli Manastir section.

Osijek-Baranja County head Ivan Anušić said Vc had a big impact on the City of Osijek and the county as well as on other Slavonia counties. This international route will facilitate the flow of people and goods between Budapest and Ploče, he added.

For more news about Croatia, click here.

Sunday, 26 June 2022

Transport Minister Oleg Butkovic: 2 Million More Cars on Roads Than 2019

June the 26th, 2022 - Transport Minister Oleg Butkovic has announced that there are two million more cars on Croatia's roads than there were back in the pre-pandemic, record year of 2019.

Two years spent being dominated by the global coronavirus pandemic saw Croatia's roads not entirely emptied of foreign cars but the number of them was greatly slashed. It seems that 2022's summer tourist season is set to be even better than 2019's record season, with the pandemic now firmly in the rear view mirror of the vast majority and people up, about and travelling once again.

The cost of fuel may well have shot up to realms unknown as a result of ongoing inflation primarily caused by the war in Ukraine following Russian invasion back in February this year, but that doesn't appear to be making that much of a dint in the pockets of foreigners entering the country by car and using the excellently constructed Croatian motorways to travel down to various Adriatic destinations. 

Cars with caravans, jet skis, boats and all sorts of other vehicles attached to them from countries all over Europe can be seen hitting the road, providing a very refreshing sight to the eyes of all tourism workers across the country following two very anxiety inducing, stagnant years in which an invisible enemy made all of the decisions. 

As Morski writes, Transport Minister Oleg Butkovic reported on Friday that by last Sunday, two million more vehicles had passed through and driven along Croatian motorways than the record tourist year of 2019.

Transport Minister Oleg Butkovic told reporters in Baska on the island of Krk that compared to the same period back in 2019, this year, as much as eight percent more revenue was generated on the country's motorways, estimating that this season could be better than that of the amazing summer of 2019.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Friday, 8 April 2022

Omiš Bypass Project One of Croatia's Highest Priorities

April 8, 2022 - Minister of the Sea, Transport, and Infrastructure Oleg Butković spoke for HRT about major transport infrastructure projects in Croatia that are underway and plans for the future. He especially commented on the Pelješac Bridge and the Omiš bypass.

"We do not have the exact date of the Pelješac Bridge opening yet, but everything is going well. The bridge is finished, and we are now concentrating on the access roads. As for the bridge itself, the procedure is more about documentation, and access roads are being worked on in a hurry. We expect the opening of the Pelješac Bridge and part of the access roads in mid-July. This year we will witness a massive event. It is a large infrastructure project, the most important because it is about merging the state territory," said Butković.

"I must be satisfied because despite COVID-19 and all the recent events, major infrastructure projects, including the Pelješac Bridge, were built at a good pace, so there were no delays," he said.

The opening of part of the access roads will cover a little more than 12 km, but the completion includes the Ston bypass and the Ston bridge, which should be completed by the end of this year. However, Butković added that there were some delays in that part due to unforeseen circumstances.

"By the end of the year, we will connect southern Dalmatia, which includes the Pelješac Bridge, 30 km of access roads with the Ston Bridge, and a large project, which is impressive with a 500 m across Ston Bay."

A specific opening date for the bridge with part of the access roads will be known in May, and the opening will be sometime in July.

"The Omiš bypass project is also being done. Last year we broke through the Komorjak tunnel; now, the bridge over the Cetina is slowly springing up. I toured it about ten days ago, the view from the bridge is really impressive. It is one of the most impressive projects, and it is complex because there are big bridges and tunnels. The Omiš Bypass project will be completed in a year and a half at this stage, but we must solve the entire multimodal platform," said the Minister of Transport.

Butković pointed out that the biggest traffic problems are in that part of Croatia. The 50,000 vehicles a day on the existing old D8 highway from Split to Omiš in the summer and through Omiš is simply unsustainable, he says. 

"I would say that the construction of the Omiš bypass is one of the highest priorities in Croatia today. The completion of its construction will be financed in the next financial perspective. We have confirmed from the European Commission that the entire multimodal platform from Solin, Split to Omiš will be financed with European funds. Croatian Roads is also preparing the project's next phases," he said.

He added that the Ministry would announce a tender for the section from Omiš to Dugi Rat by the end of this year.

"We recently visited the Omiš port, one of the largest port infrastructure projects in Croatia today. It is about 90 million kuna; the road is being relocated, the new port will improve and make life easier for people in that part," he said.

"According to all the announcements, the season should be good for our Jadrolinija liner, but recent events are likely to have consequences for tourism. According to Jadrolinija, we had certain interventions at the end of 2021 since they did not have any help from the state during the entire period of the pandemic.

Jadrolinija is stable; they should start purchasing new ships this year. The plan is to build three new "Postira" because the famous "Postira" is over 50 years old, but it sails. I can't talk about procedures and tenders, but modernizing is crucial for Jadrolinija," said Butković when asked about plans for Jadrolinija.

He pointed out that procuring new ships is also a priority of Jadrolinija.

"Without new ships, we will have a problem in a few years when tenders are announced because there is always a danger that someone who has more modern ships will take over the line. Therefore, the process to modernize and buy new ships must go faster," the Minister of Transport concluded. 

For more, check out our lifestyle section

Thursday, 24 March 2022

€24m Omiš Bypass To Be Finished By End Of 2025

ZAGREB, 24 March 2022 - Transport and Infrastructure Minister Oleg Butković visited construction sites in Omiš on Thursday including the Omiš bypass and connection to Cetina Bridge as well as works to the town's port, announcing that the bypass Omiš-Split road should be completed by the end of 2025.

Butković underscored that the Omiš bypass is one of the biggest infrastructure projects in Split-Dalmatia County and is valued at HRK 180 million.

The access road to the bridge should be completed by the end of this year and next spring a section of 3.5 kilometres should be completed, he added.

A multimodal platform that is in that section is being financed from the next EU perspective. Butković announced that a call for tenders would be advertised by the end of this year for the road to Dugi Rat.

The Omiš bypass included two tunnels and a bridge across the Cetina River, the minister explained and added that the Komorjak tunnel is more than 600 metres long and the Omiš tunnel is just over 500 metres while the bridge is 216 metres long.

 

Politics: For more, check out our politics section.

Friday, 4 March 2022

Croatian Maritime Affairs Ministry Presents INTESA Project

March the 4th, 2022 - The Croatian Maritime Affairs Ministry (Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure) has presented its INTESA project, an innovative system which will work to improve maritime transport efficiency and overall safety in the Adriatic Sea.

As Morski writes, organised by the Croatian Maritime Affairs Ministry, an online meeting was held on March the 2nd, 2022, at which the activities of the aforementioned ministry within the INTESA project - Improving Maritime Transport Efficiency and Safety in the Adriatic were presented to stakeholders, who were primarily from the wider Split area.

Among other things, the pilot activities of upgrading the Croatian unified interface for maritime formalities was emphasised, which enabled two-way exchange of information with port IT systems, with special focus on the national port information system - nPCS.

A description of future actions was also presented within the scope of this praiseworthy project, with a view to facilitating the exchange and distribution of MSI maritime security information, while the activities of other Croatian and Italian project partners were briefly presented.

The INTESA project, with a total value of 2,896,480.00 euros, of which 85 percent is being co-financed by the European Union (EU), will establish a network between the national maritime administrations of the Republic of Croatia and neighbouring Italy and the most important port authorities in the Adriatic Sea as a whole. The aim of the project is to harmonise and optimise the procedures of the entire maritime transport process, for the purpose of a much more efficient and safer port and maritime transport system.

The project itself began on January the 1st, 2019, and will end on June the 30th, 2022, and in that period, the Croatian Maritime Affairs Ministry has had 265,020.00 euros at its disposal, of which 39,753.00 euros are from the Croatian state budget.

In addition to the employees of the Croatian Maritime Affairs Ministry, the meeting was attended by representatives of the State Hydrometeorological Institute, the Croatian Hydrographic Institute, the Maritime Faculty in Split, the Plovput company and the Port Authorities of both Split and Ploce in central and southern Dalmatia.

For more, make sure to check out our lifestyle section.

Sunday, 31 October 2021

Mayor Says PM Blocking Split’s Development, Ministry Refutes It

ZAGREB, 31 Oct, 2021 - Split Mayor Ivica Puljak called on Prime Minister Andrej Plenković on Sunday to "stop blocking the development" of Split, while the Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure dismissed such a claim and reminded him of the projects that have been launched.

Speaking of the granting of a concession for the city's Žnjan beach, Puljak told N1 television that Sea, Transport and Infrastructure Minister Oleg Butković had said on a number of occasions that, as far as the ministry was concerned, everything was ready and that it was forwarded to Plenković to put it on the government's agenda.

"I invite Prime Minister Plenković... to finally decide who will get the concession so that the project can really be realised. I hope the concession will go to the Žnjan d.o.o. company, which is a city company, and that we will start realising that project," Puljak said, adding that the realisation was almost six months late.

"I think Plenković should stop blocking the development of the City of Split and that he should move away from cheap politics. He should realise that they lost this election, he should get over it in a way and he really must not hold this city back any longer. I think the problem now is him," Puljak said, referring to Plenković's HDZ party and local elections this past May.

The Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure said Puljak's claims that Plenković was blocking Split's development by allegedly procrastinating with a decision on the Žnjan concession were "entirely unfounded and incorrect."

The granting of said concession passed regular government procedure and the opinions of the relevant state bodies are now being collected so that a decision on who will get the concession can be made, the ministry said.

It added that the Plenković cabinet was doing everything for Split to develop as much as possible, and mentioned the transport projects that have been launched as well as a HRK 42.6 million reconstruction project in the city port.

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Monday, 4 October 2021

Minister: We Want Rijeka to Become the Strongest Port in This Part of the Adriatic

RIJEKA, 4 Oct 2021 - Transport Minister Oleg Butković said on Monday that Rijeka would be one of the cities that could boast the good road and rail infrastructure and that efforts were being invested in making Rijeka the strongest port in this part of the Adriatic.

After meeting with Rijeka Mayor Marko Filipović, Minister Butković said that the meeting was constructive and that large-scale projects in Rijeka and in the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County were progressing well.

He announced a tender for a double-track railway line running through Rijeka, a €330 million project, which would be advertised in 2022.

"That project will complete the D 404 road, which connects the eastern part of Rijeka port with the city ring road and D 403. It then connects the Zagrebačka Obala container terminal with the ring road and future road from the Zagrebačka Obala terminal to Žabice. It will close the ring road around Rijeka as far as road infrastructure is concerned and Rijeka will be one of the few cities to have resolved its road and rail infrastructure, that is, all of its problems," he underscored.

The officials discussed the construction of the new bus station in Rijeka and Butković said that the funds for that purpose had been ensured.

The minister and the mayor also discussed the construction of several road junctions, roundabouts, and how preparations and financing for the projects were going on.

Butković informed that currently about HRK 25 billion was being invested in transport infrastructure throughout Croatia.

For more on politics, follow TCN's dedicated page.

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