Minister confident of positive restructure of road sector

ZAGREB, 16.11.2017.
Transport and Infrastructure Minister Oleg Butkovic said on Thursday that he was confident that Finance Minister Zdravko Maric would secure favourable loans to refinance debts in the road sector and that the result of the entire restructuring process would be positive.

Earlier on Thursday Croatia launched the procedure to issue a euro-bond with a maturity of January 2030 and the funds will be allocated to reschedule debts in the road sector. Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic made mention of the procedure at the start of Thursday's cabinet meeting and explained that Minister Maric was currently in London where he was negotiating with investors in an effort to reschedule about 1.3 million euro in road sector debts and to extend their maturity and reduce interest rates. The total debt of the road sector amounts to 5 billion euro.

After the meeting, Minister Butkovic told reporters that he did not wish to specify the amount of the debt until Minister Maric completed his task. "We still don't have anything definite however, I hope that everything will be for the best. The intention is that all foreign loans that are covered by foreign banks and are unfavourable (...) be exchanged for more favourable ones. Due dates and amounts will be known when Minister Maric finishes the job," Butkovic said.

He added that this "is the continuation of the largest reform in the transport sector, that is, restructuring the road sector."

"Recently I made a decision to merge companies, reduce maintenance costs and the number of employees, that means that we are working on making the system in the Hrvatske Ceste (HC),Hrvatske Autoceste (HAC) and Autocesta Rijeka-Zagreb (ARZ) companies more efficient, stable and sustainable. We have backed down from selling the motorways as we consider that to have been a mistake and a detrimental decision and I am confident in a good result, not just in what Minister Maric is doing at the moment but I believe the entire process will end positively," Butkovic concluded.