Croatia announces new restructuring plans for shipyards
(ZAGREB) - Croatia announced on Friday it would re-launch its project to restructure several ailing shipyards which are heavily subsidised by the state, in contravention of EU regulations.
"We must honour what was agreed with the EU," Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic said in comments published on his Internet site.
Croatia is due to become the union's 28th member in July 2013.
"The shipping industry will remain in Croatia ... but the rules will be different," Milanovic added.
The government decided to sell the largest shipyard, Brodosplit, to Croatian company DIV and together will oversee a restructuring process of the yard which employs 3,400 people.
The shipyard, based in the southern coastal town of Split, costs the government 5 million euros ($6.6 million) a month to run according to experts. It was sold for the symbolic price of 1 kuna (0.13 euro).
Of the remaining four shipyards, two which were not sold in this round, will get new restructuring plans within three months while a third will file for bankruptcy.
For the final shipyard Uljanik, the only one that actually makes a profit, the government will offer shares to its employees and find a partner who can provide a cash infusion.
Croatia's shipyards employ over 10,000 people but are estimated to operate at a loss of over 2 billion euros.
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