Ahead of collecting signatures for a referendum against the leasing of motorways, the “We won’t give our motorways” civil initiative on Friday displayed the number 80 billion outside the government to warn about the alleged amount Croatia would lose if motorways were leased to monetise their debt.
One of the initiators of the referendum petition, unionist Mijat Stanic, said HRK 80 billion (approx. EUR 10.5 million) was the minimum revenue expected when all the debts of the HAC motorway operator were paid, provided that motorway traffic grew one percent annually in the future.
“Motorways were built as a development project. We know they can bring money, but the government has opted for the least profitable model, to lease the motorways, and we are against this,” he said.
He said the government would not be stopped either by unsolved property rights relations or the lack of approval for use for some motorway sections, adding that a referendum was the only effective way to prevent the government’s plan.
Stanic said motorway traffic rose over three percent this year, despite a poor tourism season and GDP decline, adding that earnings from motorways could grow because the future Adriatic-Ionian Motorway and Corridor Vc through Bosnia and Herzegovina would significantly increase traffic.