“We must monetise motorway operators’ debt one way or another”

Zagreb, 18.7.2013.- Dvjestotinjak zaposlenika Hrvatskih autocesta, èlanova Nezavisnog cestarskog sindikata, krenuli su nešto prije 10 sati s Trga bana Jelaèiæa prema Banskim dvorima, prosvjedujuæi protiv monetizacije autocesta. Na slici prosvjednici na Trgu bana Jelaèiæa. foto FaH/ Dario GRZELJ/ ua

Transport Minister Sinisa Hajdas Doncic on Thursday reiterated that the government would not abandon plans to monetise the debt of state motorway operators — the Croatian Motorways (HAC) and the Rijeka-Zagreb (ARZ) –, but the cabinet would only change a model how to do it.

The minister said that the government had given up the idea of concession model, elaborating there are models such as concession-granting, securitization, initial public offering and privatisation.

He gave this statement ahead of a meeting at which the government is to formally decide on scrapping the plan of monetising the motorways’ debt through concession granting.

Hajdas Doncic added that the debt must be monetised or the HAC and the ARZ would have a gap of some three billion euros in 2016.

As for the announcement that the government would correct some excise duties in a bid to curb macroeconomic imbalances, as requested by the European Commission, Hajdas Doncic said that a rise in revenues from those higher excise taxes would not be given to motorways, roads and railways, but it would go directly into the state budget as a “an adjustment measure”.