NGO opposes selling motorways to private capital

Representative of a civil initiative that opposes the sale of Croatian motorways, on Thursday opposed the government-sponsored Plan B regarding the monetisation of the debt of the motorways’ operators, namely the Initial Public Offering (IPO) of the HAC-ONC toll and maintenance company’s shares to citizens and pension funds, saying they do not want the motorways to be sold to private capital.

Instead, they demand the state to approach Plan C which foresees re-programming of debts to banks, partly through bonds, as well as restructuring of companies managing motorways, removing politics from these companies and a public supervision over their work.

The president of the Independent Road Union; Mijat Stanic, told the press outside the government building that the Constitutional Court had adopted a decision banning the referendum against the monetisation of motorways, adding however the government cannot offer the motorways for a concession without adopting a special law, holding a public debate and passing this law in parliament.

He also opposed Plan B, saying it would help sell 51% shares in pension funds and allow private capital to manage the motorways indefinitely.

The initiative advocates Plan C which would be based on Slovenia’s experience which had once been in a similar situation as Croatia, but it managed to negotiate with banks extended deadlines for the payment of loans with more favourable interest rates. Stanic claims that last year, after repaying all loans and interests, Slovenians generated EUR 60 million in profit.