Lawmakers on Wednesday commended the government's proposal to increase the quantity of subsidised water on the islands from 45 to 85 cubic meters per resident annually, state agency Hina reported, while MPs of the ruling parties boasted that HRK 13 billion (€1.7 billion) had been invested in the islands since 2016.
“No other government has invested so much in the islands as this one had,” MP Rade Simicevic (HDZ) said during a debate on amendments to the Islands Act.
State agency Hina did not report what the changes to the law on islands would entail, but it did carry a selection of comments made by MPs.
Simicevic’s party colleague MP Josip Boric underscored that “billions and billions” have been invested in the islands and in 2019 alone more than HRK 2 billion so that 132,000 islanders could enjoy conditions like those on the mainland.
Minister of Regional Development and EU Funds Nataša Tramisak said that since 2016 the government had allocated more than HRK 6 billion for the islands from the state budget while more than HRK 7 billion from EU funds had been invested in island projects.
There are currently 60 water projects underway that are valued at HRK 20 billion, added Tramišak.
MP Vesna Nadj of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) claimed that HRK 13 billion is a lot but, she said, all islanders still do not have access to water.
MPs from the Bridge party and Homeland Movement did not have any objections to the government’s proposal, however they asked when the benefits the proposal brings to the islands will be implemented in other areas of Croatia where life is equally as demanding.
MP Ante Kujundzic (Bridge) warned of the enormous price of water in the Dalmatian hinterland, where the price of water is “among the most expensive,” yet 70% of water gets lost.
MP Hrvoje Zekanovic (Sovereignists) said that there are some hints that the price of water on Brač Island is about to increase because the local water company has been left without money due to the construction of a monumental building that is going to cost HRK 28 million. The director of the company is a HDZ member, Zekanovic said, adding that the island of Brac does not need a building of that kind.
(€1 = 7.56 kuna)