Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic on Tuesday described the opening of Peljesac Bridge as a "historic event," thanking "all companies and governments involved in the project, which he described as a project of pride connecting Croatia's southernmost parts with the rest of the country," state agency Hina said.
“This is a historic day for Croatia. I feel joy, pride and gratitude that we have completed a project that is truly a state, strategic, all-Croatian and non-partisan project… I feel pride that we belong to the generation that has accomplished this remarkable feat, connecting Croatia’s south, the southern parts of Dubrovnik-Neretva County, with the rest of the country,” said Plenkovic.
Speaking at the inauguration of the bridge at the Komarna rest stop, at the end of the bridge that connects to the mainland, Plenkovic said the inauguration ceremony was an event whose importance matched the key moments of Croatia’s struggle for freedom and liberation.
The project was realized harmoniously “with regard to political will and determination to implement it,” he said, noting that it was a success in architectural terms “as well as in terms of Croatia’s efficiency in making the most of its EU membership based on principles of modern sovereignism.”
“The Peljesac Bridge project was carried out on the basis of the key EU principle – the principle of solidarity, help to those less developed in catching up with the more developed ones… The fact that our partners in the EU have also contributed to this project means that we are part of the club of the most developed countries and that we should and do appreciate it,” he said.
Project connects Croatia and China ‘in fascinating way’
Plenkovic went on to say that the project had connected Croatia and China in a fascinating way, a reference to a speech by Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang, who addressed the ceremony via video link, in the context of the fact that the bridge was built by China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC).
“A few moments ago we heard the Chinese Prime Minister say that relations between Croatia and China will never be the same after this project, and that is true,” Plenkovic said.
He also mentioned other companies involved in the construction of Peljesac Bridge (Strabag, Avax) and numerous subcontractors, thanking them as well as the Croatian Roads (HC) road operator, Transport Minister Oleg Butkovic, and everyone else who contributed to the project in any way.
“I thank all the governments before us, those who came up with the idea of building this bridge and dreamed about implementing this project. We have managed to accomplish a Croatian dream together. Let us be happy that those who will use this bridge will contribute to Croatia’s economic development, better transport connectivity, better tourism revenue and, above all, better living standards for all people in the southern parts of Dubrovnik-Neretva County,” Plenkovic said.