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Government to pay for 60% of Zagreb’s post-earthquake reconstruction

(Photo: HINA/Damir SENČAR)

ZAGREB, July 24 (Hina) – The government on Friday sent to parliament a bill on the reconstruction of the Zagreb area after the March earthquake under which, as Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said, the government will cover 60% of the costs and local governments and owners 20% each.

A reconstruction fund will be established to oversee the works, raise money for the reconstruction and serve as a one-stop-shop for all citizens affected by the quake, he added.

The prime minister recalled that HRK 100 billion had already been ensured for emergency repairs by revising the 2020 budget and from the Environmental Protection Fund, that HRK 41 million had been allocated from the Condensing Boiler Fund, and that the government had paid for the accommodation of people who lost their homes in the quake in a Zagreb student dorm.

A US$ 200 million loan has been agreed with the World Bank, talks are underway on a Council of Europe Development Bank loan, and an application has been submitted to the European Solidarity Fund, said Plenkovic.

Earthquake damage estimated at €11.5 billion

“The earthquake damage is estimated at €11.5 billion, the number of damaged buildings is 25,000, the extent of the earthquake was big, ten seconds of the earthquake will no doubt bring ten years of work,” he added.

The law is expected to ensure the principles of organised reconstruction under professional regulations so as to preserve Zagreb’s historical and artistic value. All interested stakeholders, builders, architects, art historians, conservationists and others were consulted in drafting the bill, which was also put to public consultation, resulting in 400 comments, some of which were incorporated into the bill.

Plenkovic said he wanted the widest possible consensus on the law and for it to be clear, transparent and implementable.

Construction and Physical Planning Minister Darko Horvat said the reconstruction would be a big financial challenge and that the bulk of the expenses would be covered by the state. A detailed programme of measures will be made for the pace of reconstruction, depending on financing.

As for public buildings, he said their reconstruction would be fully covered by the founders.

Culture Minister Nina Obuljen Korzinek said the reconstruction would envisage state-of-the-art technology to increase the value of Zagreb’s buildings and preserve the cultural and historical aspects.

Finance Minister Zdravko Maric said he hoped the reconstruction would contribute to economic activity in Croatia.

Parliament will debate the bill next week.

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