Sea, Transport and Infrastructure Minister Oleg Butkovic said on Wednesday that a tender to supply catamarans to the Jadrolinija liner shipping company was not transparent and legal.
"One of the company management's main tasks was to buy new vessels. The procedure conducted by Jadrolinija was not the way I wanted it to be, or the way it should have been. It was not transparent. I have been informed of that," Butkovic told reporters in Split, answering their questions about the latest purchase of catamarans by Jadrolinija.
According to some media outlets, the company's management has favoured the Dutch company Damen by contacting the company before the tender and inquiring about new catamarans. Damen was later selected to supply the vessels to Jadrolinija.
The Rijeka-based shipping company issued a tender for four catamarans in January 2018, and in March published the results according to which the Damen company was chosen for purchase of two catamarans, valued at €18.4 million.
Media also reported that the manager of the state-owned shipping company, David Sopta, is close to Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic.
Asked if he could and would replace Jadrolinija's management, Butkovic said the matter was within the jurisdiction of the company's supervisory board and assembly.
He added that the management had been appointed at the government's proposal and that he would wait for all relevant information to be gathered.