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The fall of Croatian Government’s „little Norway“ – no contract signing for Adriatic oil drilling

The harmful project of exploration and exploitation of oil and gas in the Adriatic Sea is about to fall apart. One of the reasons is the big public opposition, as well as the S.O.S. Adriatic campaign. Citizens clearly showed that they care about the Adriatic.

At Thursday’s (24.9.2015.) session, the Croatian Government abolished the concession for seven blocks which was awarded to the Austrian OMV and American Marathon Oil. The two companies announced already in July that they would not sign the contracts for oil drilling in the Adriatic. Although it was announced that during this session the Government would give approval for nine contracts for exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons in the Adriatic and on the mainland, and announce new tendering for 13 blocks in the northern and southern Adriatic, these topics weren’t put on the agenda.

The S.O.S. Adriatic coalition holds that this is another clear indicator that the current government won’t sign the contracts with the three remaining oil companies – INA, ENI and Medoilgas – as it has been delayed for almost half a year, and as according to regular procedure the government doesn’t make such important decisions shortly before parliamentary elections.

We also want to emphasize the responsibility of the Minister of Economy Ivan Vrdoljak and the director of the Agency for Hydrocarbons Barbara Doric, who entered this major project recklessly, without any public debate and consultation with local communities, risking huge environmental and economic damages, as well as direct consequences for citizens.

They bear the responsibility not only for bad, but for failed energy politics which are based on fossil fuels of past centuries, instead of renewable energy that can provide us not only with energy independence, but also jobs and a clean future.

We urge the current and future government and all the ministers, not to sign the contracts with oil companies because they will cause direct damages to Croatian citizens. The S.O.S. Adriatic coalition will keep fighting for an oil free Adriatic, not just on the Croatian side, but also in neighbouring countries.