The Agreement on the financing of the programme of connecting households in Roma settlements to the power supply network under the Government's Operational Programme for the Roma national minority in the period 2017-2020 was signed in the Zagreb head office of Hrvatska elektroprivreda by Environment and Energy Minister Tomislav Ćorić and HEP-Distribution System Operator (HEP-ODS) director Nikola Šulentić.
The Environment and Energy Ministry has secured HRK 2 million under this Agreement for connections provided by HEP ODS for all users who meet all of necessary legal connection requirements. The electrification of the Roma settlements is part of the measures introduced by the Croatian Government intended to improve the life standard of national minorities.
I believe that the implementation of this Agreement under the Government's Operational programme for national minorities will significantly improve the life quality of the Roma national minority. One of our tasks as the Ministry is to secure our citizens with access to reliable energy, which is also one of the objectives of sustainable development – a path undertaken by the Republic of Croatia. As energy is crucial in almost all living areas, it is important to be available to all, without an exception, said Tomislav Ćorić, Minister of Environment and Energy.
Out of the total 500 potential connections, the first phase of the electrification programme includes as many as 200 connections in seven counties (Sisak-Moslavina, Koprivnica-Križevci, Bjelovar-Bilogora, Brod-Posavina, Osijek-Baranja, Međimurje and Varaždin).
One of Hrvatska elektroprivreda priorities is to provide access to electricity and the use of the electricity network to all citizens across Croatia. This objective of ours complements the policy and commitment of the Croatian Government, as confirmed in this case by the funding of the Programme of connecting households in Roma settlements to power supply network. HEP will, as it always does, fulfil obligations undertaken hereunder with responsibility and quality as well as in the shortest possible period of time, said Frane Barbarić, president of the Management Board of Hrvatska elektroprivreda.
Veljko Kajtazi thanked the Croatian Government for this huge step forward for the Roma community in Croatia emphasizing that the Agreement signing which took place today was a proof of Croatia as a welfare state in which all its citizens were entitled to basic needs such as electricity.
HEP ODS Director Nikola Šulentić pointed out that HEP ODS had yet again confirmed its role as an impartial operator in view of all listed structures being required to meet all legalization-related requirements and pay connection fees as prescribed by the law.