Pubblicato in: Cina, Devoluzione socialismo, Diplomazia, Economia e Produzione Industriale, Unione Europea

Croazia. Cina inaugura il ponte Pelješac. La Cina c’è ed agisce, proprio qui in Europa.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2022-08-01.

Croazia Pelješac Bridge 001 

«The Pelješac Bridge is a cable-stayed bridge in Dubrovnik-Neretva County, Croatia. The purpose of the bridge is to provide a fixed link from the southeastern Croatian semi-exclave to the rest of the country while bypassing Bosnia and Herzegovina’s short coastal strip at Neum. The bridge spans the sea channel between Komarna on the northern mainland and the peninsula of Pelješac, thereby passing entirely through Croatian territory and avoiding any border crossings with Bosnia and Herzegovina at Neum.

Construction started on 30 July 2018, and the bridge was connected on 28 July 2021. The bridge and its access roads opened for traffic on 26 July 2022.» [Fonte]

Croazia Pelješac Bridge 002

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Quando l’ex Jugoslavia si è sciolta e la Croazia è diventata indipendente nel 1991, i nuovi confini hanno fatto sì che due parti della costa croata fossero divise da un tratto di costa bosniaca lungo 9 km, noto come corridoio di Neum.

Salutato come uno dei momenti più importanti della storia croata, è stato inaugurato un ponte a lungo atteso che collega le zone costiere meridionali al resto del Paese.

Finora i croati dovevano attraversare il territorio della Bosnia-Erzegovina. Il ponte di Peljesac, lungo 2.4 km, è stato costruito dalla Cina.

L’UE ha accettato di finanziare l’85% del ponte, per un importo di 357 milioni di euro (300 milioni di sterline), utilizzando i fondi di coesione per quello che, a suo dire, avrebbe migliorato significativamente la vita quotidiana dei croati.

Inizialmente la Bosnia si era lamentata che il ponte avrebbe compromesso il suo accesso al mare, finché la Croazia non ha accettato di aumentare l’altezza del ponte a 55 metri.

La società statale cinese che si è aggiudicata l’appalto croato per il ponte – la China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) – ha presentato un’offerta molto inferiore a quella dei suoi rivali europei.

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Questo fatto si presta a numerose considerazione.

In primo luogo, la Cina è diventata da tempo un attore determinato nello scenario europeo. Occupa le posizioni abbandonate o sguarnite da parte del blocco europeo. Contratta su base paritaria, nel pieno rispetto della sovranità altrui. Così facendo si sta conquistando sempre più numerosi amici.

In secondo luogo, si noti come la offerta fatta dalla The China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC)  sia stata di gran lunga inferiore alle offerte fatte da parte di imprese europee. È inutile girare attorno a questo problema: le imprese europee sono fuori mercato.

In terzo luogo, dovrebbe essere evidente la latitanza del Consiglio Europeo. È davvero imbarazzante che sia la Cina a risolvere i problemi della Europa.

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«When the former Yugoslavia broke up and Croatia became independent in 1991, the new borders meant that two parts of the Croatian coastline were split by a 9km-long section of Bosnian coastline known as the Neum corridor»

«Hailed as one of the biggest moments in Croatian history, a long-awaited bridge has opened that links southern coastal areas to the rest of the country»

«Until now, Croatians had to cross land belonging to Bosnia and Herzegovina …. The 2.4km (1.5-mile) Peljesac bridge was built by China»

«The EU agreed to fund 85% of the bridge, to the tune of €357m (£300m), using cohesion funds for what it said would improve significantly the everyday lives of Croatians»

«Bosnia initially complained the bridge would affect its access to the sea, until Croatia agreed to increase the bridge’s height to 55m (181ft)»

«The Chinese state-owned company that won the Croatian contract for the bridge – The China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) – bid far less than its European rivals»

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Fanfare as Croatia’s Chinese-built bridge finally opens.

Hailed as one of the biggest moments in Croatian history, a long-awaited bridge has opened that links southern coastal areas to the rest of the country.

Until now, Croatians had to cross land belonging to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The 2.4km (1.5-mile) Peljesac bridge was built by China but largely funded by the European Union.

Celebrations took place throughout the day, with 250 runners crossing the bridge and small boats with Croatian flags sailing beneath the six pylons.

Residents also took the opportunity to walk along the initial stretch of the bridge before the day culminated in a glittering firework display.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang delivered a video message at the ceremony. His Croatian counterpart Andrej Plenkovic declared “tonight, we are uniting Croatia!” and described the bridge as a necessity, not a luxury.

During the opening ceremony, a Croatian-made electric hypercar called the Rimac Nevera made the first official crossing.

The EU agreed to fund 85% of the bridge, to the tune of €357m (£300m), using cohesion funds for what it said would improve significantly the everyday lives of Croatians. It also funded access roads, tunnels and other infrastructure.

When the former Yugoslavia broke up and Croatia became independent in 1991, the new borders meant that two parts of the Croatian coastline were split by a 9km-long section of Bosnian coastline known as the Neum corridor.

Bosnia’s right to coastal access dates back to 1699, when Neum was ceded by Dubrovnik – in modern-day Croatia – to what was then the Ottoman Empire.

As Bosnia is not in the EU and Croatia is, anyone trying to go north from the medieval city of Dubrovnik on the southernmost Adriatic coast or cross from the Peljesac peninsula to the mainland had to go through two border checks. Now anyone can drive straight along Croatia’s Adriatic coast via the new bridge.

The mayor of Neum, Dragan Jurkovic, told Bosnian TV that the new bridge would reduce traffic along the coast during the summer months and that he could only see benefits in the new bridge. However, some restaurateurs and traders were concerned that the decline would be bad for the area’s economy.

Tourists, many of them Czechs, Poles and Germans, have become regular visitors to Neum, where prices are considered far cheaper than in Dubrovnik but that is now likely to change.

The bridge has not been without controversy.

Bosnia initially complained the bridge would affect its access to the sea, until Croatia agreed to increase the bridge’s height to 55m (181ft).

The Chinese state-owned company that won the Croatian contract for the bridge – The China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) – bid far less than its European rivals. That prompted an Austrian company to file a complaint, alleging that CRBC was “price-dumping” and receiving Chinese state aid.

China’s Xinhua state news agency said the bridge opening was expected to further deepen mutual trust and expand co-operation between Croatia and Beijing.