Yet another blog post from Europe’s most wanted…
It would seem that nobody quite knows where the former Agrokor boss is hiding. He was allegedly somewhere hidden in the fog of London, then he was allegedly somewhere near Zurich in Switzerland. It seems quite amazing in this day and age, along with the fact that an arrest warrant has been issued for him, that nobody seems to have a clue where Ivica Todorić actually is. Regardless of that, at least he still keeps his blog up to date.
Ivica Todorić has been the subject of a great many articles in newspapers and portals over the last six months. Namely since the Agrokor crisis hit the country like a ton of bricks and caused not only a political fallout of grand proportions, but saw the threat of complete economic collapse become a painfully frightening reality. Luckily, owing to the passing of Lex Agrokor, grand-theft-catastrophe was avoided to a certain degree and the earthquake that could have been, managed to pass as an uncomfortable, but pretty much controlled national rumble.
With that being said, Konzum and very many other companies within and associated with the Agrokor Group have been quietly suffering, so have Agrokor’s creditors who naturally feel as if they’ve been mislead after Agrokor’s government appointed extraordinary administration, led by Ante Ramljak, released the company’s audit report which caused more questions to be asked than to be answered. Loans marked down as cash settlements was just one of the unnerving anomalies discovered in Agrokor’s books. The fact that the company funded Ivica Todorić’s life of luxury also angered many, although it honestly shouldn’t really have come as much of a surprise. Owing to these uncomfortable findings, many creditors became enraged. Russia’s Sberbank is Agrokor’s largest creditor, and by far the most vocal among the ailing company’s numerous helpers when it comes to filing lawsuits – and winning them.
Without going on and on about exactly what happened in the Agrokor company, as a lot of that is still mere speculation and guesswork even at this point in time, why not look at what the situation has become. Okay, we’ve managed to somewhat avoid the collosal sh*t storm that could have been had Lex Agrokor not been passed when it was, but where have we actually arrived to?
While it goes without saying that Ante Ramljak and his team must be up to their eyes in an incomprehensible amount of, shall we call it, ”brown stuff”, it would seem that we haven’t moved on to a much better place from where we were initially when all this rose to the surface like algae in a pit of murky water. Yes, Konzum is still open and facing restructuring, Ledo is still producing ice cream, Belje is still in operation and everything is alright, for want of a better word, but worrying stories about Agrokor still dominate the press, and Croatia’s largest privately owned company is still posing a threat of enormous proportions to the general public.
Just yesterday, we learned that Croatia’s pension funds lost a massive 200 million kuna owing to the fact that they’re bound to the value of Agrokor’s shares. Since they have been in suspended animation for a while, nobody quite knew where things stood. Things began to function again yesterday and as shares plummeted to miserable levels, three pension funds went down with them.
We recently learned that ZET will no longer be selling their transport tickets in Tisak sales outlets owing to Agrokor’s debts, one of which amounts to just over 17 million kuna, and another to an eye-watering 67 million kuna. Yet another inconvenience to the general public who merely want to go about their day to day lives in Zagreb. Tisak is a subsidiary of Agrokor, and must therefore pay the price for its woes.
While these real blows to the lives of every day, ordinary working people continue owing to the sheer severity of Agrokor’s problems, various politicians and public figures continue to sling proverbial mud at each other both online and in person. Ante Ramljak announced that he has filed a lawsuit against SDP’s Davor Bernardić for his questionable conduct and ”persistent repetition of untruths”. It would seem that Bernardić has been ”spreading falsehoods” about Agrokor’s extraordinary commissioner and he’s now had enough of listening to it all. One can’t blame him really, but as MOST’s Tomislav Panenić stated, perhaps it would be wise to develop thicker skin and realise that questions about his alleged lack of transparency in this entire situation are to be expected given its enormity.
Although he has conveniently calmed down with the insults and accusations of late, ironically when a European Arrest Warrant has been issued for him, Ivica Todorić has had his fair share of ”handbags at dawn” as they say in England. His now infamous blog has been the means by which the former Agrokor boss insults, accuses and judges all those involved in the entire Agrokor mess. From Prime Minister Plenković to Deputy PM Martina Dalić, to HDZ’s Gordan Jandroković, to Ante Ramljak and even his former business associates.
In his bizarre and sporadic online musings, Todorić has claimed multiple times that Dalić sent him and his family threatening emails in the early hours of the morning, that Plenković has been suffering from amnesia in Estonia (don’t ask, just click here) and apparently met him in the middle of the night with chocolates, that Gordan Jandroković has access to information he shouldn’t have and that basically every word that Ante Ramljak has ever uttered since birth is a lie. He has also stated that he isn’t hiding or running away from any responsibility, but that he has had his human rights violated and that he isn’t returning to Croatia until he’s managed to gather all of the evidence against those who have ”destroyed Agrokor” and who are orchestrating what he believes to be ”political persecution” against him.
Todorić’s latest blog post written directly from no-mans-land states that he has filed a criminal complaint against those ‘‘responsible for crime in Agrokor”. Odd, considering the fact that he’s on the run and nobody seems to have the faintest clue where he actually is.
To conclude, it would seem we’ve arrived nowhere. A European Arrest Warrant hasn’t managed to bring Todorić back home so far, and it seems that not even wild horses could drag him back here. Playground fights and mud slinging continues, lawsuits continue to be filed and Agrokor’s various creditors continue to grow ever more frustrated with each passing day. Zdravko Marić, an ex Agrokor employee, is still the finance minister despite the suspicions that surround him having torn the HDZ-MOST coalition apart in a messy divorce style manner, and Ivica Todorić has gone from gracing the glossy pages of the prestigious Forbes magazine to appearing on Europol’s most wanted list.
In short, nobody seems to know whether we’re coming or going, or if we’re even moving at all.