ZAGREB, June 19, 2018 – Prime Minister Andrej Plenković confirmed on Tuesday that the Temporary Creditors’ Council in the ailing Agrokor food and retail conglomerate had unanimously adopted a settlement deal, saying that with that, all the set objectives have been achieved, that is, the general interest of the country’s economy, preservation of jobs and the conglomerate’s future.
The Temporary Creditors’ Council on Tuesday unanimously adopted the final draft of a settlement deal in Agrokor.
“That shows that the entire framework that the government and parliamentary majority created last year in April with the law on emergency administration enabled creditors to reach an agreement in an extremely complex process of restructuring which, in my view, prevented the economic and financial collapse of the country, which enabled jobs to be saved, which enabled a commercial future for Agrokor and all its partners, that is, suppliers, small farmers,” Plenković told reporters.
On the other hand, he added, this achievement today, which he believes will be accepted at a court hearing to be determined by the Commercial Court which is supposed to confirm the decision, will pave the way for the implementation of the settlement, ongoing economic growth in Croatia and will “send a key message of confidence in the competencies of Croatian institutions, the government, parliament and courts.”
Plenković underlined that this was done in such a way that “our companies are exceptionally satisfied. By remaining in Agrokor and deciding to provide loans in difficult times, foreign creditors have sent a message that they believe in the company and in Croatia.”
He said that that was a courageous move by the government. “That wasn’t something we (the government) planned in our programme, however, we acted quickly and in accordance with the Constitution,” Plenković said and recalled that the Constitutional Court ruled that the law on emergency administration was in line with the Constitution and that the government enabled the law to become part of the EU acquis as part of insolvency laws in EU member states.
“My responsibility was the Croatian economy’s general interest, Croatian jobs and the future of this company. All the objectives have been achieved at this moment,” he said.
Asked by reporters, he said that a convincing majority of creditors are satisfied with the settlement and model that was applied. “We will see whether there will be some stakeholders that might seek some other legal path. Above all, we are first going to a court hearing for two-thirds of creditors to adopt the settlement deal and for the court to confirm that, and later to embark on its implementation and continuation of the restructuring of the company,” Plenković said.
Asked to comment on a statement by representative of the suppliers in the Temporary Creditors Council Marica Vidaković, who commended former deputy prime minister Martina Dalić for her enormous contribution to the process, Plenković said that the commendation was what he expected, considering that he knew in what way and in what circumstances and how much work was done in taking care for the Croatian economy’s and state’s general interest.
“There is nothing unexpected in that. The thing that is interesting is that the complaint to the USKOK anti-corruption office was filed by the party, which it seems to me, is fighting against vaccination. If they have any other such bright idea, like exiting the EU and NATO, then let them go ahead. I am certain they will see a positive reaction from the Croatian public,” Plenković said.
The state prosecutor’s office on Monday reported that the anti-corruption office USKOK had dismissed criminal charges against Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Martina Dalić, former emergency administrator in the Agrokor conglomerate Ante Ramljak and Finance Minister Zdravko Marić over the Hotmail scandal concerning Dalić’s private correspondence with consultants engaged in the drafting of a bill for the conglomerate. USKOK found that there were no elements of the crimes alleged in the criminal report.