Boris Vujčić to Be Re-Elected as Central Bank Governor

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, July 11, 2018 – The parliament’s Elections, Appointments and Administration Committee and Finance and State Budget Committee on Wednesday supported by a majority vote the proposed candidates for the leadership of the Croatian National Bank (HNB).

According to the proposals, which were agreed on by the ruling majority and are yet to be confirmed by the parliament on Friday, Boris Vujčić, whose term as HNB governor expired on July 8, would continue to lead the HNB in the next six years, Sandra Švaljek, a former head of the Institute of Economics and former deputy to Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandić, would be Vujčić’s deputy, while Slavko Tešija, Roman Šubić and Martina Drvar would be vice-governors.

Vujčić and Švaljek were proposed by the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), the Croatian People’s Party (HNS), the Independent Democratic Serb Party (SDSS), and the Croatian Christian Democratic Party/Croatian Social-Liberal Party/Croatian Democratic Party of Slavonia and Baranja (HDS/HSLS/HDSSB).

The Elections, Appointments and Administration Committee did not have any objections with regard to the candidates for the governor and the three vice-governors but committee member Arsen Bauk of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) wondered if the necessary legal conditions had been met with regard to Švaljek’s appointment.

A person who holds a post in local government bodies or political parties cannot be a member of the HNB Council (comprising the governor, their deputy and six vice-governors), Bauk said citing the relevant law, and recalled that Švaljek was a member of the Zagreb City Assembly and leader of the Independent Slate Sandra Švaljek political party. Committee chair Ante Sanader of the HDZ party said that the ruling majority had taken care of that and that by the parliamentary vote on Friday, Švaljek would cease to be party leader.

As for other candidates, Slavko Tešija worked at the HNB while Šubić worked at the HNB and the Croatian Catholic University, just like Drvar, who now works at the European Central Bank.

At a session of the Finance and Budget Committee, seven of its members from the ruling majority supported Vujčić’s appointment, three Social Democrat members abstained, while Ivan Lovrinović of the Let’s Change Croatia party voted against. As for Švaljek, seven committee members voted for her appointment’s as Vujčić’s deputy and four abstained. The committee supported by a majority vote the appointment of Tešija, Drvar and Šubić as HNB vice-governors.

Lovrinović said that the ruling majority was supporting the continuation of a monetary policy that was destroying the national economy and called for a monetary reform.

Committee member Branko Grčić (SDP) said he had three main objections to Vujčić’s first term in office. His decisions sometimes seemed “to have been made somewhere else” and he did not provide expert assistance to the former, SDP-led government in dealing with the problem of conversion of loans pegged to the Swiss franc, Grčić said, wondering how it was possible that Croatia has had a de facto fixed exchange rate for the last 25 years.

Vujčić was first appointed HNB governor in mid-2012 and he also served as a deputy governor. His first term in office expired last Sunday.

On July 17, the terms of deputy governor Relja Martić and vice-governors Tomislav Presečan, Damir Odak and Vedran Šošić expire. The terms of the other three vice-governors expire in July and October 2019.


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