“Government Buying Time with Lex Agrokor Until Elections”

Total Croatia News

Harsh words from the leader of the opposition.

SDP president Davor Bernardić said on Saturday that the government’s “lex Agrokor” was just an attempt to buy time until the local elections in May and warned that he would consider as high treason if Serbia and Slovenia were to adopt their own versions of the law, which could be used to seize Croatian property, reports tportal.hr on April 15, 2017.

“We can see that the government is buying time until local elections. The funds secured are just a drop in the ocean,” said Bernardić, asked to comment on events after the adoption of the law on procedure of extraordinary administration in companies of systemic importance, which is also known as the “lex Agrokor”.

He said he was glad that Agrokor’s employees had received their salaries after the group was granted a loan worth 80 million euros, adding that the money would be enough to pay salaries and suppliers only until the local elections. “It is obviously that they are buying time. The whole issue has been delayed until after the local elections,” he said.

Bernardić said that same about a memorandum prepared by a working group of suppliers, financial institutions and Agrokor at a meeting on Friday, which delayed the enforced payment of bills until 31 May. “The local elections are on 21 May. This is a drop in the ocean and it cannot solve the problem,” he said.

The SDP president warned that less than 15 percent of Agrokor’s debt to small suppliers had been repaid, adding that his party would propose measures to “protect Croatian agriculture and small producers.” They want shelves of retail chains to include products of small producers from Croatia. “That is our duty and mission. Since the government cannot do it, we must,” he said.

Bernardić also warned about the possible problems with adoption of similar laws in Slovenia and Serbia, after Croatia adopted “lex Agrokor”. “It is clear that, if Slovenia and Serbia were to adopt special laws and in that way seize Croatian property, ‘lex Agrokor’ would be considered a national treason,” he said.

He also urged the government to solve the “border problem with Slovenia,” recent traffic jams at border crossings which are a direct threat to Croatian tourism. “Slovenia is directly endangering the tourist season and wants to take away Croatian property located in Slovenia. This is totally unacceptable,” he reiterated, adding that Prime Minister Andrej Plenković should as soon as possible meet with his Slovenian counterpart Miro Cerar and “stop the circus” at the borders.

Asked whether he believed that the situation on the borders was a result of poor relations between Slovenia and Croatia, and not the implementation of the European directive on the new, stricter border controls, Bernardić said that the Slovenian border was the only one in Europe where such things were happening. “Obviously, something is going on. We will see in the following months whether it is targeted to threaten the tourist season.”


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