Government Extends Term of INA Board of Directors for Another Year

Total Croatia News

Ruling coalition partners still undecided on new management teams at state-owned companies.

The Supervisory Board has decided, based on the instructions from the Government, to extend the term of the Croatian representatives in the INA Board of Directors. Hungarians have done the same, so the company will be run by the same team, headed by Zoltan Aldott as the Chairman of the Board, reports Večernji List on March 31, 2016.

The new country leadership cannot come up with an agreement about the appointments like these at INA, so people close to the former government still hold top positions at all the state-owned companies. Although it has been announced that the government might discuss on Wednesday the modified regulations on public competitions in public companies, it did not happen. Therefore, it is not surprising that, despite the opposition from HDZ, the Supervisory Board of INA led by Siniša Petrović has extended the mandate of the INA Board of Directors on Wednesday for another year. Petrović, who is close to the former Prime Minister Zoran Milanović, has implemented the Government’s proposal, INA’s statement said. If HDZ opposed the move, it is clear that this decision could have been made only by MOST and Prime Minister Tihomir Orešković. Extending the term of the Croatian trio on the Board was the only option given the fact that the ruling coalition was running out of time as the term of current company leadership was to end in two days.

The three members of the Croatian side of the INA Board, Davor Mayer, Ivan Krešić and Niko Dalić came to INA in February 2011, and the decision on their nomination was made by the then HDZ Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor. These are three experienced “oilmen” who have built their careers in INA. When she nominated them, Kosor said she did not want any political influences in INA. Milanović also “did not touch” the Board of Directors, but he did ensure his own influence through the nomination of the President of the Supervisory Board. HDZ has, however, said that it will replace the members as it is not satisfied with their work.

“I am not happy with the investments nor am I inclined to arbitrary procedures as a way to solve the problems between owners”, Darko Horvat, Entrepreneurship and Trade Minister, said after the government meeting yesterday. While the INA Supervisory Board was discussing the matter, HDZ held a meeting about potential changes at INA. Sources say that the names of potential candidates for the leading positions at the oil company are known and that there has been a great discontent because of the fact the Supervisory Board has not been changed.

This has been another blow for HDZ because the Prime Minister has obviously again bypassed the party which brought him to the top cabinet position. Hungarians have also kept the same team – they have extended the term of Zoltan Aldott, Gabor Horvath, and Peter Ratatics. The INA leadership will thus remain the same until 31 March 2017, for the sixth year. By then, HDZ should make a deal with its coalition partners about the distribution of positions in state companies. INA is the first among the companies owned by the state facing the expiration of its board od directors’ term. While they are waiting to be replaced, the leaders of the companies such as HEP and Plinacro have stopped all investments and major projects, so their business results are expected to be weaker in 2016.


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