New Documents Show Finance Minister Marić Was Informed about Agrokor

Total Croatia News

The latest revelations regarding the Finance Minister and his former employer.

Newly published documents show that Finance Minister Zdravko Marić knew everything about the situation in Agrokor last year, but lied to the public about it. In its latest issue, the NACIONAL weekly has published internal documents of the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development (HBOR), where Zdravko Marić was and still is the chairman of the Supervisory Board, which show that HBOR’s management was informed in detail at the end of 2016 about serious business problems of Agrokor, reports on 11 July 2017.

As the chairman of the Supervisory Board, Marić undoubtedly knew about these documents, but despite this, the HBOR approved a loan to Agrokor in the amount of 48.3 million euros. Before entering politics, Marić worked in Agrokor, where he was an executive director in charge of capital markets.

“These documents show that the loan was not supposed to be approved at all. It is also suspected that Agrokor lied to the HBOR when it sent information about the performance of these companies, which can help investigators who have been investigating Agrokor for several weeks. On the basis of these documents, the public should once again evaluate the role Marić played in the entire affair,” said a source to Nacional.

The disputed loan to Agrokor had to be approved by the Supervisory Board consisting of ten members; six of them are ministers in the government of Andrej Plenković. Although Marić, due to his well-known connections with Agrokor, has excluded himself from voting on the disputed loan, this does not diminish his responsibility as the head of the HBOR Supervisory Board who knew about the risks, given the situation in Agrokor at the end of last year.

At the same time, other lenders began to seriously question whether there was any reason to continue providing money to Agrokor, given the problems it had encountered, which is why the value of Agrokor’s shares began to fall, but the HBOR, which is overseen by government ministers led by Marić, had no doubts.

Several months ago, when the Parliament debated the motion of no confidence against the Finance Minister, Prime Minister Plenković said there was nothing suspect about the loan. “As for the loan granted by the HBOR, the decision had been supported by the credit committee, the funds were given after the documentation was reviewed, and there was nothing suspicious about it,” said Plenković.

The fact that Marić had to know about the situation in Agrokor by the end of last year was recently confirmed by the government-appointed commissioner of Agrokor Ante Ramljak, who in May said this was well known in business circles before the start of 2017.


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