It seems that most people do not trust government’s claims about supposed national interest.
Government’s plans to privatize one quarter of Croatian Electric Company (HEP) and use the funds to buy back MOL’s share in oil company INA have been in the centre of attention in the last few weeks. However, despite government’s claims that such a move would be best for Croatia’s national interest, it seems that majority of citizens do not share the government’s position, reports RTL on January 9, 2017.
According to a poll for RTL television, 52 percent of citizens do not support government’s idea, while just 33 percent believe the government is doing the right thing. Among parties, 56 percent of HDZ voters support the plans, while just 25 percent of MOST voters share their opinion. Results for the government are even worse among supporters of opposition parties. Seventy-seven percent of SDP voters and 59 percent of HNS voters are against the plan.
Among those who support the idea, 34 percent say the reason is that the mistake made in previous years should be corrected, 24 percent say they support it so that Croatia could supposedly be energy independent, 20 percent want INA due to “national pride”, while 10 percent believe that MOL is a bad strategic partner.
Among those who are against the plans, 37 percent do not support it because they do not want the state to lose control over HEP, 25 percent believe that the reason for the government’s decision is populism, 11 percent say that INA is in too bad a shape to be worth buying, while 4 percent say that another strategic partner should rather be found.
Regarding the issue of a possible referendum about privatization of HEP, which is a possibility being mentioned in the last few days by several political parties, 57 percent of citizens want such a referendum, while 33 percent say that the referendum is not necessary. While HDZ voters do not want the referendum, voters who support MOST, SDP and HNS are strongly in favour of it.
War veterans associations have recently announced they will demand that 7 percent of HEP’s shares should be given to their fund, which was done in earlier years during privatization of some other state-owned companies. According to the poll, 56 percent of citizens are against such idea, while 35 percent support it.