ZAGREB, January 2, 2019 – State Assets Minister Goran Marić said on Wednesday that neither the government nor he could do anything about the closing of the refinery in Sisak because that was the decision of the INA oil company’s management, adding that he was still advocating for not closing the plant.
“The state assets minister and the government can’t make business decisions for any company,” he told reporters when asked if the government had done enough to prevent the closure of the Sisak refinery.
Asked if he would keep his promise from the 2016 election campaign that he would leave politics if the refinery was closed, Marić said he was still advocating for not closing the plant.
He said he was politically advocating that contractual obligations be met, that management consider whether the closure was justified, but added that business decisions in any company were made by management and the supervisory board. “As a minister, I can’t exert pressure on anyone,” he stressed.
Asked if INA was a state asset in any way, he said it was not and that the government only had shares in it, reiterating that business decisions concerning INA were made by the management and the supervisory board.
Marić said he would continue to insist on the adoption of decisions in Croatia’s interests, and that not closing the Sisak refinery was in Croatia’s interest.
Asked if the government and Prime Minister Andrej Plenković were pushing hard enough for what he was pushing for, he said that as an economist he mostly supported production and that during the election campaign they pushed for salvaging the Petrokemija fertiliser manufacturer and against closing the Sisak refinery.
He said Petrokemija was salvaged and that “the State Assets Ministry had a crucial role in its recapitalisation, but it certainly can’t have decisive influence on the closure of the refinery.”
More news on the Sisak refinery can be found in our Business section.