After Losing His Job, Former Prime Minister Orešković Returning to Croatia?

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Tihomir Orešković was the Prime Minister from January to October 2016.

Former Croatian Prime Minister Tihomir Orešković will leave the Teva pharmaceutical company next month. For now, it is not known what he will do next and whether he is planning to return to Croatia. Not even his former colleagues at the Croatian pharmaceutical company Pliva, which is a member of the Teva Group, know what he will do next, reports Večernji List on September 21, 2017.

Orešković was recently dismissed as Teva’s vice president for business efficiency, which was his position during the last year. Orešković did not want to say anything about leaving the company he has been working for almost continuously for 12 years, with a slight interruption last year when he accepted HDZ’s invitation to suddenly become the Croatian Prime Minister, although he was unknown in the Croatian political life at the time and has never taken part in politics at all.

In recent months, Teva has been dismissing a large number of employees around the world. The Israeli company, which is one of the biggest pharmaceutical producers in the world, has had problems with its Copaxone drug in the US market. Also, the Food and Drugs Administration has accelerated its generic medicines approval process, so now smaller competitors are able to compete more rapidly with their products in the market. Pharmaceutical chains are consolidating orders and putting pressure on prices, and an additional blow to Teva’s business was its costly acquisitions and problems with the selection of company’s management. After all these events, mass layoffs were announced, with about 6,000 employees expected to lose their jobs. At Pliva, Teva’s subsidiary in Croatia, there are no major problems, and the company is continuously employing new people.

Until Orešković’s became the CEO of Pliva in 2012, little was known about him, since he moved at an early age to Canada, where he grew up. He worked at Pliva for two years and was then appointed the chief financial officer of Teva. He left the company temporarily when he accepted the position of the Prime Minister, but since the government collapsed after just a few months, he soon returned to Teva in Amsterdam as vice president for business efficiency.

Although Orešković came to the government after receiving an invitation from then HDZ’ president Tomislav Karamarko, because MOST, HDZ’s coalition partner, insisted that the Prime Minister had to be an independent candidate who was not a member of any political party, he eventually became much closer to MOST. He was ultimately removed after a vote of no confidence in the Parliament.

At the local elections in May this year, he supported former MOST’s Economy Minister Tomislav Panenić who was running for the Prefect of Vukovar-Srijem County. At the time, it was speculated he might return to politics, but Orešković denied it, saying that he was not in any party.

It remains to be seen whether the latest career change for Orešković might also change his political plans in Croatia.

Translated from Večernji List.

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