APN Head Fired Due to Controversial Purchase of Property

Total Croatia News

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ZAGREB, January 29, 2020 – Construction Minister Predrag Štromar on Wednesday said that he would dismiss the State Real Estate Agency (APN)’s acting director Krešimir Žunić (Croatian Democratic Union, HDZ), after media outlets discovered that he had purchased a state-subsidised flat under the so-called POS scheme provided by that agency.

Štromar told reporters that he had submitted all the relevant documents in relation to Žunić to the prosecutorial authorities, who bought a flat in Zadar last year under the APN scheme which enabled him and his son to purchase the flat for a discount price of €975 per square metre. The scandal was uncovered by the commercial RTL broadcaster on Tuesday evening.

Last year, when he was deputy director of the APN, Žunić bought the property together with his son.

The so-called POS scheme for Socially Subsidised Housing Construction (POS) is intended to help young families and first-home buyers to purchase their own home in an affordable way.

Reporters also asked Štromar of the Croatian People’s Party (HNS), whether he had reported his party colleague Slavko Čukelj, to the prosecutorial authorities, since Čukelj was the director of the APN agency at the time when Žunić signed the controversial contract and Čukelj signed the document on behalf of APN. Štromar however said that everything needs to be checked and that the procedure is being checked so as to see whether some other people from APN exploited the POS scheme to buy properties for themselves.

Later in the day Štromar said that the appointment of the new AN director could be expected on Thursday.

Commenting on the case concerning Žunić, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said that the whole situation “is unusual as well as his (Žunić’s) statements.”

He also said that he would discuss the matter with Minister Štromar.

Earlier in the day, Transport Minister Oleg Butković of the HDZ said that he had experienced many things in politics, however, something like Žunić’s case and his explanations was “a precedent.” Butković said that he felt embarrassed for him and Žunić being members of the same party.

In a bid to justify himself and the purchase of the property under the government subsidised scheme by the agency he headed, Žunić said that he was embarrassed that he virtually did not own anything.

“What can the prime minister say about me, for God’s sake. I’m useless if I can’t help myself,” Žunić told the RTL last night.

Several members of the national parliament on Wednesday described Žunić’s behaviour as scandalous.

More news about corruption can be found in the Politics section.


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