ZAGREB, Aug 25, 2020 – Health Minister Vili Beros on Tuesday denied claims by the deputy director of the Sisters of Charity Hospital in Zagreb, Dijana Zadravec, that the selection process for the hospital’s director was unlawful and that Beros and the prime minister influenced it.
He explained that a recording of a discussion between him and Zadravec that appeared on YouTube on Monday was, in fact, a call during which he turned the speakerphone on, at a meeting with five to six of the closest associates, so that he could show them the pressure, insinuations and even blackmail he was exposed to.
Beros said that he had previously professionally collaborated with Zadravec at the hospital without any disagreement and that the problems started with her dispute with another colleague when he pointed out that the problem should not be resolved through the media but within the hospital.
The problems escalated during the selection procedure for the hospital director, which was conducted absolutely in accordance with legal procedures, said Beros.
“That’s when the pressure and very aggressive calls started and this discussion is just one in a series of similar ones and shows the attempts to influence me as someone who in fact cannot influence the selection process for the director,” he added.
“The procedure was respected, a steering committee exists and it determines who the director will be based on very relevant criteria,” he underscored.
Beros believes that it is “legitimate for everyone to fight for their personal progress, however, at the moment the line has been crossed.”
He noted that he did not feel threatened and therefore did not request any institutional protection.
“That was electioneering time and I believed that when the situation calmed down, everyone, according to their role and position, would be satisfied,” he added.
In response to an announcement by Zadravec that she would sue him for secretly recording her, which is illegal, Beros said that he did not record the discussion nor did he tell anyone to record it and so he cannot be personally held responsible, however, if the institutions assess that he is responsible, he will not run away from that.
He denied any unclarity with regard to his declaration of assets that Zadravec mentioned in the discussion, saying that the declaration was published and contained precise information on his assets.
Beros reiterated that the prime minister did not have any influence over the selection of the hospital director and that, as he said during the conversation with Zadravec, the party leadership had decided on the path and direction, which was a lawful way to deal with such matters.