ZAGREB, May 11, 2018 – Partners in the coalition government said on Friday, after a meeting with Prime Minister Andrej Plenković on the emails scandal involving Deputy Prime Minister and Economy Minister Martina Dalić, that the prime minister still had their trust and that talks would continue on Tuesday to discuss progress in reaching a settlement on the indebted Agrokor food and retail conglomerate and whether anyone had taken advantage of the present situation for their own gain.
Speaking to the press after the meeting, Croatian Social Liberal Party (HSLS) leader Darinko Kosor said that the coalition partners supported the prime minister and that the parliament majority was not at risk, but stressed that they expected certain things to be dealt with. “First of all, we expect a settlement to be reached by July 10 because that is the issue of all issues. On the other hand, if there are individuals who broke the law and took advantage of this situation for their own gain, the authorities, including the State Prosecutors and police, should investigate and inform us of their findings,” Kosor said.
“The coalition is not at risk. Andrej Plenković has our support, but individuals who did certain things should be investigated by state authorities,” Kosor said. He would not say whether he would resign if he were in Dalić’s shoes or whether Dalić was possibly morally responsible.
The leader of the Independent Democratic Serb Party (SDSS) Milorad Pupovac said that they had adopted certain conclusions and would continue the talks next week, adding that they must not allow the reaching of a settlement on Agrokor and the functioning of the government to be threatened. “We are meeting again next week to see how far we have come with this important process for the country, which is reaching a settlement. Secondly, we will discuss in detail where this process was contaminated. The members of the ruling coalition support the functioning of the government and reaching of these goals,” Pupovac said.
Branimir Glavaš of the regional Slavonia and Baranja Party (HDSSB) said that the government and the prime minister have the full trust of the coalition partners. “It is essential that a settlement on Agrokor is successfully implemented because that is in general national interest,” he said.
Vladimir Bilek, who represents the Czech and Slovak minorities in Parliament, said that the Agrokor law was one of the positive things the government had done. Commenting on the leaked emails between Dalić and the consultants and lawyers who worked on the drafting of the Agrokor law, Bilek said that their correspondence would be checked by relevant authorities. “They will check them. The prime minister and the government have support and the ruling majority is stable,” he added.
The head of the Reformists party Radimir Čačić, who came out of the meeting earlier, said he could not see any elements of a criminal offence in the case of Martina Dalić. “The state prosecutor must get involved at the first sign of a crime. Are there any such signs or not, I don’t know,” he said.
Croatian People’s Party (HNS) leader Ivan Vrdoljak said it was important to show responsibility for the process of reaching a settlement on Agrokor and to preserve tens of thousands of jobs in the conglomerate.