ZAGREB, November 16, 2018 – Finance Minister Zdravko Marić said on Thursday the media claims that the Conflict of Interest Act was being amended because of him were someone’s fabrication and that this law should identify conflict of interest and abuses but not prevent someone who came to the government from the private sector from returning there.
“I, as minister of finance… tomorrow practically couldn’t work anywhere in Croatia,” Marić said, responding to questions from the press.
The media have recently said that Marić is going to the Adris tourism and insurance group and that, because him, a provision on a year-long cooling period, under which former office holders could not be appointed to supervisory committees and other bodies for one year after the end of their term, is being thrown out of a bill of amendments to the Conflict of Interest Act.
Asked what he meant when he said that he would remain minister “until further notice” but not until the end of his term, Marić said he already answered and that, “as far as I know, I am still minister” and that he was focused on a set of tax laws.
He said the bill was in the remit of the Public Administration Ministry and that a public consultation on it was held over the summer. “I no longer know what stage it’s in, but now someone has fabricated this whole story, to connect it with me.”
Earlier today, asked by the press why the cooling period provision was thrown out of the bill, Public Administration Minister Lovro Kuščević said nothing was thrown out, that the bill was still being agreed, and that the media calling it Lex Maric was ridiculous.
For more on Croatia’s finance minister, who is often in the media spotlight and no stranger to various controversies, click here.