There was a possibility that HNS might replace MOST in the ruling coalition, but that has now become completely impossible.
Interviews given by Tomislav Karamarko about the scandal surrounding his wife’s cooperation with MOL’s consultant revealed another interesting detail which demonstrates that the ruling coalition reshuffle has now become impossible, reports Jutarnji List on May 20, 2016.
The HDZ president and First Deputy Prime Minister defended himself with attacks on the previous government. He particularly pointed out “a former minister whose wife was doing business in the energy sector. But, that was not a media scandal. And today they are inventing scandals which do not exist.” Although Karamarko did not say explicitly which minister he was talking about, it is clear that the energy sector portfolio belonged to the current HNS president and former Economy Minister Ivan Vrdoljak.
The very same day, some of the media close to HDZ published documents that allegedly prove that the company owned by Vrdoljak’s ex-wife had a significant revenue growth from 2011 to 2014 mostly thanks to working for state-owned HEP, which was under the authority of the then Economy Minister.
Ivan Vrdoljak transferred his 16 percent stake in the company to his ex-wife Tatjana back in 2009 as part of divorce proceedings, before he became a minister. Sources close to Vrdoljak say that the company received only 10 to 20 percent of its revenues from HEP and that it had been doing business with the company for years.
It is interesting that Karamarko decided to launch an attack on Vrdoljak apparently only after he became aware that the reshuffle in Parliament, in which HNS would replace MOST, is not going to happen. According to sources, three weeks ago a meeting was held in Zagreb at which Karamarko and Vrdoljak discussed possible cooperation between HDZ and HNS. At that time, there were no attacks in the media between HNS and HDZ. Moreover, Karamarko even officially visited Međimurje County, where the Prefect is HNS’s Matija Posavec, and he even praised the work of the Prefect.
However, after the meeting, which did not end in an agreement, Vrdoljak was the first to attack. A week ago, he publicly stated that “if the contracts between Ana Karamarko and Petrović are authentic, Karamarko should step down”. Karamarko then started attacking Vrdoljak for alleged conflict of interest.
Obviously the differences between Karamarko and Vrdoljak were too large for their parties to cooperate. HNS president was the Economy Minister who launched one of the arbitration proceedings between MOL and Croatia, while Karamarko wants to end the arbitration and come to an agreement with the Hungarian side.