Croatia’s Most Famous Whistleblower Comments on New Appointments in INA

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Even though all investigations showed her allegations about criminal activities were true, Vesna Balenovic is still waiting to get her job back in INA. After the government announced the names of new members of the Supervisory Board, she decided to address the minister of economy Tomislav Panenic.

The latest session of the Main Assembly of Croatia’s national oil company INA and the decision of the government to appoint three new members of the Supervisory Board have sparked a reaction from Croatia’s most famous whistleblower and the president of the association „Whistleblower“ Vesna Balenovic on June 9, 2016. The woman who reported numerous criminal activities in the national oil company INA is still unemployed after she was expressly dismissed for exposing sensitive information, even though DORH confirmed most of her allegations. Here is the entire press release:

I would like to congratulate the newly appointed members of INA’s Supervisory Board Damir Vandjelinovic who is a manager in Adris (and also one of the rumoured candidates for the PM position before Tim Oreskovic appeared on the scene), Darijo Cehic who is an attorney from Porec and Luka Burilovic, president of the Croatian Chamber of economy. I believe the Government was lead by high criteria during the selection process, even though they have no previous experience in the oil business. I believe the main selection criteria was the genuine readiness to protect the already impaired national interests in INA.

I spoke to the minister of economy Tomislav Panenic last week and he stated that my return to INA is not possible before the end of arbitrary proceedings!? I really have no idea what is the link between my possible return to the company and the proceedings between INA and MOL? Is this a case of not understanding the problem or just another attempt to prolong my agony in order to protect the culprit behind my criminal charges? If minister Panenic has honest intentions, he must let me return to INA! And I hope he is not going to be yet another of those who came to INA to rip it off but to preserve it.

I wonder if the newly appointed president of the Supervisory Board of INA minister Panenic will recognise and acknowledge the positive role of whistleblowers in Croatia? Does he believe whistleblowers should be punished with instant dismissals or show them unconditional support? The way the political elite has treated whistleblowers is the best indicator of the honesty in their efforts to protect the national interests of this country. In every country in the world with highly evolved judiciary systems whistleblowers are highly regarded and I can only guess why that’s not the case in Croatia. Every single day we are witnessing how individuals that would be prosecuted for high treason and criminal activities are easily catapulted into high political functions, and whistleblowers are certainly not an acceptable company for such an elite group.

I have to once again note that DORH confirmed the validity of my claims about criminal activities in INA. So, if minister Panenic really wants to protect our national interests in INA, then my return to the company should be one of his first moves. I have a proven track record in fighting criminal activities while the minister still has to prove his intentions with his actions and decisions. It remains to be seen which way the minister will sway – towards continuous devastation and the mindless rip-off of INA or towards the protection of the interests of our national oil company, honesty, and justice.


Vesna Balenovic


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