Croatian Government Crisis: April 28 Live Updates

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Latest updates on the government in crisis.

It is day two of the current government crisis. After the Prime Minister dismissed three of MOST’s ministers yesterday, they reacted by saying that they would continue to come to work until they are dismissed by Parliament as well. In the meantime, HDZ searches for a new parliamentary majority. An overview of yesterday’s events can be reached here.

HDZ has officially submitted the motion for dismissal of Parliament Speaker Božo Petrov, adding that they expected the motion to be urgently put to a vote.

Deputy Speaker of Parliament Gordan Jandroković (HDZ):

“Situation is excellent, we have collected 79 signatures for the dismissal of Parliament Speaker Božo Petrov. He has lost the legitimacy, so we think that the conditions have been reached that Petrov should no longer be the Speaker of Parliament.

As for the new ruling majority, everything is going according to plan. Now our main task was to gather enough signatures to prove that Petrov does not enjoy the majority in Parliament.

The motion of no confidence in Finance Minister Marić will be debated within the legal deadlines, that is not in doubt. We do not want to avoid this debate, it has to be debated within 30 days.

We expect from Petrov to act in accordance with democratic standards, and not like his ministers. Apart from HDZ’s MPs, Petrov’s dismissal has been signed by national minorities, Milan Bandić’s party, Reformists, HNS and IDS.

Speaker of Parliament and MOST leader Božo Petrov, who claims that prime-ministerial dismissal of ministers in against the law, announced that MOST’s members of government would resign today. “We are no longer part of the government and we want to demonstrate with this move that we do not care about the position. We are only interested in the constitution. Given that the Prime Minister is acting against the constitution, we will prevent a constitutional crisis and demonstrate our responsibility to the citizens.”

Before the end of the day, the HDZ Parliamentary Group will officially submit a request for the vote of no confidence in Speaker of Parliament and MOST leader Božo Petrov.

The government held an emergency session over the phone. It dismissed the MOST’s remaining minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Administration Minister Ivan Kovačić, as well as ten of MOST’s state secretaries in various ministries.

Branko Bačić, MP and president of the HDZ Parliamentary Group, has accused Interior Minister Vlaho Orepić of threatening the constitutional order.

“He does not respect the decision of the Prime Minister, and he said that Croatia was in serious crisis and that people need to react quickly. This is a blow to the constitutional order of Croatia. He has called people on the street to solve the problems facing the functioning of the government. There are institutions for this in Croatia.”

He then called on MOST leader Božo Petrov to expel Orepić from party membership.

Finance Minister Zdravko Marić gave a statement.

“All the procedures are prescribed by law, how taxpayers are supervised, how individual measures are taken. For people paying tax in large sums, there is a special department which supervises them. I advocate for the advancement of all institutions. I stand behind the Tax Administration and I think they are doing their job honestly. Certainly there are individual failures.

The Tax Administration is executing all legally prescribed measures for the efficient collection of all taxpayers’ debts. No one has a preferential status, equal procedures apply to everyone.

From the very first day, I have worked in the public interest, and my work is best described by my results.  On Wednesday, I will answer all the charges and comment on my statements, which were always based on the information I had. The reports pointed to certain problems, but also to the stability of Agrokor.”

Deputy Prime Minister Dalić responded to Nikola Grmoja’s accusations.

“As you know, I have never worked in Agrokor. I know two employees, and I have met the owner five times in my life. What I do as Deputy Prime Minister is to preserve the stability of the economy that was endangered by the potential collapse of Agrokor.

When we talk about tax supervision, in each country, the tax inspection is conducting it based on risk analysis and expert estimates. I cannot know when and how many times the supervision has been carried out. I do not know how it is possible that Grmoja can know this.

After the formation of the government, a lot of effort and energy has been invested in the development of cooperation and the successful functioning of the government. However, colleagues from MOST voted yesterday against communication on the principles of legality and the professional functioning of the government. They advocate for deep politicisation of state institutions.

Speaker of Parliament and MOST leader Božo Petrov has announced that the debate on the motion of no-confidence towards Finance Minister Zdravko Marić will take place on Wednesday, 3 May.

MP Nikola Grmoja (MOST) gave a speech in the Parliament.

“Prime Minister Plenković was informed a few days ago about the information we have and why we had asked for Finance Minister Marić to leave. In the year and a half since Marić became the Finance Minister, the tax inspection has not entered Agrokor, a company worth 50 billion kuna, while at the same time it terrorises bars and restaurants for minor offences. Maybe even worse, since 2007, the tax inspection has not entered Agrokor.

The Prime Minister, who knows about this, is protecting Marić. He wants to dismiss three ministers who are doing their job. The Prime Minister should protect the lawfulness, and he has decided to protect the minister.

We are responsible to the people, to the state, to the institutions, and we will readily leave our ministries when there are 76 votes in the Parliament for their dismissal. We will not allow the Prime Minister to endanger the stability of Croatia.

MOST has confirmed that all of its ministers will continue to carry out their activities.

According to, Justice Minister Ante Šprlje travelled to Šibenik today where he will take part in a meeting of the Judges’ Association. “He was invited to the meeting as a minister and he went there to do his job,” according to MOST.

Interior Minister Orepić gave a statement to reporters:
“I want to emphasise that Croatia is in a serious political crisis and that the people should react since we are witnessing the usurpation of power. The question of whether I am a minister or not will be decided by the parliamentary majority.

Prime Minister Plenković will have to accept it. MOST is not bringing down the government. Plenković is bringing down the political context in order to place responsibility on specific names on the issue of Agrokor.

This has nothing to do with Finance Minister Marić, but with other political actors. You must know that there are other finance ministers in the government, and Deputy Prime Minister and Economy Minister Martina Dalić know a lot about Agrokor. I think that this political maneuver is an attempt to protect Dalić and her mentors, who are also Plenković’s mentors.”

(Former?) Interior Minister Vlaho Orepić has come to the Interior Ministry this morning.


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