A Week in Croatian Politics – Helicopters, Gas Prices and Ivica Todoric

Lauren Simmonds

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Ivica Todoric
Ivica Todoric


Former Agrokor boss Ivica Todoric is thrilled that Index readers stated they’d sooner vote for him as prime minister than current PM Andrej Plenkovic

If you’re a follower of politics (and scandals) in Croatia, you’ll more than likely recall one of the most enormous events in independent Croatian history – the Agrokor saga. I wrote a lot about it back at the time, and you can get a feel of it here, in an article entitled Requiem for a Company. Ivica Todoric, the former boss of this huge company, fell into troubled waters and there was a huge amount of drama surrounding the entire story. It eventually ended with him being extradited back to Croatia from London after handing himself in at Charring Cross police station following his stay in the United Kingdom in an attempt to avoid Croatian courts. 

Todoric is currently a free man, and despite all of the dramatics of that situation from back in 2017, he is still more popular than Andrej Plenkovic in the opinion of some Index readers. Index recently carried out a poll asking their readers who they’d sooner vote for as prime minister, the current one (Plenkovic), or the somewhat Godfather-like character, Ivica Todoric. They chose the latter, and he’s thrilled about it.

Todoric is known for his humour (no, really), and the inspiration for that poll was provided by Todoric himself, who published a similar one on his own Facebook profile and, examining the pulse of the people, asked whether the citizens of Croatia wanted him or Andrej Plenkovic as prime minister. In his Facebook poll, Todoric received 92% of the votes in his favour, and Index readers who share a similar sense of humour also gave Todoric a shining 72% advantage in its own poll.

Would Croatia arrest Vladimir Putin if he entered the country? Plenkovic says yes

Plenkovic recently made a statement during his stay in the Belgian capital of Brussels after a two-day spring meeting at the summit of European leaders. The main topics of the summit were further support for Ukraine, especially in sufficient quantities of ammunition, the competitiveness of the European economy, especially in relation to the United States and China, and the internal market and issues of energy and migration.

“Once again, we showed our commitment and solidarity to Ukraine in all aspects. We also discussed the topics of economic management, competitiveness and the energy situation, where everything that has been happening for the past three years in the context of the coronavirus crisis, the energy crisis, the food crisis and inflationary pressures essentially requires greater coordination of the economic policies of EU member states,” Plenkovic said.

In response to the question of whether or not the Croatian authorities would arrest Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin if he arrived here in Croatia, Plenkovic said an emphatic and blunt – yes.

”The International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued an arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin, so if he were to visit Croatia, he would be arrested in accordance with the procedure stipulated by that law,” Plenkovic said.

Croatia otherwise acceded to the statute of the International Criminal Court and a law was passed on cooperation with that court. “That law provides for all the procedures in case there is a warrant issued for the arrest of a person, and as far as I know, immunity does not apply here. Accordingly, the procedure would go exactly as provided for by that law, and of course the Croatian police and competent authorities would react to Putin arriving in Croatia,” said Plenkovic in response to a journalist’s question.

President Zoran Milanovic makes a strange statement about the Russia-Ukraine war once again, this time about donated Croatian helicopters

Croatia, much like the rest of the EU and indeed most of the world, has stood firmly by Ukraine’s side ever since the beginning of the shock Russian invasion back in February 2022. Having been through a horrific war just one generation ago and with those painful memories still very fresh, Croatia is able to understand the Ukrainian struggle against Russian aggression like few other countries are, given that the now shared experience both countries have is so recent. Milanovic, however, has continuously been vocal about his rather odd stances for over a year now. He has invited endless criticism and even questions from other politicians from across Europe about just what Croatia’s official stance is.

Of course, Milanovic’s strange statements and stances are not remotely in line with the official Croatian position – firmly by Ukraine’s side and staunchly against Russia’s actions. Plenkovic, with whom Milanovic is constantly butting heads, has spoken about this numerous times, attempting to distance not only himself personally but Croatian politics as a whole from the president’s baffling and politically damaging remarks. 

The latest such remark from Milanovic regards helicopters Croatia donated to Ukraine, and which should be delivered there very soon. Milanovic was quick to tell journalists that these helicopters “needed getting rid of anyway” because Croatia no longer has the conditions for their maintenance.

To keep you in the loop, Croatia is donating fourteen transport helicopters to Ukraine, of which twelve are MI 8 MTV-1 models and two are MI 8 T models. Defense Minister Mario Banozic said on Wednesday in the Ukrainian city of Odessa that he expects these helicopters to arrive in Ukraine soon.

Milanovic dressed his comments up in a fashion which makes it seem as if Croatia is simply doling out its useless cast-offs to the Ukrainian people, which has angered multiple people in Croatian politics and beyond. “Those helicopters aren’t something promising anyway, we wouldn’t have the conditions or the ability to maintain them anymore, because we have a lot of those helicopters and we need to get rid of them,” he claimed.

Croatia also recently agreed to provide another 500,000 euros to Ukraine.

As the Croatian Government alters its decision on price controls, milk prices shoot up

On Thursday, the Croatian government changed the decision on direct price control measures for specific food products in such a way that the highest retail price of UHT milk with 2.8 percent milk fat per liter has now been raised by 5 cents and the price it cannot exceed amounts to 1.03 euros.

You can read more detail about that by clicking here.

Economy Minister Davor Filipovic has claimed that energy (gas) prices won’t go up as of tomorrow, when the current measures are due to expire

A cabinet meeting was held recently in the National and University Library, as Index reports. On the agenda of the session was the decision to approve the granting of a shareholder loan to Hrvatska elektroprivreda (HEP) and the initiation of the recapitalisation procedure. Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic announced that HEP will be given a shareholder loan, first of 400 million euros, and then another 500 million euros. Minister Davor Filipovic also made a statement after the session, where he discussed the topic on everyone’s minds – price increases following the expiration of government measures on the 1st of April, 2023.

“The price of gas will not change from April the 1st. Everything will be fine, as it has been until now. People don’t have to worry about it. We’re protecting the people and the economy, and there will be no problems in that regard, people don’t need to worry about any of that,” he added.

“The government has now made several important decisions. One of them is the granting of a shareholder loan to HEP and recapitalisation. This is being done so that HEP will continue to bear the burden of this crisis and so that people can continue to have a favourable price for electricity. We’ve agreed that HEP will extend the repayment of the loan in order to be able to continuously purchase the energy products that are necessary for the functioning of the domestic economy,” said Filipovic.

“We’re moving in the direction of recapitalisation, and as for HEP’s financial results, you should ask the HEP Management. We haven’t yet received any financial results from them, the obligation for us to be given those results is just after March, so everything is still within the legal deadline. HEP’s management is responsible for that and it’s up to them,” he added.


For more on Croatian politics, make sure to keep up with our dedicated section. You can also follow our Week in Croatian Politics articles which provide an overview and are published every Friday.


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