Dalić: Attacks on Me Want to Push Croatia into Political Chaos

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, May 11, 2018 – Economy Minister Martina Dalić has said there is nothing new in the published e-mails between her and the consultants and lawyers who worked on Lex Agrokor in relation to what she has been explaining so far, adding that she is being used to prevent a settlement on the Agrokor conglomerate from being reached and to push Croatia into political chaos.

In an interview with Friday’s Jutarnji List daily, Dalić said there were no coincidences in what had been happening for months with the indebted food and retail group.

“Upon reaching a framework settlement, we announced the pressure would become stronger. And that is happening. Two events prompted the current salvo of attacks: a UK court’s decision to extradite Agrokor founder Ivica Todorić, in which the judge dismissed the political persecution argument, and the decision of the Constitutional Court, which not only confirmed the constitutionality of Lex Agrokor but underlined that inaction would have resulted in a non-constitutional situation. We are two steps closer to a settlement and for some this is evidently the last chance to prevent it and to push the country into economic and political chaos,” she was quoted as saying.

Dalić said she did not know how the e-mails were made public. “What is important is that those e-mails contain nothing new in relation to what I have explained many times so far. The fragments of the correspondence that have been published are food for the lowest instincts, notably when read out of the context of the time and the political relations within the then ruling coalition and without knowing how, in political agreement between the then coalition partners, MOST and HDZ, the experts who ended up in that mailing group were chosen.”

Asked if she still enjoyed Prime Minister Andrej Plenković’s confidence, given the strong pressure from some media and the opposition over “allegedly incriminating facts in the e-mail correspondence,” Dalić said Plenković “said very clearly everything about that.”

“I repeat, those e-mails contain nothing new in relation to what was discussed by the parliamentary Economy Committee and in parliament during the failed attempt to give me a no-confidence vote.”

Asked why the Agrokor issue was not dealt with by a government task force but an informal group of experts politically recommended by MOST party, Dalić said, “When clear signs of Agrokor’s total collapse began to appear, as a responsible person you do everything so that you don’t worsen it by even one move.”

She said that in the first few months since the first signs of a serious crisis appeared, the government publicly called on Agrokor’s then management countless times to find a solution to the problems they had caused the group. “At the same time, even one media indication that something was going on in the government, that there was serious concern about Agrokor’s possible crash, could have meant an immediate blockade of the whole system. And at that time we didn’t have a life belt ready and we needed some time to find the best solution and a way to deal with a potential disaster of such extent,” Dalić said.

“MOST then explicitly asked and we agreed, and I still believe that was the right thing to do, that independent experts should analyse the situation and propose solutions. In the end, the conclusion was to amend the legislative framework.”

It began with independent experts, but experts from two ministries and the Legislation Office also got involved in writing Lex Agrokor, after which numerous people who had something to say were consulted, not just those whose names are being repeated in public, Dalić said, adding that HDZ and MOST, ruling coalition partners at the time, were being kept up to date about the consultations.

She regretted that the situation was such that there was no time for a public consultation and a months-long procedure. “That was neither my nor the prime minister’s or anyone else’s personal decision. The situation demanded speed.”

Dalić said interest groups, “and at this moment there are indeed many around Agrokor, are constantly trying to prevent a settlement from being reached because they care only about their own interests, from Todorić to some creditors, including those that are not.” “Unfortunately, the opposition is acting as the interest groups’ spokesperson,” she added.

She said that with the Agrokor crisis the incumbent government was faced with the worst problem Croatia had since the Homeland War. “We have successfully responded to it and if all the positive results we have achieved for the Croatian economy are being perceived negatively, I have to deal with it if I want to finish the job and remove this problem from Croatia’s economy for good.”


Subscribe to our newsletter

the fields marked with * are required
Email: *
First name:
Last name:
Gender: Male Female
Please don't insert text in the box below!

Leave a Comment