“Economy Minister is Walking Conflict of Interest”

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, April 12, 2018 – Demanding a vote of no confidence in Economy Minister Martina Dalić in parliament on Thursday, the opposition criticised the government’s direction in the Agrokor food and retail group and called Dalić “a walking conflict of interest,” while Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said she was “doing a good job.”

Social Democratic Party (SDP) leader Davor Bernardić said the main culprit for the Agrokor crisis, its former owner Ivica Todorić, used to come to secret meetings with Plenković at the government and that he was defending Dalić “to cover up the tracks.”

Plenković said the meetings were not secret and that he was defending Dalić “because she’s doing a good job, not just about Agrokor but about other issues too.”

Gordan Maras of the SDP showed copies of photos of Plenković which he said clearly linked Plenković’s HDZ party and Agrokor as well as the Texo Management consulting firm, the HDZ and Agrokor. He said the latest public opinion polls showed that 77% of citizens did not support the direction in which the country was going, to which Plenković replied, “Have a think about what you are doing in that regard.”

Branimir Bunjac of Živi Zid asked Plenković to “stop dragging Croatia into the corruption mire created by those in power.” “It’s not only that 77% of citizens don’t support you, you are also the most hated politician, your party doesn’t trust you, your political secretaries have turned their backs on you. You are incapable of running the party, so how can you claim legitimacy for running the country?” Plenković said Živi Zid were “defeatists, nihilists, anti-system, protesters.”

Tomislav Panenić of MOST asked him to “count Dalić’s successes which promise a brighter future in Croatia.” Plenkovic said Dalić, “as the coordinator of a whole economic team, one of the strongest in the history of Croatian governments, is implementing and participating in a policy which is relieving the economy, making a quality national programme of structural reforms, following global trends.”

Domagoj Hajduković of the SDP said Dalić was “a walking conflict of interest and a liability for your conflict-of-interest government.”

“You say the fact that Agrokor took a roll-up loan of about eight billion kuna is a good sign and confirmation that the government’s emergency administration did a good job,” said Ivan Lovrinović of the Let’s Change Croatia party. “Why did you let Agrokor borrow eight billion kuna, when Ivica Todorić asked for 2.5 billion kuna to maintain liquidity before Lex?” He was referring to the law on emergency administration in systemic companies, dubbed Lex Agrokor. “If you borrowed three billion for Agrokor, 1.2 billion is in the account, 500 million went for consultants, where is the remaining three billion kuna?” he said, asking “where did you spend the rest of the money.”

Panenić said industrial production, which was in Dalić’s remit, was decreasing but parafiscal and other levies were not, and that government had done nothing about reforms in the past two years.

Branko Bačić of the HDZ said the opposition could not accept that Lex Agrokor “was a flawless government intervention in the economy… The opposition claimed the law would additionally burden the state budget and fall on taxpayers’ backs, but no damage has been done to either the state or Croatian citizens.”

Milorad Pupovac of the Independent Democratic Serb party (SDSS) said his group would vote for Dalić. “Some of the things that started happening in Agrokor seriously contaminated and undermined the credibility of us all who gave our confidence for the realisation of the law. Luckily, the key cause of the contamination was eliminated. The new emergency administration has restored the confidence of us in the ruling coalition.”

Dalić said the workers of Belje, a company within the Agrokor group, had thanked her for the preservation of jobs in Agrokor.

Nikola Grmoja of MOST asked her how much money she “sank into Agrokor and then handed it over to the Russians.”


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