Economy Minister Panenić Talks About Plans for His Ministry

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Economy Minister Tomislav Panenić talks of plans for the economy. 

Economy Minister Tomislav Panenić gave an interview yesterday to Croatian Television and spoke about plans for his ministry. He said that the exploration of hydrocarbons in the Adriatic sea was possible, “but we have to see the exact environmental impact assessment, especially regarding tourism which is extremely important business sector”. He said that the investments must continue, but they must not bring any harmful effects, reports Vecernji List on February 8, 2016.

Regarding INA, Panenić said that management rights issue between Croatia and Hungary in the company was not as important as investments. “INA has to be the engine of the whole Croatian economy”, said Panenić.

Speaking about the management contracts in state-owned and public companies, he said that severance packages must be defined in relation to salaries of individual managers. “It must be clear that, if we want to have top managers who will manage companies worth billions, then we must find a way to make these positions attractive to them”, added Panenić.

Asked if the previous government was responsible for the economic growth, he said that the growth coincided with a successful tourist season and the situation in the European Union. “It must be clear that we have an economy which is exposed to the impact of these factors”, said Panenić. He added that the first draft of the new budget will be ready by the end of the month.

Talking about Prime Minister Tihomir Orešković, he said that the Prime Minister had brought managerial spirit to the government, that they work as a team and that it was not very important that Orešković did not know much about Croatia. “His basic task is to make progress”, said Panenić. He admitted that he personally did not know who Orešković was before he became Prime Minister-designate. “I did not know him personally, but I do know Pliva, we know the investments he made there”, said Panenić. Asked how was it possible that it took them just two hours to accept him as the Prime Minister-designate, Panenić said that was enough time for him. “Our job is to work hard and manage our ministries, and not to be burdened with political squabbles”, said Panenić.

Panenić gave an ambiguous answer to the question whether he supported the introduction of property tax, which he described as a very sensitive thing for the public. “Maybe it could be introduced, but then we would have to abolish something else, perhaps the municipal utility contribution”, said Panenić.

He also did not give a clear answer whether he supported the abolition of some of the twenty Croatian counties. “There will be a public debate to find the right model, but that does not mean that something will actually have to be abolished, perhaps just reorganized”, said Panenić.

Finally, he dismissed accusations that he was too inexperienced to be a minister saying that only former ministers have the experience of leading a ministry. He also dismissed allegations that in one of his former posts he was in a conflict of interest because his wife worked on the implementation of some of the projects. “She was one of many people who used to work there”, said Panenić. He also once again denied that he got fired for a previous job due to theft.


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