Finance Minister Marić Comments on Speculation He Might Run for Zagreb Mayor

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Lately there are rumours that the popular minister could be HDZ’s candidate at local elections in May.

Finance Minister Zdravko Marić laughed on Thursday when reporters asked him if he was HDZ’s candidate for mayor of Zagreb in May. “No, I am not. Why?” he said. Asked about whether he was interested in the position, he said he was thinking only about his current job, reports N1 on February 2, 2017.

“I am the finance minister. It has been a few months since people have ‘appointed’ me to some other position, so this is deja vu for me”, he said, repeating that he was the finance minister and was “completely focused on this job”. Asked if he would agree to the proposal if the offer was made, he said, “so far, nobody has offered anything, nor have we talked about it”.

Journalists reminded him that last year he was mentioned as HDZ’s candidate to be prime minister after the government led by Tihomir Orešković collapsed. “That is the deja vu I spoke about. I just hope someone will not nominate me to be the new coach of national handball team”, he said jokingly. Reporters reminded him that at the time he almost accepted the idea of becoming prime minister-designate, but he answered that circumstances were different at the time.

Asked which position was more attractive, finance minister or mayor of Zagreb, he said that his current position was becoming more of a challenge. He said that he was not a member of HDZ, and declined to say whether he would become one.

In recent days, Marić has been mentioned as a potential HDZ’s mayoral candidate. According to reports, Prime Minister Plenković would like to see him as a candidate, particularly since he is one of rare HDZ’s potential candidates who is popular enough that he could realistically win. But, others say that his portfolio is too demanding for him to participate in a mayoral election campaign.

Marić was also asked about government’s position towards proposals for devaluation of kuna and changes in monetary policies, which are proposals made by President’s Council for Economic Affairs. He said that the Croatian National Bank was independent, but that recommendations heard during “a very good and constructive meeting” on the issue of tax reform and public debt were fully in agreement with the government. He told journalists to ask the Croatian National Bank about plans for monetary policy.


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