“President Milanović promised normality in his campaign, but no one expected this low level of incitement, this tabloid rhetoric,” he told Jutarnji List daily, adding that the president’s attempt to use him to discredit the prime minister and his cabinet is a “pathetic and futile attack. It won’t work. We are not the same nor can we be.”
“Milanović is making rude insults, fabrications and false accusations with the intention to hide his own scandals, doing particular damage to Croatia on the international level,” Frka Petešić said, adding that Milanović is acting like that “probably because he thinks it improves his approval rating.”
This raises the issue of the president’s accountability and morality, he said, adding that Milanović has deeply hurt him and is repeatedly calling him a criminal by using the fact that during his term in office, he cannot be held to account and is hiding behind the security of his position.
“I repeat, I am not a permanent resident of Zagreb nor did I falsely register my permanent residence. I acted as instructed by the competent services at the Interior Ministry,” Frka Petešić said in the interview ih which he explained why he had applied for an official flat in Zagreb.
Asked if he was considering resigning as a liability to the government and the prime minister, he said that if anyone found a property in his or his wife’s name in Croatia or anywhere else, they should report it and he would immediately resign.
Asked why he had asked for an official flat in Zagreb if he has one in Zagreb’s Dubrava District, Frka Petešić said he and his family have been living in Zagreb since 2011 as tenants.
“I’m not the owner of any property nor will I be the owner of the flat I was given to use and for which I pay HRK 5 per square metre, at the same price and rules as other officials, in line with a decision from 2001. Also, as a tenant, I have been paying Zagreb’s local tax of 18%, the highest in the state, as all Zagreb residents.”
He added that he has not “evaded paying even one lipa, as some who have been writing about me these days have done”, and that he has not defrauded the state budget. “Everything else is a fabrication and a political campaign against me, in which the president has now joined, too.”
Asked why he registered his permanent residence in Sali on Dugi Otok island just a day before taking office, Frka Petešić said that was incorrect and that he did so “a month after taking office, while I was applying for an official flat. Among the documents required was the certificate of permanent residence, although a place of permanent residence is not a requirement for being allocated a flat.”
He said it had been a mistake not to register permanent residence for the whole family in Sali. “We were busy moving and packing, and my wife planned to regulate that after the move, but she forgot. Now that’s been corrected and she registered her permanent residence in Sali, as did my older daughter, while their temporary residence is registered in Jurišićeva Street in Zagreb.
He added that a day after moving into the official flat in Jurišićeva in mid-October, he registered his temporary residence there.
Asked why his family is still registered as living at a friends’ flat in Zagreb, Frka Petešić said it was an administrative error that was corrected after he reported it to the police.
“My family has been living with me the whole time,” he said, except the younger daughter who is studying in France. “As I explained, we all have permanent residence in Sali and temporary residence in Zagreb, in Jurišićeva, in the official flat where we live while I hold this temporary office. According to the relevant services at the Interior Ministry, that was the only logical option in our atypical situation.”
Frka Petešić said he was told at the ministry that he would have committed a misdemeanor only if he had registered permanent residence in Sali and been living in Zagreb without having registered temporary residence in Zagreb. He added that all his ancestors were from Dugi Otok and that is his only connection to the island.
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