Furio Radin to Be Elected Deputy Parliament Speaker

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Radin has been the Italian national minority MP since 1992 and is one of eight national minority MPs supporting the government.

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković announced that Italian national minority MP Furio Radin would be elected as one of the three deputy Parliament Speakers which are appointed by the ruling majority. He is also one of eight national minority MPs which supplied crucial votes for the new HDZ-HNS government.

Before the vote on new ministers on Friday, the Prime Minister said that during the parliamentary debate there were inappropriate remarks, especially “about members of national minorities.” He alluded to controversial statements made by MP Ivan Pernar. He added that it was not positive for democracy in Croatia, which should foster communication between different political parties and representatives who may have different worldviews and values.

“I also want to distance myself as HDZ President and the Prime Minister from the statements made by some HDZ officials with regards to minority representatives. I would like to say that minority representatives have given added value and quality to our politics. They are also a confirmation that Croatia, based on the Constitution, laws and international conventions, protects minority rights at the highest level,” said Plenković, alluding presumably to a recent statement made by deputy HDZ president Milijan Brkić that Serbs will not decide who will or will not be be members of the Croatian government. In early May, Radin said he would not support the government until HDZ distances itself from Brkić’s statement.

Plenković stressed that the National Minorities Parliamentary Group is part of the parliamentary majority with whom they have excellent co-operation and understanding and that the political support is greatly appreciated by HDZ and him personally. “HDZ and its partners have decided that a national minority MP Furio Radin will become one of the Deputy Speakers. In this way, we want to show respect to our partners in the parliamentary majority, and I expect further constructive cooperation in this Parliament,” said the Prime Minister.

At the last parliamentary elections, Radin was elected as the Italian national minority representative with a total of 1,676 votes.

Radin was born in 1950 in Pula. He graduated psychology at the Faculty of Philosophy in Zagreb. He was active in the League of Socialist Youth of Croatia, where he was in charge of scientific activities. His brother Fabrizio Radin is the president of the Executive Council of the Italian Union of Croatia. Radin has been a member of the Parliament since 1992, and in 2000 he became the Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights and Rights of National Minorities. After parliamentary elections in 2011, he became a member of the IDS Parliamentary Group (Istrian regional party). Interestingly, that year he had no opponent at the election, so he needed just one vote to be elected.

According to his personal assets statement, since 2008, Radin’s assets grew by 1.5 million kunas. In early 2012, he reported that he was receiving a parliamentary salary of 20,000 kuna and that, due to legal provisions, he had stopped receiving additional compensation as the president of the Italian Union, which amounted to 42,000 kuna per year. He owns a 230-square-metre house in Vintijan near Pula, worth an estimated 270,000 euros. While in Zagreb, he lives in a 70-square-metre apartment belonging to his wife, the value of which has been estimated at 130,000 euros.

National minorities have eight guaranteed seats in the Parliament, which gives them a large influence, particularly in situations when there is no clear parliamentary majority. The national minority MPs are often criticised for being elected to the Parliament with just a handful of votes, as opposed to regular MPs. In recent years, the MPs have always supported governments regardless of their political leanings, except the short-lived government headed by Prime Minister Tihomir Orešković in 2016, during which, some of the MPs remained in opposition, in protest of what they considered to be its anti-minority policies.

In addition to these eight special MPs from national minorities, there are also three special MPs being elected by Croatian citizens living abroad, the so-called diaspora. Their proponents often complain that a low number of polling stations abroad makes it difficult for expatriates to vote, while their opponents argue that people living outside of Croatia should not have a single MP at their disposal since they are not paying taxes here.


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