Goran Marić – “Last Minute” Minister

Total Croatia News

Although on Tuesday afternoon the new Croatian government was supposed to have 19 ministers, by late evening the 20th minister appeared. It is not completely clear what he will be doing.

Goran Marić, the new minister without portfolio, turned out to be the biggest mystery of the new Croatian government which was confirmed on Wednesday evening.

Last week, Parliament adopted legislative amendments which abolished one ministry and meant that the new government would have 19 ministers. On Monday, Parliament elected MP Goran Marić to be the Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Media. He called the first meeting of the Committee, gave a series of statements about what the Committee would do in the next four year. On Tuesday afternoon, an unofficial list of ministers was announced which contained the names of 19 ministers for 19 ministries. Marić was not included on the list, but suddenly, late in the evening, when the official list of nominees for ministers appeared on parliamentary website, Marić was listed as a minister without portfolio. It is not clear what happened in the last minute and what will Marić do in the government.

On Wednesday morning in Parliament, Marić told reports that he would definitely not be a minister without portfolio, which implied that a new ministry would be formed just for him. He alleged that he would be in charge of state assets management.

Last night, after the new government was confirmed, he openly said that “we will establish a ministry on the fly which will be responsible for my portfolio”. “I will be in charge of state property, central state offices, agencies, and funds”, said Marić last night, adding that his new ministry would be named later and would be established after a systemic analysis. However, while Marić optimistically announced that he would have his own ministry, just half an hour earlier people close to new Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said that Marić would not get a ministry after all and that he would just coordinate projects.

Interestingly, Croatia is already one of the countries in the EU with the largest number of ministries, and one of HDZ and MOST’s promises was that they would make central government smaller. Although they did abolish one ministry (Entrepreneurship), they have also introduced two new central state offices (a kind of mini-ministries), which means that central government bureaucracy is already larger that it was before.

In recent weeks, Marić was often mentioned as a potential Economy Minister, but that position went to Martina Dalić, who is also a Deputy Prime Minister. While Marić advocates for larger role of state in the economy and protectionism, she wants a smaller government and advocates for liberalization of economy. Marić was allegedly offered to be Minister of Transport or Minister of Labour and Pension System, but he refused. However, it is clear that this half-way solution is the worst for Marić, who is already becoming a subject of jokes.


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