State Assets Minister Goran Marić Resigns

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, July 15, 2019 – State Assets Minister Goran Marić tendered his irrevocable resignation on Monday, saying he was doing so “given the circumstances and the atmosphere of grave media defamation of the status and the obstruction of the work and activity of the State Assets Ministry” and himself as minister.

Marić resigned in the coastal town of Novi Vinodolski after signing a contract on the gifting of state properties, saying this was the last contract he would sign.

“I worked under terrible pressure, I became a target. I cannot accept the unprecedented attack on myself and my family,” he told surprised reporters.

In his written resignation to Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, Marić said the State Assets Ministry had never worked in calm circumstances. “I worked under almost programmed pressure and in circumstances in which doubts were encouraged and tacitly approved as to the organisational foundation of the Ministry and the introduction of the necessary regulation of the status of state assets.”

Marić said it was inconceivable and unacceptable that “the media’s orchestration and creation of a lynching atmosphere takes priority over a calm and sensible insight into the value, achievements and effects of state assets” in Croatia’s politics, economy and society.

Marić said it was incomprehensible that the targeted media pressure made serious work undertaken to activate state property that had been abandoned or seized for decades unimportant.

He added that he “cannot accept and endure the unprecedented media and public attack on the dignity, peace and integrity of my family.”

The media suspect Marić over the purchases and sales of flats and the renovation of a part of the Franciscan monastery in Zagreb. He came under preliminary investigation by the USKOK anti-corruption office after the Index portal revealed how he acquired a flat in downtown Zagreb.

 Following the decision by Goran Marić to step down as State Assets Minister, the Social Democratic Party (SDP) on Monday said that the best and fairest way to reshuffle the current cabinet of Prime Minister Andrej Plenković will be snap elections.

“The current government does not reflect the will of voters and therefore citizens are losing faith in politics and are departing from Croatia every day,” SDP Secretary-General Nikša Vukas said.

Instead of having one by one minister burdened by scandals leaving the government, the best and fairest way to reshuffle the government will be through new elections, he added.

The political secretary of the opposition MOST party said on Monday the resignation of State Assets Minister Goran Marić had been extorted and that “the public again have not got answers to questions asked by the media about possible corruption.”

“Stepping down is not the point, it’s a necessity. It’s necessary to render accounts to the public regarding accusations of possible corruption,” Nikola Grmoja told reporters on his party’s behalf.

He said Marić and Lovro Kuščević, who resigned as public administration minister last Monday, “are returning to parliament after the prime minister evidently renounced them. Now they must prove their loyalty to the party and to the prime minister, already during the vote on their successors.”

Grmoja said the return of Marić and Kuščević to parliament would only reinforce the impression that the parliamentary majority was built on interests and blackmail.

More news about the state assets minister can be found in the Politics section.


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