Despite the conflict between coalition partners over the appointment of the head of curricular reform, the government will not collapse.
More news about the selection of the new head of the Expert Working Group for Curricular Reform will probably become known in the next few days. However, whoever is appointed, we should not expect a breakdown of the current HDZ-HNS coalition which would likely mean early parliamentary elections, reports Novi List on April 7, 2018.
Last summer, HNS split over the decision whether to enter Plenković’s government, so it would be strange for them to bring it down ten months later, just because he insists on conservative Matko Glunčić to be the head of the curricular reform team. The party does insist that the curricular reform was their almost only motive to enter into the government with HDZ, after spending last several decades fighting against them, but they will undoubtedly find a way to at least superficially solve the problem with this long-delayed reform.
A new spring has arrived. Two springs ago, MOST insisted on the dismissal of HDZ president Tomislav Karamarko from the government. HDZ’s MPs brought down the HDZ-MOST government, and early parliamentary elections were called. Last year, again in spring, MOST wanted to bring down Finance Minister Zdravko Marić, which prompted Prime Minister Plenković to dismiss MOST’s ministers and replace the party in the ruling coalition with HNS, until then a long-time SDP’s partner, which caused the party to split.
Another spring is here, and the ruling coalition is again on shaky grounds. Still, it can be expected that HDZ and HNS will reach a compromise on curricular reform. Yet, the question is why is Plenković so insistent about Glunčić, the only one of six candidates whom HNS sees as unacceptable. No man is worthy of causing the coalition to collapse, said Serbian national minority MP Milorad Pupovac, who is also a member of the coalition.
HNS’s Education Minister Blaženka Divjak said two important things – that she is a professor and a scientist and that she does earn her living exclusively from politics, and secondly, that she stands behind everything she has said before. A logical conclusion is that she is not ready to change her mind and that she would not accept the controversial appointment in her department.
The critical issue is what would HNS leadership do if faced with a tough choice – on the one side, Andrej Plenković and the survival of the coalition with HDZ and, on the other side, their outspoken minister Blaženka Divjak who might decide to leave her post. Would those who do earn their living from politics stay at their ministerial positions or would they leave together with her?
Andrej Plenković must surely know that Croatia will lag even further behind similar European countries if it does not raise the level of education and if it does not start to invest much more into science. In the past few years, some of the most skilled and educated people have left Croatia. If he allows the Church and its worldview to have a decisive influence on Croatia’s direction – the citizens of Croatia will have no chance to succeed.
Translated from Novi List (written by Zdenko Duka).