HDZ Dismisses Claims about “Privatisation” of Parliament’s Chamber

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, October 24, 2019 – The Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) on Wednesday dismissed claims about the “privatisation” of the national parliament’s compound, and recalls that the parliament presidency’s decision to lease its premises to the European People’s Party (EPP) in November was made by a majority vote, including the support of the Social Democrat (SDP) representative.

The HDZ issued a press release on Wednesday evening after Vesna Pusić of the GLAS party and Gordan Maras of the SDP earlier in the day said that they found it unacceptable that the Sabor has leased its Grand Chamber to the EPP for its meetings in mid-November.

The HDZ recalls that the EPP is holding an election convention in Zagreb on 19-21 November, and that over 2000 participants from about 40 countries will arrive in Zagreb for that event.

The hosts of the EPP congress in Zagreb are Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, who is the leader of the HDZ , a member of the EPP, and the EPP president Jospeh Daul.

Also, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the European Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen and the European Council president Donald Tusk are expected to attend the congress.

A majority of the activities within the Congress are going to take place in Zagreb’s Arena sports hall, the HDZ says.

Meetings of the EPP presidency and assembly will take place in the Croatian Parliament.

Organising its congresses in the recent years, the EPP have made sure that the gatherings of its Presidency and Assembly could take place in the chambers of national parliaments of the countries where congresses have been held, the HDZ notes.

For instance, this has been the case in Lithuania, Denmark, Finland and in the European Parliament in Brussels, Strasbourg and Luxembourg, the HDZ says.

It also recalls that the EPP contacted the Croatian Parliament’s Presidency in April asking for a possibility of renting the Grand Chamber for its congress in November.

A majority of the presidency members, including Sinisa Hajdas Dončić of the SDP, supported the lease, and only Božo Petrov of the MOST party abstained from the vote, according to the HDZ press release.

Under that decision, a day’s rent for the Grand Chamber, where plenary sessions of Parliament are held, costs 35,000 kuna, while other chambers may be rented out for between 6,500 and 15,000 kuna.

The EPP has rented the Grand Chamber and another hall that costs 7,500 kuna, so that the rental of the premises will cost it 42,500 kuna, without other services such as technical support and catering.

The EPP says on its website that: “Now that the EPP has once again emerged as the leading force following the European elections and has successfully secured the Presidency of the European Commission, we would like to warmly invite you to the EPP Statutory Congress in Zagreb.”

More HDZ news can be found in the Politics section.


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