ZAGREB, April 20, 2018 – Ivan Vrdoljak, the leader of the Croatian People’s Party (HNS), a junior partner in the ruling coalition, said on Friday that the allegations made by Hrvoje Perharić, the Croatian member sitting on the Krško nuclear plant’s management board, were groundless and accused the executive of working for the interests of Slovenia and causing two billion kuna worth of damage to the Croatian state budget.
Vrdoljak made the accusations at a news conference in Zagreb after the Zagreb municipal office of the Chief State Prosecutor (DORH) upheld an indictment against Vrdoljak brought by Perharić. Perharić accused Vrdoljak of threatening him in 2015 when Vrdoljak served as Economy Minister.
Vrdoljak went on to say that the bilateral Croatian-Slovenian agreement on the Krško nuclear power plant provided that half of the business activities pertaining to the plant should be performed by Slovenian companies and the other half by Croatian ones. However, from 2010 to 2014 this ratio was 61% to 23% to the detriment of Croatia, which prompted him to react.
“During Perharić’s term as the Croatian representative on the board, Croatia lost over two billion kuna. Then, in 2015, I wanted to protect Croatia’s national interests, jobs, entrepreneurs and companies. The complaint filed by Perharić against me is based on a false statement and I will prove that. Democratic institutions are the pillars of a democratic system, and I respect the institutions, although I reject the complaint against me,” Vrdoljak told the news conference.
The HNS chief called on law enforcement authorities to investigate whether the Croatia-Slovenia agreement was complied with.
Vrdoljak insisted that the charges brought against him by Perharic were motivated by Perharić’s attempt to discredit him after he said that Perharić should be held to account.
The charges brought against Vrdoljak by Perharić in November 2017 over alleged threats against him and his family were reportedly upheld by the DORH office in Zagreb recently.