Conflicts between First Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister continue.
Prime Minister Tihomir Orešković gave a public statement for the first time on the very serious conflict between First Deputy Prime Minister Tomislav Karamarko and Interior Minister Vlaho Orepić over the control of the Interior Ministry. However, he did it in a way which makes it hard to see which side he is on. Orešković is still trying to find a balance, although the animosity between Karamarko and Orepić is becoming more pronounced, reports Novi List on March 22, 2016.
Journalists in the parliament directly asked the Prime Minister who is in charge for dismissals in the police forces, considering that Karamarko and Orepić are arguing about it. “Each minister is responsible for his department, but both deputy prime ministers have a certain level of responsibility. We can always have different opinions, but in the end this government is working towards our common goals, said the Prime Minister.
Given that journalists did not understand what Orešković exactly wanted to say, they asked him once again. The Prime Minister remained ambiguous, even though it seemed that he perhaps supported Orepić a bit more. “The minister is responsible for dismissals, but everyone can have their influence and comments. Just like I seek input from the Deputy Prime Minister and the Parliament. It is something healthy”, said Orešković.
In the meanwhile, an important factor in the conflict between Karamarko and Orepić became retired General Ante Gotovina. In order to neutralize the charges made by Karamarko that he was hiding so-called artillery logs and in that way harmed Croatian interests, Orepić on Sunday met with Gotovina, during whose trial the Hague Tribunal insisted on these documents. The minister published a photograph with Gotovina on Facebook, explaining that they met to recall events from the war. But, it is clear that that their meeting had a political dimension.
“Regardless of primitive attempts of political destruction of the Interior Ministry and me personally – I will continue to perform my duties even more vehemently. I have received Ante’s friendly support, for which I thank him”, wrote Orepić. Yesterday, the minister said to reporters that his photo with Gotovina was not a message to Karamarko.
“I have not noticed that Gotovina had a shirt saying: I support Orepić. After all, I was with Gotovina on Friday, but I did not take photographs, nor will I talk about what we discussed”, said Karamarko. “If some people during the previous government faithfully served SDP and abused parts of the police system, then they should no longer have a place in the system. That is my position, no matter what their names are. I will insist on it”, again warned Karamarko yesterday.
Of course, the other Deputy Prime Minister Božo Petrov firmly supports his minister and says that it is unacceptable to him that dismissals in the police “are being announced with trumpets and fanfare”. He did not want to go into the pressing issue who was better friends with Gotovina, Karamarko or Orepić.