ZAGREB, July 7, 2019 – Public Administration Minister Lovro Kuščević said on Saturday that his tendering his resignation, as demanded lately by the opposition and partners in the ruling coalition over his alleged involvement in property-related scandals, was a matter between him and the prime minister.
“The fate of any minister is in the hands of the prime minister,” Kuščević, who has come under severe criticism from the media after it emerged that he was involved in a string of property-related scandals during his term as mayor of Nerežišća on the southern island of Brač, said in an interview with Nova TV.
The minister added that he would not hesitate a single moment if Prime Minister Andrej Plenković asked him to leave.
He would not give a straightforward answer when asked if PM Plenković had told him that he had caused harm to the government and the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) party, as reported by the media.
“I have explained each of my actions to both the prime minister and the (HDZ) presidency, provided evidence, arguments and final court rulings,” Kuščević said, adding that his conscience was clear.
The minister claims that the fake scandals of which he is being accused have primarily caused harm to him and his family.
“… the HDZ is a strong party. This government is doing a good job and its results are so good that fake scandals cannot harm the party,” said Kuščević.
Asked about allegations of fraudulent behaviour on the part of his advisor Željko Holik in connection with land on Brač that has ended up owned by mysterious offshore companies, Kuščević said that he was unpleasantly surprised by media reports saying that Holik still maintained business relations with those companies.
“I will talk to him on Monday to hear his side of the story and then we will make a decision,” said the minister.
The media have reported that Holik, Kuščević’s main advisor at the Public Administration Ministry, has found himself in the centre of a scandal involving land in Nerežišća and that the companies he used to run significantly profited from changes to the physical plan of Nerežišća, which were adopted in 2015 and which Kuščević had allegedly pushed for as head of Nerežišća municipality.
The media have also reported that hundreds of thousands of square metres of land on the island of Brač have thus ended up owned by mysterious offshore companies under the pretext of a medical tourism project that was never implemented.
More news about the Kuščević affair can be found in the Politics section.