Milanović Says PM’s Chief of Staff Committed Offence

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“(The PM’s chief of staff) resides here. Frka is a resident of Zagreb and what he has done is unbelievable. The (post-earthquake) reconstruction of the building where he lives is not the problem, the problem is the reconstruction of the apartment where he lives. The man sponges off us, off me, I am still repaying the loan for my flat. Why should I not save some money for my son who studies in the Netherlands?” Milanović told reporters during a visit to the Kraš confectioner.

Frka Petešić enjoyed “his friend and boss’s support” 

Noting ironically that this was why he had considered reporting his residence in Senj, Glavice or Sinj (where his family hails from) because he has relatives who live there, Milanović said that what Frka Petešić did “is an offence with a very high level of awareness of the nature of the act.”

Milanović added that neither he nor any of his associates, and until now no one from the Plenković government, had ever thought of doing such a thing.

“Find me someone who has benefitted from that clumsy formulation, find a resident of Zagreb who has used a state flat in the past 10 years… who has used that benefit and has paid for accommodation less than any of us, stupid Zagreb residents. I’m confident there is no such person, not even in the Plenković government,” Milanović said, adding that what Frka Petešić did was also a responsibility of PM Plenković “because Frka Petešić has enjoyed the protection of his friend and boss.”

“Plenković is defending him, saying that he will not comment, while I had to answer their questions as to how I took out a 30-year housing loan,” said the president.

On combat planes: Treating parliament as a third party is outrageous

Milanović also said that the government had still not sent him agreements on the purchase of the French Rafale multipurpose fighter jets, but that more important than that was that the agreements were sent to the parliament.

“It is more important that the parliament gets them, (the jets) are 20% more expensive than planned, which is €200 million less for the army. Answering the parliament and treating it as a third party in an illiterate letter… is an unprecedented act of contempt and insolence,” Milanović said.

He went on to say that the defence minister or the PM cannot write to the parliament treating it as a third party, saying that they have to ask the French corporation for permission. “That’s too much, even for the HDZ.”

The agreement is confidential, that is understandable and acceptable, but such conduct towards the parliament is not, said the president.

As for the procurement of the US Bradley combat vehicles, he recalled that he had exerted pressure for a month and a half to deal with the issue, after which the Defence Ministry was excluded from the process for a second time due to incompetence and the Office of the Prime Minister stepped in and did the job.

Asked if he went skiing recently, Milanović said that his spokesman explained everything in a statement, adding that he had paid for the trip and meal, and that if he was asked if he had also paid for the ticket, he would have said yes.

“A president is in a cage 24 hours a day, I want to get away from my house for three hours, ask (Minister of the Interior Davor) Božinović, ask the same about Plenković. When I go somewhere, my security goes with me. Where do they sleep? Some sleep in the house. The suggestion is that I do not leave my flat,” he said.

Rotten egg attack – let the man go

Commenting on the arrest of two citizens who posted inappropriate comments about Plenković on social networks, Milanović recalled that during his term as PM and incidents in Knin, when charges were pressed against some people, he had told the police not to do it as it was wrong.

“Not knowing who those people were, I said that they should let them go. In this case a man said one should throw rotten eggs at Plenković. If the eggs were fresh, maybe they would have acted differently? Who has ever attacked anyone with eggs in Croatia,” asked Milanović.

“I expect the unenlightened absolutist leader to show mercy and say that the matter is irrelevant and that the man should be let go,” he added.

Asked about the opposition Bridge party’s referendum initiative against the COVID certificate mandate, Milanović said that he had heard that the Constitutional Court would be asked to check the constitutionality of the referendum questions.

“What is there for the Constitutional Court to decide?.. If they have collected that many signatures, I congratulate them. It’s not an easy thing to do.”

The idea that a respiratory infection could be controlled is crazy, Milanović said, adding that his younger son was in the third year of high school and had practically not attended any face-to-face classes. That’s not normal, he said.


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