Former Croatian President Mesic to be a victim of new government cuts?
Miro Bulj, one of the newly-elected MPs from MOST, announced on Facebook that he advocates the abolition of the Office of the Former President of the Republic. “The economy and agriculture are destroyed, health, education and science are in disarray, impoverished people do not have jobs and are forced to search for food in dumpsters, young people are leaving Croatia in droves, and at the same during the last 20 years we have spent billions for political patronages and chair-warmers whom the political elite has named to various unnecessary offices, agencies and institutions. We should abolish almost all of them, and then we would have the most progressive health and education systems in Europe. For example, I ask you what is the purpose of the Office of Former President Stipe Mesić, which costs the citizens tens of millions of kuna each year? It should immediately be abolished”, Bulj wrote on his Facebook page, reports Vecernji List on January 1, 2016.
Former President Stipe Mesić commented on the calls for the abolition of his office, whose costs are covered by the budget. “It always sounds like a great idea for my political opponents. They should admit that they are my political opponents, and that is their main problem, and not 800,000 kuna which is how much Croatian budget actually pays for the office”, Mesić said.
HDZ president Tomislav Karamarko, whose Patriotic Coalition will form a new government with MOST and used to be Mesić’s close political associate, has earlier also announced that he wanted to abolish Mesić’s office.
According to the Law on the Rights of Former Presidents, adopted in 2004 when Mesić was President, upon termination of the their term of office presidents are entitled to an office with two civil servants, a personal driver and an official car. Those rights were subsequently restricted to five years after the termination of the term of office, but that restrictions apply only to subsequent presidents, with Mesić being the only one having those rights for the rest of his life. His office is located in a villa in Grškovićeva Street in an elite part of Zagreb.
After he lost the election for the second term in 2015, Mesić’s successor Ivo Josipović decided not to open his office.