MOST MPs Leave Parliament in Protest

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MOST leaves Parliament due to disagreements with HDZ about the Croatian National Bank

Members of Parliament from MOST, together with the opposition MPs, have left the Parliament during a voting session because Parliament was not scheduled to vote on the report about the activities of the Croatian National Bank in 2014 and the semi-annual report for the first half of 2015, Večernji List and n1info report on March 11, 2016.

The report for 2014 was scheduled for a vote last week, but Parliament Speaker Željko Reiner delayed the vote for this week, after the report for the first half of 2015 is debated. During the last week, there have been arguments whether the reports should be put to a vote or whether they should just be officially acknowledged. Although in previous years Parliament always voted about such reports, in 2013 then vice-chairwoman of the relevant parliamentary committee Martina Dalić concluded that such reports should just be acknowledged. Later it was explained that she had done that on the basis of the fact that the law was changed under pressure from Brussels and that Parliament should no longer vote on such reports because that would be against European rules, which demand independence of central banks.

In this years’ debate, MOST and HDZ’s Goran Marić heavily criticized the Croatian National Bank.

During today’s voting, Ivan Kovačić (MOST) requested a break in the session. After Reiner said he could not ask for a break in the middle of voting, Kovačić asked why the voting schedule does not include the reports of the Croatian National Bank. “The reports are not on the schedule because during the parliamentary debate there were different opinions – whether we should vote or just acknowledge them. We are going to send this question to the Committee on the Constitution to give us their opinion”, said Reiner. Kovačić then asked who had requested the opinion, and Reiner replied: “I have, I will seek the opinion.”

After that, MOST’s MPs left the parliamentary benches, followed by the members of the opposition. “There is no quorum so we cannot continue”, said Reiner and announced that the session would continue on 15 March when Parliament is expected to debate the 2016 budget.

MPs from the Patriotic Coalition have immediately gone to an emergency session of their parliamentary caucus. Raised voices could be heard behind the closed doors. MOST MPs are also meeting separately.


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