ZAGREB, February 16, 2018 – Croatian People’s Party (HSS) leader Krešo Beljak said on Friday that Croatia and its government were not being led by Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, but by his deputy, Economy Minister Martina Dalić.
“Yesterday I realised who is running Croatia, the government and the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ). It is not Plenković but Martina Dalić, who in turn is backed by Borislav Škegro (HDZ’s finance minister twenty years ago) and the people from the 1990s,” Beljak said at a press conference while commenting on Thursday’s thematic session of the parliamentary Economy Committee on the heavily indebted Agrokor food and retail conglomerate which is currently under emergency administration.
Agrokor’s government-appointed emergency administrator Ante Ramljak told the Economy Committee on Thursday that “he is aware that he made a mistake and that it is clear to him how the public sees the company in which he used to work, the company with two employees who had a net monthly salary of about 4,000 kuna, which he is now paying 250,000 kuna weekly,” Beljak said.
He added that Dalić “is most likely very, very deeply involved in this whole affair” and called on the prime minister to fire both Ramljak and Dalić. “This whole business about the Agrokor law was dodgy right from the start because it constitutes direct interference of the state in the operation of a private company which, admittedly, is HDZ’s baby from the 1990s, but this state interference is reminiscent of China, Cuba and similar countries,” the HSS leader said.
Beljak said that the HSS was the first party in Croatia that was beginning preparations for European Parliament elections scheduled for next year. He said that the HSS would run on its own and that it would offer a foreign policy platform that would include withdrawal from the Three Seas initiative supported by President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović and getting closer to Germany, France and the Benelux countries, declaration of an exclusive economic zone in the Adriatic and adoption of the euro.
Asked whether this meant that the HSS would also run alone in the next national parliamentary elections, Beljak said that they had a signed agreement with the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and would run with those who agreed to their programme guidelines.