Plenković: Opposition Wanted to Create Atmosphere of Instability

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, July 19, 2019 – Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said on Thursday that one of the reasons for the government reshuffle was a smooth accomplishment of goals, and that pressure by the political opponent and the opposition was such that they wanted to create an atmosphere of instability and stick labels on the government and the ruling HDZ party which did not exist and which he would not let stick on him.

“After three years of the government’s work, there are moments when I, as prime minister, evaluate if we can improve, modify the team, make some refreshments which will help us achieve our programme goals,” he said on Nova TV.

Plenković said he was especially talking about quite strong media impressions and perception of wrongdoing and even allusions of corruption.

“I don’t want, at any moment, to be brought into a situation of having anyone, whether a political opponent or an independent analyst, tie to the government… anything with such connotations. Then I decided, without prejudging, confident that the majority of the people in the government are good and act in line with principles… to cast away all those things from the government’s work, from the government’s programme, from the party’s image and from our priorities.”

Although he denied that the opposition imposed the tempo of the reshuffle, he said the opposition was destructive.

“The destructiveness of our political opponent and the opposition was such that they practically wanted to create an atmosphere of instability, of diverting the focus from what is essential, of sticking labels on the government and the HDZ which not only don’t exist but I won’t let them stick on me.”

Plenković said there were three fundamental reasons for the government reshuffle, one being a smooth continuation of work on the government’s goals.

He said he wanted to politically refresh the government to “cast away all those topics that have a negative connotation and cloud the quality work of ministers and this government,” so that he could “continue with economic growth, to enable a better social inclusion of people… to continue with a quality absorption of EU funds.”

Responding to a question from the interviewer, Plenković said the replaced ministers were part of the HDZ.

The PM was also asked about the public perception of Health Minister Milan Kujundžić, who was not replaced despite being faced with problems, including the threat by wholesale drug suppliers that they will stop distributing drugs.

“We are talking with the wholesale suppliers. They were in a meeting here. They received certain funds. The talks will continue,” he said, adding that the government and the Croatian Health Insurance Fund would ensure a smooth supply of drugs to hospitals. He said Kujundžić was not putting patients’ health in danger.

Plenković was also asked about a Constitutional Court decision on the use of ethnic minority languages and scripts in Vukovar, under which the rights of the Serb minority in the town must be improved.

“Facts are important, what the Constitutional Court decision says. There is no legal obligation that the local community, for example, must set up bilingual signs,” he said, adding that under Vukovar’s statute, there were provisions which the court did not touch. “The town council will hold a discussion on the state of the dialogue, understanding and tolerance.”

He said that under his government things had moved forward and there was more effort to resolve such problems and create a more positive atmosphere between Croats and the Serb minority.

Plenković said Vukovar mayor Ivan Penava, with whom he talked earlier in the day, “is not bringing into question either our legal order or the Constitutional Court decision” and that he “understands his tasks very well.”

More politics news can be found in the dedicated section.


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