ZAGREB, June 1, 2018 – Commenting on the latest criticism of the government by President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović regarding depopulation trends and reforms, Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković on Friday called for defusing tensions.
Answering questions from reporters in the parliament, Jandroković declined to give any political comment after earlier this week unofficial sources at the office of the president accused him of lying.
In recent days, “harsh words were used that should not be used by senior office-holders”, Jandroković said, calling for defusing tensions and dealing with challenges faced by Croatia. “Today I will not engage in any political squabbles. I was attacked the last time and I only defended myself,” said Jandroković, declining to say if he had recognised himself in Grabar-Kitarović’s statement that the political elite had alienated itself from the people.
As for the president’s criticism that the government was not implementing reforms, Jandroković said that the government was working a lot, that it had good results and that it should continue that way. “The settlement agreement in the Agrokor case has been reached, there is a budget surplus, GDP has grown, there is an entire set of EU-related projects, from the Pelješac Bridge to the LNG terminal, which I believe will be implemented,” Jandroković said.
Jandroković went on to say that the government was doing a good job, that Croatia needed more political peace and that ideological and political struggles should be toned down and attention turned to improving citizens’ living standards. He does not believe that the government is responsible for the growth of populist parties in Croatia.
“That trend has affected many countries and it requires a political, sociological and legal analysis. This is a new trend and we will have to find answers to it. Responsible politicians must offer solutions and fight for the constitution, parliamentary democracy, the rule of law, freedom, and for the protection of human and minority rights. Those are serious challenges that we have to start dealing with,” said Jadroković.
Asked about the referendum questions proposed by the civic groups “The Truth about the Istanbul Convention” and “The People Decide”, Jandroković said that he was surprised that the signatures collected in the referendum campaign by The People Decide civic group had not been submitted to the parliament so that the objections that could be heard lately, namely that signatures were still being collected, could be removed. “I have no information on that but handing in the signatures would be good for the sake of the transparency of the procedure,” said Jandroković.
“The parliamentary Committee on the Constitution, Standing Orders and Political System will discuss the referendum questions and, considering the opposed views of experts on constitutional law, I expect the Committee to ask the Constitutional Court for its opinion on the questions,” Jadroković said.