Plenkovic: There’ll Be Cabinet Members Who Have Not been Ministers Yet

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, July 15, 2020 – Prime Minister and leader of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) Andrej Plenkovic on Wednesday did not wish to reveal the names of his new ministers or how many ministers there would be in the new government, but noted that some new cabinet members had not been minsters yet.

“I know how many ministries there will be and who all the people are, but I will let you know in the coming days,” Plenkovic told reporters after a meeting with partners who had pledged to support the new government.

Plenkovic said that he would meet with President Zoran Milanovic on Thursday, when the official parliamentary election results are announced. After he is appointed prime minister designate and formally tasked with forming the new government, Milanovic and Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandrokovic will agree on convening the new parliament, which is planned for Wednesday, July 22.

Parliament will then adopt the necessary legislation for the new government structure, and next week we will also present the government programme for 2020-2024 and win the trust of the Sabor to continue working for the benefit of all Croatian citizens, Plenkovic said.

He did not wish to reveal any names or the number of ministries, saying only that he would leave part of the government structure until tomorrow, adding that on Monday, after the new government is presented to the HDZ, the new ministers would be introduced to the public. He said that the government programme is based on the HDZ’s election platform – “A Safe Croatia”, while priorities will be determined in consultation with the partners. Based on a joint agreement, that will be incorporated  into the programme of the new government.

Government will be smaller than now

Without specifying the number of ministries, Plenkovic said there would be “fewer ministries than now,” explaining that the new government would be confirmed in parliament but not immediately on Wednesday.

Asked whether State Administration Minister Mario Banozic was capable of taking over the defence sector as has been speculated, Plenkovic answered, “All of the cabinet ministers are capable of heading the portfolios for which they will receive my confidence and the confidence of the parliamentary majority.”

He announced that tax cuts would continue, recalling that to date there had been four rounds of tax cuts. He added that the new package of tax cuts that would be prepared in the autumn would enter into force on 1 January 2021. Income and profit taxes will be cut as will levies and parafiscal charges.

Opposition refused meeting for bizarre reasons

Commenting on the opposition parties refusing to meet him on Tuesday, Plenkovic said that he had invited them in good faith to inform them of what he was going to do, to explain the current challenges that exist in Croatian society and to inform them of matters on the European Council’s agenda that relate to them.

“For some bizarre reason and absolutely fabricated explanation they refused to attend the meetings. That speaks more about them than us,” he underlined. He added that he would continue to support a dialogue even though the opposition did not accept his offer this time.

He believes that the majority of the electorate will understand who is constructive and who did not show any will for talks.

“We are for dialogue. Meetings like that will not occur again because as of tomorrow we will have completely new roles and as of next week, as far as we are concerned, ours will be the same as today. As far as they are concerned, they will be in the same role they had before,” Plenkovic said.

I don’t see any problem with European Commission President participating in HDZ’s election campaign

Asked about criticism from Brussels regarding the European Commission (EC) President’s participation in the HDZ’s election campaign, Plenkovic said Ursula von der Leyen did not become the EC’s president out of some vacuum and that she was supported by a political group. “She is backed by the CDU, the European People’s Party and if you want, thanks to Croatia too, she became EC president. There is a certain framework and rules which regulate what they can do once installed,” he said.

He believes that von der Leyen’s participation in the HDZ’s campaign did not have any impact on the election result. “I don’t see any problem,” he said.


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