ZAGREB, Sept 16, 2020 – Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic on Wednesday dismissed the Bridge party’s claim that he had promised President Emmanuel Macron that Zagreb would buy French fighter jets in return for the European Council’s decision that €22.5 billion would be set aside for Croatia.
“This is an absurdity,” Plenkovic said during Question Time in parliament after Bridge deputy Zvonimir Troskot asked if the premier had promised that Croatia would purchase French multipurpose military aircraft in exchange for EU grants.
Plenkovic said he was “fascinated by debutant lawmakers”, calling on Troskot not to disseminate false and incorrect claims which, he added, made him “less credible” as a parliamentary deputy.
The premier also criticised the opposition Bridge party for pursuing “coffee-house politics” and for being ignorant.
He recalled that Croatia received four bids for the procurement of fighter jets.
Earlier this month the government stated that four bids for the procurement of fighter jets were received from Sweden, the USA, France, and Israel. Now the process of evaluation commences, and the interdepartmental commission on the purchase of military aircraft will recommend the best bid by December 12.
Sweden has offered its new Gripen C/D model, while the United States has offered its new F-16 block 70, France has offered its used Rafal model, and Israel its used F-16 block 30 fighter jets.