ZAGREB, March 9, 2018 – President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović said on Friday it was necessary to make decisions and implement reforms in Croatia, that it was her duty to warn about negative trends and that it was no problem if someone did not take her seriously, referring to Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, but that it was a problem if her warnings and those from domestic and international institutions were not taken seriously.
“It’s my duty to warn about social and economic trends. It’s not a problem if someone does not take me seriously. The problem is if they do not take seriously all the warnings, including the European Commission report and other domestic institutions and individuals, which point to the trends I talked about and have been warning about. Because it’s only then that we will be in real trouble. It’s necessary to come to grips with the problems, it’s necessary to make decisions and implement reforms,” the president told reporters in Karlovac.
She was asked to comment on Plenković’s response to her criticism in the wake of a recent Commission report on Croatia’s implementation of last year’s recommendations. Asked about President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović’s criticism, Plenković said that he was not bothered by her criticism and was confident that it was part of Grabar-Kitarović’s preparations for a campaign for another term in office. “The President has positions on certain social and political issues, she expresses them the way she does. I am sure that that way she is preparing for her presidential campaign,” said the PM. The government is addressing all important topics on a daily basis. “We do not need any special magnifying glass or interpreter to understand where the problems are. We do it every day. There are a lot of problems, we did not plan many of them, we have inherited many of them, but we are coping with them. And we will continue doing so and deal with everything we can deal with in the best interest of citizens,” said Plenković.
The president also commented on the Commission’s assessment that Croatia’s law on war veterans’ rights makes it possible for more people to register as war veterans, that it lowers the age limit at which they could retire and makes it possible for their family members to inherit their pensions, as well as that their pensions, on average, are twice as high as ordinary pensions. “I think that after the war we should have had a more active policy on Croatian defenders. We should not have offered a retirement system but should have invested more in enterprise. We should include them more, which still can and must be done, in enterprise, to use their war experience, the ability to make decisions in crisis situations. I think that as a society, as a state, we would profit much more from that, and they and their families too, of course,” said Grabar-Kitarović.