President Criticises Citizens for Being Preoccupied with Scandals

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, October 19, 2018 – President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović said on Thursday the Croatian public was too preoccupied with scandals and that her obligation was to work on improving living conditions and raising citizen’s optimism.

Speaking on Nova TV, the president said she had talked about the text message scandal with those she could within her constitutional powers, including the prime minister and the parliament speaker, and that she had concluded that for now there was no need for her response, for example by convening the National Security Council.

The president said she had concluded that at this moment there was no threat to national security nor to the stability of institutions. She said she was worried, as president, about information leaks from state institutions but that they should be investigated and dealt with by the very same institutions and that she must not meddle.

The president dismissed insinuations that she was protecting Milijan Brkić, the ruling HDZ party’s deputy president and deputy parliament speaker, who was mentioned in the text message scandal. She said Brkić did not request her protection and that she had no way of protecting him.

Asked why she had convened the National Security Council when the Agrokor scandal broke, she said the text message scandal was about potentially criminal activities that should be proved.

“In the Agrokor scandal, a group of senior state officials used inappropriate means of communication and consciously bypassed state institutions. Communication by Hotmail, whose servers are in other states, can be very easily spied on and our security agencies couldn’t protect them. They discussed not only matters of life importance for Croatia’s survival but also wrote the law on emergency administration in systemic companies.”

Commenting on the recent verification of signatures for two referendum petitions, the president said one should trust institutions and that they would prove whether they deserved that trust.

“At this moment, I have no reason to believe that anyone tried to cheat anyone. However, I think it would have been in the interest of us all if the process had been much more transparent and if the associations which demanded so had been involved in the signature verification process, even NGOs which monitor the rule of law. I think that would have helped the government and the public administration ministry to tell people with greater credibility that everything was legal.”

She added that perhaps the signatures which were declared invalid could be checked again.

As for a recent protest rally in Vukovar, she said it was entirely legal and did not have to be politicised because the protesters demanded justice for all war victims. She said there was no statute of limitations on war crimes and that people had the right to demand that the prosecution of those crimes be stepped up.


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