Prime Minister Apologises to Female Reporter for Inappropriate Remark

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, October 3, 2018 – Prime Minister Andrej Plenković apologised on Wednesday to a female reporter from the commercial RTL TV station for an inappropriate remark he made on Tuesday evening following a meeting of the Croatian Democratic Union’s (HDZ) presidency and national council.

“As regards my statement made after the meeting of the HDZ national council and presidency yesterday, I would like to personally apologise to Damira Gregoret of RTL for my inappropriate response to one of her questions,” Plenković said on Wednesday after a meeting with coalition partners.

When asked by Gregoret about a scandal involving police information leaks and HDZ official Milijan Brkić’s role in it, Plenković said, among other things, “You’re cute, Damira.”

The prime minister claimed on Wednesday claimed that his remark was not aimed at showing disrespect for the reporter. “Quite the contrary, I value her as a serious journalist and acquaintance… My statement was at no moment intended to be personal and there was no male-female context involved,” Plenković said. “It was more a message to say that I found it amusing having to answer something that I had already answered,” he said. “My apologies, I withdraw the statement and it won’t happen again,” he added.

Bridge MP Ines Strenja Linić commented on Plenković’s statement, saying that there was no room for it in public communication and that it was inappropriate for Plenković’s position as well as that it was “a strong indicator of his nervousness and inability to act in accordance with his position as prime minister.”

“In the wake of a major scandal and problems in the country, to which the government obviously has no answers, instead of transparently responding to reporters’ questions, Prime Minister Plenković tried to belittle a reporter and make her question irrelevant,” Strenja Linić said, adding that she expected a strong reaction from the gender equality ombudsman.


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