Prime Minister Says Government Measures to be Comprehensive, Good for All

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Image: Andrej Plenković/Facebook
Image: Andrej Plenković/Facebook

“The measures… will alleviate, as much as possible, the impact of price growth expected as of 1 April,” Plenković told reporters after a session of the HDZ Presidency and National Council but he would not reveal any details.

He would not say if it was true, as reported by some media outlets, that VAT on gas would be lowered while VAT on electricity would not.

Asked if Economy Minister Tomislav Ćorić still enjoyed his trust following accusations by Ćorić’s former assistant, a suspect in an investigation by the USKOK anti-corruption agency, Plenković said that Ćorić had already given a statement on that topic.

“The fragments of investigations that are being leaked are so small that they do not deserve any comment. Especially not mine,” Plenković said, adding that the investigation was under way and that he did not want to comment on statements given in investigations.

Ćorić said earlier today that in 2019, as minister of environmental protection and energy, he had in no way favoured investors in the Krš-Pađene wind park who are under investigation by the USKOK anti-corruption office, of which he has been accused by his former assistant Domagoj Validžić.

Plenković said that he had never been contacted with regard to that topic, and that the questions one should ask are which term of government this incident occured under, and how the company in question arrived in Croatia.

“I hope the State Attorney General’s Office is interested in that as well,” he said. 

Asked about the renovation of the basement where his chief-of-staff Zvonimir Frka-Petešić keeps his books, Plenković said that the Državne Nekretnine state property management company would explain everything.

“That has nothing to do with him. This… shameful, orchestrated lynching campaign that has been going on against Frka-Petešić for a month is one of the more stupid, irritating and mean things in the media and internet sphere,” said Plenković.

With regard to the Constitutional Court’s decision to reject a motion by 35 opposition MPs and 28 other applicants who claimed that the introduction of the COVID-19 certificate mandate in the public sector had been neither constitutional nor lawful, Plenković recalled that Croatia probably had had the least strict COVID-19 rules.

“And yet you have petty politicians who even want to organise a referendum, even though we have enabled social activities, work, transport and education, a great tourist season, saved jobs, paid wages to 700,000 people in the private sector, saved 120,000 businesses, while GDP is expected to grow by more than 10% this year,” Plenković said, noting that there was nothing surprising about the Constitutional Court’s decision.

Answering a reporter’s question, Plenković said that at today’s meeting of the ruling coalition, the leader of the People’s Party – Reformists, Radimir Čačić, had apologised for his statement about Defence Minister Mario Banožić.

“I told him that a partner should act like a partner. You act like the Opposition if you are the Opposition,” said the PM.

Speaking in an interview with N1, Čačić said that as far as he was concerned, Banožić could leave tomorrow. “He causes harm to himself with the way he communicates, not to mention others. As far as I’m concerned, Banožić can leave tomorrow,” the junior partner in the ruling coalition said.

Plenković said that Banožić was in charge of a HRK 7.2 billion budget and that he signed contracts for the procurement of the Rafale fighter jets and the Bradley fighting vehicles.

“Not many ministers have something like that in their careers. Only I decide about (whether a minister leaves), nobody else,” he said.

For more on politics, follow TCN’s dedicated page.


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