ZAGREB, September 28, 2019 – Social Democratic Party (SDP) leader Davor Bernardić told a press conference on Saturday that the only problem in Croatia was its corruption-ridden ruling party, the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), adding that the country must free itself from the jaws of corruption so that it could move forward.
“The prime minister should be more serious in his statements. Today the problem is non-governmental organisations, yesterday it was the Conflict of Interest Commission, before that it was trade unions. In fact, the only problem is the HDZ which is loaded with corruption,” Bernardić said in response to Prime Minister Andrej Plenković’s accusations that the GONG non-governmental organisation is “a prolonged arm” of the SDP because it is questioning the property of the Croatian candidate for European Commission Vice-President, Dubravka Šuica.
“Whoever cares about Croatia and who loves it has nothing against their declaration of assets being made public. People are rightly wondering how it is possible that a secondary school teacher from Dubrovnik owns property which, according to speculation, is worth about five million euros, because we know that Croatian teachers suffer hardship. If everything is transparent, there is no reason not to show it,” the SDP leader said.
Responding to accusations that criticism of Šuica was undermining the international reputation of Croatia, Bernardić said that it was very important for Croatia’s reputation to be credible and to make the declarations of assets of all Croatian office holders public. He said that the SDP had put forward an amendment, which will be put to a vote next Wednesday, to make public the declarations of assets of all EU office holders.
“We demand full transparency and the fight against corruption and we will not give up. In order for Croatia to move forward it must free itself from the jaws of corruption,” Bernardić said.
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