SDP to File Motion of No Confidence against Government due to Agrokor?

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Latest revelations about a loan agreement between Agrokor and a US investment fund have caused an uproar.

According to unofficial information, SDP will start collecting signatures among members of Parliament needed to submit a motion of no confidence against the government. The reasons are the details of provisions contained in a loan agreement which government-appointed commissioner in Agrokor Ante Ramljak signed with the Knighthead investment fund, reports on October 26, 2017.

SDP still has to discuss the proposal, and further details should be known very soon.

Arsen Bauk, chairman of the SDP Parliamentary Caucus, spoke about the issue. “At this moment, Ramljak is stronger than the government. The government cannot control Agrokor; the company is managed by the fund. What would happen if the government were to change? It does not have any influence over Agrokor, which is a systemically important company,” Bauk said. “We demand Deputy Prime Minister Martina Dalić and Prime Minister Andrej Plenković to come to the Parliament to explain the terms of the contract. The message is clear: Ramljak is stronger than the government, and the government has no control over Agrokor. The so-called Lex Agrokor should be called Lex Fund,” said Bauk.

The media today published details from the contract which Ramljak signed earlier this year with the Knighthead investment fund from the United States, giving the fund extraordinary powers to make and enforce the creditor settlement and the restructuring of Agrokor. The restructuring plan and the agreement with creditors cannot be adopted without the approval of the fund, and the Croatian government must not replace Ramljak as the extraordinary commissioner because that would be considered a violation of the credit agreement.

Orsat Miljenić (SDP), former Justice Minister, current Member of Parliament and chairman of the Parliamentary Committee of Inquiry on Agrokor, was clear. “If this is true, that is illegal,” he said. “It is unthinkable that someone would dare to sign something like this,” he added. “This is a disaster: the government has assumed full responsibility for Agrokor, including this contract,” he concluded.

SDP president Davor Bernardić said in parliament that the contract represented treason. “This whole story shows that the Croatian laws are not the same for all. Foreign funds have taken over Agrokor, and I call on Plenković to say who is lying here – he or Ramljak,” Bernardić said.

Ivan Lovrinović (Let’s Change Croatia) called for a boycott of parliament. “The fund has practically taken over the company through the Lex Agrokor,” he said, adding that the boycott of parliament would be the best way forward for the opposition.

Miro Bulj (MOST) called on Prime Minister Plenković to come to parliament and explain what exactly is in the contract. Nikola Grmoja (MOST) said that the Parliamentary Committee of Inquiry on Agrokor should continue to work, despite a formal criminal investigation which is expected soon. “New findings show that everything presented to us in the past several months was not true,” he said, adding that the first session of the Committee should feature testimony from Ramljak, Dalić and Plenković. “They have to answer these questions. We also want to know why Ramljak had a coffee with the investment fund even before Lex Agrokor was adopted, and then the fund became his boss, instead of the government,” said Grmoja.


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