Speaker Božo Petrov Criticises MPs Who Do Not Show Up in Parliament

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Speaker of Parliament and MOST leader Petrov comments on current events.

Speaker of Parliament and MOST leader Božo Petrov gave an interview on Sunday in which he spoke about current events, reports HRT on October 23, 2016.

Asked about his position in the new ruling majority, Petrov explained why he insisted on becoming the Speaker. “Controlling parliamentary agenda is the most important part of the Speaker’s job since he can direct the work of the Parliament”, he said. Petrov also discussed the issue of sanctioning those MPs who do not come regularly to Parliament. “We wanted to introduce certain measures and sanctions for such MPs. For me it is unacceptable that some MPs have salaries of 16,000 kuna, and then they do not come to their workplace”, said Petrov. “If they do not appear at the voting session, they will be fined. If there is no change in their behaviour, the fine will be increased”, said Petrov.

He was asked why MOST accepted HDZ deputy president Milijan Brkić, who has been accused of plagiarizing his university thesis, as Deputy Speaker, when earlier in the year they prevented him from becoming a minister. “In last Parliament, we tried to show why some people should not be ministers. However, the media and HDZ voters were against it”, said Petrov. “I am responsible for four ministers from MOST, and HDZ is responsible for its own ministers. We cannot change the whole country with 13 MPs”, added Petrov.

Petrov also spoke about the issue of lowering the TV licence fee which citizens pay to Croatian Radio Television (HRT). He said that the reason was an attempt to bring order to HRT and to streamline its operations. Petrov added that HRT would not have to reduce the number of its channels, but that it was almost inevitable that some people would have to be fired.

Petrov was asked about his opinion of former Culture Minister Hasanbegović. “He tried to restore order in the culture sector, but I think that his approach was too fierce. I expect that the new minister will also introduce order.”

The Speaker said that he supported free expression of opinions and attitudes, whether it is Gay Pride or prayers against abortion in front of hospitals. “People who do something which does not endanger other people should be free to do it. What I find unacceptable are leaks of personal medical information which should be secret”, said Petrov, adding that he personally would not allow participation of medical staff in their work clothes in prayer groups.


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