Plenković: Parliamentary election will be held as scheduled

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During Question Time in the Sabor on Tuesday, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said that the parliamentary election will be held when they are scheduled and that the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) has no need to "hold it tomorrow" because it won the election a little over two years ago.

Whoever has pretensions for the elections should prepare. They will take place when they are scheduled, Plenković said and added that his government's agenda is political stability, without which there would be no economic growth, employment and a package of relief measures worth HRK 26 billion.

Plenković was replying to MP Davorko Vidović (Social Democrats) who said that Plenković had not yet expressed himself on the issue that was opened a month ago and refers to the constitutionally guaranteed equality of all citizens and the value of each vote which, according to the existing system of electoral constituencies, is not equally valid.

When the time comes, we will articulate our proposals

We don't need to jump every time someone tells us to because that is not our style. We have our priorities and our programme, our methodology, the prime minister replied, noting that it was a well-known fact that too many discrepancies have occurred regarding electoral constituencies and the number of inhabitants.

"The HDZ and the parliamentary majority, when the time comes, will articulate our proposals that could modify the existing system so that discrepancies are brought down to about five percent," he said.

Nikola Grmoja (Bridge) underscored that two days ago the High Administrative Court issued a final verdict by which diplomat Damir Sabljak was reinstated after four years of prosecution for pointing out corruption, and called out Plenković for protecting criminals and persecuting an innocent man.

Plenković replied that he will forward the court's decision to Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman to give his opinion on the matter.

Plenković also rejected claims of the "lack of understanding and carelessness" that the government shows towards the economy has led to a number of important factories closing down, the loss of thousands of jobs, and emigration.

"Your short-sightedness has been dangerous for national interests for a long time, and with INA and Fortenova, the damage you are doing has reached its peak," said Penava, wondering where the strategic importance of the former Agrokor disappeared when the Arabs were allowed to take over the single largest ownership stake in Fortenova.

Plenković recalled that five and a half years ago, the former owner of Agrokor handed over to the state a practically bankrupt company with a debt of €7 billion.

Of course we reacted, also for the sake of the employees, agriculture, the entire economy, said Plenković and underscored that the company has almost reached a market level and decreased its debt to €1.1 billion.

It wasn't the government that brought the Russians to Croatia, but the former owner, he said recalling that Agrokor's bailout at the time was assessed as one of the best in the world.

As far as the story about Fortenova is concerned, "there is no magician who could have known what would happen with a transaction that might have taken place from Russia to Russia or from Russia to the Emirates. Not one government, not even ours, has that kind of ability," the prime minister told the MP.

Text: Hina