PM Plenkovic says government responsible, Opposition flippant

Photo /Vijesti/2017/11 studeni/11 studeni/PVRH gostovanje HTV.jpg

Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic told the national broadcaster HRT on Saturday that the government was responsibly doing its job and that the Opposition was irresponsible, flippant and populistic.

He reiterated that this was the Opposition's fourth failed initiative to impeach the government.

Plenkovic's government survived a no-confidence vote tabled by the strongest Opposition party -- the Social Democratic Party (SDP) --  in the Croatian 151-seat legislature, since the SDP motion was beaten by 78 votes against while only 59 were in favour during the voting in the early hours of Saturday after a marathon debate on the matter on Friday.

The motion was put forward to the parliament by the SDP which criticises the government for how it is handling the crisis in the heavily indebted private group Agrokor. When making this proposal, the Opposition admitted that it did not believe in the success of the motion but that the intent of the motion was to make PM Plenkovic appear in the parliament to answer the questions about Agrokor.

The Prime Minister underscored the parliamentary majority was stable with 78 votes in parliament.

Plenkovic also commented on parts of the ruling by the UNCITRAL tribunal of 23 December 2016 in a case involving ownership rights in INA which Croatia lost to MOL which some media published earlier on Saturday and which show that the tribunal considered key witness Robert Jezic and footage used as evidence as unreliable and the Croatian court in charge of the case biased.

"We gave a precise statement after the ruling was announced and we made our position clear," Plenkovic said.

He recalled that another trial was being held in Washington and that the government did not plan to comment on the ruling before the other trial ends.

Plenkovic reiterated the government was working on buying back the stocks of the Croatian oil company INA.

He said that next week, representatives of the Finance Ministry would approach investors in London, Frankfurt, Milano, Amsterdam and Munich to see how to resolve the 5 billion kuna debt in the road infrastructure sector.

The prime minister once again commented on President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic criticism of his government. He said the president had her responsibilities.

"I supported the initiative to temporarily relocate the President's Office to different parts of Croatia. We are the first government to have a ministry which formally deals with demography and we have already adopted a series of measures," Plenkovic said.

He also said that if the president or her team had suggestions, his government would take them under advisment.

Plenkovic said he and Grabar-Kitarovic had not spoken over the past several days because of their busy schedule. He also said that Grabar-Kitarovic had to decide on her own if she wanted to run for another term in office as the candidate of the Croatian  Democratic Union (HDZ).

I have clearly said that if she had ambitions for a second term in office, I would like her to inform me, as the HDZ president, of that and then we will consider it and make a decision, Plenkovic said.

Text: Hina