"There have been many bizarre comments in the media. Over the past few years the government has not only provided strong financial support for the European Capital of Culture project but has been quite involved in the project and supported its activities," Plenkovic said at a government session.
The PM said that the inauguration ceremony was attended by Culture Minister Nina Obuljen Korzinek, Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli, Transport Minister Oleg Butkovic and by his advisor, academician Zvonko Kusic.
"We look forward to Rijeka and Primorje-Gorski Kotar County hosting numerous cultural events in the coming months, and I will definitely attend some of them. There is no room then for speculation that the government had any reservations about that important project," he said, adding that the project was very important also in the context of Croatia's EU presidency.
The ceremony inaugurating Rijeka as the European Capital of Culture 2020, featuring Opera Industriale as the central event, was attended by some 20,000 local residents and visitors, with 130 artists performing on the central stage.
The event was attended by President-elect Zoran Milanovic but it was not attended by Plenkovic, outgoing President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic and Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandrokovic, which elicited criticism.