Minority MP Withdraws Support for Government Due to Controversial Statement

By 10 May 2017

Italian minority representative Furio Radin says he will not support the government until controversial statement is clarified.

Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights and the Rights of National Minorities and the Italian national minority MP Furio Radin said on Wednesday that he would withdraw his support for the government until HDZ distances itself from a recent controversial statement made by HDZ deputy president Miljian Brkić about national minorities in Croatia, reports Index.hr on May 10, 2017.

“Serbian national minority MP Pupovac is a Member of Parliament and supports the majority. He and other minorities, although they participate in the work of the government, will not determine the direction of the government. This is the Croatian state. In Croatia, in addition to national minorities who have guaranteed minority rights, decisions will be made by Croats. This is our country, and not someone else's,” said Brkić two days ago.

Pupovac’s initial reaction was silence. However, another national minority MP Furio Radin decided to speak. “Until there is a clear step back and distancing from the policies of exclusivity, discrimination and chauvinism, I will deny the government my support,” said Radin.

Milijan Brkić, according to Radin, has violated the constitution, at least one constitutional law, and several ordinary laws. “Such statements are against the European spirit. I withdraw my support for the government and I am waiting for an explanation. Depending on the explanation, I will decide whether I will continue to help this government or not,” said Radin.

He believes that HDZ should have immediately reacted, because the statement is in opposition to the government programme. “The government’s manifesto talks about inclusive policies, and this is exclusion. I want to live in Croatia, which is a country of Croats and members of national minorities, as it is written in the constitution, and not in Croatistan,” he added.

Radin is convinced that new parliamentary elections will be held soon. “I think there will be new elections. There are too many indicators for new elections, but that is not important either, because new elections will not solve anything,” said Radin.

As a minority MP, Radin voted against the motion of no confidence against Finance Minister Zdravko Marić last week. The result was 75-75, with 76 votes needed for the motion to pass. More importantly, the next day Radin supported the election of HDZ’s Gordan Jandroković as new Parliament Speaker and demonstrated that he belonged to HDZ’s very slim parliamentary majority.

The majority for the government of Prime Minister Andrej Plenković depends on, among other MPs, eight representatives of national minorities, as well as on MP and former Culture Minister Zlatko Hasanbegović. Hasanbegović was evicted from HDZ membership on Monday because he had decided to run against the party at local elections for the Zagreb City Assembly. Given the fact that the parliamentary majority literally depends on each and every MP, problems with Hasanbegović and national minority MPs will make it more difficult for Prime Minister Plenković to form a new ruling majority, after he decided to break up the coalition with MOST.