Former Prime Minister Orešković Supports MOST’s Candidate

By 12 May 2017

After several months on the sidelines, former Prime Minister Tihomir Orešković is again involved in Croatian politics.

Independent candidate for Prefect of Vukovar-Srijem County Tomislav Panenić presented his candidacy in Vukovar on Friday. His candidacy is supported by MOST, as well as by former Croatian Prime Minister Tihomir Orešković in whose government Panenić served as the Economy Minister, reports N1 on May 12, 2017.

“I am not returning to active politics. I am not part of any political party nor will I be, but as a former prime minister I will always support high quality people,” said Orešković and added that his party was Croatia.

Asked by journalists to comment on the collapse of the coalition between HDZ and MOST, Orešković said that he had good cooperation with MOST while he was the Prime Minister. “MOST was honest, and they were with me when it was the most difficult,” said Orešković.

He added that the Government led by Prime Minister Andrej Plenković had done a good job by adopting the so-called “Lex Agrokor”. “This is a positive move because it has given the government more time,” he said, adding that now it was the most important to let auditors do their job in order to get a clear picture of the situation within the company.

Orešković stated that as Prime Minister he did not know anything about the problems within Agrokor. Talking about Finance Minister Zdravko Marić, whom MOST accuses of knowing about the situation in the company and not telling anyone, Orešković said that Marić has proven to be an expert. Marić was the Finance Minister in the Orešković’s government as well.

“It is essential that the problems in Agrokor are being solved in a transparent process, since this is also a message to investors. I think that the Prime Minister has gone in that direction,” he said. Orešković also praised Plenković for the way he has solved the problem with long waiting times at the borders.

Asked what he thought about Prime Minister Plenković, Orešković replied that he respected the institution of the Prime Minister, because that is the only person who can make certain decisions. “If you remember, I have decided that MOST leader Božo Petrov and the then HDZ president Tomislav Karamarko should withdraw from the government and return to the Parliament, so that the government could function normally. That was my decision. Maybe it was wrong, because the no-confidence motion was then launched and we all know how it ended,” he said.

Orešković was also asked whether he was sorry for ever entering politics. “I am often asked that question. I do not feel sorry. I have seen the opportunity to help my people, and I hope that we have left something in the field of finances and the economy. I was actively involved and I am not sorry. Who would think that a man who was born in Zagreb, then went to Canada and travelled around the world, would have such a chance at all,” concluded Orešković.

Orešković became the Prime Minister in January 2016, as a non-party candidate after HDZ and MOST decided to enter into a coalition. His short term was marked by constant infighting between the coalition partners, which culminated in June when the coalition collapsed and the motion of no confidence against the Prime Minister was passed in the Parliament. Orešković continued as a caretaker Prime Minister until October, when he was replaced by the current Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, who headed a new HDZ-MOST coalition formed after early parliamentary elections. That coalition collapsed late last month, and it is currently unclear whether HDZ will be able to form a new parliamentary majority without MOST or whether another early parliamentary elections will be held.