Parliament Debates Motion of No Confidence against Economy Minister

By 12 April 2018

ZAGREB, April 12, 2018 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said in the national parliament on Thursday that the no-confidence motion against Economy Minister Martina Dalić would fail just as the previous four opposition-sponsored motions for impeachment of cabinet members in the last year and a half.

"All of your attempts have failed, and this one will fail too," the prime minister told opposition lawmakers, criticising them for wasting the government's time and efforts on such unsuccessful motions in the parliament.

As for the attempt of the MOST party, that sponsored the latest initiative and that is trying to implicate the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) in wrongdoing in Agrokor since 1990 until now, Plenković said that in no way the present-day HDZ at whose helm he is could be connected with that privately owned food and retail group.

Plenković reiterated that the government had responded well to the crisis in Agrokor, which erupted in 2017, and recalled that the MOST party that was a junior partner in the government at the time, also had a role in adopting Lex Agrokor. He said that MOST officials had participated in all the talks and in the preparation of the legislation at the time.

MOST is co-responsible for the legal framework, Plenković said, telling MOST lawmakers that they knew everything. "You knew everything, you knew who the emergency administrator will be," the prime minister said during the parliamentary debate.

He recalled that the response of his cabinet to the Agrokor crisis had prevented a chain reaction and an economic collapse and also helped protect 56,000 jobs. As for consultants in the emergency procedure, Plenković said they were picked at public tenders. If there were any deficiencies in the process of emergency administration and restructuring of the group, they were settled with the resignation of the first Emergency Administrator Ante Ramljak.

"Given the circumstances, I think we have done everything we could, in good faith, and the future of Agrokor, the Croatian economy and suppliers is guaranteed, and what is not good we will fix together as we go, through decisions made by the parliament," Plenković said.

Goran Aleksić of the opposition SNAGA party accused Dalić of being an extended arm of banks and said that she should not be employed in the public sector but that her place was in the private sector. He criticised the minister for having rejected his proposal for compensating loan holders for overpaid amounts during the servicing of the Swiss franc-indexed loans.

A total of 37 lawmakers signed the proposal for a vote of no confidence against Dalić.