Prime Minister Says Dalić Has His Support

By 9 May 2018

ZAGREB, May 9, 2018 - After Deputy Prime Minister Matina Dalić's correspondence with consultants and attorneys who worked on preparing the law on systemic companies dubbed Lex Agrokor was released by the Index.hr news website on Wednesday, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said that experts were consulted so that a solution could be found as soon as possible to prevent Agrokor's uncontrolled bankruptcy and that everything was done in agreement with the government's then coalition partners from MOST, stressing that Dalić continues to enjoy his support.

"As far as the actual group of experts who helped and other experts are concerned, I have to say that that entire task was done with complete agreement and cooperation with our then coalition partner, MOST. In fact, they themselves attended those meetings, suggested the people to participate in that, so I don't see that there are any new elements here compared to what we have seen until now," Plenković told reporters after receiving an award for European speech of the year.

He confirmed that, in regard to all the debates conducted over the past few months by the parliamentary Committee on the Economy and at plenary parliamentary sessions regarding Agrokor, and with regard to information that Dalić has repeated several times in public, he remains of the opinion that during the preparation of the Law on Emergency Administration in Companies of Systemic Importance, dubbed Lex Agrokor, it was necessary to consult with experts outside state administration as well.

That was done, he stressed, in order to find a solution as quickly as possible to prevent an uncontrolled bankruptcy within the conglomerate itself and probably of numerous companies that were dependent on Agrokor.

"I think that everything was done for the benefit of the Croatian economy and financial system, and now, almost 14 months later, we can see that the company is functioning, that fresh capital was provided at a time when it probably wouldn't have been available had that legal framework not been established, which was secured by the government and parliamentary majority, and that jobs were saved. Now, the company and those companies relying on Agrokor can see its future based on a settlement as can numerous other companies in Croatia. Therefore, the thing that was important for us was the general interest of Croatia's economy. Those objectives have been achieved," Plenković said.

He said that there were two months left to reach a settlement after its principle elements were agreed on April 9. "I am convinced that all stakeholders will concentrate on that task and that we will have a settlement regarding Agrokor within the legal framework," the prime minister concluded.