Parliament Speaker Criticises President's Moves

By 30 May 2018

ZAGREB, May 30, 2018 - Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković said on Wednesday he had a hard time understanding the latest move by President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović whose office sent an invitation for a joint meeting with the government to discuss demography, but without enclosing the relevant material and while a session of the National Security Council (attended by both the president and the prime minister) was taking place.

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said on Tuesday that there would be no joint meeting of his government with President Grabar-Kitarović to discuss measures to fight negative demographic trends, which she proposed on Monday.

Commenting on Plenković's response to her proposal, Grabar-Kitarović said on her Facebook wall that she regretted his not having accepted her offer of cooperation and failing to recognise how serious the situation was regarding depopulation trends. She also said that in dealing with an issue as serious as that one, vanity should be put aside.

Jandroković said on Wednesday that this time it was difficult for him to understand the president's move. He added that tensions between the president and the prime minister were unnecessary. "Demography is a serious topic and it requires a serious approach. Sending the letter without enclosing material, without explaining the measures she is proposing – such an approach is not serious," Jandroković said.

Asked if tensions between the president and the prime minister could bring into question the Croatian Democratic Union's support to Grabar-Kitarović for her second term in office, Jandroković said that that was not being discussed. "The prime minister was very clear in his recent interview – if Grabar-Kitarovic decides to run for her send term in office, she will have the support of the HDZ and him personally. But both sides should behave in a fair fashion."

Jandroković resolutely dismissed the possibility of a grand coalition between the HDZ and the Social Democratic Party, describing media headlines about a grand coalition as mere spins.