SDP: Šuica Should Prove the Origin of Her Assets

By 27 September 2019

ZAGREB, September 27, 2019 - Social Democratic Party (SDP) MP Peđa Grbin on Friday dismissed Prime Minister Andrej Plenković's accusations that the GONG non-governmental organisation was "a prolonged arm" of the SDP and that they were orchestrating an attack on the Croatian candidate for European Commission Vice-President, Dubravka Šuica, over her declaration of assets.

"The answer to the prime minister's accusations is very simple - prove the origin of her assets and everything will be sorted. For years there have been reports circulating in the Croatian media, and quite justifiably so, of a disproportion between Šuica's income and the property that she owns," Grbin said.

He said he thought it was necessary, when Šuica became the candidate for a European Commissioner, to give her a chance to explain herself.

"Her answer, to put it mildly, was ridiculous because it is interesting that her family's ship came in only after she became mayor of Dubrovnik. Prove the origin of her property and everything will be clean, and don't blame those who asked this question, which is perfectly normal in a modern and democratic state, but answer it," the MP said.

Asked if he was in any way in contact with GONG when he raised the issue of Šuica's personal assets, Grbin said he was in contact with the Croatian media. "The Croatian media has written about this for years so I simply googled it and within 20 minutes I had all the information I needed to ask that question."

Grbin said it was interesting that Plenković had reacted to GONG but not to some other non-governmental organisations. "I haven't heard that he reacted to HVIDRA (the association of disabled war veterans) which has been attacking an MP and member of the ethnic Serb minority in Croatia for days now. Plenković never asked on whose behalf they were acting," Grbin said.

The leader of the Croatian Peasant Party (HSS), Krešo Beljak, said on Friday that GONG was also a prolonged arm of his party because the HSS had recently put forward a bill on the origin of personal property.

"The ruling coalition rejected the bill, but we will continue to insist on checks of the property of all politicians and other public office holders, such as judges," Beljak said, adding that Šuica's personal property was estimated at several million euros.

Beljak asked the prime minister to say how a secondary school teacher could earn so much money. "Common sense dictates that she couldn't have earned it legally."

The Conflict of Interest Commission has received several requests for Dubravka Šuica's declaration of assets, however, those requests have been rejected for the purpose of protecting private data considering that Šuica has not been a Croatian official since 2011.

After receiving several requests for access to information in declarations of assets belonging to Šuica, who is Croatia's candidate for a European Commission vice president, a test of proportionality was conducted considering that declarations of assets contain a lot of personal information and that Šuica she has not been a Croatian official for more than seven years, the commission's spokeswoman Martina Jurišić told reporters.

The test proved that in this specific case the interest of protecting personal data prevailed over public interest in access to the declarations of assets and the requests were turned down, Jurišić said.

However, in deciding about the requests, the commission would consider those circumstances if Šuica herself gave permission to release her declarations.

According to the media, Dubrovnik's former mayor and former member of the Croatian parliament and later a MEP, allegedly owns assets worth more than 5 million euro.

More news about Dubravka Šuica can be found in the Politics section.