Milanović and Plenković Agree Appointment of Hranj for New Military Chief of Staff

By 19 February 2020

ZAGREB, February 19, 2020 - President Zoran Milanović said on Wednesday that he would agree with the government's proposal that Rear Admiral Robert Hranj be appointed new military chief of staff.

In his address to reporters Milanovic, who was inaugurated on Tuesday, said that he had already discussed this topic with Prime Minister Andrej Plenković.

In comments by reporters that it seemed to them that Plenković had appeared displeased at his inauguration, the new president said that their conversation yesterday was normal.

Milanovic admitted there were normal sparks, and there may be some in the future or maybe there won't be."

"I can already hear interpretations of who stood up, who shook hands (at the inauguration). There is no clear protocol," Milanovic said alluding to some media reports on the inauguration ceremony.

As for some criticism against his future adviser for education, Jadranka Pečenković Žarković, a psychologist and a former head of the Education and Teacher Training Agency, Milanović dismissed claims that she used to send teachers and children to lectures organised by "In the Name of Family" association and the association of retired generals.

"That is not true. Somebody obviously has a grudge (against her). She was at the helm of the agency for four years. She will be my adviser," Milanovic said, explaining that Pečenković Žarković is an experienced expert who does not belong to any "clan."

The Education and Teacher Training Agency is a public institution responsible for the provision of professional and advisory support in the area of general education in Croatia.

On his first day in office, Milanović visited Zagreb's Mirogoj cemetery to lay wreaths at the Wall of Pain, the National Heroes vault and the grave of unidentified Homeland War victims. Milanovic also laid flowers and lit candles at the graves of the first Croatian President Franjo Tuđman and the Social Democratic leader and a former prime minister, Ivica Račan.

More news about Zoran Milanović can be found in the Politics section.