Wednesday, 9 February 2022

Jandroković Receives British, Spanish and Chinese Ambassadors

ZAGREB, 9 Feb 2022 - Croatian Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković on Wednesday received the ambassadors to Croatia from the United Kingdom, Spain and China - Simon Derek Thomas, Alonso Dezcallar De Mazarredo and Qi Qianjin, to discuss closer cooperation with their respective countries, the parliament said in a press release.

Jandroković and British Ambassador Thomas talked about defence cooperation and partnership within the framework of NATO and economic relations. In particular, they welcomed the progress in strengthening cooperation in the IT industry, research and development, technology and smart cities, the press release stated.

They cited company, Rimac Automobili, expanding its business to Great Britain as an example of excellent cooperation in the technology sector.

Jandroković and Thomas spoke about the current situation in Ukraine, Bosnia and Herzegovina and the rest of Southeast Europe.

In his talks with Spanish Ambassador De Mazarredo, Jandroković said that relations with Spain were "very good and friendly, with a intention of intensifying in all areas of common interest."

Croatia and Spain recorded positive trade results in 2021 and good cooperation in the fields of energy, transport and tourism.

Jandroković said he was pleased with the number of Spanish tourists to Croatia last year despite the pandemic.

The newly appointed ambassador presented Jandroković with an invitation to a Spain-Croatia inter-parliamentary forum. Jandroković accepted the invitation from Spain's parliament speaker and said he hoped the forum would enable even more cooperation between the two countries.

Ambassador Qi Qianjin was on an inaugural visit to the parliament. He and Jandroković pointed out the Pelješac Bridge as the best example of cooperation, saying that the bridge would be open to traffic this year year, marking 30 years of diplomatic relations between Croatia and China.

With the aim of strengthening inter-parliamentary cooperation, Jandroković accepted an invitation to attend a video meeting with the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, Li Zhanshu.

In addition to important projects like the Senj wind park, an important Chinese investment project in Croatia, also discussed were other areas with the potential to strengthen economic cooperation within the China+16 Initiative.

The meeting highlighted the significance of Chinese visitors for Croatia's tourism and expressed hope for even more Chinese tourists in the years to come, the press release said.

For more, check out our politics section.

Sunday, 12 December 2021

Parl. Speaker: Pandemic's Darkness Affects a Part of Political Scene

ZAGREB, 12 Dec 2021 - Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković on Sunday participated in a ceremony of the delivery of Bethlehem Light of Peace to the Cathedral of Zagreb, and on that occasion said that the times were not easy and that the pandemic's darkness affected the society, including a part of the political scene.

Let this Light enlighten many souls, Jandroković said.

The Bethlehem Light of Peace is a symbol of Christmas and in the Bible, it symbolizes the coming of Jesus, whose birth promised peace to all people of goodwill.

In his address to the press, the Sabor Speaker called for vaccination and for compliance with all anti-epidemic rules and for responsible and rational behavior.

"One should take care of the lives and health of other people."

Asked by the press whether the Constitutional Court will be asked to test the constitutionality of the questions of the Bridge party's ongoing referendum initiative against COVID certificates before the necessary signatures were collected or after that, Jandroković said: "We live in a democracy, everybody can do everything that is allowed by law. However, I appeal to common sense, conscience, and to the awareness that not every topic promoted in that way could be beneficial to people. Quite contrary."

We have many people who have got sick and many who have died of the disease, and it should not have happened. Inoculation, adhering to epidemiological measures and prudence are the way to reduce coronavirus numbers, he said, underscoring that it is crucial to encourage people to get vaccinated.

Asked by the press about the indictment against former minister Lovro Kuščević and reports on a preliminary investigation against former minister Tomislav Tolušić over alleged white-collar crimes, the parliament speaker said that it was inappropriate for politicians to comment on prosecutions, although it seemed that there was a widespread belief that politicians must take stand on each topic.

In a democracy there is the separation of powers, everybody is responsible for their job and prosecutorial authorities are expected to explain to the public things unclear from their remit, said Jandroković, adding that keeping making comments on investigations can amount to pressure on the judiciary.

 For more, check out our dedicated politics section.

Wednesday, 8 December 2021

Independent MP Vidović Krišto Ordered Out of Parliament Chamber

ZAGREB, 8 Dec, 2021 - Independent MP Karolina Vidović Krišto was ordered to leave the Parliament chamber at the start of the session on Wednesday morning for violating the Rules of Procedure after proposing paying respects to all children killed in the 1991-1995 Homeland War. 

Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković rejected her proposal, saying that such matters should be agreed in advance. After repeatedly asking Vidović Krišto to stop talking and cautioning her three times, he ordered her to leave the chamber.

"This is a very delicate matter and Ms Vidović Krišto put me in a very awkward position. Children killed in the war deserve to be honoured and we should certainly do that. We should honour not just the children but all the people who were killed, civilian victims and Croatian defenders. What she did is extremely inappropriate, an act of provocation with which she wanted to put me and everyone else in an awkward situation," Jandroković said.

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Thursday, 2 December 2021

Holiday of Hanukkah Marked in Croatian Parliament

ZAGREB, 2 Dec 2021 - The Jewish holiday of Hanukkah was marked officially in the Croatian parliament on Thursday, by lighting the Hanukkah candles.

The event, organized by the Croatia-Israel interparliamentary friendship group, was attended by Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković, Israeli Ambassador Ilan Mor, Deputy Parliament Speaker Željko Reiner, and the head of the Croatia-Israel interparliamentary friendship group, Marijana Petir, who lit the candles.

Jandroković said he had witnessed the development of the Croatia-Israeli relations since the early 1990s, when, he said, "we did not understand each other so well", to the present day, when "those relations are the best ever, based on friendship and partnership."

We have achieved a high level of understanding for mutual values and our place in international relations, Jandroković said, adding that the two countries share the same views on many global and international challenges.

We belong to the Judeo-Christian civilization that shares, to a large extent, the same or similar values, and I am confident that in the time to come to Croatia and Israel will build even stronger ties because the world today is such that we must look for friends and allies, for partners which we can rely on. Croatia has demonstrated that position to Israel on a number of occasions and vice versa, and I am confident that we will continue doing so in the future, said Jandroković.

Ambassador Mor said that the holiday of Hanukkah symbolized dedication, and that connected with it was a legend of the miracle of light that burned in the Temple for eight days even though there was only enough sacred oil for one day's lighting. Therefore eight candles are lit on a menorah to symbolize eight days that celebrate the rededication of the Temple, he said.

Ambassador Mor said that he considered it a great honor that a Hanukkah candle would be lit in the Croatian parliament, which he described as yet another proof of the friendship between the two countries that share the same values.

The holiday of Hanukkah is marked at the time of preparations for the holiday of Christmas, which confirms how close our two religions are, the ambassador said, offering his best wishes for Christmas and the New Year.

The Hanukkah menorah is traditionally lit every evening during the eight-day holiday.

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Monday, 22 November 2021

Jandroković: It's Selfish to Think About Personal Freedom While Others Are Dying

ZAGREB, 22 Nov 2021 - Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković on Monday commented on Saturday's protest against COVID certificates and asked what sort of personal freedom it was that "brings death and takes numerous lives that shouldn't have been lost?"

"Those who are insisting on their own freedom and avoiding COVID certificates and testing evidently do not think that there are people who pay a high price for this epidemic," Jandroković said in an interview with Croatian Radio.

He said that the key issue was not COVID certificates but the fact that more than 10,000 people had died of COVID-19, including a record 73 in the current fourth wave today.

"I don't know what sort of personal freedom it is that brings death and takes numerous lives that shouldn't have been lost," he said.

He also wondered what sort of freedom excluded doctors and nurses who for the past 21 months have been working hard to save human lives and called for showing them some trust as they work in impossible conditions.

With reference to Saturday's protest, he said that it was heterogenous and that there were among the protesters "various false prophets and political profiteers".

Asked whether mandatory vaccination was being considered, Jandroković said that Croatia had adopted measures to curb the spread of coronavirus and that at the moment he could not say whether new ones would be introduced.

It all depends on how the pandemic will develop, he added.

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Thursday, 11 November 2021

Jandroković: Milanović Is Supreme Commander but Also Supreme Liar

ZAGREB, 11 Nov, 2021 - Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković on Thursday responded to criticism by President Zoran Milanović, saying that unlike Milanović, he did not want to use insults and lies and then said that apart from being Armed Forces' Supreme Commander, Milanović was also a supreme liar.

Addressing the press in Parliament House, Jandroković said that even though he had not intended to make any statements today, responding to Milanović "is a matter of dignity and honour after the insults he has hurled at me."

Responding to Milanović's accusation that he used his mobile phone during a recent meeting of the National Security Council and the Defence Council, Jandroković said that he did not do anything that was not allowed.

"I accidentally kept my mobile phone after a pause between the meetings of the Defence Council and the National Security Council. At the start of the National Security Council meeting, my mobile phone was indeed with me and after being warned, I took and left it in the same spot where it had been during the Defence Council meeting. No one considered it problematic because it happened at the very start of the meeting but I see that attempts are being made to exploit even such a situation to defame the other side," said Jandroković.

He also denied any disrespectful treatment of the Armed Forces' Chief-of-Staff, Admiral Robert Hranj, underscoring that he could not reveal any details of the meeting and claiming that Milanović "was continually interrupting and patronising Hranj."

"Milanović described the situation in the army as being very difficult, which shocked me. I then asked Admiral Hranj what his opinion of Milanović's statement was but Milanović would not let him reply even though Hranj wanted to. Then he began interrupting me because I insisted on the Admiral's opinion. That led to a very unpleasant debate between Milanović and me, that's true," said Jandroković.

He can hurl insults at others, but I will retort

"There was no swearing but angry words were used. He is used to insulting others and some may tolerate it, but I get even, particularly during closed meetings," Jandroković said.

He added that it was evident from Hranj's statement that Milanović would not let him speak, saying that responded to all the questions. "After about five, six, seven minutes of that exchange between Milanović and me, Hranj was able to briefly say something and Milanović is indeed the last person who can accuse anyone of truculence," said Jandroković.

"The day before that, when I attended a meeting between the Prime Minister with the military commanders, he questioned my right as the parliament speaker and member of the Defence Council, to participate in that meeting. This is some sort of pathological obsession, I don't know why he is constantly trying to drag me through the mud with the most vulgar insults against me," said Jandroković.

"I will not respond in kind because apart from being the supreme commander he is also a supreme liar, there is no point in trying to compete with someone who insults everyone standing in their way," Jandroković added.

Jandroković also rejected allegations in the media that he is the person behind Defence Minister Mario Banožić and that he is the one instigating conflicts between Milanović and Banožić, claiming that the allegations "are ridiculous and untrue."

Asked whether former minister Gabrijela Žalac, who was arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of embezzling money from the EU and Croatian budgets, would stay on the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) Presidency and the party in general, Jandroković said that the HDZ was waiting for a court decision, after which party bodies would take a stand and make a decision.

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Thursday, 9 September 2021

Jandroković Meets With Chilean Counterpart: Croats in Chile Most Successful Diaspora

ZAGREB, 9 Sept 2021 - The Croatian diaspora in Chile is the most successful Croatian community in the world, Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković said on Thursday after meeting with his Chilean counterpart Diego Paulsen Kehr.

"A large number of Croats live in Chile. They are successful in politics, business, science, education, and many other areas," Jandroković said after the meeting.

"We consider the Croatian diaspora in Chile to be one of the most successful Croatian communities in the world," he added, describing the Croatian minority in Chile as a bridge between the two countries.

According to Chile's foreign ministry, there are more than 200,000 people of Croatian descent living in Chile, which is almost 1.3% of the total population, as reported by the Central State Office for Croats Abroad.

Paulsen is a member of the party of President Sebastián Piñera, one of the wealthiest people in Chile.

After the meeting with Jandroković, Paulsen said that his visit, as well as a forthcoming visit by Chile's defense minister, is aimed at developing economic cooperation. He added that of all the EU countries his country invests in Croatia the most.

Noting examples of good cooperation, the two officials mentioned the Lukišić family from Chile as one of the biggest investors in the Croatian tourism sector.

They said that the cooperation between the two countries in the coming period will particularly focus on multilateral organizations, especially with regard to sustainability, climate change and green policies, and the fight against autocratic regimes in the world.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Tuesday, 7 September 2021

Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković: "Protecting the Environment Contributes to Prosperity"

ZAGREB, 7 Sept, 2021 - Protecting the environment contributes to prosperity, particularly in tourist countries like Croatia, Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković said in Vienna on Tuesday.

"The pandemic has taught us the importance of multilateralism. We have to step up our global efforts in the fight against climate change and stimulate green transition and economic growth," Jandroković said at the Fifth World Conference of the Inter-Parliamentary Union's Speakers of Parliament.

"Protecting the environment contributes to prosperity, particularly in countries whose economy depends on tourism, like Croatia," he said.

Jandroković believes that "cooperation, changing the approach, and finding a balance between economic growth and the quality of life, are key to creating a sustainable future."

Croatia's National Development Strategy for the period until 2030 emphasises just that - a sustainable economy, green and digital transition and the well-being of citizens, he said.

"This isn't just about economic growth, but, more importantly, about prosperity, well-being, balance between private and business life, and the quality of life. It also has to do with access to health and welfare services, education, etc," he added.

Speaking about the COVID-19 pandemic, Jandroković said that "it will have a lasting impact on the world as we know it, causing changes to our way of living, education, communication, etc.

The Inter-Parliamentary Union is an international organisation bringing together 179 national parliaments.

During the conference, Jandroković is expected to meet with Austria's Parliament Speaker Wolfgang Sobotka on Tuesday, while on Wednesday he will meet with representatives of the Croat community in Austria.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Tuesday, 7 September 2021

President Zoran Milanović, Parliament Speaker Jandroković Offer Their Best Wishes to Jewish Community For Rosh Hashanah

ZAGREB, 7 Sept, 2021 - President Zoran Milanović and Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković on Tuesday issued separate messages offering their best wishes to the Jewish community on the occasion of the holiday of Rosh Hashanah.

"I wish all the best to the Jewish community in Croatia for Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot with the traditional greeting 'May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year'," Milanović said, wishing the Jewish community happiness and peace throughout the new year.

Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković wished the Jewish community an abundance of health, happiness, peace and prosperity in the New Year 5782.

"May you spend this holiday period, which is a time of preparation for the great holiday of Yom Kippur, in joy and union with your fellow men. May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year," Jandroković said in his message.

Rosh Hashanah is followed by a ten-day period of repentance which culminates with the Day of Atonement or Yom Kippur.

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Saturday, 7 August 2021

Jandroković: Attack in Subotica Prompted by Serbian President’s Rhetoric

ZAGREB, 7 Aug, 2021 - Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković said on Saturday the rhetoric used by the president of Serbia and Serbian officials was the reason for a recent physical and verbal attack on Croats in Subotica.

Asked if the attack could be the result of the two countries' policies, Jandroković said the situation in the two countries could not be compared.

"The celebration of Operation Storm in Croatia is dignified. We celebrate our victory in the Homeland War without disparaging anyone. We have a good cooperation with representatives of all ethnic minorities, including the Serbs, and the rhetoric used by Serbia's president and senior officials is probably to blame for some people feeling the urge to physically or verbally threaten members of the Croat people," Jandroković told the N1 broadcaster when asked about an attack on five Croatian nationals in Subotica which local police said was due to a row over a parking space.

The Croat National Council said on Friday that five Croatian nationals were physically and verbally assaulted and their relative was lightly injured when an unidentified man attacked them in Subotica but local police denied it.

Jandroković also said that Serbia should face the truth and accept responsibility for the events of the 1990s.

"That is a precondition for better cooperation. We must all be forward-looking, there is no use in turning to the past," he said.

Speaking of wildfires that have been raging for days in Greece and Turkey, Jandroković called for developing international solidarity.

"We received help from them when the region of Banija was hit by (last year's) earthquake," he said, adding that Croatia was currently able to provide assistance to Greece and Turkey.

Jandroković once again called for compliance with epidemiological restrictions, expressing hope the tourist season would last not only until the end of August but the end of September.

The parliament speaker was today in Imotski, where he attended a ceremony marking 120 years of fire-fighting in the Imotska Krajina region and the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the Imotski Voluntary Fire Department.

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