Tuesday, 10 January 2023

Euro Croatia Price Increase: Politician Kreso Beljak Shopping Across Border

January the 10th, 2023 - Croatian politician Kreso Beljak, who has been the President of the Croatian Peasant Party since back in 2016, has openly admitted to crossing the Slovenian border to do his shopping since the euro Croatia price increase issue has become so apparent.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, while appearing as a recent guest of N1 studio, the President of the Croatian Peasant Party, Kreso Beljak, commented on the situation that is currently on everyone's lips - the very obvious euro Croatia price increase. Beljak says that he isn't surprised by any of these price increases: "Prices of items are determined by the market, and I'm not surprised that prices have risen. Obviously, the demand is like that. It's a simple rule of the market economy - the higher the demand for something is, the higher the price for it will be,"

That said, he made no effort to hide the fact that he thinks that the difference in prices between Croatia and neighbouring Slovenia is no less than shameful: "Personally, it doesn't matter to me or the people in Samobor if we go to Zagreb or Slovenia to do our shopping. In Slovenia, instead of 100 euros, I spent 70. My wife was on the phone to be back in Samobor comparing the prices. It's shameful,'' Beljak stated.

However, and rather surprisingly, Beljak doesn't really blame Plenkovic for this situation. "This situation is unsustainable, but to blame politics for it in the 21st century in a market economy, well... that's what we wanted in the 90s. We wanted the market to determine the price, not for the state to conduct it all. I do blame Plenković for another situation, though, he tries to get involved with things that politics shouldn't be involving itself with. The political spectrum should be dealing with the growth of salaries, pensions, tax relief, the reduction of levies and so forth. Plenkovic and HDZ do none of this. And that's another reason why our purchasing power is weak."

"If someone wants to buy something - that's a matter of the market. The market forms the prices, not the state. The state is there to ensure a higher salary, to make so people are able to buy more in such cases. The state needs to reduce the taxes and levies so that net wages rise, and as such, peoples' purchasing power."

When asked about blacklists for companies taking advantage of the euro Croatia price increase trend, Beljak explained: "Now it can be seen that certain omissions have been made. I think the intention was good in regard to giving people a period of two weeks, which now turns out to have complicated the situation even more. The euro should have been introduced on January the 1st, 2023, and kuna should have immediately been made so it exchanged for euros in banks for a period of one year."

"In general, I'm talking about a system that doesn't work, about an HDZ that doesn't work. It's hard to expect that such a party that simply doesn't care about people in the slightest would even think of doing anything to help or protect them. Plenkovic is now busy rubbing his hands together, and so is his finance minister, because every euro Croatia price increase is an increase in VAT and a bigger payment into the state budget,'' Beljak concluded, noting that HDZ wants more money for ''uhljebs''.

For more, make sure to check out our news section.

Monday, 11 May 2020

Restart Coalition Denies Negotiations with MOST

ZAGREB, May 11, 2020 - Croatian Peasant Party (HSS) leader Krešo Beljak said on Monday that the Restart Coalition had never been in negotiations with the MOST party and denied that he had offered cooperation, following an agreement with Social Democratic Party (SDP) chief Davor Bernardić, to the MOST Party.

"The Restart Coalition (SDP, HSS, GLAS, HSU, SNAGA) has never been in negotiations with MOST nor did I say that I had offered them cooperation following an agreement with the president of the SDP," Beljak posted on Twitter.

I will not comment further on various fabrications on this topic, since this is obviously an attempt to divert attention from much bigger issues Croatia has, the HSS leader said.

It was said in the Monday issue of the Vecernji List daily that Beljak told them that the SDP had offered coalition to the MOST party, wanting to bring together, against the ruling Croatian Democratic Party (HDZ), opposition ranging from the far left to the far right.

Beljak told the Večernji List daily that he had investigated a month ago, in agreement with Bernardić, the possibility of bringing together the entire opposition against the HDZ, from the left wing to the right wing, including the MOST party, but the MOST party rejected the proposal.

More politics news can be found in the dedicated section. 

Wednesday, 4 March 2020

Čazma Mayor and About 300 Local Members of HSS Leave Party

ZAGREB, March 4, 2020 - The mayor of Čazma, Dinko Pirak, who sits on the main committee of the Croatian Peasant Party (HSS), and about 300 local members of this parliamentary party announced on Wednesday they were leaving the party in protest at the way its current leader, Krešo Beljak, was running the HSS.

Pirak said in a press release that he had been a member of the HSS for almost 25 years, but that he and some 300 members of the local branch had decided to leave one of the oldest parties in Croatia because its leader Beljak had done huge damage to the HSS with his public statements and his behaviour.

He said that the local organisation of the HSS in this town 60 kilometres east of Zagreb would continue to be active through an independent local political group.

Several weeks ago, the HSS branch in the eastern town of Vladislavci stated that local members would leave the party in protest against how Beljak was running the HSS and his statements which they considered unacceptable.

More HSS news can be found in the Politics section.

Sunday, 9 February 2020

War Veterans Hold Protest Against HSS Leader Beljak

ZAGREB, February 9, 2020 - An association of war veterans with PTSD staged a protest in Samobor on Sunday called "Stop hate speech and intolerance" at which they called on mayor and Croatian Peasant Party president Krešo Beljak to resign over "belittling the veterans' sacrifice."

Participants strongly condemned Beljak's statement that the veterans who protested in Zagreb for months a few years ago were "a few drunks," saying that constituted incitement to civil intolerance.

According to organisers' estimates, the Samobor rally drew about 1,000 protesters. They displayed a banner saying "Croatia is a state of war veterans, not thieves."

"Beljak should immediately step down from all political posts," said psychiatrist Herman Vukušić.

He warned about the high number of suicides and said two veterans died daily at the age of 53 on average.

"The goal is to stop the civil war that has been going on in Croatia for some time, but without bullets," he said, calling for stronger punishment for those who spread hate speech.

Tihomir Trešćec, president of the association, said the "hate rhetoric" was unacceptable. "Calling Croatian veterans a few drunks mustn't be acceptable rhetoric in the public sphere. Among those few drunks were the parents, wives and children of killed defenders who are right to be outraged by such a statement."

Trešćec said there should be more tolerance in public statements, notably by politicians, who he said were public figures and should watch what they said.

"They don't realise that some statements affect people deeply, notably veterans with PTSD," he said, adding that veterans from all over Croatia had come to today's protest.

Josip Mahović, a former Samobor Brigade commander, said the political elite was a criminal organisation which did not care for the public but their own interest. He recalled that Veterans Minister Tomo Medved said he would move a law on the protection of the Homeland War that would envisage punishment for inappropriate statements.

Željko Kekić, a former agent of the Yugoslav secret service UDBA, said many went into the Homeland War under the salute "For the homeland ready", an Ustasha salute that was shouted at today's rally.

"Who has the strength to ban you from saying it? We live in a grotesque state that we didn't want," Kekić said.

Croatian Peasant Party (HSS) president Krešo Beljak said on Sunday he was not impressed by today's veterans' protest in Samobor, calling it an introduction into the election campaign that involved activists from the ruling party and saying he was not intimidated by that.

"They are panicking over what the HSS is advocating, to check the origin of assets and to review pensions, not necessarily veterans' pensions. Someone feels threatened. Why should you or I fear a law whereby how someone acquired their assets would be checked," Beljak said on a Croatian Television talk show.

"Those protesting today are self-proclaimed representatives of all veterans and I ask them, Where were you and why didn't you protest when this state was being plundered during privatisation and today when there are scandals?" Beljak said.

He said he never said anything inappropriate against the Homeland War and that he "never called veterans a few drunks," but "the people... who were harassing all of Zagreb and were toppling the then government (and) harassing former (Veterans) Minister Predrag Matić."

Beljak said he was confident the coalition of the HSS, the Social Democratic Party and some other parties "will assume responsibility for Croatia's future after the (parliamentary) election."

Speaking of upcoming intra-party elections in the ruling HDZ, he said he wanted Prime Minister Andrej Plenković to be re-elected president "because he represents reason in that party and a dam against the most conservative part of Croatia which is gaining strength."

He added, however, that he hoped Plenković would not remain prime minister after the parliamentary election.

More politics news can be found in the dedicated section.

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Beljak Responds to Critics of His Controversial Tweet

ZAGREB, January 15, 2020 - Croatian Peasant Party (HSS) chief Krešo Beljak on Wednesday reiterated his apology over a tweet in which he justified political assassinations in ex-Yugoslavia, however, he found it hypocritical of those "who support war criminals and terrorists that disgraced Croatia" to criticise him.

"I have apologised and I am sincerely sorry. Of course, I do not support killings. I let myself be provoked and this is my big mistake," Beljak said, adding that in the future he obviously would have "to control it".

He said that it was hypocritical of those who support war criminals and terrorists that disgraced Croatia to call him out. He, however, stopped short of specifying who they are.

All that does not justify my conduct, said Beljak, who recently wrote that if UDBA, the Yugoslav intelligence agency, killed over 100 people in the Croatian emigrant community in the USA, Germany, Canada and Australia, "then it was not enough. We could see who did all sorts of shit and caused the wars from 1991 to 1999. Fascists in the former Yugoslavia and other countries who, unfortunately, managed to escape UDBA."

His tweet has been seen as an act of his condoning politically motivated assassinations of emigrants by UDBA during the time of communist-ruled Yugoslavia. Beljak has come under attack of politicians from the ruling Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) as well as from the opposition Bridge party.

In relation to HDZ vice president Milijan Brkić's statement that the "lukewarm distancing" of Social Democratic Party (SDP) leader Davor Bernardić from Beljak's tweet disqualified him from any plan to be the country's prime minister, Beljak said today that it was clear that the HDZ, which lost the last two elections, would stick to criticising his controversial tweet.

Beljak, whose HSS is a coalition partner of the SDP, believes that Bernardić can be premier "as such are the trends".

Beljak said that the HDZ led by Prime Minister Andrej Plenković "has made too many omissions in the last four years to again win the confidence of the people ".

More politics news can be found in the dedicated section.

Tuesday, 14 January 2020

Beljak Apologises for Justifying Political Assassinations in Ex-Yugoslavia

ZAGREB, January 14, 2020 - Croatian Peasant Party (HSS) leader Krešo Beljak on Monday apologised for his tweet in which he said that the number of killings carried out by the Yugoslav intelligence agency UDBA was insufficient.

Two days after the controversial tweet, which has been interpreted as his condoning of politically motivated assassinations of emigrants by UDBA during the time of communist-ruled Yugoslavia, this parliamentary deputy and mayor of Samobor on Monday tweeted that he was sorry about his "clumsy and unfortunate tweet", justifying his reaction as being part of a broader discussion that was full of insults and lies.

"I am sorry if my tweet was construed as my support for political assassinations. That, of course, is not true. I am sorry If I insulted anybody. I made a mistake," Beljak wrote today.

Two days ago, he wrote that if UDBA killed over 100 people in the Croatian emigrant community in the USA, Germany, Canada and Australia, "then it was not enough. We could see who did all sorts of shit and caused the wars from 1991 to 1999. Fascists in the former Yugoslavia and other countries who, unfortunately, managed to escape UDBA."

Beljak's comment was prompted by a tweet written by a person named Renato who said that "Yugo-nostalgics fail to realize that there were over 100 political assassinations outside of Yugoslavia from 1945 to 1990. The UDBA was active in every Croatian immigrant community in the USA, Germany, Canada and Australia."

More politics news can be found in the Politics section.

Sunday, 10 February 2019

HSS Getting Ready for European Elections

ZAGREB, February 10, 2019 - The leader of the Croatian Peasant Party (HSS), Krešo Beljak, said on Saturday he was certain that the HSS could make a positive surprise at the forthcoming European elections, and that the Amsterdam Coalition could become the strongest political group in Croatia.

"All together, as a party, we must work even better at all levels and we will prove that we will and can do this at the elections scheduled for May," Beljak told a party conference in Jastrebarsko, just southwest of Zagreb.

He said that the HSS would have three candidates on the list of 12 candidates to be fielded by the Amsterdam Coalition: Beljak himself, "as a leader who doesn't shrink from responsibility", independent candidate Zoran Bahtijarević and long-standing party member and economic expert Damir Novotny.

"I am certain that the HSS as a party, all of us here, and all our members throughout Croatia, can make a positive surprise and, with preferential votes for one of the three of the HSS candidates, gather enough votes to claim a victory at the elections for the European Parliament in 2019, and that our coalition, our alliance led by the HSS, can become the strongest political group in Croatia," Beljak said.

He recalled that the negotiations launched last autumn to gather together parties that could run together in the European Parliament elections had been productive and that as a result the HSS was now the leader of the Amsterdam Coalition. "It is an honour to us all that all these parties and all their prominent politicians have recognised and accepted the HSS as the leader of the whole coalition. That gives us additional strength and motivation to justify the confidence our coalition partners have placed in us."

Presenting a report on his work in the last seven months since the previous such conference, Beljak said that the HSS's approval ratings were far below what he would have wanted, but added that the ratings were increasing steadily. "We can only imagine what our ratings would be had all our former members, who did all they could to harm their party, focused their energies on strengthening the party," he said.

Delegates adopted Beljak's report and the new party statute. The report was adopted with five votes against and the statute with four votes against and one abstention. The conference was attended by 623 of 727 delegates, the party's secretariat told Hina.

More news on the European elections can be found in the Politics section.

Saturday, 12 January 2019

HSS Again Facing Internal Divisions

ZAGREB, January 12, 2019 - Several members of the Croatian Peasant Party's (HSS) head committee at a session on Friday requested the resignation of HSS president Krešimir Beljak, expressing their dissatisfaction with the leadership of the party that was recently abandoned by MP Mladen Mađar, HSS MP Ana Marija Petin told the press, while the party spokeswoman Ivana Tomić claims that nobody at the meeting requested Beljak's resignation.

Petin said that several members of the party's head committee asked for Beljak's resignation during a debate which they requested dissatisfied with the current situation in the HSS. "We openly expressed our opinion about the current state of affairs in the party, we said why we are not satisfied with Beljak's leadership and during the session, several members of the head committee asked the president to resign," Petin told Hina.

She said committee members think that Beljak was not having regular contacts with members of HSS branches, ignores their opinion and is neglecting HSS branches in other parts of the country.

Petin also said that members of the regional organisation from Slavonija left the session.

Spokeswoman for the party Ivana Tomić told Hina that nobody at the HSS head committee session requested president Beljak's resignation.

She said the last item on the agenda was the current policy and that some members of the head committee asked that the agenda be amended in a way to have the last item on it be discussed first, adding that only nine of the 80 members supported that proposal.

The first time I heard about it is when MP Petin said it to the press, Tomić told Hina.

The party currently has four seats in Parliament after Mladen Mađar recently crossed the floor to join the club of deputies led by Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandić.

More news on the party can be found in our Politics section.

Monday, 7 January 2019

HSS Leader Gives Deposition as Witness on Possible Political Corruption

ZAGREB, January 7, 2019 - Croatian Peasant Party (HSS) leader Krešo Beljak on Monday gave a deposition to police on possible political corruption in the wake of HSS MP Mladen Mađer's defection to the parliamentary group led by the party of Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandić, but he would not tell reporters whom he had reported to police or where he got the information on the alleged buying of parliamentary deputies.

Beljak gave his deposition to police after the USKOK anti-corruption office last week confirmed that it was conducting a preliminary investigation into Mađer's changing sides after Beljak pointed to possible irregularities.

Beljak had earlier announced that he would also file a report against Zagreb County head Stjepan Kožić over involvement in the case. Kožić has denied having anything to do with Mađer's joining Bandić's parliamentary group and has said that he will sue Beljak for slander.

Addressing reporters today, Beljak said that he had earlier firmly believed that Mađer could not be bought. "When he left, he did so suddenly, so my previous suspicions grew stronger," Beljak said.

Beljak would not comment on USKOK's preliminary investigation into alleged attempts to bribe Social Democratic Party (SDP) MP Zvane Brumnić with three million kuna. Brumnić arrived at USKOK at noon on Monday for an interview by USKOK investigators regarding the allegations.

In a statement to Hina, Brumnić denied having been offered anything either directly or through a middleman.

Asked about claims by Prime Minister Andrej Plenković that the case had nothing to do with political trade-offs and that leaders of parties that were weak should ask themselves why they were losing party members, Beljak said that he was glad the prime minister concerned himself with the HSS and that this meant that he was afraid of it. "... It shows that he is afraid of us and confirms that we are the only opposition at the moment."

Asked about media reports about Bandić being Plenković's long arm, Beljak said, "That may be the case."

The HSS leader said the election law should be changed to prevent political trade-offs and that crossing over from one party to another was contrary to democratic customs. "What we have been witnessing in the parliament but also in county assemblies and town and municipal councils, is crazy. Crossing the floor is contrary to democratic customs - people vote for one group and end up having a different group of representatives, so the legislation should be changed to make it comply with the Constitution."

More news on the HSS can be found in our Politics section.

Friday, 16 February 2018

Opposition Criticises Government over Agrokor Revelations

ZAGREB, February 16, 2018 - Croatian People's Party (HSS) leader Krešo Beljak said on Friday that Croatia and its government were not being led by Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, but by his deputy, Economy Minister Martina Dalić.

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