Sunday, 29 May 2022

Parliament Speaker Issues Statehood Day Message

ZAGREB, 29 May 2022 - Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković on Sunday congratulated citizens on Statehood Day, saying that 30 May 1990 was deep in the memory of Croatian people as it was had been one of the key steps in the realisation of the independent, free and democratic Croatian state.

On that day, the first democratically elected Croatian parliament was inaugurated.

Jandroković recalled what the first president, Franjo Tuđman, said on that occasion, that for centuries the Sabor had been the guardian of the Croatian people's sovereignty and bearer of the legal order and general civilisational progress.

By marking that day, we express lasting gratitude to Tuđman, the defenders and their families, and everyone who took part in the creation of Croatia and its international affirmation, he added.

Today, we continue to build Croatia with a vision which will enable a safe, meaningful and quality life for all our people, he said, adding that it is also necessary to work on strengthening all state institutions.

By making the economy more competitive and self-sustained, and by seeing to our international position, we will achieve our goals in partnership with our allies, Jandroković said.

In times of global challenges, only by joint efforts and reducing tensions in society will we overcome divisions and ensure prosperity, he said. "Demanding periods require national unity from us, just as on 30 May 1990."

Medved: Unity is necessary today, too

War Veterans Minister Tomo Medved also extended Statehood Day greetings. He thanked in particular the families of those killed or gone missing in the war as well as all defenders, saying he is proud of that historic role in the creation, defence and liberation of the country.

Medved said the centuries-old dream of a free and independent Croatian state was achieved in the unity of the Croatian people, both at home and abroad, adding that this unity was needed today, too.

"Today we are facing new challenges and security threats. We are finding the appropriate solutions and building a safe Croatia, which is also the homeland of the Croats outside Croatia, and we have shown a big heart by providing shelter for the displaced," he said.

For more, check out our politics section.

Thursday, 26 May 2022

Jandroković Reassures Ukrainian Official of Croatia's Continuing Support

ZAGREB, 26 May 2022 - Croatia supports Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity and will continue providing Kyiv with humanitarian, political, and technical assistance, Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković said on Thursday in Zagreb at a meeting with a deputy chair of the Verkhovna Rada, Olena Kondratiuk.

The Ukrainian deputy parliament speaker thanked Croatia for the support it has extended so far to her country, including the reception of several thousand refugees.

A press release issued by the Sabor quotes Jandroković as saying that he conveyed Croatians' strong solidarity with the Ukrainian people.

Croatia, which itself was a victim of military aggression in the 1990s, can understand the grave situation that Ukrainian defenders and people are now experiencing, reads the press release.

Kondratiuk informed Jandroković of the current military and humanitarian state of affairs in Ukraine and notified him of Ukraine's efforts to be granted EU candidate status.

In this context, she thanked Croatia for its support to Ukraine's European aspirations and also for assistance in mine clearance and in the rehabilitation and treatment of wounded war veterans and for offering its experience in the peaceful reintegration of occupied areas and post-war reconstruction.

For more, check out our politics section.

Monday, 2 May 2022

Parliament Speaker Issues Message for Ramadan Bayram

2 May 2022 - Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković on Monday issued a message for the Muslim holiday of Ramadan Bayram, or Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, wishing the Muslim faithful in Croatia to spend it in an atmosphere of peace and unity.

"After a month of fasting, humility and spirituality, in which you have demonstrated the strength of your faith and forgiveness, may this great Muslim holiday inspire and further encourage you to promote mutual understanding, solidarity and tolerance among people," Jandroković said.

"The Islamic community in Croatia is a proper example of how inter-religious cooperation and mutual respect can strengthen the culture of dialogue and contribute to the general well-being of Croatian society," he noted.

Thursday, 21 April 2022

Plenković and Jandroković Meet With Visiting Bulgarian FM

ZAGREB, 21 April 2022 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenković and Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković met separately with Bulgarian Foreign Minister Teodora Genchovska during her visit to Zagreb on Thursday.

Genchovska, a historian, military academy graduate, and expert on security and defense issues, and Plenković discussed the situation in Ukraine, emphasizing that the two countries shared views on the war in Ukraine and the need to continue providing assistance to that country, according to a government press release.

Plenković informed Genchovska about Croatia's final preparations for accession to the Schengen area and euro area, as well as about its bid to join the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which is the objective of both countries.

The two officials also exchanged views on EU enlargement and the situation in southeastern Europe.

The situation in the Western Balkans was also discussed during Genchovska's meeting with Parliament Speaker Jandroković. They agreed that it was of critical importance to prevent a spillover of the Ukraine crisis to the region.

According to a press release from Parliament, Jandroković emphasized the importance of the equality of all three constituent nations in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Jandroković and Genchovska strongly condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine and expressed solidarity with the Ukrainian people. They also discussed humanitarian and technical assistance to Ukraine and the acceptance of refugees.

For more, check out our politics section.

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.

Wednesday, 26 January 2022

Parliament Speaker's Office Receives 1,000 Complaints in Past 4 Years

ZAGREB, 26 Jan 2022 - The office of the Parliament Speaker has received more than a thousand letters or petitions from citizens and office staff read each one individually and depending on their content, act accordingly.

"Admittedly, some letters do not require any action because they might just be a comment but we react by reading each one," the Parliament Speaker's office told Hina on Wednesday.

The statistics, however, indicate that in 2018 there were 403 petitions, in 2019 there were 293, in 2020 there were 247, and last year 176.

We assume the number decreased due to the coronavirus pandemic, the office said.

Citizens complain about various matters, mostly about the conduct of state and local government, health, welfare, judiciary, and many are not informed of the competencies of certain state institutions so they write to the Sabor.

In any case, the correspondence is forwarded to the competent bodies and we ask that they reply to the sender.

The office added that they also have some people who write regularly and not only to the Sabor but other institutions too.

Parliament  Speaker Gordan Jandroković confirmed on Tuesday that the Sabor receives petitions from citizens and added that he had investigated claims about an acquaintance of his concerning the state property rented to that acquaintance. Jandrokoivć added that he did not overstep his duties because he personally reacted to a complaint by a citizen which is something his office receives every day.

For more, check out our dedicated politics section.

Monday, 20 December 2021

Parliament Speaker Against Accusations of Referendum Signature Theft

ZAGREB, 20 Dec 2021 - Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković on Monday commented on claims about stolen referendums, saying that it is not good to create an atmosphere in which someone is accused of theft in advance.

"I wouldn't like the creation of an atmosphere in an attempt to impose the picture that someone has stolen signatures," he said on Croatian Radio.

"The organizers should show how many signatures they collected. It's important that this time the public is included in the process as well as possible in order to eliminate any doubts as to whether there are enough signatures or not," he said about the opposition Bridge party's collection of signatures for a referendum against COVID certificates.

Jandroković said that if Bridge had collected enough signatures as it claimed, he expected them to ask him to receive them so that they could hand him the request to call the referendum as well as the signatures.

Jandroković said he would send the request to the parliamentary committee on the constitution, which would debate it and then ask the government to check if enough signatures had been collected and then notify parliament.

If there are enough signatures, the committee adopts a conclusion either to call the referendum or to ask the Constitutional Court to say if the referendum question is in line with the constitution.

Jandroković said the important thing now was for Bridge to say how many signatures they have. "Creating an atmosphere in which they wish to say in advance, 'Yes, we have enough signatures but someone will steal them,' is not good. I'd call on everyone to be reasonable and for everything to be done as envisaged by the constitution and the law in a tolerant atmosphere."

Asked if parliament could meet Bridge's demand to include pandemics in Article 17 of the constitution, he said that it could but that it was too early to talk about it.

Asked to comment on President Zoran Milanović's claim that the authorities would probably try to rob Bridge of some signatures, Jandroković said it did not deserve a serious comment and that there was no evidence to back such a claim.

He would not comment on the president's statements about Bosnia and Herzegovina but did say that it was everyone's task to help the Croats in BiH.

Jandroković also said he expected the Constitutional Court to approve the COVID certificate mandate in healthcare and social welfare.

For more on politics, follow TCN's dedicated page.

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.

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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