Sunday, 20 February 2022

SDP Leader Says Will Donate Money From LAFHA to Charitable Cause

ZAGREB, 20 Feb 2022 - The Social Democratic Party (SDP) president, Peđa Grbin, said on Sunday that 50,000 kuna (€6,700), which is equivalent to the sum he has received as a member of parliament through Living Away From Home Allowance (LAFHA) since 2016, would be donated to the charitable cause.

During his interview with the HTV national television, Grbin admitted that it was not fair to keep that money and that it was wrong of him to accept that allowance after he married his wife in 2016 and started living together both in Pula and Zagreb.

The case of LAFHA for the SDP chief grabbed the media limelight after it was revealed that Grbin did not live only in his hometown of Pula, and that his family is now staying in Zagreb where he intends to enroll his child in a kindergarten.

Grbin said that he himself decided recently to waive that allowance before the case was exposed to the public.

Grbin insisted that he had received the allowance in compliance with laws and the parliament's rule book, and added that currently over 80 MPs in the 151-seat parliament received LAFHA.

The opposition leader said that he would push for better regulation of the perks for lawmakers.

Commenting on Minister Darko Horvat's arrest on the abuse of office charges, who resigned after the apprehension, the SDP chief said that the matter did not concern Horvat only but the whole government.

"This is about a systematic way for favouring certain people with connections with Horvat, (former minister Tomislav) Tolušić, or someone else. (Prime Minsiter Andrej) Plenković has been aware of that and tolerated that," said Grbin.

He again called for snap elections as the exit from the current situation.

Asked by the show's host whether he still nurtured the ambition to become the prime minister, Grbin said that it was his obligation as long as he was at the helm of the SDP.

Grbin extended condolences to Prime Minister Plenković on the death of his father who passed away in a hospital on Saturday evening.

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Monday, 10 January 2022

SDP Leader: New Anti-epidemic Rules Have Neither Been Announced nor Explained

ZAGREB, 10 Jan 2022 - Social Democratic Party leader Peđa Grbin said on Monday that new restrictions that were to have entered into force on Monday had not yet been released in the Official Gazette nor on the COVID response team's website, nor had the authorities explained to them as ordered by the Constitutional Court.

In a post on his Facebook profile, Grbin recalled that last week Interior Minister Davor Božinović, who is at the helm of the national COVID response team, stated that a surge in the number of infections caused by the Omicron variant of coronavirus, compelled the authorities to introduce new measures as of Monday which would additionally limit numbers at public gatherings.

"Today, on Monday, when they are supposed to enter into force, the new measures have not yet been advertised in the Official Gazette nor on the response team's website. Not only have they not been explained, as stipulated in the Constitutional Court ruling of 21 December 2021, but they also haven't even been released yet as I am writing this post. They do not exist and no one knows their content, what is written in them, how to act according to them, and yet they were to be implemented as of today," posted Grbin.

Grbin said that that showed how inconsistent and incompetent the government is in fighting the challenges facing Croatia and "when the numbers of those infected and deaths increase again, Plenković and co will blame the people."

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Monday, 5 October 2020

New SDP Leader Says Will Borrow his Predecessors' Best Traits

ZAGREB, October 5, 2020 - SDP leader Pedja Grbin has said that he will borrow what he considers the best traits of his predecessors - Ivica Racan's calmness, Zoran Milanovic's directness and Davor Bernardic's perseverance but that he will not repeat their mistakes regarding lack of communication with party colleagues.

In an interview with national broadcasters on Sunday, the newly-elected leader of the Social Democratic Party said that it was his predecessors' character qualities and communication with party members that he planned to build the new SDP on, which would then be able to deal with problems bothering Croatian citizens.

Grbin noted that the public in Croatia discussed trivial topics instead of policies and what was going on in the country.

He said in an interview with RTL that the government had not envisaged a new distraint law for next year, that a national development strategy, the main document for the absorption of money from EU funds, was not being worked on, and in that context he said that Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic should start doing his job.


I haven't seen Milanovic's message of congratulation

Asked if he had spoken with President Zoran Milanovic and if Milanovic had congratulated him on his election as the SDP leader, Grbin said that he had not noticed Milanovic's message, adding that Milanovic had the right to criticism but that unnecessary conflicts were another thing.

Grbin said he did not expect the SDP parliamentary group to oppose him despite the fact that there would be some changes in its work.

The SDP parliamentary group should be led by the party president while other personnel matters related to the group will be discussed by the party presidency first, said Grbin.

In an interview with the HTV public broadcaster, Grbin said that the priority for the coming elections in Zagreb would be to gather the entire civic and left camp, negotiate and agree on how to run in local elections, set for next year.

He said that residents of Zagreb were at the moment less interested in the name of the left camp's candidate for Zagreb mayor than in fighting corruption in the capital. 

Commenting on the JANAF corruption scandal, Grbin said in his interview with RTL that there was suspicion that staff at the Office of the Chief State Prosecutor were involved in the case, noting that there were constant information leaks.

"If this society does not start to change, the situation won't get better," he said, noting that the ruling HDZ party lacked the will to initiate changes.


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Sunday, 27 September 2020

Grbin and Kolar to Vie in Runoff for SDP Leader

ZAGREB, Sept 27, 2020 - Social Democratic Party (SDP) vice-president Pedja Grbin and Krapina-Zagorje County head Zeljko Kolar will run for the post of SDP leader in a second round of intraparty elections, it was said on Saturday evening, after polling stations were closed and votes were counted.

After 70% of the ballots were counted, it was stated that Grbin received the support of 43% of SDP members who participated in the voting, and Kolar mustered 22%.

The other candidates running for the fourth SDP leader and successor to Davor Bernardic were SDP Split-Dalmatia County branch head Ranko Ostojic. who won 19%of the vote, Omisalj Mayor Mirela Ahmetovic (15.4%), Pula Social Democrat Marino Percan 0.5%.

Elections for the fourth SDP leader were held at 286 polling stations in six-party constituencies, and around 12,000 party members had the right to vote.

The second round is due to be held next Saturday. 

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Saturday, 26 September 2020

Election of the new SDP Leader Have Started at 7 O'clock

ZAGREB, Sept 26, 2020  - The process of the election of the new SDP leader started at 7 o'clock on Saturday morning at 286 polling stations organized by this Opposition party throughout the country.

The election was called for 26 September after Davor Bernardic resigned following the party's defeat in the 5 July parliamentary elections.

The five candidates are vying for the presidency of the strongest Opposition party: Omisalj Mayor Mirela Ahmetovic, parliamentarian Pedja Grbin, Krapina-Zagorje County Prefect Zeljko Kolar, SDP Split country branch leader Ranko Ostojic, and an SDP official from Pula, Marino Percan.

Some 12,000 members are entitled to exercise their voting right in this poll.

The results are expected to be released on Saturday evening.

According to some forecasts, none of the five candidates are likely to receive more than 50 percent of the vote, and therefore first two vote-getters will compete in a run-off in seven days' time.

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