WHAT IS IMPORTANT IN CROATIA TODAY? Crisis of company Aluminium in BiH politically spills over to Croatia



Dnevni Avaz, Boris Kovačev / Dnevni Avaz, Cropix

Inflammable atmosphere in the Mostar where workers of collapsed company Aluminium attacked Dragan Čović, president of the HDZ BiH

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Prime minister surprised media: new public administration minister is Ivan Malenica

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said that he would nominate Ivan Malenica, the Dean of Šibenik Polytechnic, as the new Public Administration Minister. "Malenica is a young man, a lawyer, who is well versed in issues relating to public administration," Plenković told the press after a meeting with the coalition partners at government headquarters.

Ivan Malenica was born in Šibenik in 1985. He graduated from the Faculty of Law in Split, and in 2013 he started a postgraduate doctoral program in the Public Law and Administration at the Faculty of Law in Zagreb. He has held the post of Dean at Šibenik Polytechnic since October 2017. Member of HDZ. More on jutarnji.hr. He needs approval of Parliament.

Plenković continued with a policy of opening doors to young party members trying to weaken right-wing and old strongmen.

With this nomination new speculations are opened: Sanja Putica can be a minister of foreign affairs and we still do not have an idea who will be candidates for EU Commissioner. And the political secretary of HDZ.

Sibenik, 130318.
Na Veleucilistu Sibenik odrzan prvi Dan karijera gdje su se studentima predstavili predstavnici turistickih i hotelijerskih kuca, nacionalnih parkova i zavoda za zaposljavanje.
Na fotografiji: Dekan Veleucilista u Sibeniku Ivan Malenica.
Foto: Nikolina Vukovic Stipanicev / CROPIX
Nikolina Vukovic Stipanicev / CROPIX

Ivan Malenica, new public administration minister, at Polytechnic in Šibenik

Croatia set to ask 3-year-extension of a moratorium on selling farmland to foreigners

The Croatian government dismissed allegations from the interpellation submitted by the Croatian Peasants' Party (HSS) and Democrats parliamentary group over the government's failure to extend a moratorium on the sale of farmland to foreigners.

The government states that it will submit the request on time to the European Commission for an extension of an additional three years to the 7-year moratorium on the sale of farmland to foreigners.

The deadline for submitting the request expires on 1 July 2020, seven years after Croatia's admission to the EU. Agriculture Minister Tomislav Tolušić said that the request would be most probably sent to Brussels this September.

He also informed the government about long-term leases of state-owned farmland in local municipalities and towns. “By this move, we have practically enabled several generations of Croatian farmers to use state-owned agricultural land”, Tolušić said adding that the government enabled the sale of that land to local farmers.

Improve the settlement of double taxation disputes in the EU

The government sent Final Proposal of the Law on Tax Disputes Mechanisms in the European Union to Croatian Parliament. This law implements the 2017 Directive on Tax Disputes Mechanisms in the European Union. The aim is to improve the mechanisms of dispute settlement related to double taxation in the European Union to ensure effective and operational resolution of disputes in double taxation cases with the elimination of double taxation.

Platforms to Brussels meeting

The Government determined platforms for the meetings of the Council of Ministers: the FAC, which will be held on July 15, 2019, and the AGRIFISH Council, also on 15 July 2019. But, Croatian Government does not announce those platforms.

The EC Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom participates of the FAC Trade Meeting at the Alvear Plaza Icon, during the WTO 11th ministerial conference, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, December 10th, 2017 (Erika Villano).
Erika Villano / EU/Erika Villano

The EC Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom participates of the FAC Trade Meeting at the Alvear Plaza Icon, during the WTO 11th ministerial conference, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, December 10th, 2017

BiH company Aluminium opens political war in Croatia

Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović expressed concern over the fate of 900 workers at the Aluminium plant in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and, due to the escalation of the problems at that strategically important company, she requested a position of the Croatian government. GoC has 12 per cent ownership in Aluminium.

Miroslav Škoro, candidate for presidential elections at the end of the year, attacked government saying that 50 per cent of traffic in Luka Ploče depends on Aluminium. On the same line was Nikola Grmoja, political secretary of party Most.

Darko Horvat, Croatian minister of economy, as usual, gave a proverbial explanation: all considering the resolution of the situation in Aluminij would happen in the next few days. Zdravko Marić, finance minister, was more explicit: he said that Luka Ploče has good opportunities concerning the construction of the pan-European Vc corridor. And, as we reported, Energia Naturalis corporation is buying Luka Ploče.

Dragan Čović, president of HDZ BiH, after meeting with workers, was not allowed to leave the building. Finally, he left on the alternative exit and his car was hit with two bottles. More on jutarnji.hr.

The bankruptcy of Aluminium will be a strong blow to Čović who is leading HDZ BiH for years. It is obvious that Plenković is leaving him to fight alone. On one hand, Plenković is weakening right-wing faction inside HDZ, connected to HDZ BiH, and on the other hand he is relieving GoC of one more financial burden.

Leading entrepreneurs call for tax reliefs

The CEOs of ten leading Croatian companies met with finance minister Zdravko Marić at the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK) regarding the fourth round of tax reform, saying that without tax reliefs it was not possible to increase wages and competitiveness. "A decrease in income tax and raising the non-taxable amount on allowances (accommodation, transport and meal allowances for employees) were the primary demands by entrepreneurs," the HGK said in a press release, adding that they also talked about overtime work and reducing the profit tax. Hina