WHAT'S IMPORTANT IN CROATIA? Prosecuted former minister Kuščević is heavy burden for prime minister Plenković



Zagreb, 090617.
Sabor RH-a.
Sjednica Odbora za stav, poslovnik i politicki sustav.
Na fotografiji: premijer Andrej Plenkovic i Lovro Kuscevic.
Foto: Goran Mehkek / CROPIX
Goran Mehkek / CROPIX

Prime minister Andrej Plenković and then public administration minister Lovro Kuščević (right). Plenković was defending Kuščević until the last moment. Possible mistake.

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Former minister Lovro Kuščević is hard burden for prime minister Plenković

The parliamentary Credentials and Privileges Commission on Monday stripped MP Lovro Kuščević, former public administration minister and HDZ Political Secretary of parliamentary immunity at the request of the State Prosecutor's Office (DORH) to press criminal charges on suspicion of abuse of office and powers. At the session of parliamentary Commission, MP Gordan Maras (SDP) said: "Until two months ago the prime minister fervently defended Kuščević and said that he had gone over every sheet of paper with him and that there was nothing contentious there, which is even more concerning”. He added that he expects the prime minister to step down if an indictment against Kuščević is upheld because he took political responsibility for him, as Hina reports.

Prime minister in Karlovac said that he does not feel responsible for the support he gave to Kuščević. More on jutarnji.hr

Maras is not a problem for Plenković, but HDZ vice president Milijan Brkić can be. We quote Maras because he was speaking what Brkić was thinking. And here is a proof of that: “Of course, there is always some political damage to any actions and processes in which any HDZ member is mentioned”, said Brkić. More on jutarnji.hr.

Zagreb, 030719.
Zbog aktualnih situacija u HDZ-u odrzana je sjednica Predsjednistva HDZ-a.
Na fotografiji: Milijan Brkic.
Foto: Bruno Konjevic / CROPIX
Bruno Konjevic / CROPIX

Milijan Brkić, vice president of the HDZ and deputy speaker of the Parliament. Not so strong in the party top, but strong on the field, among party members


The whole scandal puts Plenković in a very vulnerable position because he chooses Kuščević to become one of his closest associates. And he replaced Davor Ivo Stier as a political secretary. The right-wing was waiting for the right moment to weaken Plenković through Kuščević. With the help from the opposition. And if president Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović loses elections (v. infra), Plenković is on the edge of defeat: nobody in HDZ loses two elections and survived as president.

Večernji list has an interesting story: "In three years government put under the carpet all the laws that can be ideologically sensitive for HDZ’s electoral body". Here they are: abortion, family, referendum, conflict of interests, salaries of civil servants, recommendations of the council for dealing with the past, constituencies, preferential vote, buying shares of INA from Hungarian MOL.

Škoro: I will go to Bleiburg and Jasenovac

Miroslav Škoro, pop singer and candidate for the president, on the TV show “Bujica” (anchored by radical right-winger Velimir Bujanec who is prosecuted because of possession of cocaine) gave several interesting statements:

  • "I think it is important to pay tribute to all the victims. This is the minimum of civilizational standards. The Croatian people are so divided that we do not need another division, especially not the division regarding victims. I will definitely go to Bleiburg, but I will also go to Jasenovac”. (Bleiburg is a place where members of Second World War Ustasha puppet state soldiers were killed without trial, Jasenovac was concentration camp where Ustasha killed tens of thousands Jews, Serbs, Roma, Croats and other “enemies of the state”.
  • “Serbia of president Aleksandar Vučić is still very far from European integrations”.
  • Main open issues between Croatia and Serbia are: unresolved borders, compensation that Serbia has to pay for Croatian prisoners of war

The most interesting (connected to the first paragraph): “The head of state must act as an active corrective to the political elites currently deciding literally on everything as well as to the political oligarchy of the party leader who received the most votes”.

This is a political platform that can allure a lot of Croatian voters.

Croatian priorities in defence

"In the area of defence, the focus of the Croatian EU presidency will be on the implementation of defence initiatives such as PESCO (Permanent Structured Cooperation) and CARD (the Coordinated Annual Review on Defence) and on military mobility, with emphasis on their coherence and complementarity, as well as on the industrial dimension of defence (the European Defence Fund), on strengthening EU-NATO cooperation and further EU efforts in southeastern Europe," the defence minister Damir Krstičević said at the meeting with Chief Executive of the European Defence Agency (EDA), Jorge Domecq, in Zagreb. Hina

New Chinese ambassador in Zagreb

Parliament speaker Gordan Jandroković said: Cooperation with Croatia is a link between China and the European continent. Ambassador Xu Erven stressed the importance of trilateral cooperation between China, Croatia and European countries. More jutarnji.hr.

Croatia needs 12 combat jets

Robert Kopal, a special adviser and analyst of Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, said that government would like to conclude contracts on the purchase of 12 fourth-generation jet fighters and that both brand new and used aircraft would be considered as options. "We aim to have the contracts signed until the end of next year," Kopal said today adding that analyses have shown that Croatian needs now 12 combat planes. There are currently speculations that Croatia is interested in obtaining U.S. F-16 C/D Block 50/52, Swedish JAS-39 Gripen and French Mirage 2000 jets.

Federica Mogherini on Balkans

Think of the Balkans. We have a clear interest in bringing the entire Balkans inside the European Union and we all know that this is a long process, a complicated one, always interesting and lively, that will take time. It will take a lot of problems solving, a lot of political commitment on all sides, and education. It took 25 years to solve the name issue between Greece and North Macedonia. Now it is done thanks to courage, leadership, perseverance and thanks to the European Union constant support and encouragement. In these years, this has been achieved. 

The same is true for all the Balkans. We will need courage, leadership and perseverance, and keeping a very strong daily presence there - every single day. But if we continue to engage, we will finally read the immense opportunities that the unification of our continent could create. Reconciliation first and foremost, because as I said several times, this is probably the only place where enlargement goes back to the original value of the European Union build-up, which is making peace where there was war. This was the original idea of the European Union and for the Balkans, that is it. How can countries that were literally killing each other 20 years ago can come together under the same roof? The answer is under the same roof, being together is the only perspective that can make them really live in reconciliation and peace.

For many of us – and for some of us it is even more important than reconciliation in some cases - economic development, trade and social development, security.  This would not just benefit the Balkans, but all of us. We, the European Union, need it also because these are countries that are not outside of our geographical boundaries. They are all neighbouring EU Member States so it is not even an issue of enlargement, it is an issue of real reunification of our continent. More here.

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini arrives to attend an international conference on Libya at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, May 29, 2018. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer
Philippe Wojazer / REUTERS

Federica Mogherini was EU foreign policy chief for five years. And maybe a new commissioner from Italy.


Ivica Todorić, the former Agrokor owner, indicted

The Zagreb County Office of the Chief State Prosecutor (DORH) issued an indictment against Ivica Todoric, the founder of Agrokor (now Fortenova Group) and three more suspects on charges of embezzling €1.25 million from that the retail and food concern through fictitious contracts with a Swiss company. More in jutarnji.hr.

€80 mn at six hydrocarbon exploration sites in 5 years

The four companies (INA, Crodux Derivati  Dva, Vermilion Zagreb Exploration and the Hungarian company called Aspect Croatia) which were recently chosen by the Croatian government to receive permits for gas and oil exploration and exploitation at six locations in northwestern and central parts of the country, are expected to invest about €80 million in the exploration activities in the next five years, the head of the Croatian Hydrocarbon Agency Marijan Krpan said. Hina