Opposition grills PM Plenković on INA, Sisak refinery closure



Zagreb, 160119. Markov trg, Sabor.
11. sjednica Hrvatskoga sabora zapocela je aktualnim prijepodnevom na kojoj zastupnici postavljaju pitanja Vladi Republike Hrvatske. Na fotografiji: Andrej Plenkovic, predsjednik Vlade RH.
Foto: Goran Mehkek / CROPIX
Goran Mehkek / HANZA MEDIA

Andrej Plenković

Social Democratic Party (SDP) president Davor Bernardic asked Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic during Question Time in parliament on Wednesday what he had "secretly" discussed with Hungarian PM Viktor Orban, whether he was arranging for the Hungarians to completely take over the INA oil company or the closure of the Sisak refinery, and if they had talked about MOL CEO Zsolt Hernadi, with Plenkovic replying no to all questions.

"After the latest information that, following legislative amendments, INA will fully belong to the Hungarians, I remind you that two years ago you promised to return INA into Croatian hands, but now it's more than clear that you lied," Bernardić told Plenković, adding that during the 2016 election campaign minister Goran Marić had insisted he would never allow the closure of the Sisak refinery.

Bernardić also accused Plenković of being willing to betray vital national interests, asking him if he and Orban had talked about Hernadi, "who is accused of giving a bribe to former HDZ president and former HDZ prime minister Ivo Sanader for the INA takeover."

Bernardić said Plenković and his cabinet would be remembered as those who had forced the workers of the Uljanik and 3. Maj shipyards and the Sisak refinery into the streets.

Bridge leader Božo Petrov asked Plenković why he had decided to shut down the Sisak refinery and what was happening with the Rijeka refinery. "Where will oil from Croatian fields be processed? In Hungary, Bosnia and Herzegovina or Serbia, and how will that affect Croatia's energy independence?"

Plenković said the government stood by its position to regain ownership of INA and that "decisions on what will happen to the Sisak refinery are made by the company's management based on a business analysis."

"We want INA to be a successful, profitable, vertically integrated company which will ensure the modernisation of the refinery in Rijeka. We want Sisak to remain important business headquarters for INA, to transform and produce some other things, not just oil... We want everything the company does to be in the spirit of talks between the key stakeholders - MOL and the Croatian state," Plenković said.

All business decisions must be and are based on analysis, he added. "Our goal is that Croatia has energy supplies that will ensure energy security, which is why we also want the LNG project on Krk, because it's the only way we can prevent possible future crises."

Petrov said the incumbent government would be remembered for "bankrupt shipyards, the refinery in Sisak is about to be shut down, the Hungarians will own 100% of INA," and for the failure to procure fighter jets from Israel.