19:13 / 06.07.2022.

Author: Domagoj Ferenčić

Coalition partners and opposition surprised by Marić’s sudden resignation

SDP Party President Peđa Grbin

SDP Party President Peđa Grbin

Foto: Patrik Macek / PIXSELL

After six and a half years in office and almost two full mandates in government, the Croatian Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister resigned on Wednesday. Most agree that his contribution to Croatia’s economic progress has been significant, however, some in the opposition question his reasons and the timing of his departure.

The resignation of Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Zdravko Marić was the focus of discussion at Wednesday's meeting of the Croatian Government. After the meeting Prime Minister Andrej Plenković held a press conference, where thanked Minister Marić for his contribution to the work of the government and announced that Zagreb University economics professor Marko Primorac has been nominated to replace him. The news came as a surprise to the junior members of the coalition government, who met on Wednesday. HNS Party President Stjepan Čuraj, who worked closely with Minister Marić as the State Secretary at the Finance Ministry, voiced understanding for the minister’s sudden departure: "It shocked all of us, from the public as a whole to his closest colleagues. Obviously one era has come to an end. All of this is human. This isn't anything new. And this wasn't a question of six months or a year, this was six years and two mandates, numerous challenges and many achievements. So, I understand the decision."

The President of the People's Party - Reformists, Radimir Čačić, called Marić the backbone of the coalition government: "When you add it all up, spanning all previous HDZ governments, he is by far the most successful minister. Definitely the backbone of this government."

And while some in the opposition, such as SDP MP Boris Lalovac, himself a former Finance Minister, said Marić set a high bar that his successor would have difficulty reaching, others, such as SDP Party President Peđa Grbin, questioned his motives: "As far as Marić is concerned, his explanation is insufficient. There is no doubt the minister conducted himself professionally. But there were also a number of scandals surrounding the minister."

MOST MP Zvonimir Troskot was also somewhat surprised by his resignation: "Given his popularity in the polls, this comes as something of a surprise. But this is an indicator that people are slowly starting to abandon Mr. Plenković's sinking ship, which is rife with corruption scandals."

Homeland Movement MP Stephen Nikola Bartulica agreed that this was a sign of people abandoning the Plenković government: "I wish him all the best, but this creates a problem for Mr. Plenković. The timing and way in which he left does not instill confidence."

Source: HRT

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