18:43 / 28.03.2022.

Author: Nikola Badovinac

Government silent on possible cabinet reshuffle

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković

Foto: Robert Anic / Pixsell

The government has so-far declined to comment on increased media speculation about changes to Prime Minister Andrej Plenković's cabinet.

Should there be a reshuffle, it would be the second during the Plenković era after the one in 2019.

The fresh speculation was prompted by the recent arrest of former construction minister Darko Horvat, who resigned after being detained on suspicion of abuse of office in his previous role as economy minister.

Speculation intensified after EU Funds and Regional Development Minister Nataša Tramišak confirmed to the media that she had received threats, without previously informing the prime minister or Interior Minister Davor Božinović.

Speculation also revolves around potential changes in the departments of labour and economy as well as defence, agriculture and health.

Labour Minister Josip Aladrović and Deputy Prime Minister Boris Milošević might also be replaced soon due to their suspected involvement in abuse of office.

At the same time, opposition parties in parliament seem more inclined to an early election than to a simple reshuffle.

"This government cannot function in this way. A cabinet reshuffle cannot fix these problems. The only way out of this situation is through new elections and by giving the choice back to our citizens so they can decide who will lead this country in the coming period," said SDP President Peđa Grbin.

Sandra Benčić of the Green-Left Bloc agreed, saying the situation cannot be saved through a cabinet reshuffle.

"Since 2016, we have seen that the governments of Andrej Plenković are not stable. Ministers are changed and reshuffled mainly due to corruption investigations. This is something that will not change. Nothing has changed with this government in the last year and a half. It has become quite clear that the HDZ cannot, due to corruption and clientelism in its own party, maintain a stable government," Benčić said.

Dario Hrebak, leader of the HSLS, a junior partner in the ruling coalition, said after internal consultations on Sunday that the HSLS proposed a government reshuffle so that the government could focus on key problems for the benefit of economic and overall stability; namely adopting the euro and joining the Schengen area.

The leadership of the ruling HDZ is scheduled to meet in the city of Karlovac on Tuesday.

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