18:16 / 23.04.2022.

Author: Domagoj Ferenčić

Row between president and prime minister continues

Minister Butković

Minister Butković

Foto: Sasa Miljevic / PIXSELL

After days of bickering between the Croatian President and Prime Minister over a recent initiative by some Croatian generals to pardon two former Yugoslav secret service agents serving life sentences for the assassination of a Croatian dissident in 1983, the spat has now spread to their respective political parties.

Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure Minister Oleg Butković, and a member of Prime Minister Andrej Plenković's HDZ, decided to join in the row on Saturday, telling reporters that it is difficult to cooperate with President  Zoran Milanović and that his accusations at Prime Minister Plenković's expense are unacceptable. Minister Butković went on to say that he boycott the president of the Republic in the future, but that cooperation would continue, as government has no plans on doing anything that would harm Croatia or its citizens: “We discussed this at party meetings. When someone insults you, calls you a gang of thieves, gum on the floor of the train station, Yugoslav spies, you cannot cooperate with that kind of a person. It's very difficult, because you feel uncomfortable. He offended the entire HDZ, not just its leadership. I don't know why he's doing this, but it's unheard of. I've been in politics a long time now, and I have to admit, that this is very difficult to hear and watch.”

The verbal clashes between the prime minister and the president were also commented on by the head of the Milanović's former party, Peđa Grbin of the SDP. Grbin, who believes that the lack of cooperation between the two leaders represents a threat to the very foundations of Croatia's functioning: “The President, according to the Constitution, which given the current circumstances and the crisis of war in Ukraine, are very important. They are foreign policy, defense policy and security policy, and Plenković has cut off cooperation with him in these areas. Realistically, I could care less if someone will invite someone else to some formalities of ceremonies in some county, I think that is entirely irrelevant. But if there is no cooperation in areas that deal with security and intelligence apparatus, defense, foreign policy, the naming of ambassadors, then that brings into question the functioning of the country.”

Source: HRT

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