Wednesday's government session began with Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic commenting on the resignation of Economy Minister Martina Dalic earlier this week, and the restructuring process at Agrokor.
Dalic resigned on Monday after her private e-mail correspondence with consultants and lawyers from the private sector who had worked on drafting the controversial Lex Agrokor bill in early 2017 was leaked and published by the website Index.hr.
"First of all, you have seen that our former Deputy Prime Minister and Economy Minister (Martina Dalic) handed in her resignation on Monday, which I accepted considering the developments around the restructuring process at Agrokor, and some things (related to it) that could have been done in a more considerate and transparent manner," Plenkovic said in his opening remarks.
The resulting law, dubbed Lex Agrokor in the media, was passed in April 2017 and was designed to introduce state-appointed emergency management at the privately-owned company, as its bankruptcy would have put in jeopardy some 60,000 jobs across the region and the entire Croatian economy.
"In the restructuring process, which Croatia as a small country completed in a very short time-frame, a legislative framework was created which led to us not having to invest a single kuna (in Agrokor) and avoid nationalisation - which would have increased the public debt. Now we must invest extra efforts to reach a debt settlement by July 10, the deadline set by law, to allow the company to function in the future, to ensure economic future for the company, and for everyone who depend on it," Plenkovic said.
Although a dozen complaints by various parties were filed to the Constitutional Court since its adoption, disputing some of its provisions, the court ruled earlier this month that the law is legal.
"It's also important to say that the Constitutional Court ruled that the law (Lex Agrokor) is in line with the Constitution," Plenkovic told the meeting, and added that "the government is doing everything to ensure that the process at Agrokor ends in a positive outcome for everyone involved," Plenkovic said.
"That same ambition is shared by members of the Temporary Creditors' Council, the majority in Parliament also supports this process, and it is up to us do help the emergency management to complete the process," Plenkovic said.