The Prime Minister, Andrej Plenkovic, and Deputy Prime Minister and Economy Minister, Martina Dalic, gave statements on Dalic’s emails about Agrokor which were published today by the news portal Index.hr.
“I only want to say, keeping in mind all the discussions over the last months, the economy committee, the government plenary sessions, and all the information repeated by the Minister Dalic more than once, that, during the preparation of the law, in a very short period of time we consulted experts outside the state administration, we had to find a solution in a very short period, I think everything done was for the benefit of the Croatian economy. Now, almost 15 months later, we can see that the company is functional, that the new funds were given, which probably would not be the case without this legal framework. What was important to us was the interest of the Croatian economy at large. We have two months until the agreement is finalised. Regarding the expert group which helped us, the entire process was done with the consent from the then coalition partner, Most, they were in that meeting. We do not see any new elements,” the Prime Minister said.
When asked whether Minister Dalic still had his confidence, Plenkovic said: “ As you can see, the Minister is here with me.”
“As the Prime Minister said, the analysis and management of the Agrokor crisis was incredibly complex work. To deal with the problem, on the insistence of our coalition partner, we found the biggest experts to help us. Keeping in mind the complexity of the work, I consulted everyone who could contribute to the solving of the problem with their expertise,” Dalic said.
“In order to solve a problem, one must be acquainted with it. There are no secret documents here, no secrets whatsover… The result of this work is the law on state appointed emergency management which was passed by the Parliament, and the legality of which was confirmed by the Constitutional Court yesterday. This law was discussed in foreign courts which concluded that it was in line with all the principles of the insolvency procedure. The government has shown it was capable of addressing a problem which would be a great challenge to countries much bigger than ours. We found a way to ensure economy growth, despite the breakdown of the biggest Croatian company,” she said.
The Croatian Parliament passed this law on April 6, 2017, allowing the government to intervene and appoint crisis managers at companies deemed large enough to be “systemically important” for the economy at large. According to the law, a company must have at least 5,000 employees and liabilities in excess of 7.5 billion kuna (€1 billion).
“These emails confirm everything I have been saying over the last year, in the parliament committee, I am the main author of this law and I coordinated all the activites, and the people consulted in this process were not paid. Their opinion was requested, and they have given it by invitation of the Croatian government,” she said.
Earlier today, Index.hr published Dalic’s private email correspondence showing that she had secretly consulted owners and CEO’s of private-owned brokerages, consultancies, and law firms in drawing up specific provisions of the law, dubbed Lex Agrokor in the media.
“I would do everything the same way today, put all my energy into controlling the problem which threatened the Croatian economy at the time,” Dalic concluded.