Social Democrat MPs collect 30 signatures to debate Agrokor

NEWS 11.05.2018 14:44
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Source: N1

The Social Democrat Party (SDP) MPs Pedja Grbin and Arsen Bauk on Friday announced an initiative supported by 30 lawmakers to debate the latest developments in the ailing Agrokor food and retail conglomerate in a plenary session of Parliament next week.

The recently published Economy Minister Martina Dalic’s private e-mails which revealed that Dalic had consulted private brokerages and law firms in drafting a controversial bill, dubbed Lex Agrokor in the media, caused a stir in Croatia’s political landscape, with opposition MPs calling for Dalic to be sacked for conflict of interest.

Grbin, who dubbed the event Hotmail Scandal, said that the e-mails have shown that the entire process of creating and implementing Lex Agrokor contained elements of criminal wrongdoing.

He told a press conference in Parliament on Friday that the content of e-mails revealed abuse of position and authority, as well as abuse of privileged information. He added that this “isn’t a criminal act that was committed coincidentally in one evening, but something that was prepared two and a half months before Lex Agrokor (was passed).”

Grbin said the situation was clearly a conflict of interest, when a government official bypasses procedure and together with private persons agrees to the way a law would be prepared, and in particular, how the law would be implemented, and when private persons in that company syphon a significant amount of money and gain benefit.

He warned of the problem of security too, considering that the private e-mails of the second ranked official in the government were leaked and released, particularly since the SOA intelligence agency had previously checked Dalic’s e-mails.

“When I see that our colleagues in the (ruling) Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) say that everything that has been released is okay, I can’t help wondering that if this content that went public is okay, then what can be deemed a secret at all, and what are they possibly hiding,” Grbin said.

Another SDP’s MP, Arsen Bauk, said that the most decent thing to do now would be for Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Martina Dalic to step down.

He said that the opposition has used the initiative to call for a debate based on the new provision in the recently amended Parliament’s rule book which allows for the debate to happen within a week provided that 30 MPs’ signatures are collected.

Today’s initiative was signed by 28 SDP MPs and two independents.

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