MP Pedja Grbin pf the Social Democratic Party (SDP) on Friday dismissed Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic's accusations that the Gong non-governmental organisation was "a prolonged arm" of the SDP and that they were orchestrating an attack on the Croatian candidate for European Commission Vice-President, Dubravka Suica (HDZ), over her declaration of assets.
“The answer to the prime minister’s accusations is very simple – prove the origin of her assets and everything will be sorted. For years there have been reports circulating in the Croatian media, and quite justifiably so, of a disproportion between Suica’s income and the property that she owns,” Grbin said.
He said he thought it was necessary, when Suica became the candidate for a European Commissioner, to give her a chance to explain herself.
“Her answer, to put it mildly, was ridiculous because it is interesting that her family’s ship came in only after she became mayor of Dubrovnik. Prove the origin of her property and everything will be clean, and don’t blame those who asked this question, which is perfectly normal in a modern and democratic state, but answer it,” the MP said.
Asked if he was in any way in contact with Gong when he raised the issue of Suica’s personal assets, Grbin said he was in contact with the Croatian media. “The Croatian media has written about this for years so I simply googled it and within 20 minutes I had all the information I needed to ask that question.”
Grbin said it was interesting that Plenkovic had reacted to Gong but not to some other non-governmental organisations. “I haven’t heard that he reacted to Hvidra (the association of disabled war veterans) which has been attacking an MP and member of the ethnic Serb minority in Croatia for days now. Plenkovic never asked on whose behalf they were acting,” Grbin said.
Beljak: Gong is a prolonged arm of the HSS too
The leader of the Croatian Peasant Party (HSS), Kreso Beljak, said on Friday that Gong was also a prolonged arm of his party because the HSS had recently put forward a bill on the origin of personal property.
“The ruling coalition rejected the bill, but we will continue to insist on checks of the property of all politicians and other public office holders, such as judges,” Beljak said, adding that Suica’s personal property was estimated at several million euros.
Beljak asked the prime minister to say how a secondary school teacher could earn so much money. “Common sense dictates that she couldn’t have earned it legally.”