Defence Minister Mario Banozic said in the eastern Croatian town of Vukovar on Tuesday it was time to remove President Zoran Milanovic from office after they once again clashed over the army and their powers and decisions.
Speaking to the press, Banozic said Milanovic was “a psychiatric case.” Asked if it was time Milanovic was removed from office, he said, “Of course it is. It was a long time ago, but look at his conduct. Would you reach a different conclusion than what I said?”
He would not say if the ruling centre-right Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) would initiate the president’s impeachment.
This morning, the two attended a ceremony marking the 30th anniversary of the fall of Luzac.
Banozic said he had not wanted to speak about his conflict with the president because it was neither the time nor the place.
“However, Milanovic, disrespecting Vukovar’s suffering, created a scene here, just another one in which he was slinging mud at me, the HDZ and the whole defence system, pulling us into games of petty politicking.”
As President, he does not deal with the state and the law, but engages in “petty partisanship with some semi-politician in an attempt to revive power and himself,” Banozic said.
He added that the president was using “street talk” and doing international damage to Croatia, distorting the law as it suits him. He is not a man who should represent Croatian people in the world, Banozic said. “Shame on him for everything he said today.”
Milanovic is bringing politics into the army and is now doing it via the Chief of the General Staff, Robert Hranj, he said, referring to an incident last week when Banozic was not allowed to address conscripts, as per Milanovic’s order to Hranj.
“Do you know how many times generals were banned from laying a wreath with me? Generals were banned from laying a wreath with the minister of defence. What is that other than the pathetic policy of a man full of frustration?” Banozic said.