Ana Karamarko, the wife of First Deputy Prime Minister and Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) leader Tomislav Karamarko, said in an interview with the Jutarnji List daily of Wednesday that the business of her marketing agency had nothing to do with politics and that she had never done any work for Peritus Consulting that would have been in the interests of the Hungarian MOL oil and gas group.
Nacional weekly says in its latest issue that MOL lobbyist Josip Petrovic, who owns Peritus Consulting, paid the Drimia marketing agency, owned by Ana Karamarko, for consulting services. It claims that before Mr Karamarko came to power, his partner, who later became his wife, was paid at least 60,000 euros by Petrovic's firm for consulting services.
"My firm had a contract with Peritus Consulting and I was acquainted with their work to the extent that was necessary for the work we did as a marketing agency. It was a standard contract for the provision of marketing and communications services. Drimia never did any work for Peritus Consulting that would have been in MOL's interests," Mrs Karamarko told Jutarnji List.
Asked how much she had been paid for those services, she said that the total amount of 60,000 euros was a two-year fee inclusive of VAT.
Mrs Karamarko confirmed that she and her husband are friends with Petrovic and his family, adding that because of the nature of his work Mr Karamarko always drew a clear line between business and private affairs.
"As soon as it became certain that my husband might become a member of government, I notified Mr Petrovic that we were terminating the contract. I terminated the cooperation with Peritus Consulting because of a change in circumstances after the HDZ came to power and my husband took office," Mrs Karamarko said.