Croatia Is Growing coalition files motion for no confidence vote in veterans minister

The parties of the opposition Croatia Is Growing coalition sent a motion to parliament on Thursday for a confidence vote in War Veterans' Minister Mijo Crnoja.

The motion was signed by 51 MPs of the Social Democratic Party, the Croatian People's Party, the Istrian Democratic Party, the Independent Serb Democratic Party, and the Croatian Pensioners Party.

Under Standing Orders, a confidence vote motion is immediately put on the agenda of the current session. The government has eight days to respond and parliament 30 to discuss the motion.

According to the motion, Crnoja falsely stated his place of residence to avoid paying taxes because he is registered as residing in Samobor, where there is no municipal tax, while actually residing with his family in Zagreb, where the municipal tax is 18 percent.

The motion says that in 2009 Crnoja was given a EUR 56,000 loan from the War Veterans' Ministry to build a house in Samobor, although construction has not begun yet and there is suspicion that he used the money for other purposes, making illegal gains. Crnoja owns a flat in Zagreb and it remains unclear how he qualified for a housing loan and for a land donation in a town where he does not reside.

The motion says that in 2010 the town of Samobor gave Crnoja land to build a family house on the condition that he begin construction within three years, otherwise he must return the land to the town. Crnoja has not begun construction nor returned the land.

The motion also says that Crnoja took part in a fight, over which a criminal complaint was filed, and that after a warrant was issued, he was placed in custody in Zagreb's Remetinec prison.

The signatories also object to Crnoja's announcement of a register of traitors of national interests, saying this "extremely absurd proposal" shows that Crnoja would "label, discriminate against and persecute citizens whom he estimates deviate ideologically or politically from criteria known only to him."

Citing media reports, the signatories say that Crnoja harassed for a long time a single mother of a disabled child by blocking access to her garage.

They also say that as he was taking office, he "consciously and deliberately" brought into the ministry a large group of people who insulted and belittled his predecessor and a deputy prime minister, without distancing himself from such conduct.

Given that some of the actions mentioned above carry big fines and prison sentences, and are irreconcilable with the duties of a government minister, the signatories propose that parliament give a vote of no confidence in Crnoja.

Arriving at today's government session, the ministers would not state their views of the Crnoja case, saying the government would decide whether he remained in office.

Last update: Thu, 28/01/2016 - 13:46

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