Former Agriculture Minister Tihomir Jakovina of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) on Monday commented on bonuses to CEOs of the state-owned forest management company Hrvatske Sume, which he signed off, saying that the management was doing good business, that it generated a net profit of HRK 383 million, while their salaries were 10% lower than those of the previous management, and they had no severance packages or life insurance policies, so bonuses were the only possible award.
He added however, that regardless of these facts, he accepted criticism and called on the management personnel to withdraw their claims.
"As for the business activities of that management board, their net profit in the 2012-2015 period was 383 million, while four years earlier the net profit amounted to approximately 50 million kuna. This speaks about the level of professionalism of that management board (...) I accept criticism regarding the bonuses which were the only possible form of award at the time. I could have not known in 2012 that they would generate such good business results," Jakovina said.
"I take the responsibility and I call on the non-partisan colleagues to withdraw their claims and by doing so to show that they did they work professionally. Those who wish to score political points on this, let them have a look at what they did over the past six months of this government's term," Jakovina said.
The Hrvatske Sume management board, led by board president Ivan Pavelic and board member Ivan Istok, are suing the company for not paying out their bonuses.
Ivan Pavelic expects to receive HRK 2.3 million and Ivan Istok HRK 1.6 million. Another board member Marija Vekic who, under the contract signed with the then Agriculture Minister Jakovina, is also entitled to HRK 1.6 million, has not filed a lawsuit against the company.