branko grčić.jpg
Photograph: HINA/ Mario STRMOTIĆ/ ik

Former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Regional Development and EU Funds Branko Grcic, who served in the previous government led by the Social Democratic Party (SDP), on Saturday welcomed unofficial reports that next week Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic would appoint Jaksa Puljiz, until recently Grcic's deputy, as his chief integration officer, to coordinate the work of all government ministries.

"Puljiz is a professional, a non-party man and he definitely can contribute the most to Croatia at the moment," Grcic told reporters outside the SDP offices.

The former minister said that it was obvious the incumbent government lacked someone to coordinate the economy, investments, EU funds and the European Semester because it did not have a deputy prime minister in charge of the economy.

"As for my colleague Puljiz, I believe that he is a good choice because he has worked for four years on very demanding tasks with me, on preparing EU funds, making programme documents, and monitoring the whole process. My ministry was the linchpin for the entire European Semester and for the coordination work I was in charge of while in the government, and Jaksa did a great deal of work with me," said Grcic.

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