The Croatian Government is "determined to protect independent news media and agrees completely that they are indeed a vital part of a truly democratic society," reads a letter which the Office of the Croatian Prime Minister sent to the European Alliance of News Agencies (EANA) on Wednesday.
The letter was response to a statement issued on 4 February by the EANA Board in which this organisation "finds the ongoing discussion about media policy in Croatia alarming."
The EANA takes it that "the Croatian government agrees with the EANA Board that independent news media is a vital part of a democratic society," and points out Hina's role in that regard.
In its statement issued on the alliance's website, the EANA Board underscores that "it is of the utmost importance that the Croatian Government is safeguarding the editorial, managerial and economic independence of Hina that successfully has completed a restructuring reducing the number of non-editorial employees."
In addition, the alliance also asked the Croatian government "for a meeting in Zagreb as soon as possible to discuss how we together can safeguard independent news media in Croatia."
Thanking EANA for the letter, the Office of Croatian Prime Minister said in its response on Wednesday that the Croatian government was committed to the protection of independent news media.
"Please be assured that Croatian Government is determined to protect independent news media and agrees completely that they are indeed a vital part of a truly democratic society. We would like to inform you that legislature regarding media is in Ministry of Culture's jurisdiction and would kindly ask you to contact the Ministry regarding all possible questions or issues that involve Croatian media," reads the government's letter sent to EANA President and Secretary-General Clive Marshal and Erik Nylen respectively.