The Croatian Journalists Association's (HND) executive board on Croatian Television (HTV) warned on Tuesday about the "unacceptable level" of statements by First Deputy Prime Minister and Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) president Tomislav Karamarko, who recently repeatedly accused the media of being in the service of one political camp, particularly attacking Croatian Radio and Television (HRT).

Responding to leading politicians' public attacks on HRT, the board said in a press release that politicians were entitled to criticise the work of the media and the public broadcaster but that their office obliged them to a polite level of public communication which they, as responsible politicians, should back up with facts.

The HND's HTV branch said that Karamarko was making accusations that "programmes on HTV, which is in the service of one party, lie, demonise the HDZ, make them seem crazy because they are patriots and exaggerate everything they (the HDZ) say," and that "HTV is working on the destruction of the political cooperation" between the Bridge party and the HDZ.

The press release quoted HDZ secretary-general Milijan Brkic as saying that HRT director Goran Radman "allowed other countries' services to instruct and govern part of the employees and edit programmes so as to foment political spins, social division and to smear our country."

The HND branch said that when politicians went public with such serious accusations, they should submit evidence and that "if they have information which threatens not only HRT's work but national security too, they have the duty to report it to the authorised institutions."

The HND said that opposition leader Zoran Milanovic was not defusing "the public hysteria" by claiming that he could say that HRT was in the service of the HDZ.

The branch said that HRT was neither a partisan nor a state service but a public one and that it was supervised by its Supervisory Board and Programmes Council as well as relevant parliamentary bodies. It added that the recent rhetoric and statements full of blanket assessments indicated that politics wanted to "assume all those roles."

The branch said that all politicians should realise that, in an ideologically deeply divided country, they had the responsibility to contribute to civilised discussions on all important political and social topics. Instead, their statements are not conducive to the raising of standards and further professionalisation of HRT but create "an atmosphere of purges and fear," which is a step away from censorship and self-censorship.

The branch said that the ruling majority could effect change on HRT in parliamentary procedure through legitimate and legal means.

Latest news

Syrian opposition rules out future role for President al-Assad

The Syrian opposition said Friday it would not accept any role for President Bashar al-Assad in the future of the war-torn country, reacting to a recent US shift saying that removing al-Assad is no longer a priority for Washington.

Russian Army integrates breakaway forces of Georgian province

Parts of the small fighting forces of the Georgian breakaway province of South Ossetia have been placed under Russian military control, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Friday.

Czech Republic's Pilsner Urquell beer is now Japanese

Japanese brewing company Asahi completed its takeover of the Czech brewery Pilsner Urquell on Friday, Asahi said in a statement.

Judge approves 25-million-dollar settlement of Trump University case

A US district judge on Friday approved a 25-million-dollar settlement of lawsuits and state fraud allegations against Trump University, the US president's now-defunct business venture.

Former Thai premier Thaksin to junta on reconciliation: 'Cut me out'

Former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Friday announced that he is not interested in the junta-led reconciliation process, three days after the junta handed him a half-a-billion-dollar tax bill for his past business deal.

Dalic: We welcome possible deal between Agrokor and banks

The government welcomes the possibility of an agreement being concluded between the Agrokor food company and creditor banks, and the bill on vitally important companies is not a fallback plan but the result of the government's care for the overall economic and financial stability of Croatia, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Martina Dalic told a press conference in Zagreb on Friday.

Croatia, China sign action plan for cooperation in agriculture

The Croatian and Chinese ministries of agriculture on Friday signed an action plan for cooperation in the field of agriculture for the period 2017-2018, the Croatian ministry said in a statement.

ZSE indices up, Agrokor shares in focus of investor interest

The Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) indices on Friday rose by more than 1.8%, with stocks of the Agrokor food and retail concern being in the focus of investor interest again.

Berlin police defend handling of Berlin market attacker

Berlin police defended themselves on Friday against accusations that they stopped surveillance on Berlin Christmas market attacker despite knowing in June 2016 he was dangerous.

Croatia, creditors tailor emergency measures to save tottering giant

Croatia's tottering retail and food giant Agrokor reached an agreement with its creditors, putting its debts standby and allowing it to continue working during emergency restructuring, the Croatian branch of Austria's Erste Bank said Friday.

Agrokor's creditors say standstill agreement to go into force today

A standstill agreement regarding the Agrokor concern's existing financial obligations to banks will take effect on Friday, additional capital will be injected into the concern in the coming days and the concern will be actively restructured, which includes a change of its management, it was said on Friday after a meeting between Agrokor's suppliers and creditor banks.

Palestinians, UN slam Israel's new settlement plan

Palestinians, Israeli activists and the UN lambasted the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, a day after it gave the go-ahead for the first new West Bank settlement in a quarter of a century.

South Sudan rebels release three abducted foreign oil workers

South Sudanese rebels have released three foreign engineers they abducted in early March in the oil-rich Upper Nile region, Foreign Affairs Ministry official Mawein Makol Arik said on Friday.

Turkish opposition: Imprisoned party chief has gone on hunger strike

The head of Turkey's pro-Kurdish opposition party has launched a hunger strike from prison.

European leagues threaten Champions League schedule clashes

The European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) on Friday threatened schedule clashes on Champions League matchdays in an ongoing dispute with the governing body UEFA.

Danish court revokes citizenship of IS volunteer

A Danish appellate court on Friday stripped a man of his Danish citizenship for volunteering to fight for the extremist Islamic State in Syria.

Banks and Agrokor agree on key elements of standstill agreement

Member banks of the coordinating committee of financial creditors and representatives of the Agrokor food company have in principle agreed on key elements of a standstill agreement, which is expected to be signed later today, announcing changes in the company's management team, Erste Bank said in a statement on Friday afternoon.

Syrian man on trial in Sweden; mosque attack labelled terrorism

A Syrian man went on trial Friday in the southern Swedish city of Malmo, charged with terrorism and arson after an attack last year on a building used as an assembly hall by Shiite Muslims.