Karamarko affair is HDZ's problem, says Bridge

The Bridge party on Saturday posted a comment on its Facebook profile regarding allegations that First Deputy Prime Minister Tomislav Karamarko was in a conflict of interest, saying that the current developments regarding Karamarko were "primarily the HDZ's problem", not Bridge's.

"(Bridge's) focus is on care for national interests, not on individual political positions. That implies a change of the current political culture and a high degree of political care for the common well-being, rather than private interests," the party said.

It added that "there are no untouchables", individuals whose political position would be more important than the entire government or "Croatia's well-being".

"Some Bridge members have stated their own position on the Karamarko case, that position is not Bridge's position, Bridge's position will certainly not depend on considerations of possible government destabilisation but rather on the high ethical principles on which Bridge rests," the party said on its Facebook profile.

The Parliament's Conflict of Interest Commission earlier this week decided to launch a procedure to investigate a case involving Karamarko to determine if he is in a conflict of interest due to a business relationship between his wife Ana and his friend Josip Petrovic, a consultant for the Hungarian oil company MOL.

The Commission will investigate if Karamarko has taken part in any decision-making related to the ongoing arbitration between Croatia and MOL, if that can cause a conflict of interest on his part in the future, and if he has failed to declare the said business relationship.

Croatia and MOL are involved in two arbitration cases regarding management rights in the Croatian oil company INA.

Karamarko has in the meantime withdrawn from any decision-making on INA, owned jointly by the Croatian state and MOL.

The Nacional weekly recently published a contract between the agency owned by Karamarko's wife and the company owned by Petrovic. The contract shows that Petrovic paid the agency owned by Karamarko's wife 60,000 euros for advisory and media analysis services in the period after Karamarko was elected HDZ chief and before he came to power.

The opposition Social Democratic Party has submitted a request for a parliamentary vote of no confidence in Karamarko over the business relationship between his wife and Petrovic.

Last update: Thu, 23/06/2016 - 15:40
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