As many as 45 lawmakers from the ruling and Opposition parties on Wednesday put forward amendments to the Law on the Croatian National Bank (HNB), which will enable the State Audit Office to review annual reports on the overall performance of the central bank, and will also make it possible for parliament to debate and vote on the bank's annual report.
The proposed amendments, signed by MPs from nine parties and seven minority and independent deputies in parliament, envisages that the position of governor and vice-governors can be held for a maximum of two consecutive terms.
The bill was signed by MP Ivan Kovacic (Bridge) and will be presented in parliament by MP Ivan Lovrinovic (Bridge) and MP Goran Maric (Croatian Democratic Union - HDZ).
The sponsors of the bill, sent into fast-track procedure, claim that most European Union member states conduct an annual audit of the business and reports of their central banks which is not foreseen in Croatia by law. "Because the State Audit Office cannot review the HNB's financial and business reports, a high level of distrust in the transparency of the work and business conducted by the HNB has been created in public," the proponents said.
They warned of the "arbitrary and incorrect interpretation of EU regulations," which, they said, had unnecessarily delayed voting on the HNB report for 2014.
They recall that the current law regulates that the governor's and vice-governor's term lasts for six years without any restrictions which allows for "long-life" service.
"For example, an HNB vice-governor has been conducting that duty for 25 years now and there are others who are serving a third term as vice-governors or members of the HNB advisory council," the bill's sponsors said.