Kolinda Grabar Kitarović.jpg
Photograph: HINA / Dario GRZELJ / mm

The Office of Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic on Sunday denied claims from an article written by Jutarnji List newspaper columnist Jelena Lovric about consultations on the formation of government on 22 December dismissing those claims as "absolute and dangerous untruths".

The Office responded to the excerpts from the article published on 27 February in which Lovric claimed that the Bridge party leader Bozo Petrov was provided during the consultations in the Office of the Croatian President with a video record showing that some of the elected Bridge members of parliament coming in the government's office "at the dead of night for secret talks with the then Prime Minister (Zoran) Milanovic". 

The Office of President Grabar-Kitarovic refuted those allegations as untrue and said it expected the newspaper and the columnist to apologise.

The Office of President stated it was a very unpleasant fact that an experienced columnist wrote absolute and dangerous untruths and that she failed to try to check the accuracy of the information in the Office of President.

The statement reads that if the columnist had checked information with all sides concerned, an attempt of deluding the public could have been avoided.

Therefore, it may be concluded that the aim of this article was to belittle and undermine the process of consultations which the President conducted in an orderly manner with leaders of parliamentary parties on the formation of the new government.

The Bridge party also refuted the Jutarnji List allegations about the delivery of the video to Petrov during consultations on 22 December.

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