peđa_grbin.jpg
Pedja Grbin
Photograph: Hina/ Dario GRZELJ/ dag

Social Democratic Party (SDP) MP Pedja Grbin on Thursday commented on an advertisement by the State Property Management Office (DUUDI) for the selection of consultants for an initial and independent evaluation of the portfolios of several companies owned by the state, warning that the privatisation of companies of strategic interest to the state would be against the law.

Grbin wrote on his Facebook profile that the advertisement was a sign that the government had formally launched the privatisation of remaining state-owned companies. He warned that the list of 54 companies also included companies that were of strategic interest, such as Hrvatske Autoceste, Janaf, Plinacro, Zagreb Airport, etc.

Grbin claims that the legality of such a decision is questionable considering that the State Property Management Strategy that is in force specifically defines that companies of national strategic interest cannot be privatised, "unless specified by law."

"Therefore as long as the Strategy that was adopted by parliament is in force, the government cannot autonomously decide on the privatisation of those companies but has to either change the Strategy and consequently the Property Management Law or adopt a separate law on the privatisation of the companies in question. Anything else would be illegal action by the government," Grbin claims.

He recalled that the intention of the previous (SDP-led) government to monetise the debt of two state-owned motorway operators had resulted in a referendum initiative and that the Constitutional Court had ruled that the referendum could not be held as well as that before launching the procedure for the monetisation of the motorway operators' debt, the government would have to propose a bill to parliament whereby the concession to manage existing motorways would be declared a strategic interest.

Latest news

Serbia's EU negotiator says minority rights neglected

The head of the Serbia's European Union accession negotiation team, Tanja Miscevic, said in Novi Sad on Wednesday that minority rights had been neglected for many years and added that positive results in that regard cannot be achieved over night, the Beta news agency has reported. 

Scientists: Nearby star's 7 rocky planets are "best bet" for life

New analysis of telescope data shows a dwarf star just 40 light years from Earth has at least seven apparently rocky planets with potential to harbour water, an international team of scientists announced Wednesday.

Croatian PM receives EIB Vice-President

Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic met on Wednesday with European Investment Bank (EIB) Vice-President Dario Scannapieco for talks on the bank's contribution to a new investment cycle in Croatia and its support to the Croatian government to implement key projects, a press release from the government's office said.

Bomb explodes outside police officer's home in Northern Ireland

A bomb exploded outside a police officer's home in Northern Ireland on Wednesday but there were no immediate reports of casualties.

Denmark to charge man with blasphemy over burning Koran

Danish prosecutors said Wednesday they have opened a rare blasphemy case against a man who videotaped himself burning a copy of the Koran.

South Africa to raise taxes for the wealthiest

South Africa will raise the income tax rate for the country's wealthiest to 45 per cent from 41 per cent, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan announced Wednesday.

Reformist Macron wins support of key centrist leader for French vote

France's reformist presidential hopeful, Emmanuel Macron, got a boost on Wednesday when he picked up the support of a party leader whose centrist constituency played a pivotal role in the last two presidential elections.

Amnesty International warns of nationalist rhetoric and hate speech in Croatia

Croatia continues to have problems with discrimination against ethnic minorities and with freedom of the media, while heightened nationalist rhetoric and hate speech during election time contributed to growing ethnic intolerance and insecurity in the country, global human rights watchdog Amnesty International said in its annual report on the state of human rights in the world in 2016/2017.

Official assigned to Wilders' security team held by Dutch police

A security official assigned to protect Dutch far-right politician Geert Wilders is being held by police on suspicion of passing along classified information about the lawmaker to a Dutch-Moroccan crime gang.

100th anniversary of rescuing starving children marked

A special ceremony was held in Zagreb's Croatian National Theatre on Wednesday to mark the 100th anniversary of one of the greatest humanitarian undertakings in the history of the Croatian people which saved children in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina from famine in the last two years of World War I.

Italy's 'Red Thing' could make impact in election debut, polls show

Two polls conducted for RAI public broadcaster released Wednesday showed a new entity that split from Italy's ruling Democratic Party

Council: Nixing grants to "Novosti" would cause far-reaching implications

The Council for National Minorities, a state-level autonomous umbrella organisation for all ethnic minorities in Croatia, has stated that the cancellation of financial grants to the "Novosti", a newspaper of the ethnic Serb minority, would produce far-reaching implications and stir criticism for reduction of free speech and of freedom of expression of the most numerous ethnic minority.