andrej plenkovic.jpg
Photograph: HINA/ Dario GRZELJ/ ua

Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) president Andrej Plenkovic said on Thursday he expected the European Commission to be considerate in addressing the issue of Croatia's law on the conversion of Swiss franc loans and to have understanding for Croatia's positions.

Plenkovic was speaking to Croatian reporters after talks with Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels.

"We underlined the importance of the issue pertaining to the conversion of Swiss franc loans and the law that was adopted, suggesting that the Commission should approach this topic considerately and with due attention because it's important that, after the law addressed citizens themselves, we don't have a situation that's detrimental to Croatian state interests, notably Croatian taxpayers," Plenkovic said.

In June, the Commission warned Croatia in a letter about the law on the conversion of loans denominated in Swiss francs into euros, saying the law shifted all the costs onto banks and that its retroactive application threatens legal security. The Croatian government yesterday endorsed a reply which it will send to the Commission by the end of the week.

The government "articulated its position precisely, replying to the Commission and presenting our view in an elaborate way. We expect the EC to have understanding for Croatia's explanations and Croatia's positions," Plenkovic said, adding that Croatia's new government would "defend national interests, in this case the Croatian budget."

Asked about UniCredit's lawsuit against Croatia over the conversion law, Plenkovic said the arbitration proceedings had not been initiated by Croatia and that Croatia was aware that the Commission was questioning bilateral investment protection agreements, on which the lawsuit is based. He added that he did not discuss details with Juncker.

Plenkovic also met with European People's Party president Joseph Daul. "Both Juncker and Daul are extremely glad that an EPP party won an election in a central European country on rational topics which avoid divisions in society and which are pro-European. That's what we will advocate, seeing to Croatia's interests in the EU, naturally. I think the moves we have been making after the election are on that track and our partners recognise and appreciate that."

Latest news

Earthquake rocks buildings in northern Zambia; no injuries reported

A 5.9-magnitude earthquake struck Zambia and neighbouring countries early Friday, the US Geological Survey reported.

China overtook US, France as Germany's top trading partner in 2016

China overtook the United States as Germany's biggest trading partner in 2016, according to data provided by the Federal Statistics Office on Friday.

Orban upset by end of Budapest 2024 bid; IOC to ponder adjustments

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Friday reiterated his regret about the end of his nation's Olympic dream while the International Olympic Committee (IOC) could further revise future bid campaigns in the wake of Budapest's withdrawal.

Italy seizes millions from dodgy Rome businessman

Italian police on Friday seized assets worth 40 million euros (42.4 million dollars) from a Rome businessman who falsely claimed residence in Dubai to dodge taxes.

UN, HRW workers in crosshairs as Israel cites bias, Hamas membership

The United Nations on Friday rejected Israeli claims that one of its aid workers in the Palestinian Territories is a "terrorist" who belongs to the radical Islamist Hamas movement.

Consulates deny telling teachers, parents to denounce Erdogan critics

Turkish consulates in the German state of North Rhine Westphalia on Friday dismissed allegations that they instructed teachers and parents to denounce critics of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Source: Le Pen defied police summons in assistants' pay enquiry

Marine Le Pen failed to appear for a summons for police questioning on Wednesday, a source close to the investigations has told dpa.

Iraqi forces claim key Mosul base, enter first western district

Iraqi forces seized a major military base from Islamic State on Friday and stormed the first district in the western section of Mosul, part of their campaign to dislodge the radical group from its last key Iraqi stronghold, a senior commander said.

BASF sales down 18 per cent due to Gazprom asset swap

German chemicals giant BASF said Friday that its revenues decreased by 18 per cent, to 57.6 billion euros (60.9 billion dollars), in 2016, due mainly to a multibillion-euro asset swap with Gazprom, Russia's state-backed gas group.

New Delhi shocked at reports of Indian national dead in US shooting

India was in shock and dismay Friday at the news of the death of an Indian engineer in an alleged racially motivated killing in the United States earlier this week.

42 killed in car bombing in Syria's al-Bab, monitor says

At least 42 people are dead after a car bombing in Syria's northern city of al-Bab on Friday, a day after Turkish-backed rebels seized control of the city from the Islamic State extremist militia, a monitoring group reported.

Car bombing kills at least eight soldiers in Yemen

At least eight government soldiers died in a Friday car bombing in Yemen’s southern province of Abyan, a local security official said.