Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic said on Tuesday he was confident that Tomo Medved would be an excellent war veterans minister because as president of the Tigers veterans association he knew their problems well, while Medved said that one of his first goals would be combining the currently dispersed veterans' rights into one law.
Oreskovic presented the ministerial nominee at a press conference, saying it was an honour to have a war veteran of Medved's calibre in the government and that Medved would have his and the support of all ministers. "We are confident that he will be an excellent minister."
Oreskovic conceded that "perhaps (he) was a little slow" in choosing the new veterans minister, but said that he had the opportunity to meet the other candidates for the post and that he was confident that eventually he chose the best one.
"Medved is at the helm of the Tigers veterans association and knows the problems well. I'm confident that we will be able to start solving them together," Oreskovic said, dismissing claims that he chose Medved only because he was nominated by and was a member of the ruling HDZ party.
Asked what made Medved better than Milijan Brkic, whom HDZ president and First Deputy PM Tomislav Karamarko nominated for war veterans minister three weeks ago, Oreskovic said he had talked with Brkic, that he was an honest veteran who had fought for Croatia, but that he pulled his nomination of his own accord.
Medved said he was willing to assume a demanding and extremely responsible duty. "I've dedicated my whole life to the homeland. You've seen my war path and I will direct all the duties in the Armed Forces and all the experience I've gained into my work in the Veterans Ministry."
Medved said one of his key objectives was sending a message of respect to Homeland War veterans and victims. "They can be sure that their sacrifice hasn't been forgotten."
He said the support of the prime minister and all ministers was necessary for the ministry to function well, announcing the drawing up of a law that would combine the entitlements of veterans and their families which were now covered by different laws and ministries.
Asked by press to comment on the 2016 draft budget, which envisages cuts for his ministry, Medved said it was necessary to thoroughly analyse the draft "and react if necessary." He recalled that this year the ministry had new commitments towards victims of war rape.