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Photograph: HINA / Damir SENČAR /ds

Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic has said that former head of the Security and Intelligence Agency (SOA) Dragan Lozancic will not be his adviser or work in the government, adding however that Lozancic deserves an adequate position.

"Recent media headlines read that he will be my adviser which is not true. He will not be my adviser but he deserves that we find an adequate position for him. We will inform you in due time what position will that be," Oreskovic said in an interview for Jutarnji List daily which hit the newsstands on Friday, adding that Lozancic "most definitely will not work in the government."

The prime minister said that in a serious country it was not acceptable for the head of the intelligence service to "end up in the street," adding that Lozancic, regardless of President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic's opinion, deserved at least a a fair treatment in the replacement process and a new position.

"For me, the entire story involving SOA is finished. The new SOA chief (Daniel Markic), who has good qualities, will step in office in the near future, Croatia is in safe hands," Oreskovic said.

Asked if the Croatian Democratic Union's (HDZ) voting against Markic's appointment meant that he no longer enjoyed the support of the party that made him prime minister, Oreskovic said HDZ chief Tomislav Karamarko had had a different opinion from the beginning, namely ever since Markic had been nominated for the position by him and the President. "Nothing has changed, that's democracy. The parliamentary committee voted 6:4," Oreskovic said.

He also stressed he had the support of the HDZ president. "We enjoy each other's support, but we also respect each other's opinions. And that is not a bad thing. Healthy discussions sometimes lead to better results," Oreskovic said.

Asked whose side he was on, that of the junior partner in the government Bridge or that of the HDZ  regarding the Croatian oil company INA, Oreskovic said: "I am on Croatia's side. This means that we are waiting for the outcome of the arbitration process, which we will not slow down. But at the same time we need to talk to (the Hungarian oil company) MOL," Oreskovic said adding that Croatia must define its energy strategy.

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