The way the INA oil company is managed needs to change and INA should once again be in Croatian ownership, political party representatives said at a roundtable debate on Wednesday.

Speaking on behalf of the SDP-led People's Coalition, Sinisa Hajdas Doncic said that there was a real possibility of restoring Croatia's ownership of INA by purchasing MOL's stake with a loan that would be paid off by INA itself. He supported the arbitration procedure to have Croatia's ownership in INA reinstated because he believes MOL has gravely violated its agreement with INA.

According to Hajdas Doncic,  the main precondition to succeed in that, which also applies to the macroeconomy in general, is political stability and a mutually acceptable solution. As far as the Sisak refinery is concerned, he advocates the preservation of jobs and intensifying oil and gas exploration which has been neglected.

The Croatian Democratic Union's (HDZ) Goran Maric said it was odd that those who had sold INA now wanted to buy it back. Maric concluded that it was "either a bad sale or a bad purchase is now being prepared." He claimed that MOL isn't a strategic partner and when it was selected, contractual provisions which had been offered to all interested bidders were subsequently amended.

He believes that problems could arise when and if MOL decides to sell its shares in INA. Maric underlined that it was necessary to investigate the truth behind the sale of the "White Night" oil fields in Syria. He added that Croatia had not done enough to protect its interests and that it shouldn't be inferior in relation to its strategic partner.

With regard to the modernisation of the Sisak refinery, Maric claimed that this was a contractual obligation and could not be a point of discussion, adding that Croatia cannot agree to MOL deciding which refinery is profitable and which one isn't. Optimism that the situation in INA could be resolved lies in the fact that there are numerous examples of MOL violating its agreement.

Dario Cehic of the Bridge party believes that it is necessary to see what options are cheaper than taking out a loan to buy INA back from MOL as that would be a better way to find a strategic partner that would not be interested in shutting down INA and Croatia's interests would be protected.

He added that the way INA is managed needs to be changed because most of the management decisions are made in Budapest, which has resulted in a fall in INA's revenue while MOL's revenue has grown. INA is too important for Croatia and its economy, Cehic underscored, adding that Croatia has not exhausted all the options at its disposal.

Latest news

Syrian opposition rules out future role for President al-Assad

The Syrian opposition said Friday it would not accept any role for President Bashar al-Assad in the future of the war-torn country, reacting to a recent US shift saying that removing al-Assad is no longer a priority for Washington.

Russian Army integrates breakaway forces of Georgian province

Parts of the small fighting forces of the Georgian breakaway province of South Ossetia have been placed under Russian military control, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Friday.

Czech Republic's Pilsner Urquell beer is now Japanese

Japanese brewing company Asahi completed its takeover of the Czech brewery Pilsner Urquell on Friday, Asahi said in a statement.

Judge approves 25-million-dollar settlement of Trump University case

A US district judge on Friday approved a 25-million-dollar settlement of lawsuits and state fraud allegations against Trump University, the US president's now-defunct business venture.

Former Thai premier Thaksin to junta on reconciliation: 'Cut me out'

Former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Friday announced that he is not interested in the junta-led reconciliation process, three days after the junta handed him a half-a-billion-dollar tax bill for his past business deal.

Dalic: We welcome possible deal between Agrokor and banks

The government welcomes the possibility of an agreement being concluded between the Agrokor food company and creditor banks, and the bill on vitally important companies is not a fallback plan but the result of the government's care for the overall economic and financial stability of Croatia, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Martina Dalic told a press conference in Zagreb on Friday.

Croatia, China sign action plan for cooperation in agriculture

The Croatian and Chinese ministries of agriculture on Friday signed an action plan for cooperation in the field of agriculture for the period 2017-2018, the Croatian ministry said in a statement.

ZSE indices up, Agrokor shares in focus of investor interest

The Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) indices on Friday rose by more than 1.8%, with stocks of the Agrokor food and retail concern being in the focus of investor interest again.

Berlin police defend handling of Berlin market attacker

Berlin police defended themselves on Friday against accusations that they stopped surveillance on Berlin Christmas market attacker despite knowing in June 2016 he was dangerous.

Croatia, creditors tailor emergency measures to save tottering giant

Croatia's tottering retail and food giant Agrokor reached an agreement with its creditors, putting its debts standby and allowing it to continue working during emergency restructuring, the Croatian branch of Austria's Erste Bank said Friday.

Agrokor's creditors say standstill agreement to go into force today

A standstill agreement regarding the Agrokor concern's existing financial obligations to banks will take effect on Friday, additional capital will be injected into the concern in the coming days and the concern will be actively restructured, which includes a change of its management, it was said on Friday after a meeting between Agrokor's suppliers and creditor banks.

Palestinians, UN slam Israel's new settlement plan

Palestinians, Israeli activists and the UN lambasted the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, a day after it gave the go-ahead for the first new West Bank settlement in a quarter of a century.

South Sudan rebels release three abducted foreign oil workers

South Sudanese rebels have released three foreign engineers they abducted in early March in the oil-rich Upper Nile region, Foreign Affairs Ministry official Mawein Makol Arik said on Friday.

Turkish opposition: Imprisoned party chief has gone on hunger strike

The head of Turkey's pro-Kurdish opposition party has launched a hunger strike from prison.

European leagues threaten Champions League schedule clashes

The European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) on Friday threatened schedule clashes on Champions League matchdays in an ongoing dispute with the governing body UEFA.

Danish court revokes citizenship of IS volunteer

A Danish appellate court on Friday stripped a man of his Danish citizenship for volunteering to fight for the extremist Islamic State in Syria.

Banks and Agrokor agree on key elements of standstill agreement

Member banks of the coordinating committee of financial creditors and representatives of the Agrokor food company have in principle agreed on key elements of a standstill agreement, which is expected to be signed later today, announcing changes in the company's management team, Erste Bank said in a statement on Friday afternoon.

Syrian man on trial in Sweden; mosque attack labelled terrorism

A Syrian man went on trial Friday in the southern Swedish city of Malmo, charged with terrorism and arson after an attack last year on a building used as an assembly hall by Shiite Muslims.