kolinda_grabar_kitarović.jpg
Photograph: Hina/ Tomislav Pavlek/tp

Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic said in Hong Kong on Sunday that she can respond to the latest statement by Croatian Interior Minister Ranko Ostojic only with irony.

"You can reply to the latest statements by Interior Minister Ranko Ostojic with nothing but irony. That's what I did and I did it over Facebook and not officially. Of course, I was not serious because I have no Constitutional powers and this is exactly wha I am saying to Minister Ostojic, because he had told me that I could resolve the crisis with Serbia in five minutes and that he was leaving me the executive powers which I do not have," Grabar-Kitarovic said in Hong Kong.

Grabar-Kitarovic said on her official Facebook on Saturday that Interior Minister Ranko Ostojic admitted that the caretaker government was incapable of running the country.

"With his statement today, the caretaker Minister Ostojic admitted that this caretaker government isn't capable of running the country and that they are leaving the executive powers to me. I will do that as soon Constitution allows me to," she wrote. Croatia is holding a parliamentary election on November 8.

Asked by reporters in Opatovac to comment on Grabar-Kitarovic's statement that all refugees should be rerouted towards Croatia's official border crossings with Serbia such as Tovarnik and Bajakovo, Ostojic said "she can easily agree that with her friends in Serbia." "She is free to agree the rerouting... and we'll have no problems," he said, adding that this would make Croatia's job easier.

Foreign Minister Vesna Pusic and Minister Ostojic on Saturday reacted in strong terms to Grabar-Kitarovic's statement. "That's a complete mistake. The president should refrain from that. We are fighting a tough fight right now. Croatian citizens see that all these people in the field, thousands and thousands of people, are doing a big job and I must reiterate that, at the very least, it's not fair to stick a knife in the backs of the people who defended Croatia on the front line, who have done all this work so far," Ostojic said on Croatian Television, referring to the people dealing with migrants and refugees.

I'm sorry and for a moment I thought someone hacked her page, but if it's true, it only says that the one who should be the first and main keeper of the Constitution is sending a very dangerous message which in a way threatens the constitutional order, Ostojic said.

Speaking on RTL television, Pusic said the president's message was not serious but surreal. "If there's no war, and we wouldn't go that far, there are no circumstances for the institute of the president to take over executive powers, so I don't know who's pushing her."

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