peđa_grbin.jpg
Pedja Grbin
Photograph: Hina/ Dario GRZELJ/ dag

Social Democrat (SDP) member of Parliament Pedja Grbin said on Friday that he understood the chair of the Electronic Media Council and director of the Electronic Media Agency, Mirjana Rakic, who resigned earlier in the day saying that she could no longer endure the pressure she had been exposed to, while Andrija Mikulic of the ruling Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), who chairs the parliamentary Media Committee, said he did "not understand what pressure she is talking about."

"This week we have witnessed a number of cases of pressure on the media, the cancellation of shows on Croatian Radio and Television, a few weeks ago we witnessed protests outside the Electronic Media Council and I can say that I understand Ms Rakic to some extent. That is why as a group of MPs we have warned the European Commission of inadmissible pressures on the independent regulatory body. Those pressures have turned out to be too strong and we have now been left without one regulator," Grbic told reporters.

Andrija Mikulic of the HDZ said he did not understand what pressure Rakic was talking about. "If you have associates you believe in and if you believe in the job you do, I see no reason to react this way. This is a private decision by Ms Rakic and I respect it, but I believe that the Media Committee is the place to discuss all matters regarding the media," said Mikulic.

Asked if he believed that the recent protest against the Electronic Media Council's decision to ban the local Z1 TV for three days and the Chetnik cap Rakic was given on the day of the protest by controversial reporter Velimir Bujanec could have affected her decision, Mikulic said that that question should be put to Rakic.

Deputy Parliament Speaker Ivan Tepes of the Croatian Party of Rights (HSP AS) said that this was Rakic's private decision and that "she probably knows best why she has resigned."

Asked if he felt personally responsible because he took part in the recent protest, Tepes said that Rakic had to say if she believed that he was partly responsible.

"I stated very clearly why I I attended the rally, I spoke about double standards. I have been against any bans because other media would then have to be banned too, which I don't support. There is freedom of the media and that is why I attended the rally," said Tepes.

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