ivan vrdoljak.jpg
Photograph: HINA/ Miljenko KLEPAC/ ik

The president of the Croatian People's Party and former Economy Minister, Ivan Vrdoljak, said on Tuesday evening that Croatia was provoked into launching the international arbitration procedure against the Hungarian oil company MOL, expressing confidence that Croatia had enough evidence to "defend justice" in that procedure.

Croatia was provoked into launching the international arbitration procedure against MOL because "three years ago the Hungarians attempted to collect a payment from Croatia in the amount of 3 billion kuna, based on the contract signed by Ivo Sanader," Vrdoljak said.

One must know that lawyers work for money and for the person who hired them, while my job is to work for the country and I had to defend the country through arbitration, as it had been provoked by Hungary, Vrdoljak told Croatian Television, adding that Croatia's suit was not based on a court ruling against Sanader but on evidence, the fraudulent contract and procedure.

Vrdoljak called on politicians to understand that they must not "sell national interests for the sake of their small partial interests. He also said that nobody cared about what was happening in the Croatian oil company INA today, "what is going on with INA employees, investments and prospects."

The incumbent government has done absolutely nothing to protect Croatia's interests in INA, and not doing anything at this moment is a crime, Vrdoljak said, adding that he had warned the prime minister in parliament that "some decisions" must be made and responsibility for INA must be assumed.

I did not see Deputy Prime Minister Bozo Petrov address those issues, but when a government reshuffle was mentioned and the issue of his seat in the government raised, then he became nervous, Vrdoljak said.

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