Friday

23rd Jun 2017

Croatia government close to implosion

Croatia's deputy prime minister Tomislav Karamarko has filed a no-confidence motion against the prime minister, pushing the coalition government a step closer to collapse.

"This government is not functional. We can pursue reforms only with new people. There is still time for new, homogenous and reshuffled government," said Karamarko, who leads the largest coalition party HDZ.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

  • The vote on the motion is expected at the end of next week (Photo: Mario Fajt)

The party was collecting signatures for the motion on Tuesday (7 June), with a vote expected at the end of next week.

Prime minister Tihomir Oreskovic, a political novice who has spent most of his life in Canada, was drafted in because the main parties could not agree a candidate.

However, HDZ's coalition partner Most said it would support a no-confidence motion against Karamarko brought by the opposition SDP.

Karamarko is currently caught up in a scandal over oil money. His wife has business ties to a firm lobbying for Hungarian oil company Mol, which is in dispute with the Croatian government.

Last week, Oreskovic urged both Karamarko and Most leader Bozo Petrov, also a deputy PM, to resign.

The SDP, the second largest party, have indicated that they will support the motion against Oreskovic, meaning it is likely to pass. They hope the coalition's collapse will lead to new elections.

But Karamarko wants to broker a new government, saying Croatia does not have time for a vote.

If a prime minister-designate fails to gather the support of at least 76 MPs in the 151-seat parliament and form a cabinet within 30 days, there would have to call snap election.

Since it came to power in January, the government has fired critical journalists from public service channels and cut off funds for independent cultural bodies.

It has alienated the Jewish and Serbian minorities by installing a culture minister accused of glorifying Croatia's World War II leaders, who were allied to the Nazis and carried out massacres.

Last week, 25,000 teachers protested in Zagreb against the government's efforts to infuse the curriculum with nationalist propaganda.

Opinion

Croatia joins EU's illiberal democracy club

Croatia's new PM is a political nobody. He's controlled by men who are about as pro-European as Kaczynski in Poland or Orban in Hungary and the EU should be worried.

Same old scandals drag down Croatia's government

Scandals over oil money and World War II history, attacks on democratic standards risk unseating Croatia's government in a confidence vote just five months after it took office.

News in Brief

  1. Merkel and Macron hold symbolic joint press conference
  2. Juncker has 'no' clear idea of kind of Brexit UK wants
  3. Belgian PM calls May's proposal on EU citizens 'vague'
  4. UK lacks support of EU countries in UN vote
  5. Spain to command anti-smuggler Mediterranean force
  6. Estonia confirms opposition to Nord Stream 2 pipeline
  7. Ireland and Denmark outside EU military plan
  8. EU leaders renew vows to uphold Paris climate deal

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EPSUOn Public Services Day, Stop Austerity! Workers Need a Pay Rise!
  2. EGBAOnline Gambling: The EU Court Rejects Closed Licensing Regimes In Member States
  3. World VisionFaces of Today, Leaders of Tomorrow: Join the Debate on Violence Against Girls - 29 June
  4. ECR GroupThe EU Must Better Protect Industry from Unfair Competition
  5. Malta EU 2017Better Protection for Workers From Cancer-Causing Substances
  6. EPSUAfter 9 Years of Austerity Europe's Public Sector Workers Deserve a Pay Rise!
  7. Dialogue PlatformGlobalised Religions and the Dialogue Imperative. Join the Debate!
  8. UNICEFEU Trust Fund Contribution to UNICEF's Syria Crisis Response Reaches Nearly €200 Million
  9. EUSEW17Bringing Buildings Into the Circular Economy. Discuss at EU Sustainable Energy Week
  10. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceCan an Ideal Body Weight Lead to Premature Death?
  11. Malta EU 2017End of Roaming Charges: What Does It Entail?
  12. World VisionWorld Refugee Day, a Dark Reminder of the Reality of Children on the Move

Latest News

  1. Macron’s investment screening idea watered down by leaders
  2. Leaders unimpressed by May’s offer to EU citizens
  3. New Irish PM praises unscripted nature of EU summits
  4. EU extends sanctions on Russia
  5. UK's universities set 'Brexit wish list'
  6. Decision on post-Brexit home for EU agencies postponed
  7. May's offer on citizens’ rights dismissed as ‘pathetic’
  8. 'Historic' defence plan gets launch date at EU summit