Croatian PM refuses to dismiss allegedly corrupt minister

A junior member of Croatia’s ruling coalition, the Croatian People’s Party (HNS) is demanding the dismissal of the country’s public administration minister Lovro Kuščević, accused of having used political influence for personal gain.

“We are not insisting on his criminal liability, that is up to the relevant institutions to determine, but according to publicly available information, Mr Kuščević most probably used his political influence for personal gain, and the HNS considers that unacceptable,” said the party’s vice-president and deputy prime minister Predrag Štromar.

Mr Kuščević has come under severe criticism in local media, according to which the Office for the Suppression of Corruption and Organised Crime (USKOK) has launched a preliminary investigation regarding his sale of commercial office space at Supetar on the island of Brač and other properties.

However, Croatia’s prime minister Andrej Plenković has rejected what he considers to be an ultimatum.

“I will meet the coalition partners whenever necessary. I guess the public and voters know me so well by now that they are aware that if there’s anything I can’t stand, it’s ultimatums,” Mr Plenković said.