New East Digital Archive

Is Croatia’s ruling party supporting corruption at the country’s national broadcaster?

Is Croatia’s ruling party supporting corruption at the country’s national broadcaster?
Headquarters of HRT, Zagreb. Image: Suradnik13 under a CC licence

13 July 2017

Eyebrows have been raised after a Croatian parliamentary committee demanded the removal of the supervisory board of Croatian Radio-Television (HRT), following warnings by the board that corruption and other illegal activities may be taking place at the broadcaster.

A majority of the committee, made up of MPs from the ruling Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and their junior coalition partners, voted to remove the board, although this decision will have to be supported by a majority in parliament in order to come into force.

According to Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, the supervisory board pointed out numerous irregularities in its report on the legality of HRT’s activities in 2016, referencing “cases that may have been the result of possible corrupt actions and illegal activities by individual persons”.

While Croatian Culture Minister Jasen Mesić affirmed immediately prior to the committee vote today that MPs had no desire to protect “any criminal activities” that may have gone on at HRT, and that the board itself had violated the law regarding HRT, the parliamentary opposition, led by the Social Democratic Party (SDP) claimed the HDZ was simply looking for an excuse to axe the board.

“It seems that the supervisory board got in someone’s way and they want to remove it two days before parliament’s summer break starts,” SDP lawmaker Bojan Glavašević stated.

“If you remove the supervisory board, who will monitor HRT? We will go on vacation until autumn. And that is the HDZ’s intention, to leave HRT unattended, so their people can do what they want,” said another SDP MP, Nenad Stazić.

Source: Balkan Insight