Prime Minister and HDZ leader Andrej Plenković said after a party meeting on Wednesday evening that Public Administration Minister Lovro Kuščević was doing his job, that media attacks against him referred to the period before Kuščević was appointed minister and that he would most probably hold talks on Kuščević with all partners in the ruling coalition next week.
Kuščević has come under severe criticism from the media after it emerged that he was involved in a string of property-related scandals during his term as mayor of Nerežišća on the southern island of Brač.
The deputy leader of the HNS and Deputy Prime Minister, Predrag Štromar, said over the weekend that the HNS wanted a meeting with Plenković to propose the dismissal of Kuščević because he had used his political position to amass wealth for himself.
“As for the minister, he presented at the meeting his arguments and facts that are currently in the focus of media attention so that the party leadership could hear his side of the story too,” Plenković told reporters after the HDZ leadership discussed the HNS’s demand that Kuščević be replaced.
Instead of using the media to trade shots, we will hold talks with all partners in the parliamentary majority, and that will happen most probably next week, Plenković said, adding that all further activities regarding the case would be discussed by Minister Kuščević and himself.
“We will talk, Minister Kuščević is doing his job and the topics from the media campaign against him refer to the time long before he was appointed minister. As for his work as minister, I think that he has been maximally involved and motivated to work on the government’s programme and on everything from the Public Administration Ministry’s remit,” said the PM.
Asked about the HNS’s demand that Kuščević be replaced and its claims that otherwise, it would leave the ruling coalition, Plenković said: “No one is indispensable.”