Croatia parliament debates government no-confidence motion over Agrokor

FILE PHOTO: Croatian food producer Agrokor's headquarters in Zagreb
FILE PHOTO: Croatian food producer Agrokor's headquarters in Zagreb, Croatia, March 22, 2017. REUTERS/Antonio Bronic/File Photo

November 10, 2017

ZAGREB (Reuters) – The Croatian parliament began a debate on Friday on an opposition no-confidence motion against the government over its handling of a debt crisis that had hit Croatia’s largest firm Agrokor.

The opposition, led by the Social Democrats, says that the government, which took over administration of Agrokor last April, was not running the restructuring process transparently. It also says that the whole process has been politicized.

“The government has failed to provide credible answers on key questions in relation to the law on Agrokor,” the opposition said in its motion.

The no-confidence motion is unlikely to succeed as the center-right coalition comprising the conservatives and the liberals has a small but firm parliamentary majority. A vote is expected on Friday.

The government introduced an emergency law to intervene because Agrokor, the largest employer in the Balkans, faced a debt and liquidity crisis.

The opposition has criticized the government for a liquidity loan agreed in recent months with creditors, including foreign investment funds, to finance Agrokor’s operations through a 15-month period of restructuring.

It said that the loan deal was not transparent and appeared to favor some creditors. The government and Agrokor’s crisis manager Ante Ramljak reject the accusations.

(Reporting by Igor Ilic; Editing by Peter Graff)