July 17, 2019 / 10:03 PM / a month ago

Croatia PM reshuffles cabinet, proposes six new ministers

Croatia's Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic arrives to take part in a European Union leaders summit, in Brussels, Belgium July 2, 2019. Geoffroy Van Der Hasselt/Pool via REUTERS

ZAGREB (Reuters) - Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic on Wednesday ordered a reshuffle of his cabinet with six new ministers, just over a year before his government’s term in office expires in late 2020.

“The logic behind this government reshuffle is to continue our work on achieving our goals for the benefits of the citizens, without any burden,” Plenkovic told reporters late on Wednesday after meeting his coalition partners.

The conservative-liberal ruling coalition, which is also supported by some smaller parties, has a thin parliamentary majority. The new ministers are expected to be approved by lawmakers on Friday.

The government will get new ministers for public administration, state assets management, agriculture, foreign and European affairs, labour and pensions, welfare policy, regional development and European Union funds.

All six of the proposed new ministers were previously lower-level government officials. Only the current Labour Minister Marko Pavic, who will take over the regional development and the EU funds ministry, was in the Cabinet.

The previous ministers in charge of public administration and state assets management resigned earlier this month following media reports about questionable real estate deals..

Also, some other ministers who are set to be replaced, have in recent months been criticised for conduct in relation to private matters which media reports have said raised questions of propriety.

“We want to carry on our work with the public and the media focusing on our achievements rather than on the matters which have been a distraction from what we have been doing well,” Plenkovic said.

As part of the reshuffle, Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic and Finance Minister Zdravko Maric have been proposed as new deputy prime ministers.

Reporting by Igor Ilic, editing by G Crosse

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