Croatian president attacks public broadcaster HRT

Croatian President Zoran Milanovic. [EPA-EFE/DANIEL NOVOTNY]

Croatian President Zoran Milanović has stated that Croatia’s public broadcaster HRT “tricked” Zlata Đurđević, who is aspiring for the position of Supreme Court President, during a broadcast on Wednesday evening, by inviting an open critic of Đurđević to its show.

“Contrary to their agreement, a fourth person was invited to the show who is not a candidate but her work colleague she is not on good terms with. That’s cheating,” said Milanović.

HRT replied that it “unfortunately, can only interpret the president’s messages today as an attack, from a position of power, on the freedom and editorial policy of a public media service,” it said in a press release. HRT expressed concern over the president’s “obvious allegations” that HRT and its employees would meet the same fate as the now-defunct Vjesnik daily.

“That is an indirect threat against a public media service and its employees,” the press release noted.

President Milanović then said the HRT management sees him “as a direct threat”, though his only power is to speak publicly, and accused the HRT of becoming “a political family business that services the HDZ and [Prime Minister Andrej] Plenković at the expense of all citizens.” (Željko Trkanjec | EURACTIV.hr)

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