Croatia government survives no-confidence vote over Agrokor debt crisis

By REUTERS
November 11, 2017 03:21
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ZAGREB - The Croatian government survived a parliamentary no-confidence vote early on Saturday that the opposition demanded over the handling of a debt crisis at the country's largest private firm Agrokor.

In the vote, which followed 12 hours of a parliamentary debate, 59 deputies in the 151-seat parliament were in favor of the removal of the conservative-led cabinet, while 78 were opposed to it.

The no-confidence motion came as the opposition led by the Social Democrats said 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 lacked transparency and favored some creditors.

The analysts expected the motion to fail as the center-right cabinet comprising the conservatives and the liberals has a small but firm parliamentary majority.

The government introduced an emergency law last April to step in because food group Agrokor, the largest employer in the Balkans, faced a debt and liquidity crisis that threatened to destabilize the country's economy.

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

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