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Croatian Parliament votes in Damir Habijan as minister of economy, sustainable development

Croatian Parliament Damir Habijan minister economy sustainable development

Photo: Government of Croatia

Published

December 22, 2023

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Published:

December 22, 2023

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New Croatian Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Damir Habijan has little time before the general election, due by the end of the summer.

A week after Prime Minister Andrej Plenković fired Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Davor Filipović, the Croatian Parliament voted to appoint Damir Habijan to replace him. Born in 1982, he is the head of Plenković’s ruling Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) in Varaždin, his hometown.

Filipović was deposed after a media report on a suspected corruption affair centered on his adviser Jurica Lovrinčević. Notably, thirty ministers so far were forced to leave Plenković’s two successive cabinets, mostly because of similar reasons, as did dozens of other high-ranking officials. Some were even arrested.

The general election in Croatia is due by the end of the summer.

Damir Habijan has little time to work before the general election

Damir Habijan said he doesn’t and won’t tolerate any irregularities, wrongdoings and illegal activity. He added that his first task is to get insight into the situation in all the sectors from the officials in the ministry responsible for running them. “I am aware there are many people there that are much, much more competent than I as concerns certain departments. The key is in team work, trust, right people in the right position,” the new minister stressed.

He also highlighted two action plans envisaged to lower the administrative burden for entrepreneurs and companies by EUR 260 million and cut parafiscal expenses by EUR 132.7 million. As for his qualifications in the economy segment, Habijan pointed to his experience in corporate law, mergers and acquisitions and restructuring.

He graduated from the Faculty of Law of the University of Zagreb in 2007. Since then and until 2020, when he was elected to Parliament, Damir Habijan worked at lawyer firm Uskoković and Partners, becoming one of its co-owners in 2014.

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