The Opposition says candidate for HRT director doesn't represent change for the better

Zagreb - The parliamentary majority on Tuesday supported the appointment of Robert Šveb as director-general of the HRT public broadcaster while the Opposition refused to support him, noting that if he was appointed, the HRT would continue failing to be a public service and serving the ruling party.

Mario Kapulica, an MP of the ruling HDZ party, said that Šveb had 20 years of work experience and knew how to organise a multimedia company, secure better working conditions for the employees, and make the public service better.

Vili Matula (Green-Left Bloc) said that Šveb's programme was too general and that his interview before the parliamentary Committee on Information, Computerisation and Media was the poorest.

He proposed annulling the call for applications for the post and appointing an acting director-general who would have to replace the current staff in charge of programming and business at the HRT.

Dalija Orešković (Centre) said that there was no opposition MP who agreed with the appointment of the proposed candidate because he had not been nominated in line with the relevant procedure.

HDZ MP Josip Borić said that the Opposition was forgetting what it did when it was in power, notably the Social Democratic Party. They don't care about the public service, they want to exert influence on the programming policy, said Borić, accusing Bridge MP Nikola Grmoja of inciting and coordinating the Opposition's actions.

Social Democratic Party (SDP) MP Sabina Glasovac called on the parliament to adopt a conclusion calling on the newly elected HRT director to withdraw lawsuits against HRT reporters filed by former HRT director Kazimir Bačić, warning that Šveb was the only candidate who did not provide proof that he was not in a conflict of interest.

Her party colleague Arsen Bauk said the debate on Šveb had united the Opposition and disunited the parliamentary majority, which, he believes, does not have the necessary number of votes to appoint Šveb.

Marijana Puljak of the Centre/GLAS party group said that the HRT was the long arm and mouthpiece of the party in power.

The HRT should be a public service and a barrier against corruption, she said, warning that with a revenue of HRK 1.3 billion and 2,800 employees it made a profit that was twice smaller than that of commercial television networks.

Author: Hina