Croatia PM sacks health minister amid property declaration claim

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Zagreb – Croatia’s Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic on Tuesday sacked Minister Milan Kujundzic, the ’s spokesman said, a day after Kujundzic admitted “ irregularities” in declarations about his property assets.

The Jutarnji List daily, citing local property registers, said at the weekend Kujundzic had failed to declare two apartments he owned on the island Pag, as required under Croatian when he took office in October 2016.

Kujundzic denied he had done anything , while Plenkovic did not comment directly on the newspaper’s , instead saying was up to Kujundzic to clarify his situation.

Plenkovic has yet to nominate Kujundzic’s successor, who will the most challenging ministerial portfolios.

The public service has been in arrears for years and puts a large strain on a budget the is trying to keep in balance to satisfy the criteria for adopting the euro in 2023 or 2024.

The conservative-led is facing a election in the autumn but before , in the spring, Plenkovic faces a contest with more conservative opponents for the leadership of his Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ).

In an opinion poll recently the biggest opposition party, the Democrats, moved marginally ahead of the HDZ for the first time in almost four years.

Plenkovic reshuffled his cabinet in July 2019 with six new incumbents after some ministers stepped down following media of questionable real estate deals.