Radimir Čačić

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Radimir Čačić
R cacic.jpg
Deputy Prime Minister
In office
23 December 2011 – 14 November 2012
Prime Minister Zoran Milanović
Succeeded by Vesna Pusić
Minister of Economy
In office
23 December 2011 – 14 November 2012
Prime Minister Zoran Milanović
Preceded by Đuro Popijač
Succeeded by Ivan Vrdoljak
4th President of the Croatian People's Party
In office
2008–2013
Preceded by Vesna Pusić
Succeeded by Vesna Pusić
2nd President of the Croatian People's Party
In office
1995–2000
Preceded by Savka Dabčević-Kučar
Succeeded by Vesna Pusić
Minister of Public Works, Construction and Reconstruction
In office
27 January 2000 – 23 December 2003
Prime Minister Ivica Račan
Preceded by Ministry created
Succeeded by Ministry dissolved
Personal details
Born (1949-05-11) 11 May 1949 (age 65)
Zagreb, PR Croatia, FPR Yugoslavia
Political party Croatian People's Party - Liberal Democrats (1990-2013)

People's Party - Reformists (2013-present)

Alma mater University of Zagreb
(Faculty of Architecture)
Military service
Allegiance  Croatia
Service/branch Croatian Army
Years of service 2001-
Rank Honorary Brigadier
Awards Order of Duke Domagoj

Radimir Čačić (pronounced [râdimiːr tʃâtʃitɕ]; born 11 May 1949) is a Croatian politician and businessman, and the president of the Croatian People's Party – Liberal Democrats (HNS) since 2008. He previously served as president of the party from 1995 until 2000. As the leader of the second-largest party in the Kukuriku four-party coalition, he became Deputy Prime Minister, as well as Minister of Economy, in the Government of Zoran Milanović, after the 2011 parliamentary election. After causing a car crash that resulted in two fatalities, a Hungarian court sentenced him to 22 months in prison in November 2012, and he resigned from his government post. On September 28 2014 Čačić was elected for the first president of the People's Party - Reformists.[1]

Early life[edit]

After graduating from the University of Zagreb Faculty of Architecture in 1973, he worked for a Zagreb company before moving to Varaždin and joining the construction company "Zagorje". Together with several partners, in 1979 he left Zagorje and founded the construction company "DP Coning". In 1989, the Yugoslav Chamber of Commerce awarded him with the title of manager of the year. Čačić amassed considerable wealth in the process, and when the laws were changed in March 1989 to allow for privatization, he spent 750,000 German marks to buy a 25% stake in his old company "Zagorje", and later merged the two companies, with some jobs being lost in the process.[2]

1990s[edit]

He first entered politics in the Coalition of People's Accord in 1989, but with no electoral success. In 1990 and 1991, with Čačić as the director, Coning was involved in a failed construction project in Dubrovnik.[3]

During the Croatian War of Independence, Čačić was a brigadier of the fledgling Croatian army. In the Battle of the Barracks, he led the September 1991 negotiations with the Yugoslav People's Army to abandon the Varaždin barracks and was used as a hostage to make sure disarmed army members were safely escorted to Serbia. He was later awarded the Homeland War Memorial Medal and the Order of Duke Domagoj.[4]

In 1991-1992, Coning was involved in another much larger failed construction project in Israel,[5] for which the company was later involved in multi-million dollar lawsuits.[6] DP Coning was transformed into Coning holding with several daughter companies, and the Holding was later renamed Ingprojekt. This transaction was later undone in a court of law, but Čačić had since sold or transferred his stakes in the Coning companies to a legal firm.[2] Čačić's business affairs were commonly used against him when he became more active in politics, and for the Israel case he was once defamed by Miroslav Rožić.[5] By 1995, he was one of the few Croatian politicians who were wealthy prior to entering a public office, although his wealth would later multiply during the course of his political activity.

He succeeded Savka Dabčević-Kučar as the president of the Croatian People's Party (HNS) and held the position for six years. He in turn was succeeded by Vesna Pusić, while Čačić became the president of the central committee of the party. He became a member of the Croatian Parliament after the 1995 parliamentary election.

2000s[edit]

In the 2000 election, the HNS won more seats in the Croatian Parliament and participated in the six-party coalition that formed the government under Ivica Račan. Čačić was the only member of HNS in the government but was given the influential and suitable position of the Minister of Public Works, Reconstruction and Building which granted him access to many government sponsored projects.

Radimir Čačić was instrumental in reviving the project to build the Zagreb-Split motorway, arranging a more viable financing model – one that did not favour Bechtel Corporation so much as the contracts signed by Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) did, both before and after Čačić.[7][8][9] The ministry invited tenders in order to choose the construction companies which would build the new road, and this method proved successful in getting the building under way. When Čačić exited the office, the sections from Karlovac to Zadar were mostly completed and the rest were also partially built.

Čačić also helped organize the public state-sponsored housing project for young families, the first such endeavour in modern-day Croatia. The buildings were later nicknamed Čačićevi stanovi (Čačić apartments) after him.

After the 2003 election, the HNS returned to the opposition but Čačić retained a seat in the Parliament.

The new HDZ leadership organized a parliamentary investigation panel on Čačić's alleged misdeeds: he was accused of conflict of interest given how his old company Coning was also awarded contracts in building the Zagreb-Split highway. However, after the subsequent inquiry, Čačić was cleared of all charges. In December 2006, the HDZ parliamentary investigation panel again convened and changed its previous decision, saying Čačić was indeed in conflict of interest because of twelve contracts worth 132 million kuna signed with companies with a connection to Čačić, without this connection being properly registered according to relevant law. He in turn insisted that this was a meaningless distinction and that he was already disassociated from his old companies, and tried to get the decision reversed in court, but was rejected by a Zagreb court in 2007. He appealed the verdict and was ultimately rejected by the Constitutional Court of Croatia in 2010.[10]

In 2005 his party won the local elections in the Varaždin County and Čačić became the župan (prefect) of the county on June 9. He was replaced in June 2008, after two HNS deputies in the county council switched sides to the opposition.[11]

2010s[edit]

On 8 January 2010, he caused a severe traffic accident on the M7 motorway in Hungary which resulted in injuries leading to deaths of two passengers in the car hit. Čačić's Chrysler 300 rear-ended a Škoda Fabia in dense fog.[12] Čačić subsequently called the police. He was charged by a Somogy County court and released on €1,000 bail.[13] Under Hungarian law he now faces a jail sentence.[14][15] The incident led to Čačić handing in his resignation as president of the Croatian Tennis Association, which was later refused by the federation's governing board.

Čačić represented HNS in the Kukuriku coalition and was the top-listed candidate for the 3rd electoral district at the Croatian parliamentary election, 2011.[16] In the district they won 52.73% of the vote.[17] Following the overall election win, Čačić became a Deputy Prime Minister in the Cabinet of Zoran Milanović.

On June 29, 2012 the court of first instance found him guilty for the car accident and sentenced him to 1 year and three months on probation.[18] Croatian opposition politicians Tomislav Karamarko, Jadranka Kosor and Dragutin Lesar called for Čačić to resign; members of the ruling coalition Mirela Holy and Josip Leko expressed reservations about the issue.[19] On November 14, 2012 the court of second instance confirmed the verdict and increased his sentence to 22 months in prison.[20] The same day, Čačić resigned from the Croatian Government.[21]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.index.hr/vijesti/clanak/cacic-o-etici-i-moralu-pa-podrzao-ivu-josipovica/774054.aspx
  2. ^ a b "Osoba tjedna: Radimir Čačić". Feral Tribune (in Croatian). 1996-06-09. Retrieved 2010-12-11. 
  3. ^ ""Coning" je 1990. dobio 20 milijuna maraka za posao koji nije obavio". Vjesnik (in Croatian). 2001-10-30. Retrieved 2010-11-12. 
  4. ^ "Radimir Čačić". O Vladi RH (in Croatian). Croatian Government. 2011-12-23. Retrieved 2011-12-23. 
  5. ^ a b "Coning u Izraelu ostao dužan milijune dolara". Poslovni dnevnik (in Croatian). 2008-09-11. Retrieved 2010-12-11. 
  6. ^ "Reagiranja - Coning: Izraelci su nam ostali dužni desetke milijuna dolara". Poslovni dnevnik. 2008-09-17. Retrieved 2010-12-11. 
  7. ^ "PREDSJEDNIK TUĐMAN OZNAČIO POČETAK RADOVA NA AUTOCESTI ZAGREB - BREGANA" (in Croatian). Croatian Radiotelevision. 1998-10-20. Retrieved 2010-12-11. 
  8. ^ "KALMETA: PRVU DIONICU AUTOCESTE OD SPLITA PREMA DUBROVNIKU GRADIT ĆE BECHTEL" (in Croatian). Croatian Radiotelevision. 2004-07-17. Retrieved 2010-12-11. 
  9. ^ "Koncesijom autocesta do skandala". Slobodna Dalmacija (in Croatian). 2009-03-03. Retrieved 2010-12-11. "Nakon pristiska javnosti, Vlada je 2004. godine bila prisiljena raspisati natječaj za dionicu od Dugopolja do Šestanovca, što se “ispod žita” pokušavalo progurati američkom “Bechtelu”." 
  10. ^ "Čačiću nisu prekršena ustavna prava". T-portal.hr (in Croatian). HINA. 2010-10-11. Retrieved 2010-12-11. 
  11. ^ Katarina Zorić (20 June 2008). "Smjena Radimira Čačića" [Radimir Čačić dismissed]. Nacional (in Croatian). Archived from the original on 22 July 2012. Retrieved 22 July 2012. 
  12. ^ "Objavljene snimke Čačićeve prometne nesreće (VIDEO)". Slobodna Dalmacija. 13 January 2010. Retrieved 13 January 2010. 
  13. ^ "Mađari: Čačić vozio neprilagođenom brzinom, jamčevinu platio 1000 eura". Večernji list. 13 January 2010. Retrieved 13 January 2010. 
  14. ^ "Croatian party leader causes fatal road accident in Budapest". Croatian Times. 12 January 2010. Retrieved 12 January 2010. 
  15. ^ "Skrivio nesreću u Mađarskoj - Čačić pušten uz jamčevinu!". Jutarnji list. 12 January 2010. Retrieved 13 January 2010. 
  16. ^ "Predizborna kampanja - Čačić: Naša je premijerka uvijek sva u nekakvim dvojbama". Večernji list (in Croatian). 17 November 2011. Retrieved 26 December 2012. 
  17. ^ "Konačni službeni rezultati izbora zastupnika u Hrvatski sabor 4. prosinca 2011. - III. izborna jedinica" (in Croatian). State Election Committee. 13 December 2011. Retrieved 26 December 2011. 
  18. ^ Borovec, Marina; Kaposvár, I.; Škiljić-Ravenščak, A. (29 June 2012). "Nepravomoćno: Čačić kriv, uvjetno osuđen na godinu i 10 mjeseci". Večernji list (in Croatian). Retrieved 1 July 2012. 
  19. ^ Krasanec, T.; Romić, T. (29 June 2012). "Karamarko: Država je postala taoc Čačićeve osobne situacije". Večernji list (in Croatian). Retrieved 1 July 2012. 
  20. ^ "Čačić za zatvor doznao pet minuta prije slijetanja – od Josipovića". Večernji list (in Croatian). 14 November 2012. Retrieved 14 November 2012. 
  21. ^ "Čačić: Podnosim ostavku na mjesto potpredsjednika Vlade i ministra gospodarstva; Nije odgovorio što sa strankom; HNS najavio sastanak". Slobodna Dalmacija (in Croatian). 2012-11-14. Retrieved 2012-11-16. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Ministry created
Minister of Public Works, Construction and Reconstruction
2000–2003
Succeeded by
Ministry dissolved
Preceded by
Zvonimir Sabati
Prefect of Varaždin County
2005–2008
Succeeded by
Zvonimir Sabati
Preceded by
Slobodan Uzelac and Domagoj Ivan Milošević
Deputy Prime Minister
Serving alongside with Neven Mimica, Branko Grčić and Milanka Opačić

2011–2012
Succeeded by
Vesna Pusić, Neven Mimica, Branko Grčić and Milanka Opačić
Preceded by
Đuro Popijač
Minister of Economy
2011–2012
Succeeded by
Ivan Vrdoljak
Party political offices
Preceded by
Savka Dabčević-Kučar
President of Croatian People's Party
1995–2000
Succeeded by
Vesna Pusić
Preceded by
Vesna Pusić
00President of Croatian People's Party – Liberal Democrats00
2008–2013
Succeeded by
Vesna Pusić
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Slaven Letica
President of the Croatian Tennis Association
2002–2012
Succeeded by
Franjo Luković