Croatian PM sacks finance minister over property purchase

ZAGREB Tue May 6, 2014 6:12am EDT

Croatia's then new Finance Minister Slavko Linic is seen in parliament before his centre-left government has been approved in Zagreb in this December 23, 2011 file photo. REUTERS/Nikola Solic/Files

Croatia's then new Finance Minister Slavko Linic is seen in parliament before his centre-left government has been approved in Zagreb in this December 23, 2011 file photo.

Credit: Reuters/Nikola Solic/Files

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ZAGREB (Reuters) - Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic said on Tuesday he had sacked Finance Minister Slavko Linic over a property deal that he said had been detrimental to the state budget.

"Minister Linic does not enjoy my confidence any longer and I will propose that he be replaced by his deputy Boris Lalovac,"

Milanovic told reporters.

Milanovic said Linic was politically responsible for the finance ministry's purchase of property from a struggling firm that was later found to be worth more than 20 million Croatian kunas ($3.66 million) less than the ministry had paid for it.

"Minister Linic bears a political responsibility for the damage the contract has incurred on the state budget," the premier said.

"It is possible there was no intention. Mistakes happen but than it should be checked who was responsible for a mistake ... I was waiting for two months but minister (Linic) took no action and I am not satisfied with his explanation," Milanovic said.

($1 = 5.4714 Croatian Kunas)

(Reporting by Igor Ilic; Writing by Maja Zuvela; Editing by Catherine Evans)

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