Radimir Čačić

Radimir Čačić (pronounced [râdimiːr tʃâtʃitɕ]; born 11 May 1949) is a Croatian politician and businessman who has been President of the People's Party – Reformists (NS-R) since the party's formation in 2014, as well as Prefect of Varaždin County since 2017.

Radimir Čačić
R cacic.jpg
Prefect of Varaždin County
Assumed office
9 June 2017
DeputyTomislav Paljak
Robert Vugrin
Preceded byPredrag Štromar
In office
9 June 2005 – 20 June 2008
DeputyPredrag Štromar
Preceded byZvonimir Sabati
Succeeded byZvonimir Sabati
Deputy Prime Minister of Croatia
In office
23 December 2011 – 14 November 2012
Prime MinisterZoran Milanović
Preceded bySlobodan Uzelac
Domagoj Ivan Milošević
Succeeded byVesna Pusić
Minister of Economy
In office
23 December 2011 – 14 November 2012
Prime MinisterZoran Milanović
Preceded byĐuro Popijač
Succeeded byIvan Vrdoljak
Minister of Public Works, Construction and Reconstruction
In office
27 January 2000 – 23 December 2003
Prime MinisterIvica Račan
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byPosition abolished
President of the People's Party – Reformists
Assumed office
28 September 2014
Preceded byPosition established
President of the Croatian People's Party
In office
2008–2013
Preceded byVesna Pusić
Succeeded byVesna Pusić
In office
1995–2000
Preceded bySavka Dabčević-Kučar
Succeeded byVesna Pusić
Personal details
Born (1949-05-11) 11 May 1949 (age 71)
Zagreb, PR Croatia, FPR Yugoslavia
Political partyNS-R (2013–present)
HNS (1990–2013)
Alma materUniversity of Zagreb
AwardsOrder of Duke Domagoj
Military service
Allegiance Croatia
Branch/serviceCroatian Army
Years of service2001–present
RankHonorary brigadier

Čačić previously served as President of the Croatian People's Party (HNS) between 1995 and 2000. Following the 2000 Croatian parliamentary election, he became part of the first cabinet of Ivica Račan where he notably spearheaded the construction of motorways.

He was elected president of the HNS again in 2008. Following the 2011 parliamentary election, as the leader of the second-largest party in the four-party Kukuriku coalition alliance, Čačić became Deputy Prime Minister, as well as Minister of Economy, in the cabinet of Zoran Milanović.

After causing a car crash that resulted in two fatalities, a Hungarian court sentenced him to 22 months in prison in November 2012. He resigned from his government post, and was ejected from the HNS in 2013. After serving his prison sentence, Čačić returned to politics with a new political party, the People's Party – Reformists. In 2017 he was elected the prefect of Varaždin County for the second time.

Early lifeEdit

After graduating from the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Zagreb 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.[1]

Political careerEdit

1990sEdit

He first entered politics in the Coalition of People's Accord (KNS) 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.[2]

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.[3]

In 1991–92, Coning was involved in another much larger failed construction project in Israel,[4] for which the company was later involved in multimillion-dollar lawsuits.[5] 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.[1] 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.[4] 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 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.

2000sEdit

In the 2000 parliamentary 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 highway, arranging a more viable financing model – one that did not favour Bechtel Corporation so much as the contracts signed by the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) did, both before and after Čačić.[6][7][8] 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 parliamentary 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 Croatian kunas 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.[9]

In 2005 his party won the local elections in the Varaždin County and Čačić became the prefect of the county on 9 June. He was replaced in June 2008, after two HNS deputies in the county council switched sides to the opposition.[10]

2010sEdit

On 8 January 2010, he caused a severe traffic accident on the M7 motorway in Hungary which resulted in the death of two passengers in the car he hit. Čačić's Chrysler 300 rear-ended a Škoda Fabia in dense fog.[11] In 2011, Čačić caused two more traffic accidents in Zagreb, both times without causing injury.[12] The 2010 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 2011 parliamentary election.[13] In the district they won 52.73% of the vote.[14] Following the overall election win, Čačić became Deputy Prime Minister in the cabinet of Zoran Milanović.

On 29 June 2012 the court of first instance found him guilty for the car accident and sentenced him to 1 year and three months on probation.[15] 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.[16] On 14 November 2012 the court of second instance confirmed the verdict and increased his sentence to 22 months in prison.[17] The same day, Čačić resigned from the Croatian Government.[18]

Čačić was ejected from the HNS in January 2014.[19] He was released from prison in June 2014 after serving a year out of his 22-month sentence.[20]

On 28 September 2014 he became the first president of the People's Party – Reformists.[21]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Osoba tjedna: Radimir Čačić". Feral Tribune (in Croatian). 9 June 1996. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 11 December 2010.
  2. ^ ""Coning" je 1990. dobio 20 milijuna maraka za posao koji nije obavio". Vjesnik (in Croatian). 30 October 2011. Retrieved 12 November 2010.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ "Radimir Čačić". O Vladi RH (in Croatian). Croatian Government. 23 December 2011. Archived from the original on 30 December 2011. Retrieved 23 December 2011.
  4. ^ a b "Coning u Izraelu ostao dužan milijune dolara". Poslovni dnevnik (in Croatian). 11 September 2008. Retrieved 11 December 2010.
  5. ^ "Reagiranja - Coning: Izraelci su nam ostali dužni desetke milijuna dolara". Poslovni dnevnik. 17 September 2008. Retrieved 11 December 2010.
  6. ^ "PREDSJEDNIK TUĐMAN OZNAČIO POČETAK RADOVA NA AUTOCESTI ZAGREB - BREGANA" (in Croatian). Croatian Radiotelevision. 20 December 1998. Archived from the original on 9 September 2009. Retrieved 11 December 2010.
  7. ^ "KALMETA: PRVU DIONICU AUTOCESTE OD SPLITA PREMA DUBROVNIKU GRADIT ĆE BECHTEL" (in Croatian). Croatian Radiotelevision. 17 July 2004. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 11 December 2010.
  8. ^ "Koncesijom autocesta do skandala". Slobodna Dalmacija (in Croatian). 3 March 2009. Retrieved 11 December 2010. 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".
  9. ^ "Čačiću nisu prekršena ustavna prava". T-portal.hr (in Croatian). HINA. 11 October 2010. Retrieved 11 December 2010.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ "Objavljene snimke Čačićeve prometne nesreće (VIDEO)". Slobodna Dalmacija. 13 January 2010. Retrieved 13 January 2010.
  12. ^ "Radimir Čačić imao lakšu prometnu nesreću u Zagrebu". www.vecernji.hr (in Croatian). Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  13. ^ "Predizborna kampanja - Čačić: Naša je premijerka uvijek sva u nekakvim dvojbama". Večernji list (in Croatian). 17 November 2011. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
  14. ^ "Konačni službeni rezultati izbora zastupnika u Hrvatski sabor 4. prosinca 2011. - III. izborna jedinica" (in Croatian). State Election Committee. 13 December 2011. Archived from the original on 6 January 2012. Retrieved 26 December 2011.
  15. ^ 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.
  16. ^ Krasanec, T.; Romić, T. (29 June 2012). "Karamarko: Država je postala taoc Čačićeve osobne situacije". Večernji list (in Croatian). Retrieved 1 July 2012.
  17. ^ "Čačić za zatvor doznao pet minuta prije slijetanja – od Josipovića". Večernji list (in Croatian). 14 November 2012. Retrieved 14 November 2012.
  18. ^ "Čačić: Podnosim ostavku na mjesto potpredsjednika Vlade i ministra gospodarstva; Nije odgovorio što sa strankom; HNS najavio sastanak". Slobodna Dalmacija (in Croatian). 14 November 2012. Retrieved 16 November 2012.
  19. ^ "ČAČIĆ IZBAČEN IZ HNS-a! Pusić: 'To je isključenje konačno'". Jutarnji list (in Croatian). 15 January 2014. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  20. ^ "Radimir Čačić: Uskoro će vam biti i previše mojih izjava". Večernji list (in Croatian). 20 June 2014. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  21. ^ "Čačić o etici i moralu, pa podržao Ivu Josipovića" (in Croatian). Index.hr. Media servis, Hina, R.I. 28 September 2014. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
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 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 Party00
2008–2013
Succeeded by
Vesna Pusić
Preceded by
Position created
President of People's Party – Reformists
2014–present
Incumbent
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Slaven Letica
President of the Croatian Tennis Association
2002–2012
Succeeded by
Franjo Luković