Zdravko Marić (pronounced [zdrǎːʋko mǎːrit͜ɕ]; born 3 February 1977) is a Croatian economist who has been serving as Minister of Finance since 22 January 2016. He is also serving as Deputy Prime Minister since 19 July 2019 in the Government of Croatia, thus becoming the first non-partisan holder of the office in Croatia's post-independent history.
|Deputy Prime Minister of Croatia|
|Assumed office |
19 July 2019
|Prime Minister||Andrej Plenković|
|Preceded by||Tomislav Tolušić|
|Minister of Finance|
|Assumed office |
22 January 2016
|Prime Minister||Tihomir Orešković|
|Preceded by||Boris Lalovac|
|Born||3 February 1977|
Slavonski Brod, SR Croatia, SFR Yugoslavia
|Alma mater||University of Zagreb|
Early life and educationEdit
Zdravko Marić was born on February 3, 1977 in Slavonski Brod. After finishing elementary and high school in his hometown, he enrolled in Zagreb Faculty of Economics and Business from which he graduated finances in 2000. He gained his master's degree in operational research in 2004 with thesis "Analysis of Capital Flows in Transition Countries Through the Impact on Investment". In 2007, Marić attended executive education program „Public Financial Management" on the John F. Kennedy School of Government at the Harvard University. Marić gained his Ph.D. in 2008 from the Zagreb Faculty of Economics and Business with thesis "The Impact of Foreign Direct Investments on the Productivity of Croatian Companies".
Zdravko Marić gained his first working experience as an assistant at the Zagreb Institute of Economics where he worked from 2001 to 2006 on a number of scientific and commercial projects. During this period, he also worked as occasional lecturer at the Zagreb School of Economics and Management and the International Graduate Business School Zagreb. In year 2006, he became Assistant for Macroeconomic Analysis and Planning to finance minister Ivan Šuker (HDZ). His main responsibility was to bring macroeconomic forecasting and work on the state budget, as well as direct cooperation with the European Commission in the field of economic dialogue. In year 2008, Marić was promoted to the position of state secretary which gave him more responsibilities, including the overall state budget, the financial system and cooperation with international financial institutions (IMF, WB, IADB, EBRD, EIB, CEB). In addition, he became a leader of the working group for the Croatian negotiation process with the European Union for Chapter 33: Budget and Financial Regulations. After HDZ lost 2011 parliamentary election, Slavko Linić from SDP was appointed new finance minister, and although he offered Marić to stay state secretary, Marić refused and got a job in the largest Croatian retail joint-stock company Agrokor where he worked as Executive Director for Strategy and Capital. Fields of his responsibilities were international finances, relations with investors and mergers and acquisitions. When HDZ managed to form coalition Government with Bridge of Independent Lists (MOST) after 2015 parliamentary election, Marić was appointed Minister of Finance instead of Ivan Šuker whose appointment was opposed by MOST, although MOST also opposed Marić's appointment at first. According to poll conducted in April 2016 by IPSOS Puls for Nova TV, Marić was considered the second most popular member of the Government after Prime Minister Tihomir Orešković.
On June 10, 2016 in light of the government crisis caused by a call to start motion of no confidence against First Deputy Prime Minister Tomislav Karamarko due to his conflict of interest in an affair involving his wife Ana Šarić and Josip Petrović, special adviser and lobbyist of the MOL Group, a Hungarian oil corporation that gained control of Croatia's national oil company INA through a corruption scandal, and the insuring calls on the Prime Minister Orešković himself to resign, HDZ planned to nominate Marić as their candidate for the new Prime Minister pending the removal of Orešković. However, since it was clear that Marić would not get support of 76 MPs', the idea was abandoned which led to the dissolution of the Croatian Parliament, and new elections.
Following 2016 extraordinary parliamentary election and creation of Cabinet of Andrej Plenković, Marić continued to serve as Minister of Finance. On April 20, 2017, 46 MP's from the SDP, HNS, HSS, HSU, ŽZ and SNAGA backed by the 15 MP's from MOST, submitted a Proposal for initiation of a motion of no confidence against minister Marić after Committee on Conflict of Interest concluded that Marić, who served as an Executive Director for Strategy and Capital in Agrokor prior to taking office as a minister, participated in the Government session held on April 10, 2017 on which the Government was deciding on the proposal for appointing the extraordinary manager in the Agrokor by which Marić violated provisions of the Law on Prevention of Conflicts of Interest which stipulated that state official had to exempt himself from all proceedings which could directly or indirectly affect company in which he worked prior to taking state office. In addition, MP's stated that Marić, at a time when Agrokor's financial statements were tempered with, had the task of presenting those statements to third parties andtheir active usage in order to secure Agrokor's stable financing, as well as that Marić, upon taking office as a finance minister, postponed regulations that could indicate the existence of a crisis in Agrokor.[A] On May 4, 2017, the Parliament voted on a proposal in a tie — 75 MP's voted in favor, 75 voted against — so Marić remained minister since 76 MP's had to vote in favor of the motion in order for it to succeed. Following the vote, Speaker Božo Petrov stated that the vote has shown that the HDZ no longer had a majority in the parliament and that the only right thing to do would be to call new election. However, afterwards Petrov resigned his position citing "moral obligation", MOST left the Government and moved to the opposition, and HNS started supporting government.
- European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Ex-Officio Member of the Board of Governors
- European Investment Bank (EIB), Ex-Officio Member of the Board of Governors
- Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC), Ex-Officio Member of the Board of Governors (since 2015)
- Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), World Bank Group, Ex-Officio Member of the Board of Governors
- World Bank, Ex-Officio Member of the Board of Governors
Marić is married with two children. He speaks Croatian, English, and Italian fluently.
- Note:In January 2017, Moody's lowered Agrokor's rating from B2 to B3 and in the same time increased the possibility of companies' bankruptcy, and later lowered Agrokor's rating four more times by June. Agrokor's bonds started losing value. In February 2017, Moody's reduced the prospects for Agrokor's rating from stable to negative. In April 2017, the government passed an emergency law, nicknamed Lex Agrokor, that allowed the state to appoint an executive with a special crisis management team to steer a restructuring of companies in financial troubles with more than 5,000 employees. On April 7, Agrokor's management filed a request for the activation of Lex Agrokor after which the Government appointed Ivica Ramljak as Agrokor's extraordinary manager. He started negotiating with banks and suppliers in order to rescue the company from bankruptcy. On October 9, Ramljak announced a consolidated report which reduced Agrokor's value for 21 billion HRK, revealing that he filed a criminal charges against Todorić and his associates for tempering companies' financial statements. Afterwards, USKOK launched a criminal prosecution against 13 members of the governing and supervisory boards Agrokor's including the owner Ivica Todorić himself.
- "Zdravko Marić, dr. sc. - Republika Hrvatska - Ministarstvo financija". Mfin.hr. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
- "ŽIVOTOPIS - Zdravko Marić, dr.sc" (PDF). Hrt.hr. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
- "KLJUČNI RESOR Novi ministar financija bit će Zdravko Marić iz Agrokora?". Jutarnji.hr. 19 January 2016. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
- "Zdravko Marić: biografija novog ministra financija". Dnevnik.hr. 21 January 2016. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
- Jelena Rastočić / Mislav Bago (1 January 2015). "100 dana Vlade Tihomira Oreškovića: Drugi dio istraživanja". Dnevnik.hr. Retrieved 30 April 2016.
- Portal Jutarnji.hr. "NAKON STO DANA VLADE, PREMIJER NAJOMILJENIJI ČLAN Građani vole i ministra Marića, a za neke od njihovih kolega nisu uopće ni čuli..." Jutarnji.hr. Retrieved 30 April 2016.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
- Board of Governors European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
- Board of Governors European Investment Bank (EIB).
- Board of Governors Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC).
- Board of Governors Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), World Bank Group.
- Board of Governors World Bank.
| Minister of Finance