Dragan Čović triumphantly announced reforms in several public companies where HDZ (Croatian Democratic Union) has influence, referring to the replacement of directors. However, these reforms have resulted in new positions for the families of many HDZ members.
Still the current prime minister of HNŽ (Herzegovina-Neretva Canton), Nevenko Herceg, has reportedly employed his son, Antonio, in Elektroprivreda HZHB (Power Utility Company) through the recent job competition, despite other applicants being rejected.
By the decision of the company’s management to hire employees on a permanent basis, Herceg’s son was employed on March 20th of this year. The outgoing prime minister not only took care of his own son but also secured a job for his brother’s son, Šimun Herceg, who will serve as an assistant to the Minister of Justice in HNŽ (Herzegovina-Neretva Canton). He was also one of the first to provide financial assistance to young scientists in HNŽ, as we mentioned earlier, and Šimun Herceg was one of eight advisors to Lidija Bradara, as reported by CIN.
It’s like a fairytale with the Čović family
Dragan Čović, who has a considerable number of family members working at Elektroprivreda (Power Utility Company), has now also assisted his wife’s relatives. It has been revealed by Hercegovina.info that the job was secured for the daughter of his brother-in-law Ivica Prskalo Petek.
Petek is Čović’s brother-in-law, specifically the brother of his wife Bernardica, who is over 60 years old. He is an employee of EP and holds the position of Distribution Director and a member of the Management Board. He was previously a fleet officer, head of the South Operational Unit, and then became the director of electricity supply, a position he still holds despite his advanced age, which suggests the need for rejuvenation.
It is worth mentioning that the Government of FBiH appointed Drago Bago as the acting General Director, Robert Lesko as the acting Executive Director for Legal Affairs, Anabela Brekalo as the acting Executive Director for Economic Affairs, Dražen Zelenik as the acting Executive Director for Electricity Production, Ilija Bakalar as the acting Executive Director for Electricity Distribution, and Čović’s brother-in-law Ivica Prskalo as the acting Executive Director for Electricity Supply. There are other relatives of Čović working at Elektroprivreda, including his sister’s son Branislav Stojkić, his brother-in-law’s wife, and his son-in-law Mario Krezić. Robert Lesko, a member of the Management Board, is also a relative of Čović.
Čović’s son-in-law Mario Krezić joined Elektroprivreda as an intern in 2015 and later became a professional collaborator in the development unit. He was supposed to be appointed as the Director of Development at EP by the Government of FBiH, but after our article highlighted the intention of rejuvenation at EP, only the position of Director of Development was not filled. It is expected that this appointment will take place once the controversy surrounding the rejuvenation process subsides.
It is interesting to note that the current acting director of Elektroprivreda, Drago Bago, is the godfather of Čović’s son-in-law, Mario Krezić.
Sons of the mayor
Some sons of Herzegovinian mayors have found financial refuge in Elektroprivreda (Power Utility Company), including the son of the mayor of Široki Brijeg, Miro Kraljević.
Elektroprivreda Hrvatske zajednice Herceg Bosne (Power Utility Company of the Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia) issued a call for 88 workers in February of this year. It stated that workers were needed in Mostar, Prozor-Rama, Svitava, Grude, Široki Brijeg, Novi Travnik, Livno, Usora, Čapljina, Stolac, Ravno, Posušje, Tomislavgrad, Glamoč, Nova Bila, Kreševo, Žepče, Vitez, for positions such as cashiers, calculation and payment clerks, installers, and engineers.
It did not mention that workers were also being sought at the HDZ (Croatian Democratic Union) headquarters in Mostar, where a list for employment at Elektroprivreda was created. At the end of 2022, the company employed 2,283 workers, and it was noteworthy that just before the change of directors and management, HDZ media extensively reported that the company had incurred a loss of 81 million marks. This hinted that Marinko Gilja had fallen out of favor with the HDZ president and that something strange was happening. Soon after, collective resignations followed. Marinko Gilja and the entire management team resigned on April 11th. We are now awaiting responses from the new management regarding the hiring of new employees.