Late last week Croatia’s minister for environment and nature protection, Mirela Holy, resigned her ministerial post after being exposed of sending an email to the CEO of Croatian Railways Rene Valcic asking him to save the job of one of his secretaries, the wife of Holy’s Social Democrat Party colleague.
Initially Holy attempted to soften the blow of her morally corrupt conduct as minister by saying that she sent the email from her political party’s computer rather than from her ministerial computer. Then she went on saying she only appealed rather than pressured the CEO to keep the wife of her colleague in her job.
Whether it’s pressure, suggestion or appeal coming from a minister in a country still riddled with political favourisms, corruption and nepotism such emails can only be taken as highly improper conduct designed to exert intimidating influence, morally corrupt in the least.
I was taken with glee when Holy resigned as minister. I thought: Croatian leftist government is finally getting it right when it comes to intolerance of such morally corrupt conduct by government officials. Prime minister Zoran Milanovic commented June 7 on Holy’s resignation that such behaviors would not be tolerated “and that’s that”!
But my joy was short-lived.
A public scandal diverting the attention from Holy’s morally corrupt behavior has been mounted as a matter of urgency. The governing Social Democrats had started a campaign of intimidation by publically announcing that a criminal investigation will be commenced with view to identifying who had breached Holy’s privacy (got hold of her despicable email and leaked it to the public).
“Mrs Holy was instructed to file charges like every other citizen after which an investigation would be carried out,” Croatia’s minister of internal affairs Ranko Ostojic said June 8.
Indeed, according to Croatian media, Holy and the Croatian Railways Management Board separately pressed charges on Monday June 11, demanding that the person responsible for leaking the email to the media be identified and punished accordingly.
No one would deny Holy’s or Croatian Railways right to pursue the matter of possible breaches of privacy, however, that course of action doesn’t need to be so widely publicised in order to salvage a morally corrupt minister’s reputation.
Whether it can be said that in such morally corrupt cases a minister is entitled to privacy may be open to debate.
I would argue that every citizen has the absolute responsibility to report and reveal any corrupt behavior by a government official when such behavior can be traced and associated with influences he or she can exert simply by occupying the position of power. Even if, for instance. Holy used her personal email address (which it’s believed is not the case) the fact that she sent it from an official political party computer also raises the issue of engaging in private business on office computer and most likely during working hours, paid by taxpayers.
But Holy and her leftist government are in pursuit of muddying the waters even more by using communist-like tactics: “I’m a victim of intelligence services …”. Heck, even if so, Croatia needs more of such intelligence services that will expose moral and other forms of corruption, stamp them out one by one.
No, Mrs Holy, the Croatian public is a victim of your morally corrupt behavior everyone can do without, especially those battling to bring probity (integrity) in employment. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb), B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)