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Opposition MPs Suspect Foul Play as Croatia Airlines Prepares for Privatization

Some members of the Croatian parliament, all of different opposition parties, have voiced their concern in past days regarding safety issues that Croatia Airlines has had in recent weeks and, in particular, the unusual media attention these incidents have received. Croatia Airlines is currently being prepared for a long-awaited privatization process, but has had two emergency landings in just one week's time in September, as well as other minor safety issues. These kinds of safety issues are fairly standard cases in commercial aviation and often go unnoticed by media and the public. Some representatives in Croatia's parliament are calling the unusual media focus on these recent Croatia Airlines cases “an orchestrated attack” by the regime on the national airline, an attempt to lower the airlines value and price for a planned buyer in the privatization process. Balkans.com reports:

Members of both the HDSSB and Labour Party also suggested foul play is at hand and criticised the government for appointing party members as part of Croatia Airlines’ management team. Later this month the first of two tender rounds for the privatisation of the Croatian national carrier is expected to take place. The first, where potential buyers will express their interest, and the second, expected in February 2014, where specific takeover offers will be made. Recently, the Croatian Minister for Sea, Transport and Infrastructure said, “The price offered by a potential partner will not be paramount, rather, the focus will be on the quality of the strategic partner which could generate more traffic for Croatian airports”.

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