4 government's agency managers to be sued for selling state-owned property in Croatia

A Croatian district court launched an investigation into four managers of the government's agency in charge of selling formerly state-owned property.

The four three vice presidents of the Croatian Privatization Fund and its agent for real estate were arrested in June after a longtime investigation by the state prosecutor's office.

The prosecution has charged the four with taking money for arranging deals to sell factories, hotels and land. They are charged with bribery, abusing official position and revealing business secrets.

The state prosecutor, Zarko Bajic, has said the four regularly sought EUR50,000 just to meet a potential buyer to discuss the scheme.

The investigation was welcomed by the government, which said it was proof that it is now serious in fighting corruption.

Corruption, which flourished in Croatia in the 1990s and is still common, remains one of country's top problems. The European Union has warned the country that it should uproot corruption before moving closer to the bloc.

Privatization of state-run property is considered the primary source of corruption in Croatia.