Representatives of the Bridge party, the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and the Social Democratic Party (SDP) said after Friday's meeting that they were satisfied with the topics negotiated on reforms that need to be carried out, and that the "reformist" talks were expected to continue over the weekend.

Branko Grcic of the SDP told reporters he was optimistic and that they discussed "issues that remained disputed in earlier talks," such as the fiscal and monetary policies, environmental protection and agriculture. "Everything we did today we fully agreed on, with the HDZ too."

Asked if a tripartite government was acceptable to him, Grcic said it was.

Asked about the SDP's candidate for the prime minister-designate, which the three parties are to discuss at a meeting tonight, Grcic said the SDP-led Croatia Is Growing coalition was proposing Bridge leader Bozo Petrov but that "there will probably be alternative proposals" if Petrov was not nominated.

Ivana Maletic of the HDZ said the meeting was a continuation of previous "programme meetings... We are very pleased with this part of the agreement on programmes."

Asked about the option of a tripartite government, she said that would depend on developments.

Asked if Petrov was acceptable to the HDZ as prime minister-designate, Maletic said this was a question "for some other levels." "We met here (to discuss) programmes, reforms, development programmes for Croatia... We talked about public administration, units of local and regional self-government. Agriculture is the number one issue. We all agreed that it is the most important branch that we must continue investing in," she said, adding that the talks also addressed environmental protection.

"We talked about many things and we will probably agree on some. Whether we will agree on all of them, we'll see," said Zeljko Reiner of the HDZ.

Asked if they would all form the next government together, he said, "We will talk as we have done until now."

Bridge MP Ines Strenja Linic said "a whole new story" had begun and that "all three sides sat down with the reforms we talked about during the negotiations." She said she was very pleased with today's discussion and "we practically agreed on the disputes too. We met somewhere in the middle."

She said 2016 would be a very tough year when everyone would have to put their heads together to find solutions. "There are solutions... because we see that both sides are willing to put some ideologies aside and for the first time set goals together in order to pull Croatia out of the crisis."

She said that at the end of the talks everyone agreed on everything, and that reporters would get a "complete draft of our reforms in a dozen points after we discuss a few more sectors tomorrow."

Asked about regional reorganisation and if counties would still be called counties, Strenja Linic said they agreed that a uniform strategy and analysis of the state of affairs was necessary before deciding whether the current number of counties was optimal, whether there should be less, whether there should be regions and how many. "We will agree on that together."

Related stories

New twist in Bridge party, door still open to HDZ

Milanovic again offers Petrov office of parliament speaker

HDZ and MOST agree on main objectives

HDZ: Negotiations with Bridge to start on Wednesday

Latest news

Syrian opposition rules out future role for President al-Assad

The Syrian opposition said Friday it would not accept any role for President Bashar al-Assad in the future of the war-torn country, reacting to a recent US shift saying that removing al-Assad is no longer a priority for Washington.

Russian Army integrates breakaway forces of Georgian province

Parts of the small fighting forces of the Georgian breakaway province of South Ossetia have been placed under Russian military control, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Friday.

Czech Republic's Pilsner Urquell beer is now Japanese

Japanese brewing company Asahi completed its takeover of the Czech brewery Pilsner Urquell on Friday, Asahi said in a statement.

Judge approves 25-million-dollar settlement of Trump University case

A US district judge on Friday approved a 25-million-dollar settlement of lawsuits and state fraud allegations against Trump University, the US president's now-defunct business venture.

Former Thai premier Thaksin to junta on reconciliation: 'Cut me out'

Former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Friday announced that he is not interested in the junta-led reconciliation process, three days after the junta handed him a half-a-billion-dollar tax bill for his past business deal.

Dalic: We welcome possible deal between Agrokor and banks

The government welcomes the possibility of an agreement being concluded between the Agrokor food company and creditor banks, and the bill on vitally important companies is not a fallback plan but the result of the government's care for the overall economic and financial stability of Croatia, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Martina Dalic told a press conference in Zagreb on Friday.

Croatia, China sign action plan for cooperation in agriculture

The Croatian and Chinese ministries of agriculture on Friday signed an action plan for cooperation in the field of agriculture for the period 2017-2018, the Croatian ministry said in a statement.

ZSE indices up, Agrokor shares in focus of investor interest

The Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) indices on Friday rose by more than 1.8%, with stocks of the Agrokor food and retail concern being in the focus of investor interest again.

Berlin police defend handling of Berlin market attacker

Berlin police defended themselves on Friday against accusations that they stopped surveillance on Berlin Christmas market attacker despite knowing in June 2016 he was dangerous.

Croatia, creditors tailor emergency measures to save tottering giant

Croatia's tottering retail and food giant Agrokor reached an agreement with its creditors, putting its debts standby and allowing it to continue working during emergency restructuring, the Croatian branch of Austria's Erste Bank said Friday.

Agrokor's creditors say standstill agreement to go into force today

A standstill agreement regarding the Agrokor concern's existing financial obligations to banks will take effect on Friday, additional capital will be injected into the concern in the coming days and the concern will be actively restructured, which includes a change of its management, it was said on Friday after a meeting between Agrokor's suppliers and creditor banks.

Palestinians, UN slam Israel's new settlement plan

Palestinians, Israeli activists and the UN lambasted the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, a day after it gave the go-ahead for the first new West Bank settlement in a quarter of a century.

South Sudan rebels release three abducted foreign oil workers

South Sudanese rebels have released three foreign engineers they abducted in early March in the oil-rich Upper Nile region, Foreign Affairs Ministry official Mawein Makol Arik said on Friday.

Turkish opposition: Imprisoned party chief has gone on hunger strike

The head of Turkey's pro-Kurdish opposition party has launched a hunger strike from prison.

European leagues threaten Champions League schedule clashes

The European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) on Friday threatened schedule clashes on Champions League matchdays in an ongoing dispute with the governing body UEFA.

Danish court revokes citizenship of IS volunteer

A Danish appellate court on Friday stripped a man of his Danish citizenship for volunteering to fight for the extremist Islamic State in Syria.

Banks and Agrokor agree on key elements of standstill agreement

Member banks of the coordinating committee of financial creditors and representatives of the Agrokor food company have in principle agreed on key elements of a standstill agreement, which is expected to be signed later today, announcing changes in the company's management team, Erste Bank said in a statement on Friday afternoon.

Syrian man on trial in Sweden; mosque attack labelled terrorism

A Syrian man went on trial Friday in the southern Swedish city of Malmo, charged with terrorism and arson after an attack last year on a building used as an assembly hall by Shiite Muslims.