Bridge party leader Bozo Petrov said on Monday he was not acquainted with a Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) government model which would reduce the number of ministries to 17, adding that their idea had been for the model and the number of ministries to stay as they were for now, with possible changes in three to six months if it turned out that a different model was better.

Speaking to the press before a Bridge National Council session, he said Bridge and the HDZ-led Patriotic Coalition would meet at 2.30 pm today "to see which model they will put forward. We can think about it if it's really good." He added that "it wouldn't be smart to prejudge any decision."

Asked if Bridge had its own government model, Petrov said they wanted the current model for now, "which would be changed if we see, after an analysis in three to six months, what is better. But we'll first hear what they have to say and then decide how to proceed."

Asked if Bridge would leave the Interior Ministry to the HDZ, Petrov said he would not talk about it now and that talks were beginning. "We already discussed some things with the Patriotic Coalition and how people will be selected, and they will be experts. Any division of the spoils is out of the question."

Asked what he thought about Cyrillic signs in the eastern town of Vukovar, Petrov said the Bridge party had not discussed this. "Since we will be cooperating, that will be a uniform position of the three sides."

Asked if he would insist that Bridge run the Interior Ministry, he said this and some other ministries were very important for the state to function properly. "We will insist that experts run the ministries, not just those for which we think we have the experts, but other ones too," he said, adding that this would be agreed on, but that Prime Minister-Designate Tihomir Oreskovic would have the final say.

He said Oreskovic should therefore be equally responsible as Bridge and the Patriotic Coalition.

Asked if he had seen the HDZ's 17-ministry platform, Bridge MP Miro Bulj told reporters, "We have our platform too and our platform is reforms." Another Bridge MP, Ivan Lovrinovic, said the party would ask for one third of the ministries.

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