Bozo Petrov.jpg
Bridge leader Bozo Petrov
Photograph: HINA / Mario STRMOTIĆ / mm

Bridge party leader Bozo Petrov on Saturday made public his party's seven terms for cooperation with the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), which, he said, those two parties would have to accept within 30 days from the inauguration of the next parliament if they wanted Bridge's support to form a government.

The terms concern the democratisation of Croatia's political and electoral systems, the financing of the political system, the proclamation of an exclusive economic zone in the Adriatic, amendment of the Distraint Act, changes to the Croatian Radio and Television Act, amendment of legislation on salaries in local and regional self-government units, and the cancellation of taxes levied on small and medium businesses.

Petrov said that after the September 11 election, Bridge would give both the SDP and the HDZ an opportunity to say if they were interested in implementing changes.

"Those who show an interest in our terms and in economic guidelines from our economic platform, will be given a chance to form the parliament with us," Petrov told reporters in Split.

Explaining in detail the party's seven terms for cooperation, Petrov said that democratisation of the political and election systems would provide an opportunity for voters to elect to the parliament three candidates from party slates in line with preferential voting, instead of just one.

"We will also ask that political parties do not nominate as candidates on their slates persons who have committed serious criminal offences against their office or abused their office and powers," he added.

As for the financing of political parties, Petrov said that his party would demand that the financing of political parties be reduced and that it be transparent, which would require legislative changes which the parliament would be able to adopt in the first 30 days of its term.

Commenting on the third term - proclamation of an exclusive economic zone - Petrov said that under an opinion of the European Union from 2013, Croatia has the right to abolish the Ecological and Fisheries Protection Zone and declare an exclusive economic zone in the Adriatic.

Commenting on the fourth term, he said that distrainees should be given a chance not to end up in the street.

"We also want unfair and unconscientious distrainors to be penalised and we want to reduce manipulation based on false documents that are issued to make it possible to seize a distranee's property," said Petrov.

Speaking about the fifth term - amendment of the HRT Act, Petrov said that the subscription fee should be cut and amount to a maximum 65 kuna.

"Most importantly, the HRT can enforce distraint procedures on its own, it does not need public notaries or law firms that take millions of kuna to do it. The HRT can have its own distraint department so that, when a person's property is seized, the procedure does not cost the distrainee as much as it does now, when law firms are hired for that purpose."

As for the sixth term - the Act on Salaries in Local and Regional Self-government Units - Petrov said that the maximum 20% of revenues of local and regional self-government units that was now set aside for salaries, could be reduced to 15% without any problem.

He said that this would help reduce the number of employees hired along political lines, primarily those in jobs that are not necessary.

Speaking about taxes on businesses, Petrov said that Bridge wanted the Act on the Financing of Local and Regional Self-government Units to be amended to abolish taxes for small and medium businesses, which would facilitate their investments.

He said that the seven terms were "a step forward for every Croatian citizen" and that they were only one-twentieth of what the SDP and the HDZ were promising.

Petrov added that the terms were not new, that the party had negotiated about them both with the SDP and the HDZ before last year's parliamentary election and that both parties were agreed with its proposals.

Bridge is not blackmailing anyone with its terms, he said.

"They can call us blackmailers but if there were some other way to force the SDP and the HDZ to really do something, we would probably use it," he added.

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