Photograph: HINA/ Lana SLIVAR DOMINIĆ/ lsd

The reformist Bridge coalition has made public its reform demands related to energy, agriculture, environmental protection and nature, and on Friday its members held talks on said areas with representatives of the Croatia Is Growing coalition and the Patriotic Coalition.

In guidelines for a new agricultural policy, Bridge calls for establishing a domestic agricultural bank and expects its proposal to be elaborated within six months. It also wants a strategy to be drawn up within six months for the growth of agriculture based on family farms, and the adoption, within a period of nine months, of a law on family farms to assist the growth strategy, as well as the establishment of a fund for the development of family farms.

Bridge wants tax policies to be changed within six months to enable family farms to partly or wholly claim VAT from the sale of their products as well as to enable small business owners to pay VAT once they have collected their claims, regardless of their annual turnover.

Bridge wants the system of farming grants to be revised within the same period of time and it wants experts, to be nominated by farming associations, to be involved in discussions and decision-making on agriculture by commissions at the Agriculture Ministry and other state bodies.

As for the protection of the environment, Bridge wants the systems of environmental impact assessment and strategic environmental impact assessment to be redefined in the first half of next year. The changes must result in investors' not being allowed to choose the agency to make an environmental impact study but rather entrusting the job to a state body because no agency hired by an investor to make an environmental impact study will make a study that is unfavourabfle for the investor, Bridge says. It also insists that agencies specialising in such studies that have compromised themselves on a number of occasions should be stripped of their licence.

Bridge also wants the system of monitoring environmental pollution to be redefined in 2016 and underlines that the system of measuring stations is obsolete and that those stations are often put in inappropriate locations. The coalition believes that by using EU funds, Croatia should set up a sophisticated system of measuring environmental pollution. The system should be implemented by an independent body that would calibrate measuring stations, collect data from them and interpret them.

Bridge also wants a water management department to be set up at the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Nature in the first three months of next year, it wants the State Institute for Nature Protection to be restored by the middle of 2016 and it wants a law to be adopted by the end of 2016 to prevent the privatisation of and granting of concessions to use Croatia's water resources. It also wants issued building permits for national parks and already existing buildings in those parks to be revised by the end of the first half of next year.

As for reform demands in the sector of energy, Bridge wants a new energy strategy with implementing documents to be made in the first quarter of next year to make energy serve the economy.

Until the strategy is adopted, Bridge proposes introducing a ban on the construction of thermo-electric power plants with the ultimate goal of making Croatia independent of hydrocarbons by 2050.

Bridge also wants a ban on the current project for hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation in the Adriatic and it believes that possible subsequent exploitation of the hydrocarbon potential can be considered after a detailed expert elaboration and definition of implementation methods that are acceptable for the environment, fisheries and tourism.

Latest news

Two charged for racially insulting actor Jamie Foxx in Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik police will bring misdemeanour charges against two men for disturbing the peace on Sunday night in a local restaurant when they racially insulted African American actor Jamie Foxx, who is currently in Dubrovnik filming "Robin Hood: Origins".

Opposition youth leader arrested in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwean police on Monday arrested an opposition youth leader on charges of inciting public violence against the government of President Robert Mugabe, the youth leader’s lawyer said.

Turkey dismisses 227 judges and prosecutors

Turkey's top judicial body on Monday dismissed 227 judges and prosecutors who are accused of having links to a cleric blamed for last year's coup attempt, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

Germany vows to do all it can to free journalist detained in Turkey

The German Foreign Ministry on Monday hailed German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yucel as a symbol of free speech as it vowed to treat his case with the "utmost importance" in order to secure his release.

Minister: State of education system not disastrous, Croatia leads in some indicators

Croatian Science and Education Minister Pavo Barisic has opposed assessments that the situation in the education system is disastrous, underlining that according to some indicators, Croatia is among the best European countries, as evidenced by the fact that as many as 97% of teachers attend seminars and lectures, a rate much above the European average.

Le Pen says al-Assad is better solution for Syria than Islamic State

France's far-right leader and presidential candidate Marine Le Pen said Monday that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad remains the more reassuring solution for France than Islamic State.

Residents in northern Greece oppose refugee children attending school

There were renewed clashes between angry residents and police in the northern Greek town of Oreokastro on Monday, where some locals have for months opposed children from a nearby refugee centre being taught at the local school.

Germany, France slam Russia's acceptance of Ukrainian rebel passports

EU member states Germany and France, which have been seeking to mitigate the conflict between the Ukrainian military and Russian-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine, on Monday broadly condemned Russia's recognition of rebel-issued passports.

Stier says Croatia strongly supports Kosovo, calls for enhancing economic cooperation

The Croatian minister announced a closer economic cooperation with Kosovo.

Afghanistan demands Pakistan hand over militants, shut training camps

The Afghan government has demanded that Pakistan hand over terrorists operating on its soil and close tens of terrorist training camps, the Foreign Ministry in Kabul said Monday.

Four Russian servicemen in Syria killed in vehicle bombing

Four Russian servicemen were killed and two others injured when a remote-controlled bomb exploded under their vehicle in Syria's western Homs region, Russian state media reported Monday, citing the Defence Ministry.

Iraqi forces advance in Mosul as US Defence Secretary visits Baghdad

Iraqi forces pressed on with their offensive to dislodge the extremist Islamic State militia from their stronghold in northern Iraq, as US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis landed in Baghdad on an unannounced official visit.