The secretary-general of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) party, Milijan Brkic, said on Thursday a concrete solution to the current situation should be found by the end of next week, adding that since the election 8,000 more people had lost their jobs and several thousand had emigrated.

"It is high time for us to get serious and for everyone on the political scene to take on their responsibilities and once and for all say how and with what forces Croatia can move on," Brkic told reporters after an HDZ delegation laid wreaths on the grave of Croatia's first President Franjo Tudjman.

He did not wish to comment on a statement by SMEs minister Gordan Maras that the Social Democratic Party (SDP)-led coalition would have a majority and that Zoran Milanovic would once again be the prime minister, but said that Maras had over the past four years shown his attitude toward entrepreneurship and the economy.

He underscored that time will show who was right. "They have not shown their 66 signatures to anyone yet and soon we will see who has the majority in parliament to form a stable and quality parliamentary majority," Brkic said.

With regard to Bridge's demands for a tripartite government, Brkic recalled that in its election campaign the HDZ-led coalition had stressed the importance of togetherness as the only way to ensure a quality life in the country, stop young families from emigrating and stop the number of unemployed from growing.

"Unfortunately, some people did not say things like that in their campaign but spoke exclusively about them and us. Now all of a sudden, because of  their own narrow interests and positions, they are proclaiming some sort of togetherness and are all for reforms," he said.

As far as Bridge's demand that neither HDZ's leader Tomislav Karamarko nor SDP's leader Zoran Milanovic can be prime minister, Brkic said that no-one should be making ultimatums. It is imperative to be serious and responsible because the future of Croatia and its people is at stake and ultimatums won't resolve the problems.

"HDZ was the relative winner at the election and we will talk with everyone. We are not exclusive and the Patriotic Coalition is united. We saw what sort of unity the Croatia Is Growing coalition offered and how they intend to resolve the problems and even there they are not united," he said.

Brkic added that they had not rejected Bridge's proposals and that it was necessary to discuss them. He added that the HDZ was not interested in positions but in solutions to the problems facing citizens.

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