Caretaker Foreign Minister Miro Kovac said on Friday it was alright for an early parliamentary election to be held on September 11.

"The earliest possible date is August 21 and the latest possible date is September 11. If the president decided on that date, that date is fine," he said on public television, describing the polls as "a too important election for the Croatian parliament and Croatia's future."

Asked if he would run for president of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), Kovac said he would tell the public before July 6. He said the most important thing for the HDZ was to show in its intra-party election that it was a mature and strong party which could win the parliamentary election "consolidated, organised and structured."

Assessing the third anniversary of Croatia's European Union accession, July 1, Kovac said membership gave Croatia security. "We are also getting a kind of trademark... which means that tourists too feel... safer in Croatia. It will also be easier for investors. However, we haven't succeeded in becoming a country reformed on the economic front. We still have an insufficiently flexible structure in the economy. We must change that... we must become a transformed country... which will attract foreign investors."

Kovac said "we must change," open up to domestic and foreign capital, enable people to be small and medium entrepreneurs, "attract young people to stay in Croatia to live and not leave their country... We still have a lot to do."

He said citizens, in Croatia and elsewhere, did not see how important the EU was. "They don't see the benefit of the European Union and it's up to Croatian politics and us all to explain how good it is that we are here, that we have more security than before, but I think that after these developments in Great Britain, we will have to sit at the table in the EU together and decide which powers member states should have and which powers must be in Brussels."

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