The ruling Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and the Independent Democratic Serb Party (SDSS) on Wednesday hailed the government of Prime Minister-designate Andrej Plenkovic and its programme, while the Istrian Democratic Party (IDS) was critical.

Speaking after Plenkovic presented his team in Parliament, HDZ MP Branko Bacic said that the composition of the new Cabinet guaranteed full implementation of the government programme. "With this selection of Cabinet ministers, which shows experience, knowledge and youth, it will be possible to implement all measures set out in the government programme," he said.

Bacic said that the first major challenge facing the government was its operational programme, which would be followed by the adoption of next year's budget.

The new government was also welcomed by SDSS MP Milorad Pupovac, who said that he hoped that "unlike in the previous five years, negative energy will not be generated any more." He said it was imperative to create a positive social climate to ensure the implementation of necessary policies.

Pupovac said he was pleased that the government programme perceived the ethnic minorities not just as a wealth, but also as equal stakeholders in decision making processes.

Speaking of the section of the programme relating to even regional development, Pupovac said that the minorities would propose a third mechanism, in addition to the Regional Development Act and the Regional Development Fund, to ensure balanced development of all regions.

IDS leader Boris Miletic said that his party would not support the government of the HDZ and the Bridge party for ideological reasons, criticising the planned local government reform announced by Bridge. The plan envisages the division of Croatia into five regions, and Miletic said it was possible that Istria County would be abolished.

Miletic criticised the HDZ for lack of credibility because in its programme it mentioned decentralisation as one of its goals. He claimed that already in their first days in office the new parliamentary majority showed that they would go in the opposite direction, towards centralisation, because they wanted to further limit the amount which local government units could allocate for salaries.

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