karamarko tomislav.jpg
Photograph: HDZ

Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) president Tomislav Karamarko said on Friday it was good that Prime Minister-Designate Tihomir Oreskovic was talking with outgoing ministers and that, contrary to media reports, he did not know that Construction Minister Anka Mrak Taritas and Tourism Minister Darko Lorencin could be part of the new government.

Asked by reporters about Oreskovic's meeting with Lorencin later today, Karamarko reiterated that he was probably discussing the state of affairs in those ministries, "which is good", in order to collect as much information as possible and to come to work as prepared as possible.

Karamarko said he had not talked with anyone about the possibility of Mrak Taritas of the Croatian People's Party (HNS) and Lorencin of the Istrian Democratic Party (IDS) being in the new government. "The ministers will be experts with good references. (The) Bridge (party) and the HDZ will prioritise party people, but only if they meet those criteria. If they don't, we'll looking for experts outside our yard. We aren't hung up on party membership cards."

He reiterated that the HDZ had proposed scaling down the number of ministries from 20 to 17 and establishing a ministry of immigration, family and demographic revival, but that it agreed with Bridge to start with the existing 20 ministries and analysing after seven months if their number could be reduced.

Karamarko reiterated that Oreskovic would have the last word in the choice of ministers, notably those of finance, the economy and enterprise. He said all nominees would be known in about two weeks.

He reiterated the need to curtail the number of state agencies. "A lot of cuts have to be made. Only what's necessary will remain. Everything else which is a burden on the budget and yields no results" will be eliminated.

Karamarko also said that his declaration of assets would be updated in the next few days. "I haven't become Rockefeller in the meantime."

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