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Photograph: HINA/ Dario GRZELJ/ iš

Four members of the European Parliament from the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) said in a letter to their party colleagues in the Sabor on Wednesday that the interests of the state, government and party come before those of any individual and that toppling the government is not in the nation's interest.

"We are convinced that the interests of the state, government and party come before the interests of any individual. At the moment we believe that the stability and functioning of the government which the HDZ formed is in the nation's interest rather than its toppling. We express our solidarity with you and call on you to vote according to your conscience for Croatia's well being," says the letter signed by MEPs Dubravka Suica, Ivana Maletic, Andrej Plenkovic and Davor Stier.

"There are moments in parliament when it is difficult to align your own conscience with party decisions and at the same time make a courageous personal decision in the nation's interest. We know that many of you are in that situation following the motion to launch the procedure for a vote of no confidence in the government, which you gave your vote of confidence for just a few months ago," the letter says.

The HDZ MEPs note that the stability of the government is the key to economic recovery, which "is the main priority of our programme aimed at securing the betterment of Croatian citizens."

"Therefore in the months to come, we need to strengthen positive trends and exploit the current atmosphere on financial markets. That is particularly significant because next year will be one of the most financially demanding in Croatia's history," the MEPs said.

They called for political responsibility, stressing that "the HDZ's credibility is being tested."

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