davorin mlakar - hdz.jpg
Photograph: HINA/ Denis CERIĆ /dc

Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) official Davorin Mlakar said on Tuesday that negotiations on post-election cooperation between the HDZ and the Bridge party would begin on Wednesday, stressing that they would first address their programmes and reforms.

"We at the HDZ talked for more than two hours today about our programmes and how to approach the negotiations with Bridge. The first meeting is scheduled for tomorrow," Mlakar told the press after the meeting at HDZ headquarters.

He would not comment on the statement made by Bridge official Stipe Petrina earlier on Tuesday that for him HDZ leader Tomislav Karamarko was "the personification of evil".

When asked if the HDZ was willing to offer Bridge the post of prime minister, Mlakar said that the HDZ would first discuss the programmes and reforms which it had been planning for three years and which it could now see were being advocated by other parties as well.

"Once we have agreed on a political platform for our cooperation, we will discuss posts," Mlakar said.

Asked to comment on media reports that the Social Democratic Party (SDP) had secured 66 seats in the 151-seat parliament (56 seats won by the party itself plus three seats from the Istrian Democratic Party and seven of the eight seats intended for the ethnic minorities), Mlakar said that according to his information the SDP and its coalition had as many seats as they won in the elections.

Mlakar said that the HDZ had not yet decided who would represent the party in negotiations with Bridge and would announce their decision on Wednesday.

Asked to comment on media reports that the HDZ was ready to renounce the post of prime minister and leave it to a non-partisan person, Mlakar said he had no such information. He stressed that the HDZ would insist on a government of experts.

"Considering the crisis the country is in, one of the basic pre-conditions to overcome the crisis is to form a government of experts who we believe can do that," Mlakar said, adding that it was too early to name any names.

Latest news

Austria identifies US-based Turk as source of cyberattacks

A string of cyberattacks against Austrian institutions has been linked to a Turkish suspect operating out of the US state of Kentucky, an Austrian newspaper reported Tuesday, citing an investigation by the army's intelligence agency.

Italy restores, returns IS-vandalized busts to Syria

Two ancient Roman busts, which were transported to Italy after being vandalized by the Islamic State extremist group in the Syrian city of Palmyra, have been restored and returned to Damascus, the Italian ministry of culture said Tuesday.

Norwegian state pension fund almost doubles return in 2016

The Norwegian state pension fund reported a return of almost 7 per cent in 2016 on the back of strong stock markets in the second half of the year, the Scandinavian country's central bank said Tuesday.

Croatian PM says sports needs to be given back to athletes

Commenting on an ultimatum the Bridge party made on Monday when it asked for a replacement of the Croatian Football Federation (HNS) leadership, Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said on Tuesday that "sports needs to be given back to athletes."

Three killed after small plane crashes into California homes

Three people were killed and two injured on Monday after a small plane crashed into a residential neighbourhood in the city of Riverside in California, local fire chief Michael Moore told reporters.

Austria toughens measures against rejected asylum seekers

Austria will increase penalties for rejected asylum seekers who refuse to leave the country, the government decided Tuesday, in a move that ups the pressure on migrants in the country.

Taliban militants kill 12 policemen in southern Afghanistan

Taliban militants killed 12 Afghan policemen at an outpost in the embattled southern province of Helmand, in what officials described Tuesday as a possible inside job.

Danish man on trial over Filipino webcam rape and abuse

A Danish man went on trial Tuesday charged with 346 counts of paying for online sex shows and rape involving Filipino girls.

PM reassures Croats they won't feel gas price rise

Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said on Tuesday that gas price tariffs would be determined towards the main supplier, the state power provider HEP, that would sell it to other wholesale suppliers in the network and that price formation would be conducted in such a way that Croatians did not feel any price rise.

Italy's Mount Etna erupts, but poses no threat so far

Sicily's Mount Etna volcano erupted on Monday evening, a spokesman for the National Institute of Geophysics and Vulcanology (INGV) told dpa on Tuesday.

Slovenian gov't looking for plan B to save Cimos

The Slovenian government is searching for an alternative plan to save the Koper-based Cimos car parts manufacturer from bankruptcy and a meeting was held on Tuesday between Economy Minister Zdravko Pocvalsek and representatives of all institutions responsible for public property management as the company's majority owner, with a 94% stake, is the government.

Croatia's 2016 Q4 GDP rises 3.4 per cent

Croatia's economy expanded by 3.4% in the last quarter of 2016 compared to the corresponding quarter in 2015, reaching a record high over nearly nine years, according to preliminary results released by the national statistical office (DZS) on Tuesday.

MOL netts $2.15 bln as CCS EBITDA

Hungary's oil and gas group MOL netted 2.15 billion dollars as CCS EBITDA last year, according to company's financial report on Tuesday.

UN: 8,000 people have fled western Mosul since start of offensive

Around 8,000 people have fled from western Mosul and surrounding areas since Iraqi forces launched an offensive to dislodge Islamic State militants from the area, according to the United Nations.

Protests planned across Germany after journalist jailed in Turkey

Protests are planned in 12 German cities on Tuesday after a Turkish court ordered a journalist from Die Welt newspaper to be jailed pending a trial on charges including spreading propaganda for a terrorist organization.

Atlantic Grupa posts financial statement for 2016

In 2016, Atlantic Grupa recorded a net profit of HRK 163.2 million or 32.7% less than in 2015, according to an unrevised consolidated financial statement the company issued on Tuesday.

Trump address to focus on economic opportunity, national security

US President Donald Trump will focus on economic opportunity and national security in an address laying out his plans to a joint session of Congress late Tuesday, White House officials say.

One million bank employees on strike in India

Around 1 million bank employees across India went on a day-long strike on Tuesday to protest proposals to reform the banking industry and press for demands relating to wages.