Representatives of the Bridge party and the Patriotic Coalition led by the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) discussed entrepreneurship and the judiciary for more than three hours on Tuesday as part of negotiations on the formation of the new government.

Speaking to the press after the meeting held at HDZ headquarters, Ivana Maletic of the HDZ said she was optimistic and that the reform platform proposed by Bridge did not contain any unacceptable points, while Bridge's Tomislav Panenic said that the talks were held at the level of experts and that the issue of the prime minister-designate was not discussed.

"I am definitely optimistic and we believe that the necessary changes will happen. There are no unacceptable points because all the points are focused on entrepreneurship and its development, and our documents also give priority to entrepreneurship. We were glad to see that our colleagues from Bridge put emphasis on the link between entrepreneurship and the judiciary and how important it is to streamline the justice system to make it quicker and more effective so as to help both entrepreneurs and citizens," Maletic said.

"Today we talked at the level of experts. Our talks were not political, we discussed the judiciary and entrepreneurship. We tried to be as specific as possible so that our proposals would be acceptable. We did not want to make any political conditions, but we wanted this to be for the benefit of the citizens," Panenic said, adding that the talks were constructive and that he hoped that their common views would also be constructive.

Asked whether his party was satisfied with the talks with the HDZ and the SDP, Panenic answered affirmatively.

Maletic said that the talks were held between "two reform-minded partners". 

"We want changes in Croatia. We want the focus to be on entrepreneurs, we want state administration to serve them and not the other way round. That will require different reforms in different areas, and that's what we talked about," she said.

Asked what specific offers had been made, Maletic said that no offers had been made. "It was a constructive conversation on specific changes and reforms that have to be carried in Croatian society and institutions in order to ensure growth and development," she added.

Before the meeting, HDZ leader Tomislav Karamarko had proposed to Bridge leader Bozo Petrov that a chapter on national security be included in negotiations, Hina learned from a high-ranking HDZ official.

Karamarko said he was satisfied with the topics proposed and with the course of negotiations so far, but stressed that special attention should also be paid to national security in light of last week's terrorist attacks in Paris, the ongoing migrant crisis and many security challenges facing Croatia.

The existing national strategy was adopted more than 13 years ago and global challenges have changed significantly since then, he said.

Related stories

Latest news

Syrian opposition rules out future role for President al-Assad

The Syrian opposition said Friday it would not accept any role for President Bashar al-Assad in the future of the war-torn country, reacting to a recent US shift saying that removing al-Assad is no longer a priority for Washington.

Russian Army integrates breakaway forces of Georgian province

Parts of the small fighting forces of the Georgian breakaway province of South Ossetia have been placed under Russian military control, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Friday.

Czech Republic's Pilsner Urquell beer is now Japanese

Japanese brewing company Asahi completed its takeover of the Czech brewery Pilsner Urquell on Friday, Asahi said in a statement.

Judge approves 25-million-dollar settlement of Trump University case

A US district judge on Friday approved a 25-million-dollar settlement of lawsuits and state fraud allegations against Trump University, the US president's now-defunct business venture.

Former Thai premier Thaksin to junta on reconciliation: 'Cut me out'

Former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Friday announced that he is not interested in the junta-led reconciliation process, three days after the junta handed him a half-a-billion-dollar tax bill for his past business deal.

Dalic: We welcome possible deal between Agrokor and banks

The government welcomes the possibility of an agreement being concluded between the Agrokor food company and creditor banks, and the bill on vitally important companies is not a fallback plan but the result of the government's care for the overall economic and financial stability of Croatia, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Martina Dalic told a press conference in Zagreb on Friday.

Croatia, China sign action plan for cooperation in agriculture

The Croatian and Chinese ministries of agriculture on Friday signed an action plan for cooperation in the field of agriculture for the period 2017-2018, the Croatian ministry said in a statement.

ZSE indices up, Agrokor shares in focus of investor interest

The Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) indices on Friday rose by more than 1.8%, with stocks of the Agrokor food and retail concern being in the focus of investor interest again.

Berlin police defend handling of Berlin market attacker

Berlin police defended themselves on Friday against accusations that they stopped surveillance on Berlin Christmas market attacker despite knowing in June 2016 he was dangerous.

Croatia, creditors tailor emergency measures to save tottering giant

Croatia's tottering retail and food giant Agrokor reached an agreement with its creditors, putting its debts standby and allowing it to continue working during emergency restructuring, the Croatian branch of Austria's Erste Bank said Friday.

Agrokor's creditors say standstill agreement to go into force today

A standstill agreement regarding the Agrokor concern's existing financial obligations to banks will take effect on Friday, additional capital will be injected into the concern in the coming days and the concern will be actively restructured, which includes a change of its management, it was said on Friday after a meeting between Agrokor's suppliers and creditor banks.

Palestinians, UN slam Israel's new settlement plan

Palestinians, Israeli activists and the UN lambasted the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, a day after it gave the go-ahead for the first new West Bank settlement in a quarter of a century.

South Sudan rebels release three abducted foreign oil workers

South Sudanese rebels have released three foreign engineers they abducted in early March in the oil-rich Upper Nile region, Foreign Affairs Ministry official Mawein Makol Arik said on Friday.

Turkish opposition: Imprisoned party chief has gone on hunger strike

The head of Turkey's pro-Kurdish opposition party has launched a hunger strike from prison.

European leagues threaten Champions League schedule clashes

The European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) on Friday threatened schedule clashes on Champions League matchdays in an ongoing dispute with the governing body UEFA.

Danish court revokes citizenship of IS volunteer

A Danish appellate court on Friday stripped a man of his Danish citizenship for volunteering to fight for the extremist Islamic State in Syria.

Banks and Agrokor agree on key elements of standstill agreement

Member banks of the coordinating committee of financial creditors and representatives of the Agrokor food company have in principle agreed on key elements of a standstill agreement, which is expected to be signed later today, announcing changes in the company's management team, Erste Bank said in a statement on Friday afternoon.

Syrian man on trial in Sweden; mosque attack labelled terrorism

A Syrian man went on trial Friday in the southern Swedish city of Malmo, charged with terrorism and arson after an attack last year on a building used as an assembly hall by Shiite Muslims.