Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) leader Tomislav Karamarko said on Monday evening that the HDZ-led Patriotic Coalition had favourably responded to demands by the Bridge reformist party, proposing a coalition government with Bridge.

"We have positively responded to Bridge's demands. As for a tripartite government, the SDP and their coalition partners have decided that it is unrealistic, but we propose that we form a coalition government with Bridge," Karamarko told the press after a meeting of the HDZ Presidency and leaders of the centre-right Patriotic Coalition.

Considering all the reforms facing Croatia, Karamarko called for a consensus and cooperation with all centre-left parties, including the Social Democratic Party (SDP). He said that many of the reforms would require a consensus with the leftist camp, citing health, agriculture and tax legislation. 

"We have proposed unity. Since a tripartite government is not possible, we are seeking unity and cooperation with all," the HDZ leader stressed.

As for Bridge's demand for a non-partisan prime minister, Karamarko said that this issue would also be discussed. He said that the Patriotic Coalition was completely open to all options that would help resolve the current impasse as soon as possible.

"A parliamentary majority and government need to be formed as soon as possible so that the government can tackle problems at hand," Karamarko said.

Responding to a reporter's remark that he had not specified whether he was ready to renounce the position of prime minister, Karamarko said that he was ready to discuss this option as well. He added that the resolution of the current situation depended on Bridge, expressing hope that the current deadlock would be resolved on Tuesday.

The HDZ Presidency later issued a press release calling on Bridge to continue dialogue with a view to forming a parliamentary majority that would choose a speaker of parliament and a new reformist government. It stressed the need to clearly define political and governing mechanisms necessary for the implementation of reforms.

"Through such dialogue the Patriotic Coalition and Bridge will be able to arrive at the best solutions regarding personnel, including possible talks on a non-partisan prime minister. The HDZ is also ready to cooperate with parties within the leftist coalition that support reforms, based on the principle of competence and responsibility," the HDZ Presidency concluded.

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