tomislav karamarko.jpg
Photograph: HINA/ Daniel KASAP / dk

The leader of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) said on Tuesday that the HDZ's Patriotic Coalition together with Bridge could have 85 seats in the 151-seat parliament and hold a firm parliamentary majority, adding that he would be meeting with Bridge on Wednesday.

"With Bridge we can have 85 certain seats and that can be a firm parliamentary majority," Karamarko told reporters in HDZ's headquarters.

Karamarko partly agreed with a statement by the Croatian People's Party (HNS) vice president Ivan Vrdoljak on his Facebook account rejecting Bridge's idea of a grand coalition. Vrdoljak claimed that a grand coalition would contradict the will of the people expressed at the election and would take Croatia back to the time of the "Socialist federation and one-party system."

"I can partly agree because I am constantly saying that I don't know what the prospects of such a grand coalition are. I don't know if Vrdoljak is the mouthpiece of Zoran Milanovic who on Monday rejected any possibility of a grand coalition," the HDZ leader said.

Karamarko commented on Milanovic's post on his Facebook account that he wishes to "continue serving citizens and leading Croatia in a positive direction of growth, order and work," and that he "did not wish to allow a return to chaos, crisis and disregard for citizens." "The chaos started the day that SDP unfortunately won the 2011 election," he said.

He recalled that that year Croatia completed its negotiations with the EU and met all the set criteria, however since SDP's coalition came into power Croatia has been heading toward the Balkans.

The HDZ leader announced that he would meet with Bridge on Wednesday to present HDZ's recommendations. He hoped the talks would be good and added that he believed everything would be resolved on Wednesday but that he wanted Bridge to hear their recommendations.

"We remain open to work on Bridge's ideas and they should be open to our proposals and our ideas," he said. Even though he considered Monday's talks between Bridge, HDZ and SDP to be a little comical, he said that talks needed to continue.

Karamarko added that he wished to avoid a new election and mindless waste of time and endless negotiations. He also believes that President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic should have the power to call a new election without convening parliament. 

"We are in fact waiting for the opinion of constitutional experts in that regard as a discrepancy exists. Milanovic's attempt to convene parliament for five minutes and to impose further damage of 30 to 40 million kuna doesn't make sense," Karamarko said.

He said cooperation between Bridge and the Patriotic Coalition was possible, stressing that no-one else but HDZ's coalition had any platform.

"Everyone has an idea that something needs to be changed but we have the idea of how to do so and we have been working with the German IFO institute for three years; we have more than 50 projects and implementing documents to conduct the reforms everyone is talking about and we have a solution," Karamarko concluded.

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