tomislav karamarko.jpg
Photograph: HINA/ Lana SLIVAR DOMINIĆ / lsd

Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) president Tomislav Karamarko has announced that he will present the HDZ's government scheme to their colleagues in the Bridge party on Monday and propose a new, much more rational approach, stressing that Prime Minister-Designate Tihomir Oreskovic will choose his ministers.

"The public has focused on the number of ministries but that can be illusory, because there are 20 ministries but more than 200 agencies, bureaus, offices and public institutions," Karamarko said in Saturday's edition of Vecernji List daily. "As we have announced, we'll start from ourselves, from the government and parliament, but even more importantly, from the agencies, bureaus, offices and public institutions. I'll propose a drastic reduction of their number and that will be the new government's first reform."

He said Oreskovic was an expert in the economy and finance, a confident, responsible and conciliatory person willing to take risks. "The first polls show that he's already won citizens' confidence. Oreskovic is certainly something fresh and I'm glad that we managed to win him over to take this job."

Speaking of the government's first projects, Karamarko said big projects were the drivers of development and recalled that Oreskovic had already mentioned the Rijeka-Zagreb railway line. He said the HDZ-led Patriotic Coalition spoke about 50 projects during the election campaign for the next 10-year period, including said railway line, the Peljesac Bridge, and a second road tube and a rail tube of the Ucka Tunnel.

"Those projects also have a big political significance," he said, adding that a Danube-Sava canal and the irrigation of farmland were also important. He said all projects were aimed at employment and the equal development of Croatia, and that the four largest cities must be the generators of national development.

Karamarko went on to say that he supported new Parliament Speaker Zeljko Reiner's proposal to rename parliament as the Croatian National Parliament, saying his inauguration speech "was first and foremost aimed at creating a new climate in the state."

Asked if he would insist that the HDZ be in charge of the Interior Ministry and the Security and Intelligence Agency, Karamarko said the security issue was not one of political affiliation. "We'll talk about names. What I can guarantee is that the people who will be in charge of the security of our children will be top experts."

Asked if Social Democratic Party (SDP) president and caretaker Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic's rhetoric had become too extreme and about his future in the SDP, Karamarko said Milanovic "is not a politician. His destructiveness, xenophobia, street language, hate speech and insults pollute the public and political space."

He said the results of Milanovic's cabinet were devastating. "He didn't solve even one problem and as a consequence we have an unprecedented exodus of Croatians. Because of Milanovic, the SDP lost every election in the past four years," he said, wondering what was Milanovic's "political profile and which political idea does he stand for?"

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