The leader of the ruling Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) party and First Deputy Prime Minister, Tomislav Karamarko, said on Friday afternoon that he would not resign from the post of First Deputy PM, as demanded earlier in the day by Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic, and stressed that Oreskovic no longer enjoyed the HDZ's trust.
"We won't pull anyone at their sleeve to save this government," Karamarko told an impromptu news conference, adding that a parliamentary reshuffle was possible as well.
"Trust has been lost," he said, calling on Oreskovic to explain his visit to the Security-Intelligence Agency (SOA) on Thursday and noting that a government session had never before been cancelled due to such a visit.
Karamarko said that the HDZ Presidency would hold a session on Saturday to make further decisions.
The HDZ has invested huge effort in maintaining this political configuration with Bridge and made a lot of concessions, but I cannot accept devaluation of everything it has done because the HDZ is a victorious party with the largest number of parliamentary deputies, said Karamarko.
Earlier in the day PM Oreskovic told a news conference that he was not going to resign, urging his deputies, Karamarko and Bozo Petrov, leader of the Bridge party, to step down so that the government could continue its reform programme.
Oreskovic said that relations between Karamarko and Petrov had become too great a burden for his government and the country. He said that over the last few days he had made great effort to get them to mend their relations, but to no avail.