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.

"After this salto mortale, Oreskovic no longer enjoys our trust. It is unfortunately gone," Karamarko told an impromptu news conference at the HDZ's offices in a comment on PM Oreskovic's call on him and the other deputy prime minister, Bozo Petrov of the Bridge party, to resign.

The HDZ leader also believes that it would be good for Oreskovic to resign.

"I believe it would be a good solution at the moment. We should sit down and see - a new government headed by him or in a different configuration. In any case, we should draw the line and reset things, but he does not enjoy our trust," he said.

He stressed that he could not accept Oreskovic's call for his resignation because the HDZ was a victorious party with the largest number of deputies in the parliament.

In the last parliamentary election, around 800,000 people voted for the Patriotic Coalition and 76 voted for Oreskovic in the parliament, after the agreement between Bridge and the HDZ, said Karamarko.

Karamarko expressed surprise that Oreskovic was demanding his resignation now given that he had supported him several times, participated in the last electoral convention of the HDZ and that positive economic processes were under way.

He also called on Oreskovic to explain why he had to attend a meeting at the Security and Intelligence Agency (SOA) due to which yesterday's government session had to be cancelled, if the government was superior to SOA.

"I don't know what reason could be so compelling to cancel a government session."

Karamarko believes that Oreskovic had the obligation to explain it to him, since he was his deputy in charge of national security, and tell the public what the meeting was about as "it would not be good for SOA and other security services to appear in elections and reshuffles."

Karamarko said that the HDZ Presidency would hold a session on Saturday to make further decisions.

"We won't pull anyone at their sleeve to save this government," Karamarko said, adding that a parliamentary reshuffle was possible as were new elections, but that the HDZ was prepared for both options.

He believes, however, that new elections would take a lot of time and cost a lot, which is why he is more in favour of a reshuffle, but without Bridge.

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 "just because someone bases their platform on sensationalist media reports", which, he believes, is a sign of political immaturity.

Bridge has turned out not to be a credible partner and they have acted the whole time as if in the Opposition, Karamarko said.

The HDZ leader described as ridiculous accusations that he had commissioned a burglary of a car belonging to a client of the Grizli Komunikacije public relations agency that had until today worked for Bridge.

The HDZ news conference was attended by senior party officials and most government ministers nominated by the HDZ.

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.