tomislav karamarko.jpg
Photograph: HINA / Dario GRZELJ / mm

Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) leader Tomislav Karamarko on Thursday said that in light of the measures that will be taken and reforms conducted, it was in everyone's interest to select the most qualified people for the new government.

"We are seeking experts and at the moment Croatia deserves the best," Karamarko told reporters after he had met with Prime Minister-Designate Tihomir Oreskovic and Zagreb University Chancellor Damir Boras earlier in the day.

Asked whether there were experts of that nature in the Croatian People's Party (HNS) or the Istrian Democratic Party (IDS), he said that at the moment he wasn't sure, however, "there will be room for everyone at all levels."

"Ministers are the 'tip of the iceberg'. HDZ and Bridge will agree about that together with Oreskovic and harmonise interests. The proposals have to be supported with good CV's and even better working experience. They have to be people who have achieved something in life," he said.

He assessed that all the insistence on who would be minister of interior affairs was "boring". "Let's stop speculating about the interior ministry. That has become a little boring. No-one is asking who will be minister of finance, of the economy, of entrepreneurship, of energy. We will agree on the interior ministry, which needs to be headed by a quality person who will put it (the ministry) into function," Karamarko said.

Karamarko added that there were indications that there had been abuse of the PNUSKOK anti-corruption office and the SOA security and intelligence agency and other institutions, saying this was unacceptable.  "Whoever comes there will have to implement reforms and be monitored," he said.

In reference to claims by Interior Minister Ranko Ostojic, who denied that PNUSKOK had put Bridge leader Bozo Petrov under surveillance after the election, Karamarko said that terminology had been confused. Surveillance is one thing and requesting phone records and analysing them is another, he said. "I think that's what is at hand here," he added.

Asked whether agreements with the Vatican should be revised, Karamarko said that at the moment that was out of the question. I consider that the money the state grants the Church is not in vain as it is used for the upkeep of sacral buildings and educating young priests, he said.

Karamarko reiterated that in negotiations next week with Bridge, concrete names would be proposed and he denied speculation that Oreskovic would not be autonomous in selecting candidates for ministries. "Two parties support Oreskovic as a non-partisan PM-Designate. Would you exclude both parties from that process?"

Bridge and the HDZ will propose several candidates and Oreskovic has his candidates and all their references have to be laid out on the table, he added.

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