The leader of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) party, Tomislav Karamarko, met with CDU leader and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Tuesday, the HDZ said.
"The HDZ and the CDU belong to the European family of people's parties and share the same pro-European and world-view values. The two parties are also the largest parties in their respective countries, so their cooperation has a direct effect on relations between the two countries," a senior HDZ official told Hina.
The source stressed that Germany had proved itself as a friend to Croatia and one of its key strategic partners, adding that such cooperation and strategic partnership were very much needed today as well. He warned that Croatia, despite its membership in the EU, was increasingly lagging behind economically, not just behind EU countries but also post-transition countries with which Croatia should compare itself and with which it should compete given its economic potential. He also noted that both Croatia and Germany were directly affected by the current refugee crisis that was threatening to destabilise the EU.
"In the light of these and other circumstances, the HDZ and Mr Karamarko consider this meeting extremely important. For us it marks the beginning of even better, more specific and stronger cooperation between the HDZ and the CDU, especially after the parliamentary elections on November 8 when the HDZ expects to win and take responsibility for the leadership of Croatia. Chancellor Merkel's support to the HDZ and its president Tomislav Karamarko will certainly contribute to that victory," the HDZ official said.