Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) leader Tomislav Karamarko on Wednesday said that Prime Minister-designate Tihomir Oreskovic's closest associates who would be dealing with finance, economy and entrepreneurship would be chosen by Oreskovic, adding that he hoped the situation that the new cabinet will find in the state's finance will not be worse than those already known.

"It is important that the government consists of experts. Surely, Mr Oreskovic's closest associates who will be dealing with finance, economy or entrepreneurship have to be his choice. We will certainly propose some good quality people with many references, however, I think it's fair that he gives the final nod for this part of his government," Karamarko told reporters in the party's headquarters.

Asked what Oreskovic thinks of the HDZ's economic programme, Karamarko said that Oreskovic had analysed it and believed that it was an excellent basis for reforms.

"The new government will have to review the true situation (in state finances) so that it can have a good starting position," he said.

He did not wish to comment on media speculation that the Bridge party did not agree with the possibility of introducing a Canadian health system, and referred to the speculation as off-the-cuff comments.

"We will discuss that. We have prepared measures, changes to the health system and savings. The comments in the media are off-the-cuff evaluations. Next week we are starting negotiations and then everything will get a serious dimension," he said.

Asked whether there could be some contentious issues in negotiations with Bridge, Karamarko said that so far there had not been any problems. "Whether everything will run smoothly - it won't, because when people talk and attempt to find a solution there are always differences in opinion. However, what is important is that there is good will to do a good job with regard to personnel," he underscored.

Asked whether there was something that HDZ would not agree to with regard to reforms of public administration, he said "there will certainly be a lot of changes but what is important is that reforms are introduced gradually and any possible reduction of the number employed has to be adjusted to economic growth, that is, in the real sector and that there must not be any shake ups. In any case, reforms will be implemented and that is why this government is one of reforms," he said.

It is important that cooperation between us and Bridge is functional and efficient, Karamarko said.

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