Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) president Tomislav Karamarko said on Monday that the party's responses to the Bridge (MOST) party's reform proposals were ready and that there had been no ultimatums or blackmail in the recent HDZ-Bridge talks, but that the two parties had exchanged views on how to pull Croatia out of the crisis.
The HDZ's responses to Bridge were prepared at the HDZ and not in the ministries as the Social Democratic Party (SDP) did, at taxpayers' expense, Karamarko told reporters, adding that the responses would be delivered today. "I think we agree on everything, more or less. There are variations on a theme. There can be shades of difference," he said.
He would not comment on the internal developments in Bridge, saying it would be good if they stayed homogeneous because the 19 seats the party won in parliament was "a respectable political force."
Commenting on President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic's eye-to-eye talks with Bridge leader Bozo Petrov on Thursday, during consultations on a prime minister-designate, Karamarko said the president could talk like that with anyone and that she held eye-to-eye talks with the leaders of all the delegations after the consultations.
"I can say what the topic was. The president said, 'Try to agree as much as you can, so that we come out of this time vacuum which is entirely unnecessary," Karamarko said.
He went on to say that Bridge member Stipe Petrina's claim that Petrov had agreed with the HDZ to support it in the formation of the new government was politicking. "Those are assumptions. There are no deals. Everything that is being agreed and done with Bridge is transparent and public before the cameras."
Karamarko said he had instructed his people not to engage in partial talks, that party leaderships must talk and that everything that had been or was being agreed must be transparent "to us and Bridge and the Croatian public."