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

Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) president Tomislav Karamarko said on Tuesday he would be the First Deputy Prime Minister in the new government and that Social Democratic Party president Zoran Milanovic's statement that the Bridge party had opted to form a parliamentary majority "with a pro-Ustasha organisation" was rude, describing him as a man who has lost every battle he could have over the past four years.

Karamarko told reporters he did not know how many ministries the HDZ would run in the new government, announcing that talks on that would begin on Monday. "The important thing is that the government is reformist and expert... regardless of which party it belongs to or if it belongs to any party."

He said the number of ministries had not yet been discussed with the Bridge party." Quality is essential because Croatia has no time to lose with poor personnel, so, whoever proposes good people is welcome."

Karamarko said they were in contact with Prime Minister-Designate Tihomir Oreskovic every day and that he would have full support because "he's an expert in the most necessary segment at the moment - finance and the economy and enterprise."

Asked to what extent the promise that MPs' salaries would be cut would be met, Karamarko reiterated that it referred to a 25-30 percent salary cut for officials and MPs. "It's time to show at a symbolic level that we all need to save and carry the burden of the moment and try to come out of this bad situation, and I think we will because I'm an optimist."

Asked if everything would be agreed in the 30-day deadline President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic gave Oreskovic to form the government, Karamarko said it had to be. "We'll work busily and well." Asked if he was counting on a 30-day extension of the deadline, he said that everything had to be solved within three weeks.

Commenting on Milanovic's statement that the Bridge party had opted to form a parliamentary majority "with a pro-Ustasha organisation," Karamarko said it was rude and had no place in political speech and dialogue.

"He's a man who has lost every battle he could lose over the past four years. One should know how to lose and be fair in defeat. What he would like most is to change the people. It's necessary to change oneself and I would like him to successfully change himself because Croatia needs both the left and the right wing. We would like a real, patriotic Croatian social democracy."

Latest news

BASF sales down 18 per cent due to Gazprom asset swap

German chemicals giant BASF said Friday that its revenues decreased by 18 per cent, to 57.6 billion euros (60.9 billion dollars), in 2016, due mainly to a multibillion-euro asset swap with Gazprom, Russia's state-backed gas group.

New Delhi shocked at reports of Indian national dead in US shooting

India was in shock and dismay Friday at the news of the death of an Indian engineer in an alleged racially motivated killing in the United States earlier this week.

42 killed in car bombing in Syria's al-Bab, monitor says

At least 42 people are dead after a car bombing in Syria's northern city of al-Bab on Friday, a day after Turkish-backed rebels seized control of the city from the Islamic State extremist militia, a monitoring group reported.

Car bombing kills at least eight soldiers in Yemen

At least eight government soldiers died in a Friday car bombing in Yemen’s southern province of Abyan, a local security official said.

Report: FBI rejected White House request to deny Trump Russia links

The FBI declined a recent White House request to deny media reports about contact between campaign staff for US President Donald Trump and Russian intelligence before last year's election, CNN reported on Thursday.

Nearly 60% of lower secondary school pupils in EU studying more than one foreign language

Nearly 60 percent of lower secondary school pupils in the European Union studied more than one foreign language, the EU statistical office said.

Lethal nerve agent used to kill North Korean in Malaysia, police say

A nerve agent known as VX was used to kill Kim Jong Nam, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's estranged half-brother, in Malaysia last week, police said Friday.

Venezuela, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu lose UN vote over unpaid fees

Venezuela, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu are among six nations who have lost the right to vote at the United Nations General Assembly for not paying their compulsory annual contributions.

Alphabet's self-driving car company sues Uber over alleged theft

Alphabet's self-driving car company Waymo said Thursday it was suing Uber and its subsidiary Otto for allegedly stealing its technology and infringing its patents.

US, Mexico take "important steps" even as Trump voices indifference

Top US and Mexican diplomatic and security officials met on Thursday in Mexico City, as President Donald Trump in Washington expressed ambivalence about relations with the United States' southern neighbour.

US Supreme Court's Ginsberg emphasizes value of free press

US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg expressed optimism about the political future of the United States despite the polarized and combative political atmosphere that has marked the fledgling presidency of Donald Trump.

Top Trump aide Bannon points to promises kept, media fight

Top White House strategist Steve Bannon said Thursday US President Donald Trump is keeping the promises he made during his campaign on issues from immigration to job creation.