Darinko Kosor HSLS.jpg
Photograph: HINA/ Daniel KASAP/ dk

The president of the Croatian Social Liberal Party (HSLS), a junior partner in the ruling coalition, said on Saturday that he was not for any parliamentary majority or government reshuffle, which was mathematically impossible and would not happen.

Darinko Kosor was speaking to the press ahead of an HSLS Main Council session which will mark the 27th birthday of the first democratic party formed in modern Croatia.

He said the possible conflict of interest of First Deputy Prime Minister Tomislav Karamarko "is certainly damaging" the government, notably the ruling coalition. "When focus is shifted from the important topic, namely the implementation of reforms, to such issues, it damages us all, it damages all citizens. As far as I'm concerned, as few affairs and as many reforms as possible, and we will all be better off."

Asked about a solution to the damage, Kosor said he was not a judge. "My job is politics and I say what I think the voters who support a liberal option think, which is a free market economy, human rights, minority rights, environmental protection."

Asked how his party would vote on the opposition SDP's proposal to impeach Karamarko, he said it would decide when the item was on parliament's agenda.

Asked about the HSLS' position on today's protest rally of anti-abortion advocates, he said his party's position had always been and would stay liberal. "Pro-choice, naturally. Yesterday we also endorsed the human rights ombudswoman's report."

He went on to say that the HSLS was "for small taxes, a small administration, for people living off their work, for the state ensuring them only the basic conditions, that they can go to school, be equal with the competition, because the more of us work in the private sector, the better off we will all be."

He said "the HSLS has always wanted a Croatia built on democratic foundations" and that it was "a centrist party, a party of reason which can work together with... all camps."

Asked if present-day Croatia was civic and democratic with equal rights for all, Kosor said, "Unfortunately, I don't see it either today or our whole recent history." He said Croatian citizens "deserve a much better future."

"We have a past and should strive for turning to the future and building this future. Unfortunately, 90 percent of our discussions are about history, the past, divisions... Reforms aren't ideological, reforms are something we must implement regardless of the coalition in power. There are many social reforms we must implement for our citizens," Kosor said.

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