zoran milanović.jpg
Photograph: EPA/ETIENNE LAURENT

In a post on his Facebook account on Wednesday, the leader of the centre-left Croatia Is Growing coalition, Zoran Milanovic, said that a government comprising his coalition and the Bridge reformist coalition would be stable and strong, and he called on all political stakeholders who were aware that cooperation between Bridge and the Croatian Democratic Union-led Patriotic Coalition would enable "the return of the criminal organisation to power" to cooperate with his coalition.

"Croatia needs a strong government with a majority, together with Bridge we would form a strong, stable Croatian government which only needs to continue doing what we have been doing so far, but someone does not want that to happen. My and our experience and competence are a guarantee that Croatia can fare well with us, and the alternative is chaos. This seems to be an operation to rescue the HDZ, not (HDZ leader Tomislav) Karamarko. I call here on all those who see what we see... - that this is becoming a project to return the criminal organisation to power - to join us. We will not participate (in that project) and I have no mandate for that," Milanovic said on his Facebook page.

The message was posted after Milanovic told a news conference on Tuesday that reforms had got lost in the negotiations with the Bridge party, that it had all boiled down to who would be prime minister and in office, and that it all looked to him like an attempt to rescue the HDZ and its president, Tomislav Karamarko, whom he called "a walking political corpse."

He also said that his coalition was for the continuation of the negotiations with Bridge, but not for a tripartite government that would include people from the HDZ-led coalition in which there were "racists, fascists and people accused of major crimes."

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