zoran milanović.jpg
Photograph: EPA/ETIENNE LAURENT

Social Democratic Party president Zoran Milanovic said on Saturday that Croatia was not the Teva generic drugs company which could be run by remote control from Amsterdam or Tel Aviv but that decisions must be made and responsibility taken here, which he said those in power had not learned to do.

He was commenting on the European Commission's latest report on Croatia and Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic's claims that the previous, Milanovic-run government was to blame for the bad report, saying the report was not as bad as portrayed by Oreskovic.

Speaking to reporters in Koprivnica, Milanovic said "there's nothing wrong" in the report, that it was quite fair and that had there been problems, the Commission would have punished Croatia earlier. He said the incumbent government should enable at least one more quarter of growth after "the five left behind by my government," instead of looking for "an excuse for its idleness and fumbling."

He said the report stated that 15,000 people had emigrated from Croatia over the past two years and not 100,000 as claimed by the ruling Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ). He said his government had refused the Commission's demands for layoffs and pension cuts, and that Croatia would not have growth today had it agreed to the Commission's demands for "linear cuts and blind measures."

"We have decreasing unemployment and increasing employment. There's export growth, which in the last quarter was more based on production, investments and consumption," Milanovic said, adding that those were the results of his government.

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