The People's Coalition held its first official election rally in Varazdin on Tuesday at which its candidate for prime minister, Social Democratic Party (SDP) president Zoran Milanovic, said the coalition had a serious platform and people with experience for building a modern Croatia.

Milanovic said the People's Coalition offered voters capable and good people with experience, and that it would bring order and a "safe course" because the state must be organised so that it was in the service of citizens' interests.

He said political rivals "are not evil but they are not good for Croatia either because it can do better, faster, stronger, more independently."

Milanovic told the members of the coalition's four parties not to take part in discussions on world views or quarrels. The People's Coalition has a serious platform, it should continue to build a modern Croatia which will not close itself off or bother with what happened in 1945, he said, adding that one should turn to today "because tomorrow is today."

Asked by the press why the campaign began in Varazdin, Milanovic said the People's Coalition enjoyed big support in northern Croatia.

He called on political rivals to discuss topics of life importance for Croatia and to let experts explain their platforms.

Asked about the possibility of cooperation with the Bridge party, Milanovic said that now the talk was about platforms and that one must not get personal because over the past six months there had been personal reactions.

Addressing the rally, Croatian People's Party (HNS) president Ivan Vrdoljak underlined the success of northern Croatia. "It's no coincidence that Ivanec has been awarded the most attractive investment destination in Europe, it's no coincidence that a factory can be built in Medjimurje County faster than in Germany, it's no coincidence that unemployment in Varazdin County is half the Croatian average and that employment growth is highest in Krapina-Zagorje County," Vrdoljak said, wondering why that is not the case in areas where the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) is in power.

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