The leader of the Opposition Social Democratic Party (SDP), Zoran Milanovic, said on Sunday that he believed that the Croatian Radio and Television (HRT) worked for the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and that it often worked "semi-professionally" but that that did not mean that he would conduct any purges there.
"(The HRT) criticised us too rather harshly when we were in power and that's their right, and I believe that the HRT works for the HDZ," Milanovic said during a visit to the coastal town of Tisno.
Answering questions from the press on HDZ leader Tomislav Karamarko's current criticism of the public broadcaster, Milanovic said that the HRT was a public service to which he had had a lot of objections and still did, "but that's life - as a politician you have to take the blows. I believe that the HRT works for the HDZ."
He added that the HRT "often works semi-professionally, but that does not mean that I would conduct any purges there. Those are wild threats typical of the HDZ, and we will fight against such intimidation."
Commenting on the November 2015 parliamentary elections, the SDP leader said that the SDP had won more votes of the Croatian people than the HDZ had.
"Do I have the right to say that those who do not love the SDP do not love the Croat people? (If I said so), the SDP members would put me in a straitjacket. More Croatians voted for us than for the HDZ," he repeated in a comment on Karamarko's recent statement that "those who do not love the HDZ do not love Croatia."
Reporters also wanted to know if now, with SDP member Ranko Ostojic having been appointed chair of the parliamentary Committee on Domestic Policy, the head of the Security and Intelligence Agency (SOA), Dragan Lozancic, would be replaced faster, Milanovic said: "As I have already said - let them replace him if they have the guts. He is a man who does not depend on that handful of good-for-nothings."
As for a letter member of Parliament and Serb National Council Milorad Pupovac sent President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, complaining about "intolerance reigning in Croatia", Milanovic briefly said three times that he believed Pupovac had sent the letter to the wrong address.
"I think he sent it to the wrong address," he said, and when asked to comment on Grabar-Kitarovic's reply, in which she said that Milanovic was the most responsible for the intolerance, the SDP leader repeated twice "I believe he sent it to the wrong address."
Commenting on upcoming intra-party election in the SDP, Milanovic said that his rival in the competition for the party president, Zlatko Komadina, "has the right to be optimistic", and described the campaign for those elections as civilised compared to the HDZ's campaigns for intra-party elections.
He also said that if he stayed at the helm of the SDP, Komadina's supporters would stay in the party and be able to continue saying whatever they wanted.