zoran milanović.jpg
Photograph: HINA/ Daniel KASAP / dk

Social Democratic Party (SDP) president Zoran Milanovic said on Friday that "Britons will have to live" with their decision to leave the European Union and that this decision would not have serious repercussions for Croatia's stability.

Speaking to the press, he said the decision had been in the air for years, that it was made democratically, mainly by the elderly, "which is democratic, the young were dominantly for staying in the EU but... that's democracy."

"Regarding Croatia, it would be absolutely wrong to say that this has nothing to do with us. It does, we are in the EU, but at this moment I don't believe it will have serious or any consequences for Croatia's stability," Milanovic said.

He does not fear that Brexit could open Pandora's box and lead to the further disintegration of the EU. "Great Britain has to live with the decision and Croatia will continue on its way in the EU, which we chose."

Milanovic believes in Croatia too there will be "more or less democratic" demands for leaving the EU but "that's democracy."

Speaking to Hina, former foreign minister Vesna Pusic of the Croatian People's Party said the Brexit decision was dangerous and bad, that it might have financial, political and geopolitical consequences for Britain, and that in many European countries it would encourage the extreme right and irresponsible political camps.

"It will happen in many countries. We have already seen that the extreme right in France and the Netherlands have launched that," Pusic said, adding that in the long term it was one of the worst decisions made in Great Britain and the EU and it would have the biggest negative impact on Britain.

Pusic suspects that some in Croatia will try to capitalise on this issue for political gain, saying they are mainly political camps which will not have to assume any responsibility for such decisions. She hopes that serious politicians and influential parties will not promote such ideas "because Croatia's interest is clear," but warned that if the EU began to fall apart, everything was possible.

"I hope there's enough responsibility in Europe to preserve this project and idea which, for the longest time in history, has prevented wars in Europe and enabled prosperity such as Europe never had," she said, adding that the project needed reforming and simplifying. "In that respect, Great Britain's presence was valuable because they justifiably criticised a too big administration and too complicated procedures. But there's certainly no need to kill the entire project because of a shortcoming that can be fixed," Pusic said.

The Human Shield party said on its Facebook page that Brexit was a victory and that it was time Croatia called a referendum for leaving the EU. The EU is starting to fall apart and it is time "that all politicians who tricked us into joining it be prosecuted," it added.

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