zoran milanović.jpg
Photograph: Hina / Denis CERIĆ /dc

Social Democratic Party (SDP) leader Zoran Milanovic told the party's election convention in Zagreb on Saturday that the SDP would not stay in the opposition for long and would return to power.

"Being in the opposition is not a shame. But we will return to power and put a smile back on Croatia's face and remove this grimace. This is not a government. There may be a few good people with good intentions in it, but you know where good intentions lead. Perhaps not to hell, but they can lead you astray," Milanovic told over 2,200 party delegates who had assembled to choose a new SDP Presidency and Main Committee.

Speaking of social-democratic values the party should promote, Milanovic cited the fight for ordinary people and for free education and health services that should be available to all. He said he was confident that social democracy should review the relationship with banks "without a revolution and populism but through permanent discussion on what society should look like."

"Mortgages are not a technical but profoundly vital issue and we must not pretend that they do not exist. Pension rates are a burning political issue," Milanovic said, stressing that in the fight for the rights of ordinary people the SDP should not allow any other party to be more articulate than the SDP.

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