Several ministers said on Wednesday that current relations between the strongest parliamentary party, the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), and its junior coalition partner Bridge were very good.

Science, Education and Sport Minister Predrag Sustar said that HDZ chief Tomislav Karamarko's statement that Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic still enjoyed the support of the HDZ but if Oreskovic were to lose the support, he would no longer be prime minister, was "normal and expected."

Foreign and European Affairs Minister Miro Kovac told reporters before today's government session that relations between the HDZ and Bridge were great, while Transport, Maritime Affairs and Infrastructure Minister Oleg Butkovic said they were "excellent and have never been better," voicing hope that in the future those relations would be even better.

Asked if Karamarko's statement was a threat to Oreskovic, Sustar said that this was "a matter of interpretation," adding that what Karamarko had said was "normal and expected."

"Those are normal things, everything has its ups and downs, I'm very satisfied, one needs to have patience and now that the budget has been adopted, things are expected to proceed faster," Sustar said.

He added that in his opinion Oreskovic's mini-tour of Croatia did not mean that he was distancing himself from the HDZ, but that it was a good thing for the prime minister to be more in the public eye.

"This is good for the government and for all of us, I am glad that he is travelling to the Vatican... It is expected of him...  and I see that as progress," Sustar said.

Construction and Zoning Minister Lovro Kuscevic said that the ruling coalition was stable. "The coalition is truly stable, we talk on a daily basis, all problems are solved by agreement, so I see no problem or reason for panic," he added.

Kuscevic too refuted interpretations that Oreskovic's announced tour meant his distancing from the HDZ.

Asked if Karamarko's message to the prime minister to focus on investments and the economy was an indirect threat, Kuscevic said that the message was a good one and that the government had to handle economic problems on a daily basis.

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