Declaration of an exclusive economic zone in the Croatian Adriatic will be one of the reformist Bridge party's main conditions for support to the new government, and the party expects to continue its negotiations with the coalitions led by the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) on Thursday.
"We will insist on an exclusive economic zone and that will be our condition for cooperation. We expect support because it should have been declared long ago. Croatia is entitled to it and I think that the Foreign Ministry staff has been the problem because it has been hard for them to admit that they should have done it long ago. Croatia is suffering huge financial and other damage because that wasn't done," Bridge spokesman Nikola Grmoja told Hina on Tuesday.
The exclusive economic zone is among the party's last conditions for its support to the new government, but it is the most important one, he said.
Croatia declared an ecological and fisheries protection zone in 2003 but decided during EU accession negotiations not to apply it to EU member states until a bilateral agreement was reached. While the ecological and fisheries protection zone related to fisheries and exploitation of the sea-bed, the exclusive economic zone would concern construction of structures on the sea surface, such as wind farms or artificial islands. Most countries in the world which have access to the open sea have declared an exclusive economic zone.
Other topics to be discussed on Thursday will include the election system, anti-corruption measures and possibly national security and civilian supervision of the intelligence services, Grmoja said, adding that that will be the last day of negotiations on the formation of the new government.
After that Bridge expects the SDP and the HDZ to state their views on the topics discussed. "We have given them until Monday to send us their answers, but I think they will do it before that," Grmoja said.