Croatian Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic on Wednesday called on the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ)-led coalition and the Bridge party to invest additional efforts "to overcome differences and defuse tensions", expressing hope that his cabinet would resume implementing changes after the stabilisation of the situation.

The non-partisan premier held a brief news conference on Wednesday afternoon after his two deputies, the HDZ chief Tomislav Karamarko, and the Bridge leader, Bozo Petrov, also addressed the press, the former in the HDZ main offices, and the latter in the government building.

Karamarko announced his decision to step down as Deputy Prime Minister, while Petrov said he was ready to resign if this was necessary to preserve the cabinet led by PM Oreskovic.

In his brief address Oreskovic recalled that earlier in the day the Conflict of Interest Commission ruled that Karamarko had been caught in a conflict of interest with regard to his suggestions that Croatia should withdraw from the arbitration with MOL over INA and that this conflict of interest stemmed from the fact that Karamarko's wife and his friend Josip Petrovic, a lobbyist for MOL, had business relations.

Oreskovic called on "all stakeholders in the (political) process to demonstrate maximum efforts to overcome differences."

Oreskovic requested reporters that no questions be asked, explaining that he tomorrow he would  answer questions in the parliament.

He referred to the fact that Karamarko's HDZ party insists on a vote of no-confidence in him and that this item is very likely to be discussed by the 151-seat legislature on Thursday.

The HDZ-sponsored motion had been triggered off by Oreskovic's recent call on Karamarko to step down, and after that the HDZ leadership said that Oreskovic no longer enjoyed their confidence.

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