tihomir orešković.jpg
Photograph: HINA/ Lana SLIVAR DOMINIĆ/ lsd

Croatia's Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic has said that the country can have only one prime minister but teamwork is important and therefore he is glad to see support from Deputy Prime Ministers Tomislav Karamarko and Bozo Petrov.

"There is one prime minister, but teamwork is important. Therefore it is important for me to have the support from Karamarko and Petrov," Oreskovic said in an interview aired by the RTL commercial broadcaster on Monday.

"I am looking forward to teamwork. A positive climate has been dominating over the past month since we started cooperating," Oreskovic said expressing hope that his cabinet would steer Croatia towards a positive direction in the next four years.

Oreskovic, who graduated in chemistry in Canada and obtained an MBA in finance and information systems and who was a senior executive in Teva Group before coming at the helm of the 13th Croatian government, said that he would not deal only with finance and economy but that he would also focus on other segments of society as those are also within his remit.

"All that is part of my responsibility. I am interested in education and the health-care system. I will focus on everything. Naturally, I will focus on the ministries of the economy and finance. It is vital to me and also to all citizens to reinforce the economic and business sector," he said.

Asked about activists' protests against the appointment of Zlatko Hasanbegovic as culture minister, Oreskovic said he found Hasanbegovic to competent for the position, describing him as "an honest man and an anti-Fascist."

As for an idea of War Veterans' Minister Mijo Crnoja about compiling a traitors' register, the new PM said his cabinet would not tackle that issue "since we have enough priorities to focus on."

Asked whether the Council for Cooperation, a body envisaged by an agreement between the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and the Bridge party, might be perceived as a parallel government that would restrict his cabinet, Oreskovic said that he found such a body to be normal thing and that he did not think that it would make his government slower.

The new head of government said that they had already started drafting a budget for 2016, adding that there would be no wage cuts in the public sector. 

He reiterated that his cabinet would focus on reducing the public debt and try to make a balance through activating the dormant capital.

Oreskovic said he was against the depreciation of the the kuna as suggested by the German IFO institute engaged by the HDZ for preparation of a new government agenda, explaining that there were other ways to boost Croatia's competitiveness.

As for the HDZ leader Karamarko's claims that his party was defrauded of 5-6 seats in the November 8 election, Oreskovic said that if there were any suspicions they should be investigated.

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