tihomir orešković.jpg
Photograph: HINA/ Slavko VUKADIN/ ua

After the parliament voted no confidence in him on Thursday, Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic said that the best solution now would be a snap parliamentary election.

"I'm sorry. I came with the best intentions to help our homeland. Initially we all had common goals and hope that we would boost the economy and raise citizens' living standards. Unfortunately, communication with individuals, in this case Mr (Tomislav) Karamarko, did not function. Today we were here and we are where we are. As prime minister, over the past few months I have come to know Croatia well. I saw good and bad things. I believe in this country. We have great potential and I hope that that potential will be used to the maximum," Oreskovic said.

He did not wish to confirm or deny the possibility of further political cooperation with the Bridge party. "We are here as a caretaker government until a new government is formed and we will ensure security and focus on that," Oreskovic said.

He underscored that he did not take up office to be involved in politics but to help his country.

He admitted that he didn't expect the government he was heading to end as it did.

"You come, you have some global experience. I believe that as far as the economic and financial sectors are concerned, I had a lot to offer. I thought I would have Karamarko's support. I worked well with (Bozo) Petrov. It was believed that I was closer to Bridge than to the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), however, that was nothing more than cooperation. Petrov would come, he had ideas and we talked. Maybe that was the key problem," Oreskovic said and added that he did not regret accepting the position of prime minister.

"I'm a patriot. I like challenges and this was an experience. I wish to thank citizens for their support. I'm a little bit sad because I think that we could have done much more. This team had huge potential. In the end, when we look at the results, I believe that Croatia will have a good year because of entrepreneurs and the business climate has started to improve, and that things will get going. We could have done a lot with this team but we are where we are," he said.

He said that the government would not meet tomorrow as scheduled and that he would take a "break over the weekend."

Asked to be more specific about his claims that he had been exposed to pressure concerning the appointment of the head of the Security and Intelligence Agency (SOA), he reiterated that he appointed Daniel Markic because he was a qualified professional.

"There was quite a bit of talk about SOA. There was talk that I would be a puppet. I have 25 years of experience in business and when I need to select personnel, I select the most qualified person. There are some lines that I'm not willing to cross. Mr Markic is a qualified person and has shown that. That is why the President (Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic) and I selected him," Oreskovic said.

Asked whether a parliamentary reshuffle should come next or rather a snap election, Oreskovic said, "I think that an election would be the best solution. You saw Bridge's stance and citizens expect an election, so let citizens choose."

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