Milanka Opacic of the People's Coalition and social and youth policy minister in the former Social Democratic Party-led (SDP) government on Wednesday presented the coalition's welfare platform, "Sure direction for social policies and youth", while Kreso Beljak, the leader of the Croatian Peasants' Party (HSS), a junior coalition partner, said that the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and Bridge were an extreme rightist coalition that wishes to restrict human and women's rights.
During its term in government, the Kukuriku coalition managed to have debts waived for 30,000 people and around 200,000 received essential assistance when the exchange rate on loans was fixed at HRK 6.39 for 1 Swiss franc, Opacic underscored, adding that the minimum welfare allowance was guaranteed for families dependent on welfare benefits and that the allowance was increased on two occasions.
After September 11, we will continue where we left off because we pulled the country out of the crisis. That is visible now. We put the country in motion, but over the past six months a lot of that was stopped. In the next four years we will continue projects that were stopped by the outgoing government and launch new ones and create jobs, increase input into the budget and raise the standard of citizens, particularly beneficiaries of social welfare, she said.
She claimed that their promises were "realistic and possible." The SDP and its coalition won't make false promises like the HDZ and its promise of an allowance of EUR 1,000 for each newborn, which the HDZ promised but did not fulfil, a typical example of their false promises, she said.
Asked whether the People's Coalition would once again waive people's debts as was done in the previous term, Opacic explained that that was a one-off measure.
Opacic did not wish to explain the findings of an audit conducted in the ministry that was in her remit when a secretary received an income of HRK 300,000 and whether this would have a negative impact on the coalition during the coming election. Opacic also did not wish to comment on the possibility of a large coalition after the election.
Beljak said that the People's Coalition was centrist, centre-left and centre-right and that it was a large coalition that would respect the Constitution.
He claimed that the HDZ and Bridge wanted to amend the Constitution to restrict human and women's rights and that the HSS would not enter into any possible coalition with the HDZ after the election.