Deputy Prime Minister and Bridge party leader Bozo Petrov said in Dubrovnik on Friday that a territorial reorganisation of the Interior Ministry would not cause a conflict between Bridge and its ruling partner, the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), and voiced confidence that the Finance Ministry's tax fraud office would not be joined with the Tax Administration.

"We have a big head and a small torso. We want to make (the interior) ministry much more operational and that will have nothing to do with any restructuring, regionalisation or something like that," Petrov told reporters, adding that the Interior Ministry reorganisation was aimed at reducing administration and increasing the number of police operatives in the field.

Petrov said he did not think that the Finance Ministry's independent tax fraud office would be joined with the Tax Administration, as mentioned by Finance Minister Zdravko Maric, "because that office has had good results (and) contributed to transparency and a much better functioning of Croatia."

Reporters asked him if the government had failed to sufficiently condemn the strengthening of Ustasha ideology in society, as a result of which three commemorations are being held this month for the victims of the WWII Jasenovac concentration camp.

"What saddens me is that the living are dividing over the dead," he said, adding that this was being used for "political sniping" instead of political dialogue. "This government has dismissed any intentions to protect the criminal system and regime which covered certain crimes such as the Ustasha regime. We distanced ourselves from that," Petrov said.

As for former Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader testifying as a witness for the Hungarian oil company MOL in Croatia-MOL arbitration proceedings on management rights in Croatian oil company INA, Petrov said he thought Croatia was right to launch the proceedings and that "we will benefit from it because the other party did not acquire the management rights as they should have been acquired."

Asked whether it was funny that Sanader, accused in Croatia of taking a bribe from MOL in exchange for management rights in INA, should testify for the Hungarian company, Petrov said it was up to the judge to decide.

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