Plenkovic.jpg
Photograph: HINA/ Lana SLIVAR DOMINIĆ/ lsd

Prime Minister-Designate and Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) leader Andrej Plenkovic said on Tuesday that he would discuss with the outgoing and new parliament speakers today how to most efficiently hold the new parliament's inaugural session, adding that he was confident of finding a reasonable solution with the Bridge party about voting on a new government next week.

He was speaking to reporters before meeting with outgoing Parliament Speaker Zeljko Reiner and his successor, Bridge leader Bozo Petrov.

The new, ninth parliament will hold its inaugural session on Friday.

Plenkovic said he believed he would find a reasonable solution with Bridge about voting on the new government next week as well as about putting on parliament's agenda the bills relating to Bridge's guarantees. He said it was in the Croatian public's interest that the new government received a vote of confidence as soon as possible so that it could set to work.

"The points we have agreed are important and relevant and require a certain procedure and a discussion. As a lawyer, I am a legalist, I respect the institutions of public discussion and believe we will find a solution that will satisfy both Bridge and the items on the agenda," Plenkovic said.

Asked when he would resign as a member of the European Parliament, he said his term expired on Thursday at midnight and that, with the inauguration of the Croatian parliament and his swearing in, he would become a member of the Croatian parliament.

Asked if the HDZ party would amend the Abortion Act, Plenkovic said the HDZ was not for banning abortion but wanted education and all other measures to be raised to a level so that there were as few abortions as possible and so that the procedure could be avoided whenever possible.

Asked if there would be layoffs in local government due to plans to amend the relevant law, Plenkovic said the plan was for the amendments to go into force on 1 January 2018 so that counties, towns and municipalities had time to adapt. He said it was necessary to gauge the real impact of the law on local government units which set aside over 20% of their budgets for salaries.

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