Andrej Plenkovic, Varazdin .jpg
Photograph: HINA/ Siniša KALAJDŽIJA/ ua

The candidate for the leader of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), Andrej Plenkovic, visited the northwestern city of Varazdin on Saturday to present his election platform to the party's local branch.

Asked by the press which parties the HDZ would run in a coalition with in the forthcoming early parliamentary election, Plenkovic said that the party's working group was in talks with potential partners and discussing the achievements of the Patriotic Coalition, the centre-right coalition led by the HDZ in the November election.

"I am in a party campaign right now. I want to put emphasis first and foremost on a strong, quality and consistent HDZ, and as such we will be open to cooperation with partners. Who they will be will be known when I take office on July 17," Plenkovic said.

Asked about the veracity of media reports saying that the HDZ and Bridge, a junior partner in the caretaker government, were trying to form a new government before the dissolution of Parliament, Plenkovic repeated that he was focused on the intra-party campaign and the election platform for the autumn. "I know nothing about these speculations," he said.

Commenting on the European Commission's warning to Croatia about the conversion of loans denominated in Swiss francs into euro-denominated loans, Plenkovic said that the conversion was "a damaged product".

"This reaction from the European Commission is not surprising. We call for a solution that will include an agreement with all those involved in the process. We would not want this entire burden to fall on the state budget as a result of lawsuits," he said.

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