Andrej Plenković.jpg
Photograph: HINA/ Damir SENČAR/ ds

Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) president Andrej Plenkovic said in Hvar on Tuesday it was imperative for the party's candidates in the upcoming polls to be recognised as consistent and patriotic.

Speaking at the HDZ's first rally for the September 11 early parliamentary election, he said it was imperative that the party's candidates were also recognised as excellent in their fields and as people who respected others running in the election.

The HDZ's goal is competitiveness, economic growth and creating an atmosphere facilitating job creation, he said. We are members of the European People's Party, we don't force the concept under which the state creates jobs. We create a framework and it is entrepreneurs' boldness that creates an economic situation facilitating job creation, he added.

Now is the time for the HDZ to take firm positions and profile itself as the European centre-right, Plenkovic said. "That means restoring the trust of Croatian voters in the key matrix of Croatian political parties, and that's us. When we are strong, credible and efficient enough, there's little need for fragmentation into a series of alternative options in our political spectrum. That's the key of our policy."

Plenkovic said his ambition was for the HDZ to run the state very soon, "more firmly than was the case in the past few months, after the experiment with Bridge failed." He said the party was willing to form the next government with partners sharing its fundamental values as well as world view.

Plenkovic said the HDZ was not interested in big coalitions because Croatia did not need them. "Big coalitions are necessary either when national security is seriously jeopardised or when there is no other possibility to form a functioning government."

The HDZ advocates integral reforms, cutting VAT from 25% first to 24% and then to 23%, increasing the non-taxable income to HRK 3,750 and economic growth to 5% by 2020.

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