tihomir orešković.jpg
Photograph: HINA/ Tomislav PAVLEK/ ik

Croatian Prime Minister Designate Tihomir Oreskovic told reporters on Wednesday at the reception given by the Serb National Council on occasion of Orthodox Christmas that his first move would be forming the government after which main reforms would follow, stressing that the most important thing was reducing debt so as to improve the country's credit rating, and working together for the people, for a better Croatia.

Reporters wanted to know what his first moves would be, and Oreskovic responded that he would form the government first and then communicate the main reforms and government moves.

"I know you are all waiting for those moves and you want to know what moves will that be, that's clear to me. I met with Mr Petrov yesterday and Karamarko and I spoke several days ago. The process is continuing, it is moving forward. First we will form the government and then we will communicate the main reforms and moves and everything will be clear," the PM designate said.

Reporters wanted to know if Croatia can expect bold and structural cuts and Oreskovic said his priority was to reduce the debt so that the country could improve its credit rating and "that we can send out a message that we are working for the people and that we are all prepared to work together for a better state."

"This is very important to me personally. I will tell you three things: I believe that now not only the European Commission, but also international agencies want to see which way will this government function, which moves it will make. It is important to me to reduce this debt so that we can improve our credit rating and send out a message which would heard today from Mr (Milorad) Pupovac. I agree 100 per cent. We are here to work for the people. We are all ready and I am confident that we are partners and that together we will work for a better Croatia," he stressed.

Reporters wanted to know if talks were held with representatives of ethnic minorities who announced they would give their conditions for the support to the new government. Oreskovic said such talks were not held. He added he talked to Pupovac earlier today over the phone but that they did not have a chance to meet yet, expressing conviction they would meet after the holidays.

Asked about his position on the signs in the Cyrillic script, Oreskovic said he was confident the this issue would be resolved in due time.

"I believe we heard beautiful speeches today. Today I can tell you that I was a minority, because I grew up in Canada with other minorities -- Croats, Serbs, Slovenians, Hungarians, Italians, etc. We were all proud, we all nurtured our culture and by doing so we have enriched the country we lived in. I am confident that minorities in Croatia -- Serbs, Italians, etc. -- will add richness to this country too. And that everything will be resolved in due time," Oreskovic said.

Asked to comment on claims by Bridge party spokesman Nikola Grmoja that Bridge chief Bozo Petrov had been under surveillance of secret services, Oreskovic said he had no information about it.

"For now I have no information and I do not wish to comment on it. Once I receive all information, you can ask me about it again," Oreskovic said.

Latest news

Trump administration reverses transgender bathroom protections

The Trump administration on Wednesday withdrew Obama-era guidance about the use of school and university bathrooms by transgender students, local media reported.

Several Dakota Access Pipeline protesters arrested as deadline passes

Several people at a camp protesting against a controversial oil pipeline in the US state of North Dakota were arrested Wednesday after a deadline to vacate the land passed, local media reported.

Germany deports 18 rejected asylum seekers to Afghanistan

A Kabul-bound plane with 18 Afghan migrants on board took off from Munich Airport late Wednesday, its passengers becoming the third group of rejected asylum seekers to be deported by German authorities back to Afghanistan.

New Romanian justice minister named after anti-corruption protests

Romanian Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu has named a former judge to be the country's next justice minister, after the previous office holder resigned under pressure from mass anti-corruption protests.

Le Pen's chief of staff indicted in European Parliament jobs probe

The chief of staff of Marine Le Pen, the far-right candidate for president in upcoming French elections, was indicted Wednesday over allegations of irregular reimbursements from the European Parliament, a judicial source told dpa.

Montenegrin police extradites Miodrag Jovic to Croatia

Montenegrin police reported on Wednesday that they extradited to Croatia Miodrag Jovic (48) from Glina, after whom Interpol Zagreb issued an arrest warrant.

Croatian minister attends CoMoCoSEE conference in Albania

Culture Minister Nina Obuljen Korzinek participated in a third conference of the Council of Ministers of Culture of South-Eastern Europe (CoMoCoSEE) that took place in Tirana on February 21-22.

New Somali president asks al-Shabaab to surrender to 'help' country

Somalia's newly elected President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo asked Islamist terrorist group al-Shabaab to surrender in order "to help rebuild" the conflict-ridden East African nation.

Serbia's EU negotiator says minority rights neglected

The head of the Serbia's European Union accession negotiation team, Tanja Miscevic, said in Novi Sad on Wednesday that minority rights had been neglected for many years and added that positive results in that regard cannot be achieved over night, the Beta news agency has reported. 

Scientists: Nearby star's 7 rocky planets are "best bet" for life

New analysis of telescope data shows a dwarf star just 40 light years from Earth has at least seven apparently rocky planets with potential to harbour water, an international team of scientists announced Wednesday.

Croatian PM receives EIB Vice-President

Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic met on Wednesday with European Investment Bank (EIB) Vice-President Dario Scannapieco for talks on the bank's contribution to a new investment cycle in Croatia and its support to the Croatian government to implement key projects, a press release from the government's office said.

Bomb explodes outside police officer's home in Northern Ireland

A bomb exploded outside a police officer's home in Northern Ireland on Wednesday but there were no immediate reports of casualties.