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.

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