Throughout the past 25 years, since the declaration of its independence, Croatia has made great achievements such as sovereignty and development of democratic values, but the country should ensure economic prosperity for all its citizens - this is a summary of statements made by Croatian politicians at a reception held in the parliament on Friday, on the occasion of Independence Day, observed on 8 October.

Vladimir Seks, a long-standing member of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and one of the authors of Croatia's constitution, said that Independence Day was one of the most glorious days in Croatia's history when the Croatian people "got rid of the odious Yugoslavia".

On 8 October 1991 the first Croatian legislative assembly decided to sever all ties with the then Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY). The first legislature made that decision in dramatic circumstances, after it had to be relocated from the parliament headquarters in St. Mark's Square in Zagreb's historical centre due to an air-strike by SFRY army planes on the residence of the first Croatian President Franjo Tudjman opposite the parliament on 7 October 1991. During the air-strike, which was an attempt on Tudjman's life, one person was killed and four were wounded and buildings in St. Mark's Square were damaged.

As for the new government to be formed by the HDZ and the Bridge party, Seks said he believed that the two parties "are aware of their historic responsibility".

"This government will enjoy steady support and this is the best way to go out of stagnation and restore optimism," Seks said.

Outgoing Parliament Speaker Zeljko Reiner said that it was not feasible to take a vote of confidence in the new government at the inaugural session of the ninth legislature, set for 14 October.

Doing everything that has to be done at the inaugural parliament session is not feasible. I believe that the parliament will be established (next Friday), and the session will most probably resume on the following Monday, he explained.

Josip Leko, who was parliament speaker during the term of the Social Democratic Party (SDP)-led government and is now one of the Constitutional Court judges, said that being a free country, Croatia had reaffirmed itself as a democracy and he expressed hope that good prospects were awaiting Croatians.

Leko said that the rotation in the post of Parliament Speaker was a democratic decision.

Caretaker Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic said that he hoped that the new cabinet would be totally different than the outgoing government and that the HDZ and the Bridge party would act as partners.

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