President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic has said in an interview with the Jutarnji List daily that Croatia needs reforms, she called on the government and the Opposition to invest their energy into improving the life of Croatian citizens and announced that after the first 100 days of this government in office she would launch the initiative aimed at calling a session to discuss critical joint issues of the foreign and defence policy and national strategic and development issues.

In the interview ran on the occasion of her first year in office, Grabar-Kitarovic said that in the atmosphere of political divisions it was difficult to work on the necessary reforms. Commenting on ideological divisions, the president called for calming of tensions adding that Croatia’s society needed a more civilized political communication.

She also called on the Opposition to aim their energy towards issues that would improve the life of Croatian citizens.

“Of course, the role of the Opposition is to criticize every bad move the government makes, but let’s be objective, the government hasn’t even been in office for 100 days which is a democratic standard for the first assessment of its work,” she stressed.

Asked about her objectives for the second year of her term in office, the president said that, in a way, she was starting over. “We have the new government to which I extend my hand of cooperation, just as I have to the previous government,” she added.

Grabar-Kitarovic said that the government led by Tihomir Oreskovic would have an opportunity to carry out a number of initiatives she launched, such as “the Adriatic-Baltic-Black Sea initiative” which had a potential and was necessary for the process of building infrastructure, transport, energy and other projects connecting the south and the north of Central Europe, as well as for the job creation.”

The president said she would continue to focus on the protection of the Croat people in Bosnia and Herzegovina and care for the neighbourhood in general so as to secure permanent peace and stability. 

Commenting on its relationship with the new government, Grabar-Kitarovic said they did not have to agree on everything, adding that this partnership should be used to the benefit of Croatia.

The president announced that after the first 100 days of this government in office, she would launch an initiative to call a session which would focus on joint issues of the foreign and defence policy and Croatia’s strategic development issues.

Asked to comment on the Lozancic case, Grabar Kitarovic stressed that she had said everything she was able to say about the reasons for the replacement of Security and Intelligence Agency chief Dragan Lozancic, underscoring that her decision was not personal but an objective one.

Asked when Prime Minister Oreskovic would make a decision on Lozancic’s future, the president said this question should be directed at the prime minister.

Grabar-Kitarovic, who is also the Croatian Armed Forces Supreme Commander, said Croatia this year must adopt several important decisions, including the decision to modernise its air force and Armed Forces.

Commenting on the results of the public opinion poll, according to  which 58% of Croatians said her work during her first year in office was average, Grabar-Kitarovic said her concern was primarily Croatia’s ratings and not her own.

Related stories

Latest news

Syrian opposition rules out future role for President al-Assad

The Syrian opposition said Friday it would not accept any role for President Bashar al-Assad in the future of the war-torn country, reacting to a recent US shift saying that removing al-Assad is no longer a priority for Washington.

Russian Army integrates breakaway forces of Georgian province

Parts of the small fighting forces of the Georgian breakaway province of South Ossetia have been placed under Russian military control, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Friday.

Czech Republic's Pilsner Urquell beer is now Japanese

Japanese brewing company Asahi completed its takeover of the Czech brewery Pilsner Urquell on Friday, Asahi said in a statement.

Judge approves 25-million-dollar settlement of Trump University case

A US district judge on Friday approved a 25-million-dollar settlement of lawsuits and state fraud allegations against Trump University, the US president's now-defunct business venture.

Former Thai premier Thaksin to junta on reconciliation: 'Cut me out'

Former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Friday announced that he is not interested in the junta-led reconciliation process, three days after the junta handed him a half-a-billion-dollar tax bill for his past business deal.

Dalic: We welcome possible deal between Agrokor and banks

The government welcomes the possibility of an agreement being concluded between the Agrokor food company and creditor banks, and the bill on vitally important companies is not a fallback plan but the result of the government's care for the overall economic and financial stability of Croatia, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Martina Dalic told a press conference in Zagreb on Friday.

Croatia, China sign action plan for cooperation in agriculture

The Croatian and Chinese ministries of agriculture on Friday signed an action plan for cooperation in the field of agriculture for the period 2017-2018, the Croatian ministry said in a statement.

ZSE indices up, Agrokor shares in focus of investor interest

The Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) indices on Friday rose by more than 1.8%, with stocks of the Agrokor food and retail concern being in the focus of investor interest again.

Berlin police defend handling of Berlin market attacker

Berlin police defended themselves on Friday against accusations that they stopped surveillance on Berlin Christmas market attacker despite knowing in June 2016 he was dangerous.

Croatia, creditors tailor emergency measures to save tottering giant

Croatia's tottering retail and food giant Agrokor reached an agreement with its creditors, putting its debts standby and allowing it to continue working during emergency restructuring, the Croatian branch of Austria's Erste Bank said Friday.

Agrokor's creditors say standstill agreement to go into force today

A standstill agreement regarding the Agrokor concern's existing financial obligations to banks will take effect on Friday, additional capital will be injected into the concern in the coming days and the concern will be actively restructured, which includes a change of its management, it was said on Friday after a meeting between Agrokor's suppliers and creditor banks.

Palestinians, UN slam Israel's new settlement plan

Palestinians, Israeli activists and the UN lambasted the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, a day after it gave the go-ahead for the first new West Bank settlement in a quarter of a century.

South Sudan rebels release three abducted foreign oil workers

South Sudanese rebels have released three foreign engineers they abducted in early March in the oil-rich Upper Nile region, Foreign Affairs Ministry official Mawein Makol Arik said on Friday.

Turkish opposition: Imprisoned party chief has gone on hunger strike

The head of Turkey's pro-Kurdish opposition party has launched a hunger strike from prison.

European leagues threaten Champions League schedule clashes

The European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) on Friday threatened schedule clashes on Champions League matchdays in an ongoing dispute with the governing body UEFA.

Danish court revokes citizenship of IS volunteer

A Danish appellate court on Friday stripped a man of his Danish citizenship for volunteering to fight for the extremist Islamic State in Syria.

Banks and Agrokor agree on key elements of standstill agreement

Member banks of the coordinating committee of financial creditors and representatives of the Agrokor food company have in principle agreed on key elements of a standstill agreement, which is expected to be signed later today, announcing changes in the company's management team, Erste Bank said in a statement on Friday afternoon.

Syrian man on trial in Sweden; mosque attack labelled terrorism

A Syrian man went on trial Friday in the southern Swedish city of Malmo, charged with terrorism and arson after an attack last year on a building used as an assembly hall by Shiite Muslims.