Kolinda grabar kitarovic, tihomir oreskovic.jpg
Photograph: HINA/ Damir SENČAR /ds

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.

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