Social Democratic Party (SDP) leader Zoran Milanovic on Thursday commented on the draft budget and stressed that his government had left their successors with an organised system, and added that the first austerity measure should be to "sack the hoard of Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) sympathisers hired over the past ten years."
Commenting on the draft budget which the government sent into parliamentary procedure, in a weekly interview with the Media Servis commercial broadcaster, Milanovic reflected on welfare benefits that are being reduced and added that his government had left behind growth and order.
"There needs to be order in the welfare benefits system, we introduced that. The HDZ generally ruins everything and then we come and introduce order," Milanovic said reflecting on a European Commission's early warning signal to adjust the budget.
"The European Commission is constantly doing that but leading a government to oppose that is an art, that is, for you to conduct your own independent economic and fiscal policies to some degree. Because if you blindly listen to everything the EC says, you'll end up in recession and nothing will pull you out of that," the former prime minister said.
Commenting on the announcement by the Public Administration Minister (Dubravka Jurlina Alibegovic) that she intended to save HRK 500 million by cutting perks for officials, Milanovic said that what should be done first is to "fire the hoard of HDZ members who were hired over the past 10 year, whom we did not sack."
He denied criticism that it was the SDP in fact that had hired its sympathisers and stressed that today there are fewer people employed in the public sector. In the railways alone there are almost 10,000 fewer people employed and no-one was hired without vacancies being advertised first and very few people were hired at all in the public sector," he said.
Reflecting on the new government's first 45 days in power, Milanovic said that the government was "disastrously" dabbling in security services, thus jeopardising national security as a result.