The leaders of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), the People's Party (HNS) and the Peasants' Party (HSS) on Monday met for the first time since signing an agreement on the People's Coalition and discussed a joint election platform which should be presented to the public next week.
HSS chief Kreso Beljak and HNS leader Ivan Vrdoljak spoke to the press after the meeting and when asked if they had agreed on who would do what in the campaign for the election set for September, Vrdoljak said that the talks were not conducted in that way.
"We spoke about what will make Croatia more beautiful and better in the coming years," Vrdoljak said.
Asked whether part of the coalition's strategy was not to comment on scandals in their own ranks such as bonuses of millions of kuna to CEOs in the state's forest management authority - Hrvatske Sume - Vrdoljak answered affirmatively, claiming that this was a "quasi scandal."
"That is the only thing the HDZ (Croatian Democratic Union) and Bridge are occupied with. And mutual reform - the HDZ is reforming Bridge and Bridge is reforming the HDZ," Vrdoljak said.
He underscored that the People's Coalition wanted to exclusively discuss policies, agriculture, education, curricular reforms and attracting investments.
Beljak, however, considers that the matter of bonuses for CEOs in Hrvatske Sume is a scandal although this has been the usual practice for the past 25 years.
"That certainly is a scandal but the question is - is it illegal? It is certainly morally questionable and in my opinion this should not occur in the future," Beljak said.
He emphasised that if the HSS is assigned with the agriculture portfolio, it would abolish that bonus.