branko grčić.jpg
Photograph: HINA/ Denis CERIĆ/ iš

The Social Democratic Party (SDP)  and the Croatian People's Party (HNS) will finance their election campaigns with loans taken from commercial banks, Branko Grcic of the SDP and Vesna Pusic of the HNS told the press on Thursday.

Grcic and Pusic said this to the press outside the government headquarters where the caretaker government held a session. "I don't know how much that loan will be, but I guess within the frameworks of the legal limit," Grcic said. Pusic said that the HNS was the first party in Croatia to start financing the election campaigns with loans.

Asked if the campaign would be dirty, Grcic said no, adding that the other side was not their enemy but their political opponent.

Asked to comment on HDZ claims that despite European Commission recommendations, it would be possible to reduce Value Added Tax, Grcic said that reducing VAT by five percentage points would mean the destruction of Croatia's public finances.

"That's 23 million kuna of expenses is irrecoverable, notably if you have to keep reducing the deficit and stop public debt growth," Grcic said. I am asking the opponents to talk about realistic and achievable objectives in the campaign," Grcic told the coalition led by the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ).

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