Zoran Milanović.jpg
Photograph: HINA/ Mladen VOLARIĆ/ ua

The main committee of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) on Saturday appointed an election team for the forthcoming early parliamentary election and chose the party's coalition partners -- the Croatian People's Party (HNS), the Croatian Peasant Party (HSS) and the Croatian Pensioners' Party (HSU).

"The election team is the same as last time and our coalition partners have been defined. We are continuing our work after this strange intermezzo," Milanovic told the press after the committee meeting.

He confirmed that this time the Labour Party would not be part of the coalition, which will be called the People's Coalition. "This is a grand coalition because it brings together the left, the centre and the centre-right. The right remained outside. The Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) is the right," he added.

Milanovic said that this new coalition would score better than the SDP-led Croatia Is Growing coalition had in the November election. Asked about the distribution of posts in the future government, Milanovic said that this was not being discussed yet.

Milanovic said he was ready to face future HDZ leader Andrej Plenkovic in a public debate, adding that he was glad that "after nine years someone has finally agreed to a public debate."

Milanovic commented on a warning from the European Commission that the Consumer Credit Act, enacted during his government, was not in conformity with European law. The warning concerns the conversion of loans denominated in Swiss francs into euro-denominated loans. The Commission is of the opinion that the Consumer Credit Act shifted all of the conversion costs onto banks and that its retroactive application jeopardised the principle of legal security.

He said that hundreds of similar procedures were under way with EU members, adding that this was a lengthy procedure and that it should be established what it meant that the banks should not have borne all the costs and which part of the costs they should have borne.

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