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Croatian Parliament Speaker Zeljko Reiner announced on Monday that the first working session of the new, eighth legislature would most likely be on Wednesday, January 20, adding that the new government could be appointed on January 22.

Before taking a vote of confidence in the new cabinet, the first thing to be done is to constitute parliamentary working bodies, of which there are 29, Reiner said in an interview with the national broadcaster, Hrvatski Radio.

The parliament speaker underscored that this was a huge task that "has begun and is underway" and would entail a great deal of negotiation and agreement, expressing hope that it will be completed on time.

Reiner said that he was confident that PM-Designate Tihomir Oreskovic would present his cabinet to parliament within the set deadline of 30 days, after on 22 December he was entrusted the mandate to form a new government.

"As I am not involved in the negotiations (to form the new government) I cannot speak about any details," said Reiner.

He confirmed that in parallel to the negotiations on a new cabinet, the new government's programme is also being elaborated, and for the time being the number of ministries will remain the same, however, the idea remains to scale them down.

He explained the idea of forming a ministry of family, demographic renewal and immigration.

The Patriotic Coalition believes that these are three important components - the family as the core of social life, and the demographic issue is of vital importance for Croatia. It's clear to everyone that Croatia's population is dwindling and that it is being hit by the 'white plague.' Young people and the educated are emigrating abroad, Reiner said. 

We have the matter of immigration here. The idea is very concrete, to motivate repatriation, not just of young people but all those who wish to invest in Croatia, he added.

"We believe that some components, particularly demographic renewal, are so important that they require a new ministry,," he concluded.

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