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Croatia: Four opposition parties form election coalition

24. November 2010. | 08:11

Source: RadioNET

Four major Croatian opposition parties signed a declaration on Tuesday forming a coalition for the next parliamentary election.

Four major Croatian opposition parties signed a declaration on Tuesday forming a coalition for the next parliamentary election.

The declaration to form the Alliance for Change was signed in Kastav, near Rijeka, by presidents Zoran Milanovic of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Radimir Cacic of the Croatian People's Party (HNS), Ivan Jakovcic of the Istrian Democratic Party (IDS) and Silvano Hrelja of the Croatian Pensioners' Party (HSU).

Addressing a press conference, Milanovic said that "a lot of hard and responsible work" lay ahead of the Alliance because "Croatia needs a new social agreement and a struggle against all forms of irregularity and corruption from start to finish, without any compromises or manoeuvring."

He said it was not true that the remaining of the present government in power was the guarantor of stability, because "the country can hardly be more unstable" at a time when it was being revealed that the ruling party had been steeped in corruption for years. Milanovic said that the Alliance for Change would guarantee "consistent, responsible and uncompromising respect for the law".

Cacic said that their agreement was founded on three pillars -- strong economic growth with emphasis on employment in the production sector, the prudent and responsible management of taxpayers' money, and a radical change of the value hierarchy where priority should be given to a functioning rule of law, the work ethic and education.

Jakovcic underlined as one of the most important items of the agreement the focus on decentralisation and subsidiarity. "Citizens must be closer to places where decisions are made. The Constitution offers excellent solutions for decentralisation, but they have never been translated into legal provisions, and we will do that after the elections."

Hrelja stressed the need to bring more order to the pension, health and welfare systems.

When asked whether the decision by the four parties not to take part in today's vote in Parliament on next year's budget might be damaging to them, Milanovic said that those who voted in favour of the budget were irresponsible towards Croatia.

"Our voters expect this kind of behaviour from us and would have considered us irresponsible had we acted otherwise. We must show the way to go. Cacic said that today a budget of hopelessness will be passed and that those who pass it will bring a feeling of hopelessness, and Croatia needs hope that will be brought by the Alliance for Change," Milanovic said.

When asked if there was room in the coalition for other parties, Milanovic said that the HSU was the last to join them, in July 2009, and that the four parties were close in their political views and platforms. "Two blocs are obviously being established in Croatia in terms of political views and platforms -- a centre-left one, which is liberal, progressive and pro-European, and the other one that is voting for the budget today."


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