Croatian Labour Party Joins Amsterdam Coalition

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ZAGREB, February 11, 2019 – The Croatian Labour Party signed an agreement with the Amsterdam Coalition on Sunday to run in May’s European Parliament elections together.

The centre-left coalition now has six parties – the Croatian Peasant Party (HSS), the Civic Liberal Alliance (GLAS), the Istrian Democratic Party (IDS), the Primorje-Gorski Kotar Alliance (PGS), the Croatian Pensioners’ Party (HSU) and the Labour Party.

Their leaders announced at a meeting in the central town of Sisak that they would soon be joined by the Democrats party and would also be supported by several regional parties.

Their slate with 12 joint candidates for the European Parliament will be presented on February 23.

Speaking to the press after the meeting, Labour leader David Bregovac drew attention to the deteriorating economic and social situation in Croatia, saying that something needed to be done so that people could exercise their right to work and live a decent life from their work.

He said that since 1990 Croatia had employed about 500,000 people while the number of pensioners had increased by 600,000, so that now the worker-pensioner ratio was almost one to one.

“We all wanted an independent Croatia, but not a Croatia that has been destroyed more by privatisation-related wrongdoing, political corruption and organised fraud than by war,” Bregovac said, adding that he was confident that members of the European Parliament could do something for Croatia.

HSU leader Silvano Hrelja said that the Labour Party would strengthen the coalition’s leftist faction. which is fighting for the right to work and other work-related rights, while PGS head Damir Pilepić said that as one of the oldest regional parties in Croatia, the PGS would be fighting for regionalisation and decentralisation. He called on centrist parties to join them.

“With new members we are becoming the second strongest political group in the country, which means that we are doing a good job. Even more important is the feeling of Croatian citizens that our coalition is building the Croatia of the future,” GLAS president Anka Mrak Taritaš said.

“The HDZ is leading the country to ruin and does not deserve the citizens’ trust. We need urgent change, and there are brave and responsible people who can deliver on that,” she said, stressing the importance of voting in the European Parliament elections.

Boris Miletić of the IDS said he was proud that this coalition, being the most vocal in advocating civil rights, was growing steadily. He said he could not come to terms with the present situation in the country and was confident that they could change Croatia for the better.

“We are now the second strongest political force, and I am confident that we can become the strongest political group in the country,” HSS leader Krešo Beljak said, adding that the Amsterdam Coalition was the only political group capable of getting the country out of the present crisis.

“We will ensure that the Western European sun shines over Croatia as well. After the European Parliament elections, which will be followed by the parliamentary and presidential elections, things in Croatia won’t be the same any more,” Beljak said.

Asked by the press if they expected the strongest opposition Social Democratic Party to join them, Mrak Taritaš said that the SDP would run in the EP elections on its own, but that talks were possible after that. “Everyone is welcome, we are ready for talks with small and new parties as well,” she said.

More news on the Amsterdam Coalition can be found in the Politics section


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