ZAGREB, October 5, 2020 – SDP leader Pedja Grbin has said that he will borrow what he considers the best traits of his predecessors – Ivica Racan’s calmness, Zoran Milanovic’s directness and Davor Bernardic’s perseverance but that he will not repeat their mistakes regarding lack of communication with party colleagues.
In an interview with national broadcasters on Sunday, the newly-elected leader of the Social Democratic Party said that it was his predecessors’ character qualities and communication with party members that he planned to build the new SDP on, which would then be able to deal with problems bothering Croatian citizens.
Grbin noted that the public in Croatia discussed trivial topics instead of policies and what was going on in the country.
He said in an interview with RTL that the government had not envisaged a new distraint law for next year, that a national development strategy, the main document for the absorption of money from EU funds, was not being worked on, and in that context he said that Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic should start doing his job.
I haven’t seen Milanovic’s message of congratulation
Asked if he had spoken with President Zoran Milanovic and if Milanovic had congratulated him on his election as the SDP leader, Grbin said that he had not noticed Milanovic’s message, adding that Milanovic had the right to criticism but that unnecessary conflicts were another thing.
Grbin said he did not expect the SDP parliamentary group to oppose him despite the fact that there would be some changes in its work.
The SDP parliamentary group should be led by the party president while other personnel matters related to the group will be discussed by the party presidency first, said Grbin.
In an interview with the HTV public broadcaster, Grbin said that the priority for the coming elections in Zagreb would be to gather the entire civic and left camp, negotiate and agree on how to run in local elections, set for next year.
He said that residents of Zagreb were at the moment less interested in the name of the left camp’s candidate for Zagreb mayor than in fighting corruption in the capital.
Commenting on the JANAF corruption scandal, Grbin said in his interview with RTL that there was suspicion that staff at the Office of the Chief State Prosecutor were involved in the case, noting that there were constant information leaks.
“If this society does not start to change, the situation won’t get better,” he said, noting that the ruling HDZ party lacked the will to initiate changes.