Croatian Elections: MOST Starts Negotiations With SDP and HDZ

Total Croatia News

Judiciary and entrepreneurship were the topics which yesterday opened the first round of negotiations between Most and SDP’s Croatia Is Growing coalition and HDZ’s Patriotic Coalition. MOST representatives, led by Tomislav Panenić, first arrived at the SDP headquarters. The meeting lasted for almost three hours, after which SDP negotiator Siniša Hajdaš Dončić said that in principle they can agree about 95 percent of issues. However, he warned that Croatia is currently in the excessive deficit procedure and that some of the demands, such as the abolition of some taxes or VAT reduction, are currently impossible, but that it could happen in about two years, reports Vecernji List on November 18, 2015.

Unofficial sources claim that SDP is satisfied with the first round of negotiations with MOST since their proposals were not radical, but rather a number of very specific improvements of legislation in the field of justice and economy, which can mostly be implemented through amending the existing laws. “Several of MOST’s proposals are actually already in parliamentary procedure and can be adopted immediately after the new parliament is constituted. In fact, there is nothing that we have not already detected as a problem and therefore I am glad that our attitudes are very similar”, one of SDP negotiators said.

After the meeting with SDP, MOST representatives went to HDZ headquarters, where they were greeted by Tomislav Ćorić, Ivana Maletić, Nikolina Babić and Dražen Bošnjaković. After the meeting, Tomislav Panenić, head of MOST’s negotiating team, said that the discussions were held at professional level and were not political. “We had good discussions and now we are waiting for feedback from SDP and HDZ. We will continue to negotiate about other issues as well”, Panenić said.

“We have discussed how to help the Croatian economy”, Maletić said and added that there were no unacceptable points in MOST’s demands. Commenting on the agreement signed by SDP and IDS, according to which IDS wants Istria to be an independent region, Maletić responded: “We want to keep the counties. We do not support the idea of regionalization of Croatia.”

Research manager of Ipsos polling agency Ante Šalinović profiled voters of the three most important political blocs after the recent parliamentary elections. “MOST voters are on average slightly better educated than the average population of Croatia. Their voters are mostly middle-aged, and people who in the previous elections did not vote for one of the two leading party blocs”, Šalinović said.

“As far as SDP voters are concerned, their voters are also better educated and more often live in cities. What is specific for SDP is the fact that they are more popular among older population. Until four or five years ago, left parties were more popular among younger people, but that has changed”, Šalinović explained.

“HDZ has a much more uniform structure of voters. Their voters follow the general structure of population of Croatia”, Šalinović said. He also confirmed that in principle more conservative right-wing voters do not like to take part in election polls, but that is changing. “It is not happening just in Croatia. However, in the last five or six years that is less pronounced and it is not a big problem, because these deviations can be corrected with weighting the polling sample”, Šalinović concluded.


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