Croatia’s main opposition party releases its election manifesto.
HDZ President Tomislav Karamarko on Thursday unveiled the election manifesto of HDZ and its Patriotic Coalition, promising to carry out structural reforms which will improve the investment climate in the country. He stressed that the reforms are the only path to economic growth and a better life for all in Croatia, reports Jutarnji List on October 2, 2015.
“We will soon carry out structural reforms which will help businesses in Croatia. We will do all that is needed and necessary, we will change laws and create conditions for effective judiciary, implement new development and economic policies, and create a good investment climate”, said Karamarko.
Karamarko added that the four years of the current government have been lost in vain. “Enough of your toying with our future. Croatia is not your personal property. Your term will be remembered as a lost period for Croatia”, said Karamarko adding that the government has been effective only in the uncontrolled growth of public debt. “In less than four years, the public debt has increased by almost 100 billion kuna, which is roughly half of all the debt of all Croatian governments. Worst of all, all of this debt went into consumption rather than in creation of new value”, said Karamarko. He added that the government adopted a series of random populist measures just a month before the dissolution of the parliament, trying to buy the votes of Croatian citizens.
In contrast, he said that HDZ has always stood together with the Croatian people – from the founding of the state to its international affirmation. He is convinced that the people are ready for change and that time has come in which the Patriotic Coalition will take responsibility for the future of Croatia. “It can only be done by winners. And we are the winners”, said Karamarko.
HDZ will provide tax breaks for businesses, the Tax Administration will become “a friendly service for citizens and businesses” and they will “abolish a series of stupid and unnecessary levies”. He announced the reduction of tax rates and further tax relief for people with lowest incomes. “We do not want Croatia in which the rich have more and the poor have less and less”, said Karamarko, recalling that in the past four years taxes have been changed as many as 44 times, which created an unstable climate for businesses and investments.
He announced a reduction in the number of ministries and the “elimination of parallel structures of government”. “The companies owned by the state will reduce the number of employees, and they will no longer be managed by politicians but by experts”, said Karamarko, adding that salaries in these companies will be adapted to circumstances.
“Greenfield investments are almost non-existent, and therefore we have created a register of possible and desirable investments which contains a list of permits which need to be obtained”, said the head of HDZ and listed as capital strategic projects the Pelješac bridge, the irrigation of Slavonia, the construction of railways and ports. He promised that all of these projects will be co-financed from EU funds from which the Patriotic Coalition intends to withdraw at least five billion euros before 2019.
He promised the revitalization of agriculture, reindustrialization and better utilization of energy and tourism potential according to the principles of sustainable development.
The main goal of the economic program is to solve the problem of high unemployment. “Masters of deception claim that unemployment is falling. It is falling, but just because they are deleting people from the unemployment registers”, said Karamarko, adding that Patriotic Coalition will reduce emigration and open 100,000 new jobs.
Pensioners were promised indexation of pensions, which will reach 60 percent of the average salary. “Pensions will be increased by at least five percent, and maybe more”, promised Karamarko.
He announced incentives to veterans entrepreneurs, as well as to employers who hire veterans, and asked for a consensus on the adoption of the constitutional law on the protection of the dignity of Croatian war veterans and the Homeland War, which the gathered greeted with loud applause.
With economic measures planned by HDZ and its partners, said Karamarko, “it is possible to create the kind of Croatia which was dreamed about by our first president, Franjo Tuđman, and our fathers and grandfathers”. “We are going to win a better life for our country”, concluded Karamarko accompanied by loud applause and shouts of “Victory, Victory”.