Liberal “Amsterdam Coalition” Falls Apart

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, August 31, 2018 – The presidency of the Pametno party has decided to call off any further cooperation with potential partners in creating what has been dubbed the Amsterdam Coalition due to their dissent regarding the problem in the ailing Uljanik shipyard and particularly because of the role and responsibility of some prominent individuals.

We cannot agree to compromises on some important social events and occurrences and we call for clear responsibility of all those involved in the events surrounding Uljanik. We call for an end to spending money public money on “irresponsible and murky dealings” of individuals and interest groups, the non-parliamentary party underscored.

Even though the Amsterdam coalition was never formally established, due to perception and interest of its members and the public, Pametno wanted to point out that from the very first day it advocated clear and transparent policies exclusively to the benefit of Croatian citizens and will continue to do so in the future.

Seeing that we have not received any answers from our potential partners in Istria that we could possibly agree with and continue working together, unfortunately the struggle for a modern, civil and liberal Croatia has to continue exclusively with individuals and parties that share and support ideas of the rule of law in society, Pametno said in a press release, adding that it will continue to insist on the idea of cooperation and gathering left-liberal options.

Leaders of Pametno and two parliamentary parties: the Civil Liberal Alliance (GLAS) and the Istrian Democratic Party (IDS), had met in January this year with an idea to develop Croatia as a modern state built on the tenets of liberal democracies and to offer citizens of Croatia optimism and hope in a better future, they said on that occasion.

They were dubbed the Amsterdam Coalition because they originally agreed to their cooperation in the Dutch city.

On that occasion, it was said that they were entertaining the idea of running in the next presidential race with a joint candidate, GLAS leader Anka Mrak Taritaš, who said the she was not considering this option, but was not ruling it out either.

It is the Istrian Democratic Party (IDS) that will first tackle and decide on the status of Ivan Jakovčić, and after that we will discuss this topic with our partners, IDS leader Boris Miletić said on Friday commenting on the Pametno statement.

The Pametno party has stated that it finds it unacceptable that Jakovčić, a prominent IDS official and one of the 11 Croatian members of the European Parliament, has received commissions from the company owned by businessman Danko Končar, who may be a potential strategic partner in the ailing Uljanik Group in Pula.

This statement prompted IDS president Miletić to say that Pametno should also define its attitude on Istria, and criticised this party for not perceiving Istria as a separate region in its plan for administrative organisation of Croatia. “I am sorry about these developments. Although we share the same values, we obviously do not value the same culture of dialogue,” Miletić said reassuring the public that the IDS would definitely make the right decision about Jakovčić soon.

The parliamentary opposition GLAS party voiced regret over the Pametno party’s decision to sever further cooperation with its potential political partners in a project to form a coalition, saying that it would give a chance to the Istrian Democratic Party (IDS) to resolve the situation regarding its member of the European Parliament, Ivan Jakovčić.

“We regret that our colleagues from Pametno have made such a decision in the first problem situation that has emerged among partners. Coalition partnership is not only about bright moments and is often burdened by disagreements and different opinions. The value of parties forming a coalition lies also in the way they solve their mutual problems,” said GLAS.

It noted that at a session of its presidency on Thursday, it discussed Jakovčić’s candidacy for European elections in 2019 and that it agreed that it would give a chance to the IDS to first resolve the matter internally. “We believe this is only fair if you are in a partnership, and we believe that our colleagues from the IDS would make a right decision,” it said.

The party said that it would continue to be a consistent opposition party and continue working on gathering the left-of-centre opposition “as only inclusiveness of all opposition parties and their cooperation can be a dam against growing right-wing radicalism and crony capitalism that are dragging Croatia to the bottom of the EU.”


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