Milanović and Plenković Close Election Campaign with Another Debate

Total Croatia News

Just hours before the end of election campaign, presidents of the two largest parties meet for the final debate.

Nova TV organized a debate just a few hours before the end of the campaign for Sunday’s elections. The debate included HDZ president Andrej Plenković and SDP president Zoran Milanović. They both confirmed they would come just a few hours before the debate was scheduled to start.

Tax reform

Plenković: HDZ will form a stable government which will implement a comprehensive tax reform. We will increase the non-taxable part of salaries. In the second year of the next Parliament, we will reduce the VAT rate, which will be furthered lowered to 23 percent by the end of the Parliament.

Milanović: We will not change the general VAT rate. HDZ’s proposals would cost 11 billion kuna. I thought they would abandon their proposal. The economic growth in the last quarter is the growth created by my government. EU funds which are now being withdrawn are the result of the work of my government in 2014 and 2015. We will reduce the non-taxable part of salaries as well.

New jobs

Plenković: HDZ will open 180,000 new jobs, in industry, small and medium-sized enterprises, in IT and agriculture, tourism and forestry.

Milanović: SDP will open 140,000 new jobs. During our government, the number of employed continuously increased, while the number of unemployed decreased.

Loans in Swiss francs

Milanović: My government made three specific steps towards the solution of this problem. Other governments did not do that because they were agents of large banks. My government was the only one fighting for the little guy.

Plenković: HDZ supported the conversion of loans into euros, but we must find a comprehensive and long-term solution term. The lack of dialogue with the banks led to court proceedings between banks and the state. We will be in dialogue with the European Commission to find a solution that will protect interests of Croatia.


Milanović: I expect that Plenković and HDZ will explicitly state their position with regards to the extradition of MOL director Hernady. We will bring INA back under Croatian influence. Some people on HDZ candidate lists actively advocated for the termination of the arbitration proceedings with MOL.

Plenković: We want to maximally protect interests of Croatia in INA. We will continue with the arbitration proceedings.

Veterans’ right to be included in the Constitution

Milanović: Veterans want us to adopt a constitutional act. I have nothing against their rights being defined in a single law. Our relationship with veterans could not had been different because some of them were a destructive instrument of HDZ, which was being managed by Karamarko. We respect veterans, but we know who of them are being used for political purposes

Plenković: HDZ has been advocating such ideas for a number of years. The Homeland War should be the focus of all the institutions of the country.


Milanović: We should not change the current system. Women’s right to choose is a woman’s right to choose. Women should not be compelled to do abortions in garages.

Plenković: I do not think we need to change the law, but HDZ believes that life begins at conception. We should do everything to avoid a situation where abortion happens.

Rights of homosexual couples to be equal to heterosexual couples

Milanović: Croatia has one of the most progressive laws, some would even say that it is too progressive. We have adopted the law half a year after the referendum.

Plenković: We clearly supported the referendum on marriage.

Personal role model

Plenković: I was influenced by Franjo Tuđman.

Milanović: If I say no one, I might appear too arrogant. I worked for several years with SDP president Račan. There is Tuđman, and various anti-fascists.

Support for Serbia’s accession to the EU

Plenković: I believe that Serbia has to change the law on universal jurisdiction for war crimes. We are working on that.

Milanović: Serbia must repeal the law on universal jurisdiction,. These are very dangerous things. I am not asking for money and territory, but give us the missing persons.

Closing statements

Milanović: I am here to serve, I have knowledge and experience. I have faith and hope, the belief that Croatia can and must be in the next 10 years among the 15 most developed countries of the EU. We will not bring into question our identity, we will protect retirees and strengthen the pension system. I hope and I believe that tomorrow will be better and that we are going to be stronger.

Plenković: I think that the HDZ programme is by far the best and most specific, with a series of measures aimed at increasing growth and new jobs. The focus of everything we do is the Croatian economy. Our candidates are oriented towards the future.


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