Milanović Wants to Debate Plenković As Soon As Possible

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SDP president demands immediate debate with HDZ’s candidate for Prime Minister.

During his visit to Čakovec, SDP president Zoran Milanović again invited HDZ president Plenković to a debate and commented on HDZ’s proposal to cut the VAT rate, reports Večernji List on July 31, 2016.

“We should not believe HDZ. Both Sanader and Karamarko said similar things before the elections, but they have never done it”, said Milanović talking about possible reduction of VAT rate. He pointed out that his government raised the threshold for entering the VAT system for small businesses from 85,000 to 280,000 kuna, and set the threshold of 3 million kuna under which the VAT is due only on invoices which have been paid. “We have to provide conditions that all social benefits can be paid, and VAT revenues stand at 45 billion kuna, which would mean we would have two billion kuna less in the budget”, said Milanović and reiterated that HDZ should not be trusted.

He said that the election manifesto, which the SDP-led People’s Coalition will present on Monday, was realistic. “It is realistic because it is based on what was achieved during the last four years. It was written by our people on the basis of our experience and it was not written in Germany and was not funded by Russian money”, said Milanović alluding to media reports that HDZ’s economic program, which was drafted by the Ifo Institute from Germany, was paid by Russian donations.

Milanović said that the People’s Coalition had no plans to introduce new taxes, but wanted to lower the cost of labour, reduce income tax for the middle class and increase the non-taxable part of salaries to 3,000 kuna, as well as to reduce VAT on food produced in Croatia. He reiterated that manifesto guidelines of the two largest parties were a topic for debate and called on HDZ to “send someone to a debate as soon as possible, before 15 August”.

“That is the official start of the election campaign, but yesterday HDZ said that we should wait until candidate lists are officially submitted. Afterwards, they will probably start claiming that all party leaders should take part in the debate. I do not want to debate with everybody, because it is not a show but a serious conversation between two of the most responsible people. I am a candidate for Prime Minister of the People’s Coalition. I believe we will win, and whoever is the HDZ’s candidate should come to a debate, but before 15 August because people have a right now to listen, to think, to talk and ask us questions. After that date, a debate would not make sense”, said Milanović.

He concluded by saying that in the third parliamentary constituency he expected a large plurality of votes and at least one seat in Parliament more than at the last years’ elections.

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