Croatia’s political kingmakers report smooth progress with discussions with two main parties.
After yesterday’s meeting with HDZ, leader of the MOST negotiating team Ivan Kovačić said that discussion with SDP and HDZ are proceeding without problems. “We have agreed about 90 percent of issues. We are satisfied and now we are going to present the situation to our central office. Of course, the final decision will be very difficult”, Kovačić said, reports Vecernji List on November 20, 2015.
Asked if SDP had agreed to regionalization of Croatia, he answered: “Yes, of course they have agreed, both to regionalization and reducing the number of counties. The same goes for reducing the number of municipalities and cities. We will leave the details for the future, but both parties have agreed in principle”, Kovačić explained. “I do not think it would be fair to reject one party just because it does not accept five to ten percent of our demands.”
Oleg Butković (HDZ) expressed his satisfaction with the discussions. “We are in full agreement about all the issues which are important in relation to local and public administration. First, we discussed the reform of public administration, reducing the number of ministries to make public administration better and more effective. As for the reform of local government, we have discussed those municipalities which are not self-sustaining, and what to do with them”, Butković said and added that the real issue is not the number of counties, but how to make them more efficient and more stable.
Speaking about the negotiations with MOST, HDZ president Tomislav Karamarko said he was optimistic. “If we are talking about the counties, perhaps they need to be redefined, perhaps they should be rationalized so that they are less expensive, perhaps they should be more efficient. We could even perhaps merge some counties, but not turn them into regions, since they belong to the 19th century and lead to division of Croatia”, HDZ president said.
He did not want to answer the question about who has better chances in the negotiations, but he did emphasize that HDZ already has complete program for the future government and that the situation for his side was very favourable.
The negotiations between two major coalitions and MOST will continue on Friday, and the topics will be energy, environmental protection, agriculture and rural development.