Negotiations between HDZ and MOST Enter Decisive Phase

Total Croatia News

MOST wants to complete expert group negotiations on future government’s programme before they start discussing the distribution of ministries among parties.

Negotiations between HDZ and MOST have moved from an atmosphere of trust into serious complications. HDZ sees today’s continuation of negotiations as a crucial meeting after which it will be clear whether HDZ and MOST are getting closer to forming a government or alternative combinations need to be considered (coalition with HSS and HNS or a minority government), reports Večernji List on October 3, 2016.

HDZ does not expect that everything will be agreed today, but they do expect that today’s meeting will shows whether the partners can agree on a general framework for cooperation, since HDZ wants to have at least 76 MPs’ signatures of support by 10 October, so that President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović can appoint HDZ president Andrej Plenković as the Prime Minister-Designate.

HDZ expects that MOST will state its position about its proposal for the structure of future government. That includes five ministries and one deputy prime minister for MOST. HDZ says that MOST could get the position of Speaker of Parliament as well, but in that case it would receive fewer ministries and possibly would not have a deputy prime minister. “Speaker of Parliament is very important because it is officially the second-highest position in the country. HDZ is ready for compromise, but we have to be realistic. If MOST were to have the speakership, then the balance of power in the cabinet would be different”, said an HDZ source.

HDZ claims that negotiations with MOST have begun to look like the ones a year ago and that MOST does not have a clear position on anything. HDZ president Plenković said on Sunday that he expected that discussions with MOST would intensify this week. Asked whether it was possible to form a government without MOST, he said that at the moment HDZ was negotiating with MOST and national minorities MPs.

On the other hand, MOST says that HDZ is the one which does not have a position on several important issues, without which they do not want to negotiate about the structure of government. They claim that HDZ has not told them its position on the relationship towards banks, agriculture and several other issues. In addition, MOST demands to have full responsibility for each of its ministries. They want to control the energy sector as well, and to appoint their people to supervisory boards of the most powerful publicly-owned energy companies.

“We have said that we would discuss the whole package, including our initial demands and the programme and division of responsibilities in the government. The demands have been solved, but expert groups had not yet completed talks on the future programme of the government, and that is the reason why we cannot discuss the division of ministries”, explains MOST.


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