New political alliances on the way in Croatia?
Prime Minister-designate Tihomir Orešković met yesterday with IDS’s outgoing Tourism Minister Darko Lorencin, and sources from HDZ say they are open to cooperation with IDS so that the government formed by the Patriotic Coalition and MOST would have the widest possible support in Parliament. However, a source from HDZ leadership says that such cooperation is possible only if IDS would abandon the idea of regionalization, which would include abandoning the request to abolish the counties and merge them into separate regions, reports Vecernji List on January 9, 2016.
HDZ strongly supports counties and there are no discussion about their abolition. In addition to the fact they want broader support in the Parliament, since HDZ is aware that many reform decisions will require a more robust majority, the party leadership says that HDZ and the Patriotic Coalition are interested in development of Istria. They wonder why should IDS have a monopoly over Istria. However, HDZ president Tomislav Karamarko has not yet held discussions with IDS president Boris Miletić, whose party has three seats in Parliament.
Prime Minister-designate Orešković recently had a meeting with HNS’s Economy Minister Ivan Vrdoljak and it is obvious that he is looking to get support of at least some members of HNS. But, a source from HDZ says that for the cooperation with HNS the same rules would apply as for IDS. As for the Interior Ministry, the source says that HDZ is not interested to lead it. Therefore, it can be inferred that HDZ will leave the Interior Ministry to MOST, since Karamarko, as the future First Deputy Prime Minister for Internal Affairs and Homeland Security, will have within his domain both the Interior Ministry and the security and intelligence apparatus.
Karamarko said yesterday that the Patriotic Coalition and MOST will give priority in the selection of ministers to party candidates with good references, but if their candidates do not meet the criteria, they will search for other people. Karamarko added that they are not limited just to those people who are members of their parties. The day before Karamarko announced on Facebook that the fact that there are discussions with ministers from the outgoing government does not mean that they will be offered to remain at their ministerial posts.
After yesterday’s meeting with Lorencin, Orešković said that he congratulated him on the excellent results in tourism. Asked whether he sought support from IDS, he answered that he hoped to have good relations with the party after the government is formed. He reiterated that they want to find the best candidates for ministerial posts. After the outgoing Prime Minister Zoran Milanović said that Orešković was an accidental PM-designate, Orešković said that he came to Croatia because he was ready to take responsibility and help improve the standard of living in the country. Asked whether he would invite Milanović, as the outgoing Prime Minister, to have a coffee with him, Orešković replied that he had met with Milanović a few days ago and had an open discussion. He further explained that they met during the celebrations of the Orthodox Christmas Eve. However, the government very quickly issued a statement saying that Milanović has not had any discussions with the incoming Prime Minister, but that they just met during the celebrations of the Orthodox Christmas Eve and exchanged a few short sentences.