ZAGREB, July 23, 2020 – Prime Minister-designate Andrej Plenkovic said on Thursday that he was aware that expectations of reform were now much higher than before and that his new government would meet them.
“There will be huge challenges to public health, the economy and finance. Today we have more political experience and that will certainly make our work easier. The government is homogenous, the parliamentary majority is compact, and I count on 76 hands,” Plenkovic told reporters outside parliament before presenting his new cabinet to lawmakers.
Asked if he believed his new team would endure the four-year term, Plenkovic said: “I don’t know, it’s hard for me to say. You start out with this ambition, but in the present time of crisis, challenges and unpredictable circumstances it is difficult to say. I would like it to be that way. We endured this past term, maybe not in the original composition, but we did a good and useful job for Croatia and the citizens gave us their trust for the next term.”
Asked to comment on claims by some analysts that the EU funding would be used for some particular interests, Plenkovic said: “22 billion is 22 billion. We have a great responsibility to use this money well and I think it is good to have such a lever after a GDP fall of 10 percent as a result of the crisis (caused by the coronavirus pandemic). It would be much more difficult without it.”