Restart Coalition Says It Is Team for Defending Croatia from HDZ

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, May 9, 2020 – Leaders of five opposition parties on Saturday presented the Restart Coalition in which they will run in the coming parliamentary election, announcing a new start for Croatia and the defence of the country against the ruling Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ).

The Restart Coalition comprises the Social Democratic Party (SDP) led by Davor Bernardić, the Croatian People’s Party (HSS) of Krešo Beljak, the Croatian Pensioner’s Party (HSU) of Silvano Hrelja, the Civil and Liberal Alliance (GLAS) headed by Anka Mrak Taritaš, and the Civil Activism Party (SNAGA) of Goran Aleksić.

“Croatia needs a restart more than ever, a new beginning on sound foundations, this time without corruption, justly, not with cronyism, with competent ones, not parasites. Our name is our programme, a complete restart of Croatia,” Bernardić said at a press conference.

He said people were hopeless and that over a million lived on the brink of poverty.

“Due to numerous scandals and debts, healthcare is facing a total collapse, the education reform is non-existent, the security system is lagging, the state apparatus is overstaffed and doesn’t fulfil its purpose. The situation in the judiciary has never been worse. Corruption has seeped into every pore of our society,” said Bernardić.

“More than half the government had to go due to suspicion of corruption and it is still in power thanks to political corruption, to the buying of members of parliament, which has destroyed people’s faith in the system and institutions,” he added.

Bernardić said that when they came to power they would reduce the number of ministries, towns and municipalities as well as the inefficient state administration, and digitise the country and all public services and processes so that the state administration was as close to citizens as possible, but without corruption.

“We will fight corruption by all means, changing laws, making punishment stricter as well as reforming the judiciary, education and healthcare,” he said, adding that they would release Croatia’s huge potential, boosting industry and exports, relaxing the tax burden on labour and stimulating investment.

“We believe in a new policy, a policy of honesty, courage and trust, a policy and a government which works for citizens, not for itself. We don’t want to just turn over a new leaf in our history but write a completely new book, building a strong country,” Bernardić said, announcing a new start for Croatia with no more lies, corruption, betrayal and deceit.

He said that in the Restart Coalition they were not distributing positions but concentrating on the platform and a fundamental agreement on jointly running in the election and restarting Croatia “so that Croatia can have a shot at success and the children being born today a shot at a better life.”

Bernardić said slates would be discussed when coronavirus restrictions were lifted and election rallies possible. The candidate for prime minister will be the president of the biggest coalition party and the party which wins the most votes, he added.

Beljak said Croatia had needed a new start long before the current crisis and that this crisis had brought to light all of Croatia’s problems. “Our coalition has enough know-how, experience, quality and political battles behind it to be able to finally get Croatia started.”

Beljak said the HDZ had brought Croatia to the brink of destruction and that it should be opposed. We are the new start, he added.

Mrak Taritaš said the coalition represented a team for the defence of Croatia from the HDZ. “When Croatia had to be pulled out of the biggest crises and abysses the HDZ threw Croatia into, we were the ones who brought our country back to the right path, the path of development, recovery and a functioning state.”

She said it was no coincidence that the coalition was formed on Victory Day and Europe Day because this symbolised the Croatia they wanted. Croatia can and deserves to be a country which is not chained by the corruption and incompetence with which the incumbent government is keeping it at the bottom, she added.

Hrelja said Croatia was barely surviving today and that this did not bode for a good and bright future. His party’s focus as part of the Restart Coalition will remain on the pension and healthcare systems as well as labour, he added.

Aleksić said he was confident the coalition would take responsibility for Croatia in the coming parliamentary election because it deserved to given its track record in parliament.

The coalition is talking with many county and municipal heads as well as mayors and regional parties such as the PGS and the IDS. Next week it will sign an agreement with Bjelovar-Bilogora County head Damir Bajs.

More elections news can be found in the Politics section.


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