ZAGREB, April 29, 2018 – The opposition Social Democratic Party (SDP) on Sunday marked the death anniversary of its first president and Croatia’s prime minister from 2000 to 2003, Ivica Račan.
Members of the party’s presidency, led by president Davor Bernardić, MPs and representatives of county branches laid wreaths and flowers at Račan’s grave at Zagreb’s Mirogoj cemetery.
Bernardić said Račan had taught them the most important thing in life and politics was to save face, and that he had warned that Croatia needed responsibility and not cheap populism. “We want a Croatia for all, not just for some,” he said, adding that Croatia should become a country in which every citizen could make it and was entitled to a dignified life.
Responding to questions from the press, Bernardić said the SDP’s position was that little changes in budgetary spending could provide every child with free textbooks.
Asked if he was afraid of the growing popularity of the populist Živi Zid party, he questioned opinion polls and said the SDP was growing and showing responsibility for Croatia. “Our first goal is to unblock citizens whose bank accounts are blocked, free them from debt slavery and stop the loan-sharking.”
Bernardić said Serbia and Croatia needed good relations and that strong-worded rhetoric would not make people in the two countries live better. He said people were emigrating from both countries and that some right-wingers were using that to foment ethnic tensions and divert attention from actual problems.
Račan died in Zagreb on 29 April 2007, having retired from politics due to a grave illness.