ZAGREB, January 12, 2019 – The leader of Italy’s Five Star Movement, Luigi Di Maio, who is gathering similar political parties ahead of this year’s European Parliament elections, met in Brussels on Tuesday with the leaders of three parties advocating direct democracy, including Ivan Sinčić, president of Croatia’s opposition Živi Zid.
Di Maio, Sinčić, the president of Poland’s Kukiz’15 political movement, Pawel Kukiz, and Karoliina Kahonen of Finland’s Liike Nyt political movement met to discuss cooperation in the upcoming European polls.
In an interview with Italy’s Il Fatto Quotidiano daily, Di Maio says the negotiations with Kukiz’15 and Živi Zid are nearing completion, while those with Liike Nyt are expected to be completed in about ten days. The Croats from Živi Zid, whose leader was born in 1990, “look almost like us,” he noted.
Živi Zid secretary-general Tihomir Lukanić told Hina on Friday “relations haven’t been formalised yet.” “We talked about a programme and the things we have in common. We are currently working on a possible joint programme and if we manage to agree, we will present it together to the public soon,” Lukanić said, adding that with the Five Star Movement, they “exchanged experience in the fight against corruption, organised crime and the establishment.”
“They see the opposition in us. It was an honour to attend the meeting. It’s time for new policies. If Italy could do it, so can Croatia,” Sinčić said on Facebook.
We don’t agree with the Poles on civil rights and abortion, while the Finns are very liberal, Di Maio has told Il Fatto Quotidiano. Živi Zid is against the euro, which we advocate, he adds.
Despite the ideological differences, the parties will sign in Rome in mid-February a ten-point manifesto founded on direct democracy, he says, adding that the manifesto will focus on social rights and that they want to “reduce the privileges of the few.”
Lukanić said they had many things in common and that Živi Zid’s objection to Croatia’s adopting the euro was not an obstacle to a joint articulation of other problems.
The Five Star Movement is currently part of the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy group in the European Parliament.
More news on the Živi Zid party can be found in our Politics section.