Zoran Milanović: HDZ Knows It Would Lose Early Elections

Total Croatia News

After two weeks of media silence, SDP president Zoran Milanović finally comments on government crisis.

SDP president gave an interview on Monday evening to Nova TV, in which he discussed latest developments which were started with SDP’s motion of no confidence against HDZ president and First Deputy Prime Minister Tomislav Karamarko, reports dnevnik.hr on May 31, 2016.

You have launched the initiative for Karamarko’s dismissal, disappeared from the public, and you are now watching this war within the ruling coalition from the sidelines.

I do not watch these fights with pleasure or satisfaction. We have launched an initiative for a no confidence vote against Tomislav Karamarko, the president of the largest party in the ruling coalition. I think that the facts are clear to everyone. This is an unbelievable harmony of interests of a group of people, and they have nothing to do with national interests. We called on Karamarko to resign, and when he did not, we initiated the procedure, and you saw what happened. We do not know how this will end, but I cannot see how Karamarko could win the vote in parliament.

You need 76 votes in Parliament. How many votes do you currently have?

According to information I have, we should have a significant majority of votes for our initiative. But, HDZ has announced they would try to win some MPs over to their side.

If Karamarko is dismissed, is that the end of the government?

The government does not exist and is currently not making any decisions. A significant part of the government has turned against it and their parliamentary group will vote for the dismissal, which has never happened before. HDZ can tell stories to the public for a while, but in a few weeks it will be clear that they do not have the majority. HDZ has closed itself in a bunker from which they do not see what is going on around them.

Are you ready for new elections?

I think that is something we are not going to be able to avoid. I think it is improbable that some other majority could be formed in Parliament. Only HDZ is against the elections because they know they would lose them.

If new elections are held, would you run as part of the same coalition as before?

SDP would probably run as part of an even broader coalition. That means, the parties that were with us before, and also some other parties, but I cannot disclose at this moment which ones. It is obvious that some trends are changing, people have realized whom they have elected and that they have made a mistake. This is a dangerous experiment for Croatia.

Is it true that you have forbidden your MPs all travel until 18 June?

No, that is not the way I work. But, I think it would be very important to know when this agony will end. I expect that HDZ will try to make people change their minds. I urge anyone who is exposed to any pressure to report it to the police and the State Attorney’s Office.

European auditors have found irregularities in competitions for EU funds during the term of your Agriculture Minister Jakovina. Do you still support him?

They can annul the competitions if there is something controversial there, the money has not been paid to anyone. The system was organized in a way which prevented the Minister to decide who will get the money. The audit is doing its job, and we will see what will follow.

What is your opinion about comprehensive curricular reform?

I have personally established the working group. Mr. Jokić was the man we chose for that job. Of course, I support the curricular reform, we initiated the process in 2012. It is one of the largest projects of its kind in Croatia. I am glad there will be a lot of people who will support it on Wednesday. That protests will be a message to the government.


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