The Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) finance committee chair, Tomislav Coric, and MEP Ivana Maletic, on Monday presented responses of the HDZ-led Patriotic Coalition to reform proposals submitted by the Bridge (MOST) party, stressing that the HDZ and Bridge had agreed on the main objectives and that the HDZ had acceded to everything that was in line with the programme of the Patriotic Coalition.
Presenting the Patriotic Coalition's 137-page responses, Maletic said the HDZ was satisfied with the negotiations (on a post-election coalition) and with what had been achieved. She said the HDZ and Bridge agreed on entrepreneurship and the economy immediately during the negotiations. She said the two parties agreed that successful entrepreneurship required efficient and fast judiciary.
Maletic also said the two sides agreed on the importance of the efficient work of not only local and regional self-government units, but the public sector in general as well as the state administration and public companies.
According to her, the HDZ and the Bridge party share the opinion that it is crucial to revitalise the agricultural sector.
Commenting on Bridge's demand to reduce the number of counties, Maletic said the HDZ did not want a cut in the number of counties but was in favour of the improvement of their efficiency and the quality of their work.
She said the HDZ would advocate a redefined model of the division of work between the central government, counties, cities and municipalities, which gives more responsibility to counties. We will also continue their fiscal and administrative decentralisation, she said and added that the HDZ would support the merger of towns and municipalities that fail to meet the required standards in their performance.
Maletic said there was no obstacle for Croatia to declare an exclusive economic zone in the Adriatic, noting that Croatia annually lost hundred millions of kuna due to the absence of that zone.
Underscoring that the Social Democrat (SDP)- led government failed to show credibility over the past four years in office, Maletic wondered how credible the response of the SDP-led coalition was to demands put forward by the reformist Bridge party.
"The problem is that they lack political will and knowledge to implement the things stated in the documents. Somebody else is writing their program but the problem is that they do not know how to implement it," she stressed. The SDP's answers to Bridge is not the reflection of their programme, but a reflection of copying regulations and laws, she added.
Coric agreed with his party colleague, adding that on Sunday and on Monday the SDP had two different versions of their response regarding entrepreneurship.