Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) leader Tomislav Karamarko said on Monday after consultations with President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic that negotiations would continue and announced that the HDZ would convene its party committees to discuss the Bridge party's proposals.
"Today's meeting is a step towards expressing good will to take action. Someone showed more good will, while someone else showed less," Karamarko told reporters. He assessed that HDZ's Patriotic Coalition showed more good will than SDP (Social Democratic Party).
"We consider that this is not good and fair toward us as the relative winners at the election. However, we are here, we will stay and talk. There are no holy names amongst us - not Zoran Milanovic, nor I nor Bozo Petrov," he said.
Karamarko underscored that the HDZ and the Patriotic Coalition would consider the Bridge's proposals, possible personnel solutions and structures presented. As a former minister he believes that the rotations in government positions that Bridge has proposed, cannot function.
"The government that ruled badly these past four years and us at the same table with the people from Bridge. It would be interesting to see how that would work. I believe that things should be simplified and shortened - let them decide and form a parliamentary majority and then we will be stronger in the process of resolving accumulated problems," Karamarko stressed.
He underscored that he was always prepared to sit down with anyone as this was not about his, or Milanovic's or Petrov's private business and that they were obliged to sit down and talk. He did not wish to comment on whether this was just "postponing the inevitable," that is, a new election, but said that next week we will see what will happen because Bridge expects some answers by then.
Asked if 'he recognised himself' in Milanovic's statement that the SDP would not form a coalition with those who have indictees for grave crimes in their ranks, Karamarko said it was absurd and immoral that Milanovic was accusing others while in his coalition he had mayors and county prefects who have been convicted.
Let's look at how many ministers over these four years have been in a conflict of interest, he added. "He (Milanovic) is a ten times worse example of what he tried to direct at us," Karamarko underscored.
He said that his talks with the President reflected on the current situation and today's meeting with Bridge and the SDP, adding that he warned about the need to resolve the current situation the sooner the better because two thousand people were losing their jobs in Croatia each week.
"Since the election, eight thousand people have lost their jobs and more than three and a half thousand have emigrated," he said.