PM says sorry parliament half-empty on Statehood Day

Caretaker Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic said on Saturday he was sorry that parliament was half empty for a special session on the occasion of Statehood Day.

"Everyone is responsible for themselves and I wouldn't comment on others. I think that those who came today gave their support because 25 years is not a little, it's a big success. I'm sorry that not all those who should have been here today were," he told reporters.

Oreskovic said Croats could be proud of the independent Croatia and the democracy built. "We have achieved a lot, but we still have a lot to do. Perhaps we are too critical sometimes, which perhaps isn't bad sometimes, but we must deal more with the economy, so that young people don't leave."

Asked if he felt responsible for the fact that this year Statehood Day was passing amid deep political divisions, Oreskovic said everyone regretted that, but that those divisions were not only a reflection of his cabinet's recent fall.

"If you remember my first speech in parliament, 50 percent of the topics concerned the Ustasha and the Partisans. That's sad to someone who grew up in Canada and travelled Europe, which has a history too. They dealt with their history. I don't know how we will deal with ours, but we have to."

He reiterated that the caretaker government was functioning, even though it included ministers from the HDZ party, which had initiated his impeachment. "We are functioning... we have a lot to do, we take it seriously and will fulfil our obligations. We are cooperating, the government is functioning, and politics is politics. Unfortunately, I think it shouldn't have come to this, but we are where we are. I think it's evident now that it was all a big bluff and that the HDZ couldn't form a new government, which is why we will go to the polls."

Asked if he planned to stay in politics, Oreskovic would not say, nor whether he would run in the parliamentary election with the Bridge party. "We haven't talked about it... You can see what's going on, there are several scenarios and time will tell." Asked when he would decide, he said soon.

Only about 20 MPs of a total of 151 attended today's parliament session.

Speaking to the press, caretaker Foreign Minister Miro Kovac said: "I'm really proud of the 25 years of independence and sovereignty. We did big things in Croatia. Today, we also credited (Croatia's first) President Tudjman, the defenders and all who fought for Croatia, but I'm a little sad looking at parliament, it wasn't full."

Asked if he was sad that parliament was half-full today, caretaker Interior Minister Vlaho Orepic said:" I feel proud and satisfied on the 25th birthday of my country, for which I fought as a defender... and now as a politician. I'm proud of my colleagues, and those who didn't come, it's on their souls."

Last update: Tue, 28/06/2016 - 17:51

More from Croatia

Protesters call for termination of Croatia-Holy See agreements

Around 400 people rallied in downtown Zagreb on Saturday to demand the termination of the agreements between Croatia...

Croatian PM: There's no reason to put up border fences for now

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said on Saturday that at the moment he did not see any need to put up...

Croatia's first freshwater aquarium opens in Karlovac

Aquatika, Croatia's first freshwater aquarium to be built almost entirely with EU funds, was opened in Karlovac on...

Plenkovic: Restoring belief in European project key task for European leaders

Restoring belief in the European project and fighting populism is the most important task for European leaders,...

Croatian companies looking for new business opportunities in Azerbaijan

About 60 Croatian business people from 35 companies will visit Azerbaijan next week to take part in a business forum...