Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic on Tuesday called the president of the opposition HDZ and candidate for PM of the Patriotic Coalition, Tomislav Karamarko, a political coward, saying he would be an agent for foreign banks when they complained about a solution to the issue of Swiss franc loans.
Commenting for Croatian Television on Karamarko’s statement that he was preparing Milanovic’s “final defeat,” Milanovic said, “This is evidently about some deep frustrations and complexes.”
He said Karamarko said in parliament today “that he is against a solution to the Swiss franc (loan issue), a problem that came about thanks to the cowardice and inertia of the government (of which Karamarko was part of). They did nothing, although that was the government’s and parliament’s job… The president of the HDZ, who wants to run Croatia, now tells me he is for the Montenegrin solution… but Montenegro and Croatia aren’t the same. Montenegro is a small state and isn’t in the EU. Croatia is a bigger state and can and must ( find a solution to Swiss franc loan issue).”
Milanovic said Karamarko could not run the state because he did not speak English, “the minimum technical requirement you need to run a small state.”
He would not say when exactly the upcoming parliamentary election would take place, only that “whenever President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic decides.” He reiterated that he would not attend consultations with her about the election date. “In the public interest, the president must call the election without prompting from Karamarko or Milanovic,” he said, adding that after the election he would “come for the mandate for the next parliamentary majority and I won’t threaten anyone as Karamarko is doing.”
Milanovic dismissed speculation about a falling out with the Istrian Democratic Party, an incumbent ruling coalition partner, saying the IDS must decide how it wanted to run in the coming election.
Asked if he was open to a post-election coalition with ORAH party president Mirela Holy or Radimir Cacic’s Reformists, Milanovic said he would rather “wait for the election results.”
Asked why he said his new coalition was the Homeland Coalition, he said he was reacting to persistent questions about its name, “When I see that someone has the nerve to call themselves the Patriotic Coalition, as if the rest of us were foreign agents, then we’ll call ourselves, and I said so jokingly, the Homeland Coalition, because we are for the homeland.”