It appears Croatia’s current government is set to pay the price for the country’s poor economic situation, with voters expected to desert them in Sunday’s elections.
The opposition centre-left Socialist Party (SDS)headed by Zoran Milanovic are favourites to win as part of an opposition bloc called Kukuriku – which translates to cock-a-doodle-doo.
Promises not to introduce new taxes or sell-off some state owned industries are unlikely to be enough to keep Jadranka Kosor in her job as prime minister. Her conservative HDZ party has been rocked by corruption scandals.
Despite high-profile prosecutions against HDZ party members, some are looking forward to a new administration, like one woman outside a polling station in the capital Zagreb: “I want something better after the election – for the new government to work better than previous one,” she said.
October’s unemployment figures stood at over 17 per cent. Some people have been working without pay for months and are less optimistic about an end to corruption.
Marija, who sells food at a market in Zagreb, said the damage has already been done: “Nothing will change, it will be even worse. They have stolen everything. Whoever comes to power won’t be able to do anything.”
Tighter fiscal policy and avoiding a credit-rating downgrade are essential before Croatia joins the EU in 2013.