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PM and government expected to lose Croatia election

PM and government expected to lose Croatia election
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Victory for the centre-left opposition is the predicted outcome of elections in Croatia on Sunday.

The country is facing its toughest economic circumstances since becoming an independent state 20 years ago and voters look set to punish the current government.

Instead, they are expected to turn to the four-party Kukuriku Alliance lead by the Social Democrats and former diplomat Zoran Milanovic, who will introduce a lean state budget and cut public spending to prevent the country’s credit rating being downgraded. Recent polls put the bloc at more than 37 per cent.

Trailing a distant second with only 19 per cent in the polls are the centre-right HDZ lead by Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor, whose government has been dogged by corruption scandals and the country’s worsening finances.

Melita who lives in Zagreb said she does not expect Sunday’s ballot to solve Croatia’s economic woes:

“The biggest problem is unemployment, and it certainly won’t be solved with this election. I think afterwards, all prices will go up and it won’t any be better for us little people.”

The lack of jobs is a major worry for Croatians with the unemployment rate at over 17 per cent.

Whoever wins on Sunday will have a tough job turning around Croatia’s economy by the time it joins the EU in 2013.