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Croatian government loses no-confidence vote

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By Catherine Hardy
Croatian government loses no-confidence vote

What has happened?

Croatia’s parliament has ousted the government in a no-confidence vote put forward by the governing coalition’s biggest party.

What does this mean?

A snap election will be called if a new cabinet cannot be formed within 30 days.

Behind the headlines

The party that called the vote, the conservative HDZ, helped install technocrat Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic five months ago.

However, they fell out over a conflict of interest case involving the HDZ leader, Deputy Prime Minister Tomislav Karamarko.

The HDZ plans to propose Finance Minister Zdravko Maric as prime minister.

President Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic will start consultations with parliamentary parties on forming a new cabinet on Friday, June 17.

The HDZ says it can muster a new majority of at least 76 of parliament’s 151 deputies, analysts are sceptical.

The HDZ says it has the backing of 68 at the moment.

The biggest opposition party, the Social Democrats, along with its allies, says it hopes to gather the signatures of a majority of deputies to demand parliament be dissolved to pave the way for an election.

Would another election do any good?

No, experts say.

Croatia has one of the weakest economies in the EU, with high unemployment and public debt.

The concern is a snap election would slow reforms necessary to fix the fragile public finances, improve the investment climate and spur growth.

The economy is only just starting to recover after six years of recession from 2009 to 2014.

Next year, Croatia must repay almost 4bn dollars in maturing bonds and interest.

What they are saying

“The real reason (for the no-confidence vote) is because I, in an effort to protect national interests, started working on the solution of the MOL-INA dispute through continuation of the arbitration and by starting new negotiations which obviously was not what some people wanted. It will stay on the record that this government – should you so decide – fell because of the personal interest of some individuals. I tried to prevent that and that is my only guilt,” – Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic told parliament ahead of the vote.