Thursday, 17 January 2019

PGS Joins Amsterdam Coalition for European Elections

ZAGREB, January 17, 2019 - The presidents of GLAS, the Istrian Democratic Party (IDS), the Croatian Peasant Party (HSS) and the Primorje-Gorski Kotar Alliance (PGS) signed an agreement in Rijeka on Thursday on the PGS joining the Amsterdam Coalition.

PGS president Darijo Vasilić said what he and the others had in common was the fight for regional values, an open, modern and civil society and a civilised Croatia as well as against the growing radical right and increasingly strong populism in politics.

IDS president Boris Miletić said opinion polls showed that Amsterdam Coalition had become the strongest opposition force in Croatia. "We want an open and progressive Croatia, where people aren't afraid and emigrating, where work and enterprise are encouraged, not blocked."

GLAS president Anka Mrak Taritaš said the Croatian Pensioners Party (HSU) would join the coalition by the end of the month.

The Amsterdam Coalition firmly believes that it is necessary to oppose content- and idea-free radicalism and populism, and pushes for a new Europe and Croatia in it. We stand for liberal democracy and man's right to choose, work and live in a functioning country, she said.

She said the coalition would run for the European Parliament and that its candidates would be capable of representing Croatia's interests.

HSS president Krešo Beljak said the coalition's approval ratings would be even better once the HSU joined them.

More news on the Amsterdam Coalition can be found in the Politics section.

Sunday, 28 October 2018

Liberal Parties to Run Together for European Parliament

ZAGREB, October 28, 2018 - Leaders of GLAS, the Istrian Democratic Party (IDS) and the Primorje‑Gorski Kotar Alliance (PGS) said on Sunday they were preparing for next spring's European Union elections, working on a programme for the European Parliament, and that they expected to have two MEPs again.

Speaking at a press conference in Opatija, GLAS president Anka Mrak Taritaš said the three parties making up the Amsterdam Coalition would present their platform and 12 candidates for the European Parliament in a month's time. She said they wanted to remind citizens of the importance of the EU elections and European values.

This is a watershed moment for the EU as the next elections will decide the direction it will take and we want Croatia to be represented by people advocating liberal democracy, Mrak Taritaš said, adding that they did not want populism.

IDS president Boris Miletić said European elections were important because the bulk of Croatian legislation depended on EU legislation. He asked if Hungary and Poland were indicative of Europe or if Europe was a project of peace and open borders.

PGS vice president Tea Mičić Badurina said Croatia was highly centralised, economically devastated and ideologically divided and that this was fertile ground for neoconservative and populist movements which could cause even greater damage. She said Croatian citizens needed someone who would guarantee a stable environment, security and their rights.

Asked if the Croatian Peasant Party (HSS) would join the Amsterdam Coalition, Mrak-Taritaš said the HSS had decided to start negotiations to that end. Asked if this meant a coalition with the HSS for Croatia's next parliamentary election, she said they were now focused solely on the European elections.

As for other parties, Mrak Taritaš said they did not want a coalition with someone who was in a coalition with the ruling HDZ or with Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandić. As for the Social Democratic Party (SDP), she said it seemed it would run in the European elections independently. She would not say if a coalition with the SDP was possible for Croatia's parliamentary election.

Asked if the Amsterdam Coalition would back former SDP leader Zoran Milanović if he decided to run for president, Mrak Taritaš said that, in case he did, he would reach out to them and that they would then decide by consensus.

HDZ has announced it would probably run for the European Parliament without its coalition partners.