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Ex-PM blasts new authorities as "criminal, pro-Ustasha"

Zoran Milanovic said on Monday he was concerned that "people from a criminal, spying, and pro-Ustasha coalition" are coming to power in Croatia.

Source: B92, Tanjug
(Getty Images, file)

The leader of the SDP, who until today served as Croatia's prime minister, spoke as his party joined the opposition, and as the Croatian parliament elected its new president - while prime minister-elect Tihomir Oreskovic said he was convinced he would put together a new government within 30 days.

Last week, post election negotiations between SDP and an independent list dubbed "Most" ("Bridge") broke down just as it seemed an agreement would be reached to make the Most leader, Bozo Petrov, Croatia's next prime minister. Instead, Petrov struck a deal with the HDZ-led Patriotic Coalition, giving Oreskovic the chance to form the country's next cabinet.

"There are some things in life we cannot choose," Milanovic told reporters on Monday, adding that "this government is the choice of the Most list - one they will have to live with."

Milanovic accused Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandic of being "responsible" for the outcome of the post-election talks, and described him as a man accused of serious crimes.

According to the former prime minister, Croatia has reached "the nadir, in the democratic sense."

"This is not a return to the old - this situation is worse than the old," he said, adding, "no malice or irony intended, we have a problem."

"Ours is a small country, we are not rich, and the way we are represented abroad is very important - whether or not as politically strong persons, and when that is lacking they know there are no clear democratic processes in the country, and that somebody else is making the decisions," Milanovic stated.

As for the Most coalition, Milanovic said:

"That's their choice, they will have to live with it, get up and pray to God or to whatever they believe in. The coalition they chose, which was unfortunately put together by Bandic, who is accused, and by former chiefs of secret services, contains transparently Ustasha elements."

The Ustasha regime was in power in the Nazi-allied Independent State of Croatia (NDH) during the Second World War.

Milanovic also said that his party will "continue to fight and not give up" while in opposition, and that the country's new authorities are being formed "thanks to (parliament) representatives' fear of repeated parliamentary elections."

The post-election process in Croatia was previously criticized by Milorad Pupovac, an ethnic Serb political leader and member of parliament.

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