We are focused on issues that are really important for the Croatan people, we don't do trivia and insults

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said on Friday they had agreed on a protocol of understanding and cooepration with Croatian Pensioners Party MP Silvano Hrelja that would last the entire term and that improving pensioners' rights and combating poverty would be the key area of cooperation.

Speaking to the press, Plenković said they concluded that Hrelja's ideas and the national recovery and resilience strategy fully converged with regard to increasing family pensions, and that they agreed to joint activities that would result in bills.

Hrelja will support government's proposals

"In future Hrelja will support the government's bills and consult with us on political issues that, given his voters, are very important. I'm looking forward to that cooperation."

Asked about Hrelja's statement that the European family pension model would cost Croatia about HRK 1 billion a year, Plenković said that remained to be seen. "That's part of the government's programme. We wish to make increasing family pensions possible. It's good that we work on that together."

Asked if Hrelja's hand in parliament cost HRK 1 billion a year, Plenković said, "It would cost that  even without this cooperation. The idea is for these legal changes to go into force on 1 January 2023."

Asked if he was talking about cooperation with other MPs as well, he said they were not at the moment.

"We are having a dialogue. Hrelja and I have a very good relationship (...) and I'm glad our views converge. It's good for Croatian democracy that we have as stable a majority as possible."

Asked if he had had it with Reformists president Radimir Čačić's threats of leaving the ruling coalition, Plenković said cooperation on the national level was one thing, which he expected to be honoured, and that local elections had nothing to do with that.

As for the selection of a Supreme Court president, he said that if the recommended candidate was not elected, applications would be invited again and someone else would be selected.

PM: The whole government and I deal with what's important

Plenković also commented on President Zoran Milanović's statement that he should "send lions at me, not poodles with dentures," saying this diverted attention from what was important.

"To me as prime minister, it's important that we have saved jobs, that we have revised the budget, that we will deal with the problems in health (...) These trivialities, insults... I think citizens see who is who."

Asked to comment on Vukovar Mayor Ivan Penava's idea that Croatian and Serb children in that city should go to the same schools, Plenković said Croatia protected its national minorities and that they were always in a position to contribute to the functioning of government.

He said minority representatives were part of the parliamentary majority and that this would not change.

Text: Hina