Croatian president reviews her four-year mandate

February 17, 2019 11:00 AM

Croatia’s foreign policy goal is to be as close as possible to the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), to work on a strategic partnership with the United States and to be in close relationship with China and Russia, said Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic here on Saturday.

At a press conference marking four years of her presidency, Grabar-Kitarovic looked back at her meetings with world leaders, saying “Every occasion in meetings with world leaders was used to promote Croatia and Croatia’s national interests.”

In summing up her four-year mandate, Grabar-Kitarovic said she was delighted to see that demographic policies had produced results, as indicated by the increasing number of births and reduced emigration.

“Our goal is to reach five percent of GDP,” the president said and praised the measures taken by the current Croatian government.

She also recalled a statement she gave two years ago when she said the greeting “For Home, Ready”, which was used during the Second World War in the Independent State of Croatia under the fascist Ustasha regime, was “the old Croatian salute”.

“I made a mistake and accepted the attitude of the historians that this is not the old Croatian greeting. That greeting is unacceptable and compromised,” Grabar-Kitarovic said.

The Croatian president has yet to decide whether to run for a second term, as presidential elections will be held at the end of this year.

Croatian presidents have a mandate of five years, and Croatia has until now had four presidents, Franjo Tudman, Stjepan Mesic, Ivo Josipovic and Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic.

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said on Tuesday that he believed that the leading Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) party, of which he is the president, will support Grabar-Kitarovic for the second term, Xinhua reports.

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