The opposition SDP, HSS, HSU and SNAGA parties on Monday signed an anti-corruption declaration whereby they express the political will and determination to fight corruption, which they consider a danger to Croatia's survival and security and the prosperity of its citizens.
SDP (Social Democratic Party) president Davor Bernardic said a research showed alarming data that only 4% of citizens would report corruption and that corruption in the public sector was perceived as widespread.
Corruption is a sign and a consequence of bad government, as proved by the fact that this summer half the government had to go and the fact that the government remains in power thanks to political corruption, i.e. the buying of MPs, he said.
The priority of these four parties' joint action is to strengthen and protect independent oversight institutions, notably the Conflict of Interest Commission, Bernardic said.
The parties would introduce stricter and independent oversight of public procurement, the spending of public money and declarations of assets, civic education already in elementary school, respect for and guarantee of freedom of the press, and the strengthening of investigative journalism, non-profit media and civil society organisations.
HSS (Croatian Peasant Party) president Kreso Beljak said every country had corruption but that only in Croatia did corruption have a state and a homeland.
"The father of that corruption was called Franjo Tudjman (the first Croatian president). The godfather of that corruption is called Vladimir Seks, the author of the first constitution. The children of that corruption are called Ivo Sanader and Andrej Plenkovic, and what is going on today is the culmination of a 30-year devastation of Croatia," he said, refering to the former and current officials of the ruling Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ).
HSU (Croatian Pensioners Party) leader Silvano Hrelja said Croatia's problem was not current corruption but the culture of corruption.
SNAGA Main Committee chair Goran Aleksic said corruption, clientelism and nepotism were a cancer of this society and that he was "coming out to clearly say that I'm the right opposition and that there is no more cooperation with the (ruling) HDZ."