EU referendum

Pusic says parliament's decision on EU entry referendum to be changed

10.12.2011 u 15:08


Croatian People's Party (HNS) vice-president Vesna Pusic said on Saturday that changes would be made to the parliament's decision on the EU entry referendum in Croatia, which envisages holding the referendum 30 days after the signing of the Treaty of Accession to the EU, namely by January 7 at the latest.

"We believe that this would be too soon since citizens have just voted in parliamentary elections, so there is little time for communication, and the Christmas and New Year holidays are coming, so it would be inappropriate to launch any (information) campaigns now," Pusic said.

She added that at its first or second session the new parliament would amend the existing decision, sticking to the constitution which says that amending the decision requires two-thirds majority support. After that, the EU entry referendum will be organised and if Croatia's EU entry is supported by a majority of citizens, the parliament will ratify the Accession Treaty, said Pusic.

"It would not be good to delay this for too long because we want after the referendum enough time to be left for the ratification of the Accession Treaty in the 27 member-countries," Pusic told reporters during a meeting with members of the public in downtown Zagreb at which she distributed fruits as a sign of gratitude for voters' support to the HNS in the December 4 parliamentary election.

Pusic said that two to four weeks would be enough for a campaign aimed at informing citizens about the EU and motivating them to participate in the referendum.

Asked what result she expected in the referendum, Pusic said that she expected majority support.

She also confirmed that talks on the make-up of the new government among the parties of the centre-left coalition that won the parliamentary election had been completed, but that they would have to discuss the government's programme some more.