Croatia parliament approves new government after election

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Croatia’s Prime Minister incumbent Andrej Plenkovic presents his new government’s plan before the Croatian Parliament in Zagreb, Croatia Thursday, July 23, 2020. Parliament vote on Croatian new government is expected later in the day. (AP Photo/Daniel Kasap)

ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) — Croatia’s parliament has approved a new government that is led by a conservative party that won a parliamentary election earlier this month.

Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic’s government won support late Thursday in the 151-member assembly in a 76-59 vote. The remaining lawmakers either weren’t there or didn’t vote.

Plenkovic was the prime minister of the previous government that was also led by his Croatian Democratic Union party.

The government now also has the support in parliament of two small liberal groups and national minorities. Plenkovic’s HDZ won 66 seats in the parliament in the July 5 vote while the main opposition party gained 41.

Plenkovic said the new government’s main goal is to boost the Croatian economy, which has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

“Our key aim is to secure the welfare for our citizens … to preserve their health and jobs during the times of the pandemic,” Plenkovic said.

European Union member Croatia has been struggling to salvage its key tourism season, which has been ravaged by the virus outbreak. A country of 4.2 million people, Croatia is known for its stunning Adriatic Sea coast.

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