Croatia opposition files no-confidence motion

Croatia opposition files no-confidence motion Zagreb: Croatia's main opposition party today filed a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor's government over the economic slowdown and corruption, HINA news agency reported.

"We have to do our job since the government has humiliated this country, we are going through an agony -- economic, moral and political -- and we do not want to bear responsibility for that," said Zoran Milanovic, head of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), quoted by the state-run agency.

Support from at least 77 deputies in the 153-seat parliament is needed to back the no-confidence motion and oust Kosor in the vote that is due to take place within 30 days.

Milanovic says he has 58 backers so far but Kosor's ruling Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) with coalition partners enjoys the support of 82 deputies in the parliament.

Croatia's recession-hit economy contracted by 2.5 per cent in the second quarter of the year compared with the same period of 2009 while the unemployment rate stood at 16.4 per cent in August.

The government expects a 2010 budget deficit of 4.2 per cent of gross domestic product or some 1.9 billion euros (USD 2.6 billion).

The opposition's initiative comes several days after the former powerful prime minister Ivo Sanader, who resigned suddenly in 2009 and retired from politics, asked to reactivate his "frozen" mandate as a member of parliament.

A parliamentary committee was to review his request later today.

Sanader's move sparked charges from Kosor that he was seeking to overthrow the government and would endanger Croatia's bid to join the European Union.

In the past months, Croatia, closely monitored by Brussels, has stepped up efforts to root out corruption, notably high-level one. Zagreb aspires to become the EU's 28th member by 2012.