October 19, 2016 - 12:43 PM
ZAGREB, Croatia - Lawmakers in Croatia approved a new government on Wednesday as the prime minister promised to boost economic recovery and overcome political divisions in the European Union's newest member state.
The conservative government of Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic was voted into office in a 91-45 vote amid hopes it will end months of political turmoil triggered by the fall of the previous government in June.
"The government I will lead will be the government of all Croatian citizens," Plenkovic said earlier as he presented his Cabinet to the Parliament.
The new government includes ministers from Plenkovic's conservative Croatian Democratic Union, or HDZ, and the populist Most, or Bridge, party with the support of minority groups.
A months-long political crisis has stalled reform in the Adriatic nation that joined the EU in 2013 but remains one of the bloc's weakest economies.
Plenkovic said the government plans to carry out changes needed to boost business — including tax reform and easing of regulations.
The 46-year-old former European Parliament member also announced further education and judicial reform and urged support, insisting that national goals should come before political differences.
Some lawmakers were skeptical.
"We heard a wish list, but no plan how to achieve them," Kreso Beljak from Croatia's Peasants' Party said during a parliamentary debate.
Plenkovic took over the leadership of HDZ following the collapse of the previous, right-leaning government led by the party. A moderate, Plenkovic has excluded hard-line ministers who were part of the previous Cabinet.
News from © The Associated Press, 2016