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Croatian president names new PM


09:49, December 15, 2011

ZAGREB, Dec. 14 (Xinhua) -- Croatian President Ivo Josipovic on Wednesday appointed Social Democratic Party (SDP) leader Zoran Milanovic as the prime minister-designate to form the country's new government.

A coalition consisting of the SDP and other three parties won 80 seats in the 151-seat parliament earlier this month.

After receiving final results of the elections Tuesday evening, Josipovic on Wednesday met with leaders of the four parties in presidential palace and gave Milanovic the mandate to form a new government.

Milanovic, a 45-year-old former diplomat, told reporters the mandate means a big responsibility of his government to pull Croatia out of crisis.

"The only way to achieve this goal is economic growth," he said.

The PM-designate has 30 days to present the new government and its program to the parliament, which is expected to hold its inaugural session next week.

The incoming government will face difficult tasks of reforming the country's economy and tackling high unemployment, which stood at 17.4 percent in October.

Croatia signed its European Union (EU) accession treaty last week and is set to become the bloc's 28th member on July 1, 2013. The country is to hold a EU entry referendum soon.

Milanovic said on Wednesday his government would do its best to attract more people to take part in the referendum and to say "yes" to the EU.

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