Press Digest

ZAGREB, Jan 23, 2000 -- (Reuters) Following are highlights of the top stories in Croatian dailies on Friday. Reuters has not verified these reports and does not vouch for their accuracy.


- The six former opposition parties agree on rules of work in new parliament and government, which will have five new ministries.

- I think the popularity of my rival Stipe Mesic has reached its peak and will start declining - people realize it takes more than a laid back attitude, says presidential candidate Drazen Budisa.

- Croatian Serb leader Milan Djukic urges Serbs to vote for Mesic.

- A 30 million kuna ($3.9 million) bridging loan from Privredna Banka helps oil and gas monopoly Ina reopen its accounts, blocked by the Finance Ministry over Ina's tax debt.


- I will support Ivica Racan's government in its efforts to clear up affairs in privatization and the banking sector, says presidential candidate Mate Granic.


- Acting President Vlatko Pavletic refuses to sign promotion papers for 950 officials of the defense ministry.

- All presidential candidates take part in three-hour television debate tonight, after which the television will make public results of a telephone poll.

- Bankruptcy proceedings start at Zagreb's commercial court against former giant Ferimport, owned by tycoon Josip Gucic.

- Relations between Croatia and Bosnia as well as between new Zagreb government and Bosnian Croats will certainly change after Croatia's general election, and I hope it will be for the better, says Ante Jelavic, Croatian member of Bosnia's presidency.


- Fallen tycoons blame top government officials, including the prime minister, finance minister and central bank governor, for their financial troubles.

- We cannot reduce presidential authority without cooperation from the new president. I do not want a situation in which we would enforce changes without prior agreements, says new Deputy Prime Minister Goran Granic.

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