Local Press Digest

ZAGREB, May 3, 2000 (Rtr)

Analysis: Rightist faction of the former ruling HDZ party won a convincing victory at general congress this weekend with new leaders, who guarantee party policy will continue to be rigid and anti-European.

The second largest coalition member, the Social Liberal party, appears to believe the ruling coalition has served its purpose. The party is brushing up its image in preparation for a time when it will again function as an individual party.

Survey ahead of local elections in Zagreb: Social Democrats of Prime Minister Ivica Racan get 24.7 percent, Social Liberals get 10.5 percent and the Croatian People's party - whose member was President Stipe Mesic - 10 percent.

France is still reluctant to grant Croatia admittance to the Partnership for Peace, so Mesic's visit to France in May will be of vital importance.

Original article