Croatian EU Election Hopefuls Tout International Backers

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the top candidate of the centrist European People's Party, EPP, for the post of European Commission President, Manfred Weber, will participate in the central election conference of the ruling Croatian Democratic Union, HDZ, on Saturday in Zagreb.

"It will be the first and only arrival of Chancellor Merkel at a pre-election meeting outside Germany," the HDZ proudly wrote on its website - adding that Merkel will hold a meeting with Croatian Prime Minister and HDZ president Andrej Plenkovic.

"The fact that Angela Merkel chose Zagreb, or Croatia, for the only appearance at the pre-election meetings of parties from the People's Party family also proves the strength and influence of the HDZ within the EPP," the HDZ claimed on its website.

Projections suggest the HDZ will win five of the 11 Croatian seats in the May 23-26 European elections, and the HDZ is convinced of that too, calling its election list a "winning list".

On the same day, in Rijeka, the opposition Social Democrats, SDP, who will win three seats according to projections, will host Frans Timmermans, the candidate for the Presidency of the European Commission for the Party of European Socialists.

The small far-right Independent for Croatia party is also running together with the Croatian Party of Rights, and is seeking support from the French far-right Front National, FN.

Bruna Esih, from Independent for Croatia, participated on Sunday and Monday at a meeting of the Movement for Europe and the Freedom of Nation in Slovakia, and posted a photo on her Facebook profile of herself with Marie Le Pen from the FN.

"On my invitation, Ms Le Pen has announced her arrival in Croatia, and her successor in the EU Parliament, Nicolas Bay, will...

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