German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who arrived in Zagreb on Saturday, would not comment on the latest political crisis in Austria that erupted after a video emerged showing the country’s Vice-Chancellor’s alleged involvement in corruption before Chancellor Sebastian Kurz gave his opinion on the matter.
Austria's Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache of the Freedom Party resigned on Saturday, a day after secret video footage emerged that was filmed on the island of Ibiza. It appeared to show him discussing government contracts with an alleged Russian investor in return for campaign support in 2017, just months before elections brought him to power.
The German Chancellor said that she could not comment on the matter before Chancellor Kurz does.
"However, the EU is a union of countries that have agreed to cooperate on a common foundation. There are forces coming from different directions that despise our values and want to undermine our union. They do not want the protection of minorities and human rights," Merkel said at a news conference, with Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic from the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) at her side.
"We must resolutely counter those forces," she said, adding that Croatia and Germany were on the same path in that regard.
The German chancellor arrived in Croatia to support the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and Manfred Weber of the Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU), which are both members of the European People's Party, ahead of the European elections next week. Weber is the EPP's lead candidate for the European Commission presidency.
The HDZ is holding an election rally in Zagreb in the evening and Weber will address it.