Thursday, 25 November 2021

Sovereignists Want Parliament to Approve COVID Response Team's Decisions

ZAGREB, 25 Nov 2021 - The opposition Croatian Sovereignists want the Civil Protection System Act to be amended so that parliament could approve decisions made by the national COVID-19 crisis management team, and began on Thursday to collect signatures to table the motion.

The party wants the decisions the team makes to protect people from infectious diseases to enter into force only after being approved by parliament.

The crisis management team is an artificially created body with artificial powers which, by its decisions, restricts citizens' liberties, and only parliament should decide on that, MP Marijan Pavliček told the press.

MP Vesna Vučemilović said parliament should take a more active part in decision-making on COVID rules, adding that a more active engagement by all political actors would defuse the tensions in society.

Members of parliament should say what they think of any measure proposed by the crisis management team, said MP Hrvoje Zekanović, adding that "decisions should be made in parliament, not by some para-body."

MP Marko Milanović Litre said the government must take responsibility for the team's decisions.

Asked about Austria's initiative to ban the Bleiburg commemoration, Pavliček said Croatia's diplomacy must fight for the commemoration to continue to take place, adding that "in the past few years, that gathering was dignified, without any World War II insignia."

The gathering is held annually in Loibach Field near Bleiburg, Austria to commemorate soldiers of the Nazi-allied Croatian Ustasha regime and civilians killed there at the end of WWII.

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Saturday, 2 October 2021

Three Right-Wing Parties Join Croatian Sovereignists

ZAGREB, 2 Oct, 2021 - Three parties on Saturday joined the parliamentary opposition Croatian Sovereignists party - the Croatian Conservative Party, Hrast - Movement for a Successful Croatia, and the Renewal Generation, and now they will jointly act under one name.

Sovereignists MP Marijan Pavliček told the press after the founding assembly that this was "a good start" of a coming together on the right wing, "three political groups plus a large chunk of the membership and presidency of the Independents for Croatia."

He voiced confidence that in the next year or two they would become the strongest right-wing political group in the country.

Responding to questions, Pavliček said they wanted to be a modern, right wing alternative to the ruling elite.

Asked if he expected former Homeland Movement leader Miroslav Škoro to join the party, he said the Sovereignists had been the first to support his presidential candidacy.

He said a large part of Škoro's many sympathisers would join the Sovereignists and that his joining the party's caucus would enable them to focus more on "enterprise, the economy and such."

Pavliček said he was confident some Homeland Movement members would join the Sovereignists.

Another Sovereignists MP, Hrvoje Zekanović, said Škoro's joining their caucus was "a huge reinforcement," recalling that Škoro won over 450,000 votes in the last presidential election.

Asked if there would be changes in the party's caucus, Pavliček said there would not for now.

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Saturday, 28 August 2021

Croatian Sovereignists Launching Campaign for Referendum Against Euro Introduction

ZAGREB, 28 Aug, 2021 - A member of parliament from the Croatian Sovereignists party, Marko Milanović Litre, said on Saturday that his party was launching a campaign for a referendum on the introduction of the euro, criticising the government for ignoring citizens' opinion on the matter.

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, Croatian National Bank Governor Boris Vujčić and a whole set of Brussels bureaucrats have decided on their own that Croatia should join the euro area, Milanović Litre said in a Facebook post, noting that his party had launched a campaign to protect the national currency, the kuna.

"Referendum is the only way to accomplish that," he said.

Criticising Plenković and his government's attitude to referendum initiatives and what he called disregard for citizens' role in them, Milanović Litre said that that attitude was evidenced by Plenković's recent statement that "from a formal and legal point of view, a referendum on the introduction of the euro was already held in 2012 and a new one is not necessary."

The MP said that ballots for the 2012 referendum on Croatia's accession to the EU, to which Plenković was referring, featured only one question: "Are you in favour of Croatia's accession to the European Union?" and that the referendum campaign made no mention of accession to the euro area.

The Croatian people have the right to state their opinion on all important topics that affect their lives, notably decisions whereby a part of their hard-won sovereignty is ceded to Brussels, said Milanović Litre, adding that Croatia was poorly prepared for EU membership.

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Wednesday, 30 June 2021

MP Sandra Benčić (Možemo!) Says PM Plenković Boasting About Salvaging Economy While Destroying Factories

ZAGREB, 30 June, 2021 - The situation at the Orljava clothing factory in Požega, whose workers have not received wages for three months, shows that PM Andrej Plenković is destroying state-owned companies while boasting that he is salvaging the economy, MP Sandra Benčić said in parliament on Wednesday. 

"The Prime Minister is boasting about salvaging the economy in the COVID-19 crisis while at the same time the state is destroying its own companies," Benčić, an MP of the Green-Left Bloc said, noting that the state's lack of interest in talks with protesting Orljava workers seemed to be an introduction in the company's bankruptcy to result in its partition.

Workers' Front MP Katarina Peović called for solidarity with Orljava workers.

"This is yet another case in which a company is being destroyed so that it could be sold," she said, stressing that Orljava was a state-owned company and wondering about the reason for the government's "irresponsible behaviour towards the company and its workers".

Croatian Sovereignists MP Željko Sačić stood up for Pula Faculty of Medicine Dean Krešimir Pavelić who was replaced on Tuesday after publicly stating his position on vaccination against COVID-19.

Sačić said he would request an explanation from the science and education minister and the competent institutions about why and under which circumstances Pavelić was replaced.

He noted that Pavelić's view was based on statistical and scientific data and that he expressed concern about side effects and harmful consequences of individual COVID-19 vaccines, adding that one should put a stop to "totalitarian and undemocratic treatment of different opinions."

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Wednesday, 14 April 2021

PM Andrej Plenković Calls for Broadest Possible Consensus on National Recovery Plan

ZAGREB, 14 April, 2021 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenković on Wednesday called for "the broadest possible consensus" on his government's National Recovery and Resilience Plan, a document including projects worth more than HRK 49 billion (€6.5bn) in total.

"This is a chance in a generation on which we should reach the broadest possible consensus if we can," Plenković said after presenting the document to lawmakers, rejecting claims by opposition MPs that Croatia was "begging" in the EU.

"We are not begging, but are trying to help Croatia catch up with the countries that have been in the Union longer than us, to be more efficient and faster than we were when the SDP (Social Democratic Party) was in power," the prime minister said in response to questions from SDP MPs.

The SDP's Siniša Hajdaš Dončić said that Croatia, along with Greece, has been allocated the largest amount of money per capita because it is poor. "In the six years of your government, Croatia has become what Kosovo was in the former Yugoslavia," he said.

"We have managed to obtain this amount because we think we need it. This funding will benefit both you and Croatian citizens," Plenković replied.

Željko Reiner of the ruling Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) said: "The opposition obviously have nothing to contribute. Their thinking is reduced to two mantras: we haven't been given a full document and the money will be used for civil servants and not for the private sector."

"All the money will eventually end up in the private sector, either directly or indirectly," Plenković said.

Responding to the remark made by Domagoj Hajduković (SDP) that MPs were discussing a summary of the plan rather than the full document and that this was happening at the last minute, Plenković reiterated that theoretically the government did not have to present the document to Parliament at all. "We have prepared a good document and explained it. We have consulted the social partners and it has passed the parliamentary committees," the prime minister said.

As for the COVID-19 vaccination campaign, Plenković said that vaccination was necessary in order to bring the present public health care crisis to an end, adding that Croatia had ordered 8.7 million doses of vaccine from different manufacturers.

"We ordered as many doses as we could," Plenković said, stressing that the EU could not have known that there would be so many problems with delivery and reputational problems with some of the vaccines.

Hrvoje Zekanović (Sovereignists) was not pleased with the prime minister's answer. "I don't see why you didn't say that the EU has failed in this regard. It has proved highly inefficient during the corona crisis because there are no vaccines," he said.

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Monday, 1 February 2021

Sovereignists Start Gathering Signatures for Anti-Abortion Law

ZAGREB, 1 February, 2021 - The Croatian Sovereignists party started gathering signatures on Monday in order for parliament to discuss their proposal for a law on protection of life, which says that human life starts at the moment of conception. 

Under the proposal, an abortion would be possible only if pregnancy poses a threat to the pregnant woman's life. The focus would be on education, counselling and prevention.

"This is a chance for all those who call themselves Christian Democrats to prove that they are indeed prepared to protect human life from its conception," the party's leader Hrvoje Zekanović said in a statement.

"Now we will see whether they care more about values or party discipline, especially members of the (ruling) HDZ (Croatian Democratic Union) whose president is so afraid of raising this issue that he did not even honour the deadline which the Constitutional Court gave him a long time ago to change the law," Zekanović added.

The Sovereignists need at least 30 signatures for the matter to be included on parliament's agenda. They appealed to all the lawmakers who ever claimed they were pro-life to sign the petition, stressing that their proposal was based on scientific facts and Christian teaching and that it fully protected life.

The present law was adopted in 1978. The Constitutional Court ordered parliament in 2017 to pass a new law within two years, and the Sovereignists recalled that they had been waiting since March 2019 for their proposal to be put up for discussion.

Monday, 11 May 2020

Škoro and Croatian Sovereigntists Sign Coalition Agreement

ZAGREB, May 11, 2020 - Homeland Movement leader Miroslav Škoro and representatives of the Croatian Sovereigntists party signed on Monday a coalition agreement on joint participation in the coming parliamentary election.

Škoro told a press conference that after the agreement with the Bloc for Croatia his Homeland Movement had also reached an agreement with the Croatian Sovereigntists to run in the elections together.

"We are extremely pleased. We still want talks to continue so that everyone seeking change in Croatia can join this political camp," Škoro told a press conference.

"Croatia wants all of us to be together and finally offer a political alternative. The Croatian Sovereigntists will be, together with the Homeland Movement and other partners, the alternative that Croats have been looking for a long time," Hrvoje Zekanović of the Croatian Sovereigntists said.

Expressing satisfaction with the agreement, Marijan Pavliček, the leader of the Croatian Conservative Party, said that the patriotic and sovereigntist camp had been fragmented for the past 20 years and that this was the first time Croatian citizens were provided with a joint political option that would be an alternative to the left and right political elites.

Pavliček believes the newly-established coalition will be the biggest surprise in the upcoming election.

Noting that Croatia has been waiting for real political changes for a long time, Ladislav Ilčić (HRAST) underscored that real changes could not be expected to stem from the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) or the Social Democratic Party (SDP).

More news about Miroslav Škoro can be found in the Politics section.

Sunday, 8 March 2020

Croatian Sovereignists Presents Radical Election Platform

ZAGREB, March 8, 2020 - The Croatian Sovereignists party on Saturday presented its platform for parliamentary elections due this autumn, calling for changes to election law, decommunisation and "raising the ethnic minorities to the level of the majority Croatian people."

Ladislav Ilčić, a member of the party's council, said that they were offering "a solution to the question of ethnic minorities that terrorise the majority people."

"Nationality would be defined by citizenship and not by ethnicity. We would raise all members of the existing ethnic minorities to the level of the majority Croatian people. We will be a country of equal citizens and there will be no divisions any more," Ilčić said in a packed concert hall where the presentation took place.

The Sovereignists also propose decommunisation, removing antifascism from the constitution and changing election law by abolishing special lists for the minorities and "illogical constituencies" so that the entire country would be a single electoral unit.

They said they would stop Croatia's entry into the euro area, stressing that the kuna was "the last bastion of Croatian sovereignty."

"We are offering the citizens a social catharsis because without radical change there will be no prosperity," the party's leader Hrvoje Zekanović said.

The party is seeking to bring together ideologically similar political groups and is hoping for cooperation with the parliamentary Bridge party. Asked by reporters if they would enter into a coalition with the ruling Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), Zekanović said. "Of course not."

The party's co-leader, MEP Ruža Tomašić, said she expected their platform to win at least 25 seats in the next parliament. She dismissed the Independent Democratic Serb Party (SDSS), the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the Croatian People's Party (HNS) as potential coalition partners, adding that post-election cooperation with the HDZ would depend on "what principles it would uphold."

Another co-leader, General Željko Sačić, said that their platform would offer a better future for Croatia, in which after 2000 "a gang of evildoers cast into the mud everything that was created in the Homeland War."

"The scum have plundered and devastated the Croatian people in the last 20 years. Thieves have sold INA, ruined the Institute of Immunology and brought agriculture to its knees," Sačić said, stressing that the Sovereignists would stand in the way of those wishing the Croatian people "a globalist future".

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