Monday, 2 November 2020

President Says Would Support Possible Lockdown but Not Curfew

ZAGREB, November 2, 2020 - President Zoran Milanovic said on Monday that he would support a possible lockdown to help in efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus, but he would oppose a curfew, explaining that Croatia is not in a state of war but in an emergency situation.

"I will be the first one to back a lockdown but not a curfew," Milanovic said, adding that he was against a curfew and against situations where people, who, for instance, walk their dogs after 8 p.m., have to explain why they are outside.

Addressing reporters after a ceremony marking the 30th anniversary of the Social Democratic Party at whose helm he was from mid-2007 to late 2016, the president said that any decision on imposing a lockdown could not be made by Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic or the head of the Croatian Institute of Public Health (HZJZ), Krunoslav Capak, but that it was the responsibility of the national parliament.

Damage to be caused by a lockdown is huge, people are at the end of their tether, notably those who do not work in the civil service, Milanovic said, adding that society should care for the elderly and the ill, while others should behave responsibly and prudently.

He went on to say that the current situation requires more engagement from some professionals, for instance, physicians, adding that "there are enough doctors, but they should be paid well," and that Finance Minister Zdravko Maric should take care of that.

In a message to the government and the ruling Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), Milanovic said they should not be "hiding behind clerks" and leaving decisions they are afraid to make to HZJZ head Krunoslav Capak.

"It is unfair," he added.


Milanovic says willing to attend Vukovar commemorative march but...

In connection with the 29th anniversary of the fall of the eastern town of Vukovar and the southern town of Skabrnja into the hands of the Yugoslav People's Army and rebel Serbs, to be marked on 18 November, Milanovic said that he was willing to attend the commemoration in Vukovar.

"A lot will depend on an agreement between Plenkovic, (war veterans' minister Tomo) Medved and (Vukovar Mayor Ivan) Penava and the local bunch," Milanovic said, adding that attending the ceremonies was definitely an honour and a duty.

He noted, however, that before his departure to Vukovar he would consult the Security and Intelligence Agency (SOA), because "I do not have to take part in any shows."

In that context, he said that he did not want a recurrence of the situation of 18 November 2013, when he and some other state officials were prevented from joining the commemorative march through the city.

Thursday, 22 October 2020

Health Minister Vili Beros Says Introducing a Curfew is the Last Resort

October 22, 2020 - As coronavirus cases rise in Croatia, Health Minister Vili Beros says introducing a curfew is the last resort. reports that Health Minister Vili Beros warned on Wednesday that the number of newly infected is higher than ever and announced that possibly introducing some previous measures will be decided in a few more days.

"If there are no positive developments, it is quite certain that we will introduce some additional, but balanced measures that will primarily refer to the restriction of gatherings," Beros said. He reiterated that citizens could contribute to preventing the spread of the virus through responsible behavior.

"We are the best cure for this pandemic if we respect the measures. Only then can we expect the number of infected to slow down. However, I must say that the virus is spreading horizontally, radiantly among the population. Therefore, we need to be more careful than ever," he said.

He even told reporters that they were too close to each other.

"And you are too close to each other, even though you have masks on and we are outside," Beros said.

When asked about introducing a curfew, Beros answered that some countries had introduced a curfew but that he did not want to give an affirmative answer now. He pointed out that a curfew is the last thing he will introduce if necessary, adding several other measures that can be taken before that.

The head of the National Civil Protection Headquarters, Davor Bozinovic, said on Wednesday that in a situation where the number of people infected is growing, they would focus mostly on punishing all behaviors that are not in line with epidemiological measures, especially legal entities.

During his visit to Jastrebarsko, Bozinovic told reporters that there would be no need for additional activities to prevent the spread of coronavirus infection if the measures already adopted were applied as intended, negotiated, and ultimately prescribed.

"We are monitoring the situation; the numbers are growing, the numbers are growing outside Croatia," said Bozinovic, emphasizing that they will mostly concentrate on prescribed measures, especially the obligations of legal entities that organize events or engage in economic activity with fluctuating people.

In doing so, he said, they will be aimed at sanctioning all behaviors that are not in line with epidemiological measures.

He claimed that they had made a great effort, including the Croatian Institute of Public Health, which made detailed recommendations for all economic and social activities to not close.

"It is an effort that has been translated into concrete recommendations of the Headquarters," said Bozinovic, calling on all citizens to adhere to these measures because it is the only way to slow down the spread of the virus in Croatia.

He emphasized that citizens should refrain from large gatherings, private parties, and meetings as long as the epidemic lasts.

He noted that they prescribe measures for public events, while what happens in homes cannot and should not be controlled. However, he warned that it is in these circumstances that citizens relax the most, which is why the virus spreads when they return to their home or go to work.

"This is not a big philosophy. In practice, it is not comfortable or easy to wear a mask when we cannot maintain physical distance, but it is not so difficult as long as it is the only way to overcome the crisis," he said.

He pointed out that the headquarters can make decisions, and epidemiologists prescribe recommendations, but nothing will be achieved if the citizens do not accept it.

Bozinovic announced the intensified inspections aimed at irresponsible behavior, explaining that the facilities' organizers and owners will be sanctioned if the measures are not adhered to in their facility and stated that a 30 thousand kuna fine is prescribed for dancing in clubs.

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