Friday, 6 November 2020

PM: Coric Will Remain Minister, Opposition is Trying to Destabilise Gov't

ZAGREB, November 6, 2020 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said on Friday that Tomislav Coric would continue to be minister despite the fact that the opposition had launched "an action aimed at destabilising the government."

Asked for a comment on the opposition's motion for a no-confidence vote in Economy and Sustainable Development Minister Tomislav Coric, Plenkovic said that the opposition had launched "some kind of action aimed at destabilising the government on three counts".

According to Plenkovic, the first one is the commission of inquiry, and he says there will be no such thing, especially not to be used as a political instrument for attracting the attention of the media for six months, until the local elections, with the opposition creating an image that the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) is corrupt. He underscored that a motion for establishing a commission on inquiry could be based on a specific topic rather than on a mishmash of topics.

Secondly, there is the interpellation on the Krs-Padjene wind park, to which the government has responded with arguments.

"We will show that it is a project that has lasted for 17 years, that all governments during that period were involved in it, and that the key decision granting (the Padjene wind park) the status of preferential electricity producer was adopted during the Zoran Milanovic government," Plenkovic said.

As for the third point, the initiative for a vote of no confidence against Minister Coric, Prime Minister said that this time they had chosen the minister.

"We will see what they have written, respond to them, have a discussion, they will not get the 76 votes they need, and he will still be minister," Plenkovic said, adding that the opposition will then probably move on to Minister Beros, the situation in the health system and so on.

Sunday, 1 November 2020

PM Talks With Zadar County Head After Strong Quake

ZAGREB, November 1, 2020 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic spoke on the phone on Sunday with Zadar County prefect Bozidar Longin after a magnitude 4.7 earthquake rocked the wider Zadar area.

The government and all services are ready to help the county, the government tweeted.

Seismologists said the quake struck near Paklenica, 7 km north of Starigrad, at 2.15 p.m.

The earthquake was felt across Zadar County, on the islands of Ugljan, Pasman and Murter, in the towns of Vodice, Sibenik, Drnis and Knin, in the neighbouring Sibenik-Knin County and in the Lika region.

There have been no reports of damage for now, Zadar police said.

Saturday, 31 October 2020

Plenkovic Extends Condolences to Turkish President, Greek PM Over Earthquake

ZAGREB, October 31, 2020 - Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic on Saturday extended his condolences to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis following a devastating earthquake which rocked their countries on Friday, the government said in a press release.

In his notes, Plenkovic said he "received the news of the devastating earthquake with great sadness," extending his condolences to the high officials and the two peoples.

He said that Croatia was willing to offer Turkey and Greece all the necessary help based on its experience with the Zagreb earthquake in March.

"In these challenging times, in line with the proven friendship and cooperation between our two countries, you can count on Croatia's strong support," Plenkovic said in his note to Erdogan.

"We know very well how important support is in these horrible circumstances, and in Croatia you have a true friend," he wrote to Mitsotakis.

The number of fatalities of the quake which struck near Izmir in western Turkey has risen to 27, the Turkish state news agency said today.

Saturday, 31 October 2020

PM: Gov't Did What It Promised To Do in First 100 Days of Term, Turned to Future

ZAGREB, October 31, 2020 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said on Saturday that in the first 100 days of its term the government had done what it had promised to do, including the adoption of a law on reconstruction following the March 22 earthquake, and that it was turned to the future and the fourth decade of Croatia's democracy.

Plenkovic said this in response to questions from reporters covering his visit to Zagreb's central Mirogoj cemetery, where he laid wreaths on the occasion of All Saints' Day.

Asked about the government's first 100 days in office, Plenkovic recalled the fast formation of the parliamentary majority following his HDZ party's victory in the July 5 election, the inauguration of the parliament, the adoption of a law on the post-earthquake reconstruction of Zagreb and parts of Krapina-Zagorje and Zagreb counties, and the government's strong messages of reconciliation and co-existence.

He said his government was working to calm down what remained turbulent in the Croatian nation with regard to the past but that also wanted to turn to the future and the fourth decade of the country's democracy.

The PM stressed that he would fight against radicalisation and violent extremism in society and continue with the fight against corruption.

Plenkovic said that the National Security Council would hold a session but not next week due to "lack of room to meet".


None of us ever talked about curfew

Plenkovic said that no government member had ever spoken about the introduction of a curfew, noting that the current epidemiological measures against coronavirus were proportional to the dynamic of the spreading of the disease.

He recalled that one of the coalition partners (Reformists leader Radimir Cacic) had aspoken about that possibility at a coalition meeting due to similar measures that were being introduced by other countries.

The PM said that the key to fighting the epidemic is individual responsibility.

He would not comment on President Zoran Milanovic's view that whoever proposed imposing a curfew should be "put away", saying: "I don't have time for him."

Asked why he did not go to Mirogoj yesterday with Milanovic, who had invited him to do so together as such had been the practice in the past several years, Plenkovic said that the government had a usual working day on Friday and that they had planned the visit to Mirogoj for today.

Asked if the government could guarantee timely medical care to all patients not suffering from coronavirus and about the situation at Zagreb's KB Dubrava hospital, Plenkovic said that "generally, the government can certainly do that (guarantee timely medical care)" and that back in the spring the government had decided that KB Dubrava would be the hospital to help out the city's Dr Fran Mihaljevic hospital for infectious diseases in caring for coronavirus patients.

"Since during the first wave of the epidemic we had very good results, KB Dubrava did not have to admit a large number of patients. Now the situation is different and they are providing very good care for all patients," he said, noting that despite the great strain on it, the health system was capable of performing its other tasks as well.

Plenkovic dismissed claims that the government and the coronavirus crisis management team were waiting for All Saints' Day to pass in order to introduce stricter epidemiological measures.

Answering a reporter's question, he said that Vukovar Remembrance Day, November 18, would be marked in that eastern city in a dignified way, as always, and expressed satisfaction that the city's reconstructed Water Tower was inaugurated on Friday, for which the government gave more than HRK 20 million.

Plenkovic also said that Croatia was ready to help Turkey and Greece in removing the consequences of Friday's disastrous earthquake.

Accompanied by Culture and Media Minister Nina Obuljen Korzinek and War Veterans Minister Tomo Medved, Plenkovic laid wreaths at Mirogoj's Wall of Pain monument, the Central Cross in the section for fallen Homeland War soldiers, the grave of Croatia's first president Franjo Tudjman, the cemetery's Central Cross and the common grave of unidentified Homeland War victims.

Wreaths were also laid by a parliamentary delegation, led by Speaker Gordan Jandrokovic.

Friday, 30 October 2020

Croatian PM Condemns Deadly Knife Attack in Nice

ZAGREB, October 30, 2020 - Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic on Friday condemned in the strongest terms Thursday's knife attack inside a church in the southern French city of Nice and expressed full support to France in its fight against terrorism.

"Croatia condemns the Nice attack in the strongest terms, and sees that as an attack against our values," the Croatian premier writes this message in the French language on his Twitter account.

He writes that Croatia expresses solidarity with France and the French in this distressing period.

Plenkovic says he supports President Emmanuel Macron and the French government in their struggle against terrorism.

During the deadly attack, a lone attacker armed with a knife entered the Notre Dame Basilica in Nice at around 9am Thursday and shouted  "Allahu  Akbar", according to news reports. A man and a woman died at the scene, while another woman died from her injuries. The attacker was injured after being shot by police and taken to hospital.

A few hours later, a man was shot dead near the southern French city of Avignon, after reportedly threatening police with a handgun, and according to news reports, a guard outside the French consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, was attacked and wounded.

Those attacks ensued in the wake of the killing of school teacher Samuel Paty by an 18-year-old Islamist.

Thursday, 29 October 2020

PM Says His Cabinet Doing Its Utmost to Ensure Funds for Christmas Bonuses

ZAGREB, October 29, 2020 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said on Thursday that his government was doing its utmost to ensure funds in the revised 2020 budget for the disbursement of Christmas bonuses.

"Considering Christmas bonuses, so far in my premiership, we have never omitted to pay Christmas bonuses, and you know that we increased their amount," Plenkovic told a news conference, reassuring the general public that efforts were being made to find enough funds for this purpose in 2020, too.

Plenkovic commented on the situation in the KB Dubrava hospital, following a letter by a physician at the hospital who alerted attention to some problems in the hospital's functioning. The Dubrava Hospital has been designated as the main facility for the treatment of COVID patients in Zagreb and Plenkovic said that the newly appointed steering board would analyse the situation and take necessary actions.

"I think that we should thank all healthcare workers in KB Dubrava and in all other hospitals throughout Croatia for their unselfish commitment to doing their job."

As for a reporter's remark that Health Minister Vili Beros also spoke about "dualism" that is, opposing groups in the KB Dubrava, the premier replied that it could be said that situation like that existed in any institution and in any sector.


Authorities have control over the developments surrounding coronavirus

Plenkovic said that issues related to the coronavirus epidemic were not going out of control.

The country's healthcare system has about 15,000 beds, 150 beds in intensive care wards, as well as 900 ventilators, and today there were about 80 patients placed on them, he explained.

"Healthcare capacities are not at risk. We are on full alert and we are taking cautious measures," he added.

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