“I find the emotionalism regarding freedoms, after so many COVID-19 deaths and the cost for the health system, unserious,” Plenković told reporters during a visit to Vukovar.
The organisers of Freedom Festival 2.0 have said that “most people now realise that COVID-19 has been misused for political ends that include the introduction of an entire set of measures and decisions that cause unprecedented damage to humans and benefit only smaller groups in positions of immense power.”
“COVID-19 has been here for more than 20 months, and if there are people who are still not aware of the reality, they should check media reports and credible information to see how many people have died so far around the world, including Croatia,” the PM said in a comment on the Zagreb rally.
He noted that in the past 24 hours 12 people died of COVID-19 and that only two had been vaccinated, one being a 95-year-old woman and the other a person with a serious illness.
“I call on all citizens to be reasonable, responsible, there is protection and I don’t see why they would not follow the example of the 52% of Croatians who have already been vaccinated,” he said.
He said that Croatia had less restrictive anti-epidemic rules than some other countries and that the education system, transport, economy, production and social life had been functioning.
People in Croatia have been able to go to the cinema, theatre, to museums and restaurants, he noted, adding that that was why he considered the emotionalism regarding freedoms unserious.
I don’t see reason for protests in Croatia
Even though mass protests are taking place across Europe, including France, Slovenia and Greece, Plenković said that he did not see any reason for protests in Croatia.
“The regime here has not been strict… people have been able to go to school, travel by bus, train, go to the cinema, theatre… What is missing? Discos? I think we can survive without discos for one season, hopefully the last one,” he said, noting that the topic had been exaggerated as there was no reason for criticism about restriction of freedoms in Croatia
Noting that he was not imposing his opinion on anyone, Plenković said that as a responsible prime minister, trusting science, he wanted to repeat that COVID-19 was spread easily, that more than 8,300 Croatians had died of it and that the costs related to the disease amounted to HRK 36 billion.
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