Centre for Dissolving COVID Response Team, Forming New One in Parliament

Total Croatia News

Source: Pixabay
Source: Pixabay

Source: Pixabay

ZAGREB, November 28, 2020 – The Centre party on Saturday proposed dissolving what it called the ruling HDZ’s national COVID response team and the establishment of a new advisory body by a two-thirds majority in parliament.

Speaking at an online press conference, the opposition party’s co-president Dalija Oreskovic said people no longer trusted the response team because of “its inconsistent, incompetent and politicised measures.”

The team “which lost its authority and credibility because of its oversights must be dissolved,” she added.

Oreskovic said the time had come for top state officials to act statesmanly and nationally.

The party called on President Zoran Milanovic and Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic to sit at the table and show they were willing to talk, and on Plenkovic to sit at the table with the parliamentary majority as well as the opposition to find a solution.

Oreskovic said Centre was proposing the establishment of a response team of national unity, adding that only a team which did not comprise members of only one party and laws adopted by consensus could help restore trust.

Trust in those conceiving measures is the main tool for successfully fighting the coronavirus crisis, she said.

That body would comprise experts from all relevant fields chosen in line with expert criteria, not party affiliation, and their key decisions would be communicated by the prime minister, not the team’s members, Oreskovic said, adding that before parliament voted on the new response team, it was necessary to adopt a law which would allow it.

Centre co-president Marijana Puljak said Croatia was in a deep recession and that the brunt of the economic crisis fell on businesses which, she added, the government treated as enemies, not partners.

She said the response team’s measures were being changed by the week and that, as a result, entrepreneurs could not remain in business.

Puljak said the restrictions should not create a gap between the public and private sectors, and that “we should all form a single viable sector which would share the burden of the crisis.”

She said the compensatory measures to date focused on job retention, leaving out expenses for rent, utilities and interest on loans, adding that it was necessary to urgently cut business costs, taxes and parafiscal levies.

Puljak said compensation should be conceived for the hospitality sector given that bars and restaurants were closed for the next three weeks, adding that local government should help.

Centre co-president Dario Carev said the national COVID response team was increasingly used to score political points and that the growing distrust in it resulted in citizens acting relaxed about COVID-19.

Instead of being an advisory tool in the fight against the epidemic, the response team has become a mask on the government’s political face, he said, adding that Centre “won’t keep quiet about the bad scenarios and even worse justifications being given these days by a team which has lost credibility and expertise.”


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