Croatia President Calls for Emergency Meeting of Dismissed Government due to Football Hooligans

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Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović exercised her constitutional right, but many wonder how it took her 10 minutes to react to football and 10 days to political upheaval

Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović has officially called for an emergency government session, in which she calls for stricter prison terms for football hooligans, while the session may be held already on Tuesday, Jutarnji List reports on June 18, 2016. The move follows an incident that temporarily disrupted a football match between Croatia and Czech Republic in the EURO 2016 competition in France.

She will take the opportunity to suggest changes to the Law on preventing disturbances at sports competitions, with a special accent on toughening prison terms and immediate application.

Also on the agenda should be the report by the Security and Information Agency and Interior Ministry on what measures were taken against hooligans at St. Etienne, while changes to the law should be sent into parliamentary procedure before it is dismissed. This quick and decisive action by the President is in stark comparison to her delayed response in the recent political upheaval that culminated in the dismissal of PM Tihomir Orešković and resignation of Deputy PM Tomislav Karamarko. Therefore, it is uncertain who will be present if the said session takes place next week.

“The football match between Croatia and Czech Republic saw ghastly behaviour by so-called supporters of the Croatian National Team. Regarding the security of spectators and players it is necessary to urgently sanction hooliganism, inappropriate behaviour, disorder and violence, before, during and after a sports competition,” the President explained in her letter.

The President activated Article 102 of the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia granting her the ability to call for an government session and discuss issues. The same article says teh President must be present and take part in the discussion.


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