Milanović Says Electronic Communications Law Should Be Passed by Two-Thirds Majority

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, April 10, 2020 – President Zoran Milanović said on Thursday that the law on electronic communications, which would legalise a large-scale tracking of citizens’ mobile phones in the fight against the coronavirus, should be passed by a two-thirds majority.

“I don’t know who can wholeheartedly support such a measure at all. I would expect those who propose it to cry from the top of their lungs that we will all die if that law and those amendments are not adopted as soon as possible. But no, we are seeing a dogged determination to secure a second reading, I guess to wear people down so they give up,” Milanović said in an interview with N1 television when asked about the bill on electronic communications.

He said that the insistence on the bill indicated that its sponsor had suspicious motives. “Why in God’s name, who needs that? And (tracking would be with the consent) of the person tracked. Why? What is the purpose of the measure if the consent of the person tracked is required,” he added.

He warned that people to be covered by tracking – and currently those were all Croatian citizens – had the right to compensation.

“This (measure) is actionable, why expose oneself to unnecessary risks. Adopt the measure by a two-thirds majority and it’s a done deal,” he said.

Milanović warned that due to the current crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic Croatia would experience a major economic downturn and that unemployment would grow as well, the only question being how much.

He also believes that the government’s measures designed to alleviate the economic impact of the crisis are not belated but he also believes that the government has adopted them under pressure.

“When the first set of measures was adopted, I said that it was a work in progress. As for the latest measures, the question is how long they can last, and where the limits of our and everybody else’s capacity are. This will hold water for a few months,” he said.

He also said that the current crisis was completely different from the crisis of 2008.

The current crisis is a crisis of both supply and demand and if the crisis of supply lasts too long, it will cause inflation, provided people have money, the president said.

“There will be money but there won’t be goods, so (the current crisis) is completely incomparable with the crisis of 2008, both in terms of the resilience of the banking sector and citizens and in terms of the unemployment rate, which is much lower than in 2008 in entire Europe. The circumstances are different. The current crisis has shocked everyone,” he said.

As for the proposals to cut wages in the public sector, Milanović said that 250,000 people worked in this sector and that actually only minor savings would be made if people for whom it would not be right to reduce their wages were excluded from cuts. He noted that the government was now borrowing and would have to pay back this debt one day.

“Once this crisis is over, the government will have to repay this debt, which means that people working in the public sector will see their next raise in the distant future. That’s why it makes no sense to reduce their pay twice,” the president said.

Milanović said that banks would profit from this crisis. He recalled that the Croatian National Bank had released HRK 6.5 billion (€855m) to the government, adding that if the interest rate was more than one percent it would be profiteering.

Asked to assess the national healthcare system, the president said that it remained robust and, although a lot of things have been destroyed, it was still “a resilient structure.” He warned that the system was strained by the costs of and large debts to the pharmaceutical industry.

Speaking of the situation in nursing homes in Split and Koprivnica where coronavirus cases have been reported, he said that the situation should be investigated.

More coronavirus news can be found in the Lifestyle section.


Subscribe to our newsletter

the fields marked with * are required
Email: *
First name:
Last name:
Gender: Male Female
Please don't insert text in the box below!

Leave a Comment