The Croatian prime minister speaks on the immigration crisis to the EU.
“This is not about bags of cabbage, these are humans. People who are desperate, who are fleeing from difficult situations, who take risks. You cannot meet them with police batons”, said prime minister Zoran Milanović speaking about the refugee crisis which has shaken the whole of Europe, reports Index.hr on August 24, 2015.
Milanović claims that Croatia is ready to help “in accordance with our capabilities, which are small, but do exist”. “We are a country that has received help from others when we were going through the most difficult times”, said Milanović. “Even though we do not expect that this will spill over to Croatia, we need to be humans, Christians if you like, and give our best. We must not be narrow-minded. I see there are some people like that in Croatia, but just a few.”
Asked how he will finance the assistance that Croatia would provide to refugees, Milanović answered that it would not be a problem. However, he once again stressed that he does not expect a large wave of refugees to come to Croatia, because Croatia is not part of the Schengen Zone.
Asked about the Croatian strategy for refugees, Milanović answered: “Croatia cannot have a strategy without the European Union, and the EU unfortunately doesn’t have any strategy. This is a surprise for the European Union.”
“If there is a humanitarian crisis of major proportions, we will help and we can help. Our ship, one of the largest we have, is currently near Catania and Sicily. I will visit it in a few days. There, it participates in the rescue of refugees. We will receive hundreds of refugees, and more if needed, in the framework of program that was agreed at the European Council. We are here, we shall not shy away from our responsibilities, particularly as humans.”
Asked if the Croatians will express solidarity towards refugees, Milanović said: “I believe they will. When we were living through the hardest times, Italians and Germans did not seal their borders. Just a few Croats left, but they could go if they wanted to.”