Arsen Bauk of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) said the SDP would not support the proposal because the party believed that the way in which the national COVID-19 crisis management team was making decisions during this crisis was not good.
“We are still of the opinion that when restricting human rights, decisions should be made by the Croatian parliament, and those of a technical nature by the government,” he said, adding that the team could act as an advisory body to the government.
Nikola Grmoja of Bridge said the government did not mention COVID certificates in the law protecting the population from infectious diseases but only today, and that it envisaged fining officeholders also.
Sandra Benčić of the Green-Left Bloc asked that provisions on the certificates and the related fines be adopted only by a two-thirds majority in parliament based on Article 17 of the Constitution, given that there were no conditions to do so based on Article 16, that is proportionality.
“That was a big mistake, so we are preparing an initiative for the Constitutional Court to have its say because this state is no longer temporary. We have been in a state of emergency for a year and a half now and it doesn’t seem that the pandemic will end soon,” she said.
That’s why it’s necessary to have clear rules on how to reach a political and social consensus because this state, Benčić said, will definitely last and it also has serious social repercussions such as polarisation.
The Constitutional Court too must say that we are in a state of emergency because after a year and a half no one can say any longer that this is normal, she added.
Stephen Bartulica of the Homeland Movement said he had been skeptical about the efficacy of COVID certificates from the start because, he added, the experience of many countries showed that they were ineffective and counterproductive as well as not solving the problem.
He is sorry about the government’s proposal because so far, he said, it had quite a liberal course in fighting the pandemic and Croatia benefitted from it. Now a new path was chosen, he added, “and I don’t know why it’s following countries with a bad model of fighting the pandemic.”
Katarina Peović of Workers’ Front said the state authorities were indecisive about vaccination and where COVID certificates should be required. In a library they are, in a bar, they are not, as a result of which we have 60 to 70 deaths a day, she added.
In post-socialist countries, where the public sector has been strongly devastated, there is a big distrust of institutions, and that’s brought us into this situation, she said.
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