ZAGREB, October 8, 2019 – Prime Minister Andrej Plenković on Tuesday again expressed satisfaction that the Croatian candidate for a European Commission Vice President, Dubravka Šuica, had successfully passed a hearing before the relevant committees of the European Parliament, expressing confidence that she would also contribute to improving the status of persons with disabilities.
“Ms Šuica, who has always advocated the rights of vulnerable groups, will… make it possible for what is done at EU level to be of help at the national level,” Plenković said in response to a question from members of the public visiting the parliament which opened its door to them on the occasion of Independence Day.
One of the topics to be dealt with by Šuica are persons with disabilities, Plenković said when asked by a citizen if Šuica’s election would have an impact on the status of persons with disabilities.
The prime minister stressed that emigration was not only a problem in Croatia and that other EU member states, too, had encountered it in the first years of liberalisation of movement of their citizens, who were leaving for more developed EU countries.
“Those trends have been stabilising in Croatia, too, and there are no more mass emigration trends,” the PM said, adding that emigration today was different from what it had been 100 or 150 years ago.
Citing measures his government had undertaken to stop emigration, he cited successful economic indicators – an increase in the average and minimum wages, a growth of pensions, a 3.1% economic growth and three record tourist seasons.
“The government has kickstarted economic growth, macroeconomic trends are good, we have the lowest unemployment rate and the highest employment rate, of 66%,” he said, admitting that things could always be better.
He noted that the government would soon discuss an energy strategy and underlined that the education reform was one of the key instruments for job adaptation in the future.
Plenković confirmed being acquainted with the problem of unlawful logging, of which representatives of the Zeleni Odred (Green Squad) association spoke, criticising the government for not doing anything about it.
The PM said that unlawful logging was not happening with the government’s consent.
Answering questions from members of the public, War Veterans Minister Tomo Medved repeated that shedding light on the fate of people gone missing in the 1991-95 war was a priority for the government and his ministry, adding that Croatia was still looking for 1,891 persons.
Numerous citizens asked questions of personal interest to them, from property-rights related issues to family issues, and were referred to the relevant ministries.
Speaker Gordan Jandroković agreed with citizens’ objection that some members of parliament did not attend parliamentary sessions regularly, saying that some of them were justifiably absent and some were not. Unjustified absence is fined, but the worst penalty for any such member of parliament is not being re-elected, he said.
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