Parliament to Reconvene on Wednesday in Historic INA Building

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, March 24, 2020 – The Croatian parliament will hold its sessions in the historic building of INA oil company given the damage Parliament House has suffered in earthquakes this past Sunday, and its members will discuss two government bills on Wednesday.

One is a bill to amend the Electronic Communications Act to facilitate access to information on persons violating self-isolation orders in the wake of the coronavirus epidemic.

The government proposes that the law be amended so as to include an article under which in extraordinary situations the health minister would be authorised to ask telecommunications companies to provide data on users’ terminal equipment locations without transfer data. In practice, this means that the location of each person in self-isolation who has a mobile phone with them would be known, so it would be known whether they are violating self-isolation orders.

The law has so far stipulated that the data can only be used with the user’s permission, which would no longer be necessary. According to the bill, the health minister may make the request when the government has declared a natural disaster or state of catastrophe, or when the minister has declared an infectious disease epidemic or a threat of an epidemic, and in such cases the purpose of the measure is protection of national and/or public safety.

The parliament originally planned to convene in the Zagreb City Hall in the Upper Town, but the decision was changed after statics expert assessed the building’s safety and stability.

“We want to minimise the risk and go somewhere where we will be able to work safely”, Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković said when asked why the parliament ‘was returning’ to INA’s building.

The Croatian parliament held its historic session in that building on October 8, 1991, when it decided to sever all ties with Yugoslavia. The decision was made the day after Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA) planes attacked the Banski Dvori (government headquarters) and MPs had to leave the building for their safety.

The parliament said that due to coronavirus protection measures, sessions would be attended by two members of each party group, while the voting would be done by a show of hands.

The session will be broadcast live by the Croatian Radio and Television (HRT) on its HRT4 channel, and it will also be transmitted on the parliament’s web page and YouTube channel.

Only reporters, cameramen and photographers permanently accredited by the Croatian parliament will be able to enter INA’s building. All of them have to follow instructions by the National Civil Protection Authority and the Croatian Institute of Public Health (HZJZ), that is, keep a distance of at least two metres from others and wear protective masks and gloves.

More coronavirus news can be found in the Lifestyle section.


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