ZAGREB, November 5, 2019 – Presidential candidate Miroslav Škoro said on Tuesday that the primary task of the Croatian police was to protect the territory and citizens of Croatia, but that it would be good if the military also joined in because the border police were stretched to their limit.
“We want to be part of the Schengen area and we have our own law on the movement of foreigners. We need to know who comes into the country, who moves around and passes through, and of course, protect the territorial integrity of Croatia and all its citizens. We have enough competent people who know how to treat migrants and which of them should be accorded protection,” Škoro told a press conference in Dubrovnik.
He said that the problem of illegal migration should be tackled at its source rather than put up fences along the border. He also said that this problem should not be dealt with by using force but by improving border control.
“We need to control the border, and ours is one of the longest in the European Union, but the police obviously have neither enough personnel nor resources for that job. That’s why it is logical for other services to join in to help ensure better border control,” Škoro said.
He said that there was not much talk of illegal migration in Croatia and that he himself had become convinced of the importance of this issue while on the campaign trail. He said that on his way to the south of the country he had been stopped by the police once and had been even searched once for illegal migrants. He said that in conversations with people living in border areas he had seen for himself that they lived in fear, fearing for their property and for their children.
Asked if Croatia was becoming a border state, Škoro said that Croatia had been a border state through history, adding that it should negotiate with Schengen countries. “This right, obligation and responsibility should be equally felt in Brussels, Madrid and Velika Kopanica,” he said.
Škoro said that since 2000, the office of President had been held by persons who did not have great ambitions to participate in political life, as result of which this office was reduced to a sinecure.
“I don’t want to be a figurehead and I don’t need a sinecure. I want to listen to the people and participate in their initiatives. Currently all that is ignored and the people are good only when they vote, while this small clique is preoccupied with their CVs and continuing their careers in the EU. I would like for the President to have greater powers and to truly participate in the creation of better living and working conditions in this country. It is not enough if someone gets five million votes in elections and is reduced to the role of a notary-public who signs a piece of paper from time to time. That will change with this election,” Škoro said.
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