President Grabar-Kitarović on Fires in Dalmatia: “The Army Could Have Reacted Sooner”

Total Croatia News

President of Croatia stated she’d be able to form the final opinion on how the fires were handled only after she’s arrived to the site and seen the situation in the field. 

Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović stated on Tuesday that the Croatian Armed Forces could have been quicker to help fight the catastrophic fires in and around Split, and that an investigation should be carried out to establish the source of the blaze, reports Slobodna Dalmacija on July 18, 2017.

“I think the army could have gone to the site sooner… even though they’re not trained [for that] and they don’t have the same equipment as the firefighters, the extent of the fire was such that it called for every available man”, the president stated in Salzburg after the meeting with the presidents of Slovenia and Austria.

Asked if she was satisfied with the response of all participating service departments, she said she’d only be able to give a formed opinion after she has seen the affected sites in Croatia. After the trilateral meeting in Salzburg, she flew directly to Dalmatia.

“I’ll have a formed opinion once I’ve arrived and seen the situation in the field… Unfortunately, the weather conditions haven’t been working in the firemen’s favour, and the bura wind didn’t allow for Canadairs to fly, but I firmly believe an investigation into the source of fire should be carried out, to find out how the blazes spread and finally merged into a single fire”, stated the president and the commander in chief of the Croatian Armed Forces.
She added the new strategy for national security implies various departments working closer together in such situations, acting in synergy, and not “employing a silo system”.

Grabar-Kitarović expressed her gratitude to everyone who participated in the fight against the fires, including the firemen, the soldiers and citizens. “I want to thank everyone who gave their best, not only to put the fires under control, but to save human lives as well”, she said.

The Slovenian president Borut Pahor and the Austrian president Alexander Van der Bellen offered Croatia their help. “Just ask, and Austria is ready to help you”, said Van der Bellen. “Slovenia is ready to offer Croatia their help in fighting the fires”, Pahor stated on a similar note.


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