ZAGREB, Dec 16, 2020 – Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic has said the situation with the pandemic requires national unity, solidarity, and a high degree of responsibility in order to save as many lives as possible and the economy, accusing the opposition of irresponsibly undermining everything that is being done to fight COVID-19.
In an interview with Globus weekly, Plenkovic says new COVID measures are being considered as well as an extension of the ones in force in order to reduce the number of infections.
“I’ll reiterate that our priority was and remains to preserve the health of our citizens and save every life. One should clearly say that the choice is not between health and the economy, it is a health and the economy. It would be easiest to introduce another lockdown, but few are asking where the money would come from for salaries and financing the economy.”
He says it is extremely important that everyone complies with the COVID measures so as to reduce, through joint efforts, the number of infections and the pressure on hospitals and the medical staff “who are giving their all to save every life and keep the healthcare system running.”
Plenkovic says the economy is “key for financing the healthcare system.”
Speaking of the arrival of a vaccine, he says that if a large portion of the population gets vaccinated, the infection will disappear sooner.
Announcing a public campaign, he says the wish is for all the information on the vaccine to be transparent, clear and based on science so as to explain to citizens the benefits and how the vaccine can protect them from the disease.
Speaking of the opposition’s moves, Plenkovic says it is a pity that their contribution to the COVID crisis “boils down to undermining the work” of the national response team.
“The opposition’s attempts to have everything decided in parliament only additionally reveals their deep lack of understanding of the nature of this crisis in which it’s necessary to make decisions. How, for example, would a two-thirds majority be achieved in parliament on whether the physical distance should be one meter, a meter and a half or two, how many people can be in shops or on the farmers’ market?”
Plenkovic says parliament passed all the laws necessary to enable the government and the COVID response team to make the necessary operational decisions, adding that such a system “has ensured the necessary flexibility for adopting all the necessary measures on short notice.”
Plenkovic says the opposition has the right to “irresponsibly undermine all we are doing in the fight against COVID-19, but we will continue to adopt the optimal measures for protecting the health and maintaining the economy.”