ZAGREB, Sept 9, 2020 – Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said on Wednesday that the European Union has secured 300 million doses of vaccine against the coronavirus for EU citizens, adding that any vaccine will be made available to Croatia, as soon as it is scientifically verified.
“The moment a vaccine is scientifically verified as the right vaccine against the coronavirus, we will have it at our disposal, just as Germany, France, and other EU member states will,” Plenkovic said in an interview with Croatian Radio.
He said that decisions made by the government benefited the Croatian citizens both in terms of healthcare and economically.
Asked if the vaccine would be paid for by the government or citizens themselves, Plenkovic said this process was ongoing. “News came in this morning that AstraZeneca is also verifying (its vaccine). When all this becomes more clear, we will try to make it as cheap as possible and even free of charge, but at this point, we have not discussed details yet. What is important is that when it becomes available, our citizens will have it at their disposal,” the prime minister said.
Plenkovic expressed satisfaction with the work of the national coronavirus response team. “My support to them is clear and firm and will remain so,” he said, recalling that the national team is an institution of the central government.
“The national team is a government institution. It was established by the government based on the law and regulations passed by parliament. They are here to work on protecting public health. I am pleased with their work and think that they have done a great job,” he added.
Commenting on the number of coronavirus cases in Croatia, Plenkovic said he expected it to decline, stressing the importance of self-discipline.
Government likely to adopt about 30 amendments to the post-earthquake reconstruction bill
Regarding the bill on the reconstruction of Zagreb and its environs after the March 22 earthquake, which will be discussed by the inner cabinet today, the prime minister said that about 30 amendments could be adopted.
Recalling that the damage was estimated at over €11 billion, Plenkovic said that the government was right in not rushing the bill. He said that the reconstruction of the central part of Zagreb was very complex and challenging and that the government had decided to take part in it by securing funds from the budget and from international sources.
He said that the government had received €89.9 million from the EU for that purpose, noting that this was the largest advance payment ever made from the EU Solidarity Fund.
“I think the total amount will surpass €500 million,” Plenkovic said. He added that the government was in talks with the World Bank, the Council of Europe Development Bank, and other international financial institutions and that the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development would also have special programs for that purpose.
He said the government would like the bill to be adopted with the greatest possible consensus because the reconstruction process would take a long time and would involve the City of Zagreb and many experts.
“At the inner cabinet meeting, we will adopt any proposal we think will help make the reconstruction process effective and transparent … regardless of which political party it comes from,” Plenkovic said.