Social Democrat MP Pedja Grbin on Tuesday asked whether Croatia would reconsider its HRK 40 million purchase of the remdesivir drug since a World Health Organisation report questioned its efficiency in treating Covid-19.
Grbin raised the issue during a parliamentary debate on the report by Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic on the meetings of the European Council in October.
Grbin also wondered whether there was a plan for vaccination against coronavirus since the vaccine will not be available to all Croatian citizens.
He welcomed the EU-wide agreement on lockdown, wondering how it would affect the freedom of movement and the functioning of the Schengen border regime.
PM Plenkovic said that he was satisfied with the EU’s joint action and the European Commission’s support to efforts to strengthen the economy and protect jobs in the coronavirus pandemic as well as resilience to possible future crises.
MP Stephen Bartulica of the Homeland Movement said that Croatia was facing an 8% GDP drop and a budget deficit of more than HRK 30 billion.
“The economic reality is grim and difficult, and green policies cost and require big investments. Our industry should stay competitive and transition should be equal and balanced,” he said.
He also asked what was being done to prevent Islamist fundamentalism or would European leaders continue to just express condolences to innocent victims’ families.
Regarding the latest terrorist attack in Vienna, PM Plenkovic said that work was underway on joint activities to prevent such incidents.
MP: Croatia should be represented by president, PM
MP Dalija Oreskovic (SSIP, Pametno, GLAS) warned that the law was not being respected because Croatia should be represented in the European Council by the president of the republic and the prime minister, which is now not the case.
The rule of law cannot be based on what leaders of big parties agree because if the law and the Constitution stipulate that the president of the republic and the prime minister create foreign policy together, that should then be so, said Oreskovic.
Hrvoje Zekanovic of the Croatian Sovereignists asked the PM how much Croatia’s contribution to the EU budget would increase, noting that Croatians should be aware that the country would have to pay a billion kuna more.
He believes Croatia should therefore be entitled to greater EU assistance, warning that it would have to borrow money.
Plenkovic said that Croatia’s annual contribution to the EU budget was €400 million and that the amount would increase by around €100 million a year.
He explained that HRK 28.5 billion (€3.8 billion) had already been taken and that in the next ten years Croatia would get HRK 173 billion (€23.06 billion) from the EU budget.