President Zoran Milanovic said on Monday his office would summon the Austrian ambassador to convey his concern over "fundamental human freedoms" in that country after the government in Vienna recently summoned the Croatian ambassador over Milanović's comments on Covid rules in Austria.
The Croatian diplomat was summoned last week after Milanovic recently commented on the Austrian government’s anti-epidemic measures, noting that they were reminiscent of Fascism.
Asked by the press today about Austria’s imposing an all-out lockdown and its plan to introduce mandatory vaccination against Covid-19 as of February 2022, Milanovic called it a disaster.
“I think the Swedes are much cleverer than they are, than their authorities. Considering that our diplomats are being summoned, today the Austrian ambassador will be summoned so that we can convey our deep concern for the fundamental human freedoms in Austria,” Milanovic said.
“Our ambassadors are constantly summoned over some nonsense, so we will summon theirs,” he said.
On 17 November, Croatia’s Ambassador to Austria, Danijel Gluncic, was called to the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs over Milanovic’s statement about the Austrian coronavirus policy. “I can confirm that I was called to the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” Glunčić told Hina last week, declining to reveal details of the discussion.
According to a statement from the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Gluncic was called over “highly unusual statements by the Croatian president,” which were “sharply rejected”.
“Comparing the measures against the coronavirus pandemic to fascism is unacceptable. It is our responsibility to protect the citizens of Austria and we are acting accordingly,” the Austrian ministry said, as quoted by APA news agency.
Austrian media quoted the Croatian president as saying after an audience with Pope Francis in the Vatican on Monday that the Austrian decision to impose a lockdown on unvaccinated people was “reminiscent of the 1930s” and called it foolish.
Commenting on the latest developments, Milanovic said today that the governments of some Western European countries kept criticising Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and the Poles, while some of them behave as if they are “sacred cows that do everything perfectly”.
“No, it’s stupid. It is not scientific and you terrorise people. Given that this is the European Union and I am a European statesman, I have a problem with that,” Milanović said.
He went on to say that if the Dutch can comment on Bosnia and Herzegovina every week, he can comment on the situation in Rotterdam.
“Your people has revolted (against Covid measures). And they are not immigrants but blonde and blue-eyed Dutchmen. Use your head, gentlemen,” Milanovic said, referring to violent riots in that Dutch city over the weekend.
Commenting on increasingly stringent restrictions being imposed to stop the spread of coronavirus, Milanovic accused “dimwitted” Eurocrats in Brussels of such policy, adding that no such restrictions are in place in the Scandinavian countries.