- Published: 16.09.2015.
Milanovic: Fences which are being erected won't stop anyone and they are only sending a terrible and dangerous message
Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic said on Wednesday that he had fully agreed with President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic's proposal for convening a meeting of the National Security Council on the topic of the ongoing migrant crisis.
"Our intention is identical to convene the National Security Council. I find it all right. However, I must underscore that this issue is within the remit of the government, almost exclusively within the government's remit. The council is a coordinating body without executive authority, but it is not bad to sit at the table and discuss the matter. I must here reiterate and emphasise that practically all members of the Council, except the president of the republic, are in contact and are being coordinated on a daily basis," Milanovic said during Question Time in the national parliament.
Asked by the parliamentary deputy representing the Bosniak ethnic minority to comment on reactions of some European Union member states that have erected fences to deter Syrian refugees to enter their territories or announce that they are ready to accommodate non-Muslim refugees, Milanovic said he usually did not comment on policies of other countries.
He went on to say that his only comment would be that he found the Hungarian policy in the refugee crisis detrimental. "Fences which are being erected will not stop anyone and they are only sending a terrible and dangerous message," the Croatian premier said.
Milanovic informed the parliament that in the night between Tuesday and Wednesday some 150 migrants had entered Croatia and "there is a possibility for a small number of them to be transferred where they want to go".
"We will primarily take care for Croatia's interest, Croatia's security, but we will not forget that we are people and mainly Christians" Milanovic said, explaining that Croatia is ready to accept and direct refugees, regardless of their faith or race, "there where they want to go".
The spokesman for the government, Nikola Jelic, on Wednesday confirmed that a meeting of the National Security Council would be soon held. This statement ensued after the Office of President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic issued a press release according to which the president sent the proposal to this effect to the premier, having in mind the ongoing migration crisis and its social, economic and security implications for Croatia.
Asked to comment on refugee crisis, Prime Minister responded:
It is my duty, as the president of the Government, to protect the interests of Croatian people, Croatian citizens, and to see to their safety, as well as it is my Government’s duty, to do the same. The answer to the question about the refugees is that we are ready. We are ready to receive and to direct those people, regardless of their religion or the color of their skin. Direct them to where they obviously with all their hearts want to go and that is Germany and Scandinavian counties. Why is that so? Could it have been different? Is Turkey, from where they are coming, a safe country? All these are secondary issues at this moment.
Those people are here, they are people, children, men and women who obviously want to work and create. They don’t want to come to Croatia, nor to Hungary, therefore they can’t understand why they can’t pass through that country. They will be able to pass through Croatia and we are working on that intensively and getting ready for that possibility. This doesn’t mean necessarily that it will come to that.
President of the Republic and I will convene the Council for National security. Although, I have to emphasize that this is almost entirely under Government’s jurisdiction and the Council is a coordinative body which has no executive powers. But, it is not bad to sit down and talk about the issue.
150 refugees entered Croatia yesterday or overnight. And we won’t stop those people to reach where they want to go with wires or walls. We will, above all, have Croatian interests in mind, Croatian safety, but we shall not forget that we are human, mostly Christians, and that the Pope said that every Christian parish should receive one family. Many in Europe who claim to live according to Christian values are conducting themselves in a completely opposite way. Fortunately, even more people are conducting themselves as Christians, as humans, and we will never forget that. To conclude, Croatia is completely ready. We are thinking about this issue all the time, working on it and preparing for it.
(Text: Hina/VladaRH, Photo: Hina)