- Published: 14.04.2021.
Plenković: National recovery plan should help overcome crisis
Prime Minister Andrej Plenković presented the National Recovery and Resilience Plan to Parliament on Wednesday, saying that it should help Croatia overcome the present crisis.
"This is a chance in a generation on which we should reach the broadest possible consensus if we can," Plenković said after presenting the document to lawmakers, rejecting claims by opposition MPs that Croatia was "begging" in the EU.
"We are not begging, but are trying to help Croatia catch up with the countries that have been in the Union longer than us, to be more efficient and faster than we were when the SDP (Social Democratic Party) was in power," the prime minister said in response to questions from SDP MPs.
The SDP's Siniša Hajdaš Dončić said that Croatia, along with Greece, has been allocated the largest amount of money per capita because it is poor. "In the six years of your government, Croatia has become what Kosovo was in the former Yugoslavia," he said.
"We have managed to obtain this amount because we think we need it. This funding will benefit both you and Croatian citizens," Plenković replied.
Željko Reiner of the ruling Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) said: "The opposition obviously have nothing to contribute. Their thinking is reduced to two mantras: we haven't been given a full document and the money will be used for civil servants and not for the private sector."
"All the money will eventually end up in the private sector, either directly or indirectly," Plenković said.
Responding to the remark made by Domagoj Hajduković (SDP) that MPs were discussing a summary of the plan rather than the full document and that this was happening at the last minute, Plenković reiterated that theoretically the government did not have to present the document to Parliament at all. "We have prepared a good document and explained it. We have consulted the social partners and it has passed the parliamentary committees," the prime minister said.
As for the COVID-19 vaccination campaign, Plenković said that vaccination was necessary in order to bring the present public health care crisis to an end, adding that Croatia had ordered 8.7 million doses of vaccine from different manufacturers.
"We ordered as many doses as we could," Plenković said, stressing that the EU could not have known that there would be so many problems with delivery and reputational problems with some of the vaccines.
Hrvoje Zekanović (Sovereignists) was not pleased with the prime minister's answer. "I don't see why you didn't say that the EU has failed in this regard. It has proved highly inefficient during the corona crisis because there are no vaccines," he said.