There must be no anarchy in Croatian society, no one can take justice in their hands and do something outside the law

Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic on Monday strongly condemned the support of a part of the public for a triple murder in Split, saying anarchy was not the direction Croatian society wanted to take, and branded a tweet by HSS president Kreso Beljak as "anything but normal" behaviour.

"There must be no anarchy in Croatian society. No one can take justice in their hands and do something outside the law. That's out of the question. Behaviour that goes beyond the rule of law must not be a pattern of behaviour and will not be a pattern of behaviour in Croatia," Plenkovic told Croatian reporters covering his visit to Strasbourg.

"Such occurrences must not happen, let alone receive society's support. We must say no to that," he added, commenting on a youth who shot dead three drug dealers in Split at the weekend and received big public support for that on social media.

"That act must be condemned as the worst thing that could have happened, that we should have the murder of practically three people in broad daylight, irrespective of whether they harassed, threatened, racketeered someone. We can't allow such things because that's not the Croatia we want and it's the Croatia we must certainly prevent," Plenkovic said.

Commenting on Beljak's post on Twitter that the infamous Yugoslav secret police UDBA "obviously didn't kill enough political emigrants," he said "such conduct from someone who supported the president-elect whose motto was 'normal' is anything but normal. It's... primitive, savage."

Plenkovic added that Beljak's subsequent apology for the tweet "means absolutely nothing to me."

Asked if he felt threatened by Social Democrats (SDP) president Davor Bernardic's announcement that he would run for prime minister in the next parliamentary election, he said "Let him come. We'll meet on Wednesday during Question Time in the Croatian parliament."

As for approval ratings showing that the SDP was ahead of his HDZ party for the first times in four years, Plenkovic said this was to be expected in the week after the SDP's candidate Zoran Milanovic was elected president.

He added that the HDZ's approval rating "has practically stayed at the same percentage we had before." "This means we have the strong support of a stable part of the electorate," he said, adding, "What we have to do is present the results of our work even better."

New European Commission's success depends on Croatia too, says Plenkovic

Croatia should be the key to the new European Commission's success, Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said in Strasbourg on Monday.
"Very important for the new Commission's success is new cooperation with the presiding country which chairs the Council and which can accelerate the whole legislative process, including political discussions which will bring concrete results," he told reporters in the European Parliament.

"In a way, we should be the key to the success in the first 100-plus days of the new Commission," Plenkovic said.

On Tuesday, at a plenary of the European Parliament, he will present the priorities of Croatia's presidency of the Council of the EU alongside Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

Plenkovic said that at the plenary he would showthe connection between Croatia's priorities and von-der Leyen's plan for Europe.

Earlier today, he spoke about the Croatian presidency at a meeting of the European People's Party. He reiterated that the focus will be on wrapping up Brexit, preparing negotiations on new EU-UK relations, the new EU budget, a Zagreb Summit on enlargement in May, and the Conference on the Future of Europe.

Text: Hina

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