For some days now media and local politicians have been accusing government, state institutions and humanitarian organizations of failing to respond in a timely and organized fashion to the crisis brought about by the earthquake.
After Thursday's cabinet session Prime Minister Andrej Plenković held a press conference at which some reporters claimed that government’s response to the earthquake has been lacking. Plenković once again rejected the media’s claims: "Almost half of the government and the president were in the center of Petrinja within half an hour of the earthquake. By the evening of December 30th, everyone was on hand, from civil protection and firefighters, to the mountain rescue service and the Red Cross. Obviously the police was on hand, with back-up from other precincts, and the Croatian Armed Forces. By the end of that day, a large number of people who lost their homes were placed in temporary housing in the army base in Petrinja. Take into account how many cabinet members have been in the area this entire time. Exactly where is the failure here? Forget your personal impressions, I'm asking you, where is the dereliction of duty?"
President Zoran Milanović was also pressed on the issue by reporters, who asked whether government's newly formed earthquake relief directorate has helped improve the situation in the Banovina region.
"Of course it helps, but that should have been done on the first day. Mind you, I can't lecture anyone here, because I didn't call for something like this until the fourth day. But I did say declare a state of disaster, and the directorate would have emerged from that. Based on the information I'm getting, primarily from the Armed Forces, which are everywhere and doing the lion's share of the work, I can't agree with the claim that the situation in the field is chaotic. Are there, problems? Yes there are. But it's not chaotic," President Milanović responded.
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