18:30 / 22.03.2022.

Author: Branko Lozančić

Plenković: On Thursday, at my initiative, the European Council will discuss Bosnia and Herzegovina

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković

Foto: HTV / HRT

The Prime Minister and HDZ leader, Andrej Plenković, said that the issue of accepting refugees from Ukraine, numbering just over 8,600, was discussed at a session of the highest party bodies on Monday, and said that Croatia would make every effort to help those people.

“On Wednesday, I will convene a meeting with all prefects to once again coordinate activities with them in the field, ensure quality health care, social protection, and inclusion in the labor market, preschool education and schools. We will make every effort to help the people left without everything as much as possible,” said Andrej Plenković.

“Croatia is ready for the refugee crisis, it is one of the countries with vast experience. 30 years ago, Croatia had not only refugees from its own country, but also refugees from Bosnia and Herzegovina. Hundreds of people were staying in the Republic of Croatia at the same time, and at that time we were not in the position we are today. Now a similar situation is experienced by the countries that directly border Ukraine, and we see how large the number of people who have left Ukraine so far is,” said the Prime Minister.

He pointed out that, based on experience and engagement, three days after the Russian aggression against Ukraine began, they formed a working group that includes all components - civil protection and the Red Cross.

“Everyone is maximally engaged and so far everything is going according to the expectations we had when we formed this group,2 he said, adding that it is led by Minister Davor Božinović.

When asked about the financing of the reception of refugees, Plenković said that they had already had that discussion in Versailles.

“The fact is that it is a huge number of people, it is not known how long they will be out of their country, that this type of financial cost, will be able to be endured by all countries to some extent with their own funds, but if it is very long, and a lot, some common European solutions will certainly be sought,” he pointed out.

Situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Prime Minister Plenković also referred to the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“The Strategic Compass is a document that is a kind of continuation of the documents called - European Security Strategies, which began about 20 years ago. The document has been in the works for two years and will be adopted by EU heads of government on Thursday. There is one part that concerns Southeast Europe, Bosnia and Herzegovina. At the insistence of the Republic of Croatia, references to constituent peoples were included. It was not simple or easy, we worked on it for a long time and we succeeded. I think it is very good and useful for Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but also for all three nations in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” said Plenković, adding that on his initiative, a debate on Bosnia and Herzegovina will be held at the European Council on Thursday.

He also pointed out that he did not talk about it with President Zoran Milanović because it was "an initiative of the Government, me, the Minister. We did it as we think is best. I assume his advisers briefed him," he said.

“I think we must preserve the stability of Southeast Europe in these circumstances of Russian aggression against Ukraine. It would not be good at all if there was destabilization in one of our neighboring countries. This is clear to everyone and we will do everything we can to make security and stability the number one issue. It is good for our economies, financial stability, tourist season and mutual relations. Everyone is aware that the area of Southeast Europe must now be kept stable by the strong and great commitment of the European Union and our partners,” he said.

Fuel prices

He also commented on fuel prices, which should be significantly lower from tomorrow.

Diesel should be 12.03 kuna, petrol 11.84 kuna, and blue diesel 8.14 kuna.

“The government, for its part, has done its best to alleviate the burden of fuel prices,” said the Prime Minister.

Croatia’s credit rating

He also referred to Croatia’s credit rating, given that the Standard & Poor's agency maintained Croatia's investment rating.

“We believe that it is good that we have maintained the credit rating, it is up to us to complete all processes for the Eurozone and Schengen,” said Prime Minister Plenković.

Source: HRT

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