Zagreb - Members of the Croatian Parliament on Thursday started a heated debate on a bill on the protection of the population against infectious diseases which envisages fines up to HRK 50,000 for responsible persons not complying with the COVID-19 certificate mandate in bodies governed by public law.
COVID certificates are unconstitutional and unlawful and they are not an effective measure and it has been proved that only testing can protect the population, said Miro Bulj of the Opposition Bridge party. He said that the amendments to the law would usher in "unconstitutional lockdown and abuse with COVID certificates."
Josip Borić of the ruling Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) responded that the Bridge party in fact, "is the only one that wishes to lock down citizens within Croatia if COVID certificates were to be abolished." "You cannot travel to any other country without a COVID certificate," Borić explained.
Branko Bačić (HDZ) underscored that questioning COVID certificates resembles something that would be debated in the Middle Ages rather than the 21st century.
He supported the introduction of certificates with the argument that of 570,000 tests, which have been conducted since the COVID certificate mandate for the public sector, 8,515 were positive.
Had those 8,515 persons entered the system, that would have led to the infection of about 50,000 people and about 100 would have died, claimed Bačić and recalled that all democratic countries have introduced the certificates.
Opposition MPs pointed out a series of illogical, inconsistent, and vague measures adopted in the attempt to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
People are tested prior to entering Slovenia and when they get to the border with Austria they get a positive result which makes the certificate redundant, Dario Zurovec of the Fokus party said and underscored that any restriction of movements is contrary to the Constitution and EU legal acquis.
Hrvoje Zekanović of the Croatian Sovereignists (HS) explained that one can enter a building housing a post office without a certificate but have to produce it when they arrive at the counter. If you can enter a shop without a certificate then that should be valid for a post office too. He wondered who would cover the cost of losses post offices might suffer due to the mandatory certificates.
Decisions should be brought by two-thirds majority
The opposition called for decisions to be adopted with a two-thirds majority in the Sabor.
Andreja Marić of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) called for complying with the advice and recommendations made by experts and doctors and for vaccination, however, she wondered whether COVID certificates perhaps are a restriction on human rights and freedom because some institutions do not require certificates yet others do.
Anka Mrak Taritaš of the GLAS party said that the discussion should be focused on the life and death of citizens rather than on COVID certificates.
During the 1991-1995 Homeland War, an estimated 15,000 citizens were killed, and the COVID-19 pandemic has taken 11,500 lives in Croatia so far, she underscored.
Let those under the influence drive too!
Katarina Peović of the Workers' Front (RF) said that Croatia has the most liberal anti-epidemic measures in Europe and responded in an ironic manner to those who argue that vaccinated people can also spread the virus, that she would appeal to let people under the influence to drive, "because those who aren't under the influence can also cause accidents."