Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic said on Wednesday that he had fully agreed with President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic’s proposal for convening a meeting of the National Security Council on the topic of the ongoing migrant crisis.
“Our intention is identical to convene the Security Council Council. I find it all right. However, I must underscore that this issue is within the remit of the government, almost exclusively within the government’s remit. The council is a coordinating body without executive authority, but it is not bad to sit at the table and discuss the matter. I must here reiterate and emphasise that practically all members of the Council, except the president of the republic, are in contact and are being coordinated on a daily basis,” Milanovic said during Question Time in the national parliament.
Asked by the parliamentary deputy representing the Bosniak ethnic minority to comment on reactions of some European Union member states that have erected fences to deter Syrian refugees to enter their territories or announce that they are ready to accommodate non-Muslim refugees, Milanovic said he usually did not comment on policies of other countries.
He went on to say that his only comment would be that he found the Hungarian policy in the refugee crisis detrimental. “Fences which are being erected will not stop anyone and they are only sending a terrible and dangerous message,” the Croatian premier said.
Milanovic informed the parliament that in the night between Tuesday and Wednesday some 150 migrants had entered Croatia and “there is a possibility for a small number of them to be transferred where they want to go”.
“We will primarily take care for Croatia’s interest, Croatia’s security, but we will not forget that we are people and mainly Christians” Milanovic said, explaining that Croatia is ready to accept and direct refugees, regardless of their faith or race, “there where they want to go”.
The spokesman for the government, Nikola Jelic, on Wednesday confirmed that a meeting of the National Security Council would be soon held. This statement ensued after the Office of President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic issued a press release according to which the president sent the proposal to this effect to the premier, having in mind the ongoing migration crisis and its social, economic and security implications for Croatia.