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Decision on reopening farmers’ markets could be made tomorrow

Utrina markets in Zagreb

ZAGREB, April 6 (Hina) – Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic said on Monday the national civil protection authority could adopt a decision to reopen farmers’ markets tomorrow.

“Meetings are underway with local civil protection authorities and associations of towns and municipalities, and when we see which measures have been taken, the decision to open farmers’ markets will be made public. I expect it could be already tomorrow,” Bozinovic said, presenting to MPs four bills which extend the validity of identity cards, driver’s licences, firearms licences and passports.

Responding to questions from MPs, he said 520,000 e-passes to leave one’s place of residence had been issued, and that the linear rise in the number of COVID-19 patients showed that the situation was under control.

Franko Vidovic of the opposition Social Democratic Party (SDP) asked why some measures against the disease had not been introduced sooner if the government had a meeting on the novel coronavirus as early as January 9.

“The government and the prime minister were among the first to detect that something was happening in China and then, as well as now, too many things were unknown to say whether it would come to Europe. But the fact is that it was discussed and that this epidemic didn’t surprise us as some other states,” said Bozinovic.

Hrvoje Zekanovic of the opposition Hrast asked if the plan to track citizens by mobile phone would be scrapped.

Bozinovic said every option was being considered to reduce the spread of the contagion. “The methods that are being applied can also give results, but everything will depend on how the epidemic develops.”

Davor Vlaovic of the opposition Peasant Party asked about hunters. The minister said epidemiologists advised against hunting.

Bozinovic thanked all volunteers helping citizens during the current crisis, including football supporters.

A majority of parliamentary groups endorsed the four bills which extend the validity of personal documents, but the SDP regarded them pointless.

“These bills serve to blow smoke in people’s eyes. What’s the point of being able to leave the country if you can’t return?” said MP Ranko Ostojic.

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