May 7, 2021 Video & Audio

Picula for JL Briefing: Authors of non-paper hunt in the murky

Croatian MEP and EP rapporteur for relations with Montenegro, Tonino Picula, made a guest appearance on Jutarnji list's "Briefing" on 6 May to clarify the situation with vaccination in the EU and the potential role of Chinese and Russian vaccines, as well as measures to limit European Union as well as a misunderstanding over the authorship of non-papers on the redrawing of borders in the Western Balkans

On the topic of the covid crisis, Picula explained: "There are now more vaccinated than infected in Europe. There are vaccines in much larger quantities than before and we can say with optimism that by the end of June or during July, the vast majority of those who want to travel will be able to get the so-called covid passport. Those who have it will not be able to be exposed to additional restrictive measures, that is, they will not have to go to quarantine or be tested. The European Parliament insists on free testing. The validity period of the so-called covid's passport will be one year because the pandemic is expected to be brought under control during that period."

He also said that he opposed the name covid passport because he believed that it would discriminate against people who have not yet been vaccinated: "They will also be able to travel as before, but they will have to be tested before and after the arrival at the destination. Knowing the southern part of the European Union, I believe that these measures will be liberalized by June or July," Picula concluded.

But what may have gone unnoticed by the domestic public, Picula was unwillingly involved f in a sort of diplomatic mess in mid-April over a non-paper document on changing borders in the Western Balkans. Picula, therefore, denying the incorrect allegations, firmly explained that “this document very clearly indicates the division of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the unification of Kosovo and Albania. As a presumed author, Janez Janša quickly renounced his authorship, and Mickovski, who was close to him, used the opportunity to attribute the authorship to me, Zaev and Fajon. In my reaction, I reminded that Mickovski is a member of the party whose former president Nikola Gruevski was convicted of political corruption and, instead of serving his sentence in Northern Macedonia, fled to Hungary, where Viktor Orban granted him political asylum.”

He also pointed out that among Orban's allies in the Balkans is Mr. Jansa, who strongly resembles him. "In Hungary, you can buy stickers at gas stations depicting Greater Hungary, which also occupies part of Croatia and some other countries. These are provocations that clearly testify to what kind of policy it is."

Asked about the results of the latest polls in Rijeka in favor of the success of SDP candidate Marko Filipovic in Rijeka, Picula said: "It is difficult to say how the SDP will fare in Zagreb, but I hope that a possible relative failure will be an incentive to we organize ourselves differently. The fate of politicians is determined by the results of the elections and their own sense of responsibility for the result. As far as I understood Pedja Grbin, he said that he should not be forced to leave if he estimates that the burden is on foreigners. That's a good statement. It remains to be seen whether he will have a reason to step down after these elections."

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