Defence Minister Ante Kotromanovic said on Saturday that in dealing with the refugee crisis Croatia did not need a "parallel system" and "panic mongers", adding that the authorities had the necessary plans and there was no need to deploy troops along the border, as proposed by the President of the Republic and the strongest opposition HDZ party.
"We are a government and we have been elected to deal with situations like this. We don't need a parallel system. We are following developments in Turkey, Greece, Macedonia and Serbia, we have people on the ground, we have the information and know what to do. We informed the President of the Republic about it yesterday and it was a very good meeting. I think the Minister of the Interior, the Civil Defence and the Protection and Rescue Directorate should be left to do their jobs," Kotromanovic said in an interview with the Nova TV commercial television network, speaking from the eastern border town of Tovarnik.
Kotromanovic said that if the transfer of refugees to Hungary was too slow, Croatia was prepared to take care of 10,000 people. Citing the latest information, he said that between 15,000 and 20,000 refugees were currently in Serbia and many of them were heading to Romania.
"We know what's going on, we're following developments, we have people on the ground. This is not an attack on Croatia, this is not 1991, so there's no need to send troops. We are providing the necessary logistics and I think there are enough personnel on the ground, police officers, volunteers, people who can handle that. We don't want this to be dealt with Orban-style," the minister said.
Asked to comment on Hungary's decision to put up a fence and deploy troops and armoured vehicles along the border, Kotromanovic said: "Isn't that awful? We don't want a Hungarian wire fence, we don't want batons, machine guns or armoured vehicles. Our troops are ready, but that's not our job. We will provide all the necessary assistance and do all we can to alleviate the situation. If 100,000 come, we'll know what to do, we have plans for such a scenario."