The Croatian Journalists' Association (HND) on Thursday called on the Office of the President to change its decision and immediately answer questions by reporters from the Index.hr news portal who asked the questions in accordance with the Law on the Right to Access Information, but were refused with the explanation that the sheer number of questions disrupted the work of the Office of the President.
All institutions financed from the state budget are obliged to answer questions, not only those by reporters, but by all citizens who ask their questions in accordance with the Law on the Right to Access Information, the HND said, adding that the said law equally applied to all and that the Office of the President cannot be an exception.
The HND said the response by the Office of the President that it would no longer answer questions due to "the excessive number of questions" is not only unprofessional but also dangerous for the democratic standards in the county.
"We protest in the strongest terms against the fact that the Office of the President follows the example of those in the world who treat journalists inappropriately, rather than being a leader in respecting the Constitution and the law," the HND said.
The HND also noted that for the past ten years there had been no regular news conferences in the government and more than half of ministries had no spokespeople.