Croatian and Austrian Parliament Speakers Discuss Bleiburg Commemoration

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, April 9, 2019 – Croatia’s Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković and the President of the Austrian National Council, Wolfgang Sobotka, confirmed in Vienna on Monday that the Bleiburg commemoration would be held this year as planned but warned that Austrian law would have to be strictly adhered to, particularly a ban on displaying fascist insignia.

Jandroković and Sobotka met on the margins of a conference of speakers of EU member countries’ and aspirant countries’ parliaments, stating that cooperation between the two parliaments and the two countries was at an enviable level.

The two officials also discussed the commemoration at the Loibach field near the town of Bleiburg in Austria in light of differing interpretations of the nature of the commemoration and Austria’s attitude to it.

“Bleiburg too was a topic. We agreed that neither side wants or tolerates fascist insignia,” Sobotka told reporters, adding that it was clear that the commemoration would be held in accordance with Austrian laws.

Jandroković confirmed that the commemoration would be held and that Austrian laws would have to be adhered to. He said that as the head of Austria’s parliament Sobotka understood Croatia’s position on this issue very well.

“This is a commemoration whereby we wish to pay tribute to the victims and that is the main idea behind the event in Bleiburg. It is clear to both sides that the commemoration must not be used for any political purpose and that any fascist and Ustasha symbols are especially unacceptable. We agreed that special attention would be dedicated to preventing any politicisation or abuse by extremist political groups,” Jandroković said.

He called on all those planning to attend the Bleiburg commemoration this year to make sure tribute was paid to the victims in a dignified way.

Jandroković added that relations between Croatia and Austria were traditionally good and friendly and that they would remain that way, as well as that the two countries would strengthen their economic cooperation and participate in joint projects in Southeast Europe.

More news about Bleiburg controversies can be found in the Politics section.


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