Constitutional Court Bans Ustasha-Related Street Name?

Total Croatia News

The Constitution Court has reportedly ruled that a street cannot be named after 10 April, the anniversary of the establishment of the Independent State of Croatia.

The decision to name the street after 10 April in the village of Slatinski Drenovac is unconstitutional – that was reportedly determined by the Constitutional Court at its session held on Tuesday. Information on the decision is still unofficial, and comes from sources close to the court, reports Jutarnji List on October 13, 2017.

The ruling should soon be officially announced. This case has been waiting for a ruling by the Court for four years.

Miroslav Šeparović, the President of the Constitutional Court, said in June this year, during a parliamentary hearing when he was running for a new term, said that the decision on the disputed street name in Slatinski Drenovac would be announced shortly. It is interesting that the decision was made by the Constitutional Court just one day before the parliamentary vote on the three constitutional judges when Šeparović was elected for another eight-year term on the court. According to unofficial sources, the Constitutional Court’s decision was not unanimous. Judge Miroslav Šumanović wrote a separate opinion.

The decision of the Constitutional Court on the 10 April usage is considered crucial for the future use of the symbols connected with the Independent State of Croatia. It is believed that the court has presented very clear and decisive views on their public use in the explanation of the decision. On 10 April 1941, the Independent State of Croatia was officially proclaimed.

Slatinski Drenovac, a village at the foot of Papuk mountain in Virovitica-Podravina County, had a street named 10 April for 16 years. The Municipal Council of Čačinci, which includes Slatinski Drenovac, made a decision on the controversial street name at a session held on 11 April 1997. After 2000, when local Serbs started returning to Slatinski Drenovac, the village council asked the Municipality of Čačinci to change the name of the street. However, the municipal authorities, which have been controlled by HDZ since the 1990s, did not consider this request, arguing that the residents of Drenovac have not explained their request to change the street name.

In the autumn of 2013, the Administration Ministry, which was at the time headed by SDP’s Arsen Bauk, made a rule to suspend the 1997 decision of the Čačinci Municipal Council, with the explanation that it was contrary to the Constitution. The government confirmed the decision of the Ministry and submitted a proposal to the Constitutional Court to review the constitutionality of the controversial decision of the Čačinci Municipal Council, and its resolution was pending until this week.

Although the plaques with the street name were removed after the Ministry’s decision in 2013, the Čačinac Municipal Council has not yet made a decision on the new street name, so the street in the village has been nameless for four years. However, residents of Slatinski Drenovac still have 10 April as the official address in their personal documents. The controversial street name is also used in official postal communications, and that will continue until the street gets a new name.

Just a tenth of the pre-war population lives in Slatinski Drenovac today. In the 1991 census, there were 307 inhabitants, 85 percent of which were Serbs. According to reports, the village joined the Serb rebellion in the summer of 1991, but in December 1991 the Croatian Army troops established control over it, and the Serbian population fled. According to the 2011 census, there were only 50 inhabitants in Čačinci, and today there are about thirty left.

Translated from Jutarnji List.


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