Defence Minister Won’t Attend President Milanović’s Reception

Total Croatia News

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The President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces is holding a reception for Homeland War commanders at the Knin Fortress on Thursday on the occasion of Victory and Homeland Thanksgiving Day and Croatian Veterans Day to mark the 27th anniversary of Operation Storm.

Banožić said that two years ago, the Defence Ministry decided to include the President in the event, even though he was a guest until then.

“Then scandals began to happen, some associations got involved and the organising became unacceptable. We provided the necessary support and that’s how the event was organised. Decorations will be awarded and thus we will participate in the anniversary on 5 August,” he said.

President Milanović had earlier invited Minister Banožić, Veterans Affairs Minister Tomo Medved and Interior Minister Davor Božinović to the reception, but they have declined the invitation, according to the media.

After the Jutarnji List daily reported that the President’s Office ordered soldiers to first lay out the red carpet at the Knin Fortress, and then to put it away, reporters asked Banožić to comment. “I have said on several occasions that unacceptable things are happening for the Croatian Army. We have never had a situation where soldiers were ordered to do something. The army can help, but it cannot take over organising the event based on orders, as this is a political event,” said Banožić.

President’s Office reacts

In the meantime, the President’s Office reacted and denied the allegations in the media that anyone had ordered the red carpet to be laid out.

The President’s Office protocol staff went to Knin Fortress today to see how the preparations were going and saw that soldiers were installing panels for the red carpet which were not necessary so the panels were removed.

It is sad, although not surprising, that the Hanza Media company has no respect for Croatian veterans and soldiers, and was not able to cover the biggest national holiday dedicated to Croatian freedom with the least bit of professionalism, the President’s Office said.


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