Deputy PM Karamarko: “Crnoja and Hasanbegović Are Unjustly Accused”

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Deputy PM Karamarko on the attacks on some of his ministers. 

Croatian First Deputy Prime Minister Tomislav Karamarko gave an interview yesterday to Nova TV, speaking about the case of the now former Veterans Affairs Minister Mijo Crnoja and new Culture Minister Zlatko Hasanbegović, reports Jutarnji List on February 1 2016.

How much damage to the newly-formed government has been caused by the Crnoja case?

“Mr. Crnoja was subject to a witch-hunt, to what I would call unjustified accusations and insults which the experts have proved wrong. I think that damage has been inflicted on him, on a man who can be proud of what he did during the Homeland War and of fact that he is a veteran, and there are thousands of veterans, who was appointed to a honourable position of the Veterans Affairs Minister but was now forced to resign in this way.”

You cannot deny that he falsely reported his place of residence, you cannot say that it was a morally right thing to do.

“Let us not talk about what is moral and what is immoral. It is all very relative. I wonder how many people at this moment are living in a zone of misdemeanour. So, that was a misdemeanour.”

But he was a minister in the government.

“Of course, after he became minister it was determined that a misdemeanour occurred. So, absolutely, that was the reason why he resigned although he has proved that he did not do anything illegal. I do not want to defend him unprincipledly, I defend him principledly, he has not committed any crime, and a misdemeanour is a misdemeanour. That is why, after he proved he did not commit any crime, he said ‘OK, I am leaving now’.”

There is also an avalanche of protests and demands for resignation regarding Culture Minister Zlatko Hasanbegović. What do you think?

“What is there to say, there are again no reasons for attacks. What has Minister Hasanbegović said that would be a reason to dismiss him? One of his statements was taken out of context. You must know that he is a young scientist, very promising, he has a Ph.D., a historian, and he has a right to his own observations and assessments of some historical periods. It all boils down to that. I think that these attacks are also inappropriate. I hope they will stop because I think it is very important to see what the minister can do and how the results of his work will look like.”

And what is the problem?

“For me, there is no problem. Those who are against him should say what the problem is, because they cannot say anything substantial against him.”

There was a protest held a few days ago against a three-day broadcast ban for Z1 Television, because the Electronic Media Council assessed that it was spreading hate speech. What is your opinion about these protests and the fact that a Vice-Speaker of the Parliament was there and that some inappropriate Ustasha chants could be heard?

“I do not support inappropriate chants or improper communication, but I also do not support the ban on media broadcasts. There were a lot of other cases in which they should have reacted, but they have not done that.”


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