Milanović Says Is Neutral in Election but Won’t “Go under a Quilt”

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, May 9, 2020 – President Zoran Milanović said on Saturday he was completely neutral ahead of the coming parliamentary election but he would not “go under a quilt and look with a periscope at what is happening” because that was not why he was elected.

The president said he hoped the election would not undermine the pace of coming out of the epidemiological restrictions imposed because of COVID-19, and noted that for the next three to four months, after parliament was dissolved, Croatia would probably be without a government.

“I’m totally neutral. I just found out that a left coalition has been formed. I talk with both the prime minister and people from the opposition, some have expectations, but there is no bias on my part.”

Milanović said he did not have the right to say what would suit him more after the election and wondered “if the president should vote in elections at all, as is the case in some countries.”

He went on to say that he would not attend a commemoration for Croatian soldiers and civilians killed at the end of World War II at Bleiburg, Austria because “the Bleiburg victims don’t exist as such, rather there are victims of showdowns and executions which ensued after the surrender of the Nazi army and their servants.”

“Thousands of people were caught in a double bind, mostly in Tezno, Slovenia, and that’s where I will lay wreaths.”

The president said he objected to Bleiburg being associated with the Way of the Cross, viewing it as “an inappropriate and crude use of the sacrifice Jesus made for humankind.”

Milanovic said he would not attend a commemoration organised by the Bleiburg Guard of Honour.

“That has nothing to do with honour. It’s led by a man who served time in Germany from 1984 to 1991 for first degree murder. They are not people who should come near us. Neither is the man who was in front of the prime minister in Okučani, who was tried by Croatian courts for killing civilians from a basement. Although convicted, he got away with it due to an error by the state prosecutor’s office,” the president said.

“Once, they were people in wheelchairs who I can sympathise with. Now they are people whom the Croatian judiciary tried for war crimes, yet they push them one metre in front of the prime minister,” he added.

The president said he was dissatisfied that there was no ban on commemorations of war criminals such as Vukasin Šoškočanin in Borovo Selo. “A cemetery is not a private place and you can’t put just anything on a tombstone. The state can and must regulate that if it wants to. If it’s scared of someone and a constant conflict suits it, then it won’t.”

“Those who put it there should remove that for the sake of good relations between the Croatian and Serb communities,” the president added.

More election news can be found in the Politics section.


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