President to Visit Jasenovac Memorial on Her Own

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, March 21, 2019 – Commenting on statements by representatives of ethnic minorities that again this year again they would not attend the government-sponsored commemoration of victims of the World War II Jasenovac concentration camp, President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović said that she regretted “ideological divisions and that we are constantly going back to the past instead of focusing on issues of everyday life” and that she would therefore go to Jasenovac “to pay tribute to the victims in silence” again this year.

Speaking of the problems of everyday life one should focus on, Grabar-Kitarović said: “They are the problems of 3. Maj dock workers and their families, subcontractors, the Uljanik Group, and all other businesses in the country – micro, small and medium-sized – as well as big state-owned companies, let alone pensioners’ problems.”

“I’m quite upset that we are putting those divisions in the centre of political debate,” she said during a visit to Rijeka.

Grabar-Kitarović went on to say that everyone had recognised that regimes such as Fascism, Communism and Nazism were criminal. “Tribute should be paid to all victims,” she said.

“I said that I would attend the Jasenovac commemoration if we all go together. We all commemorate the victims and everyone does it in their own way, which makes no sense. I will go there to bow in silence to the victims because they deserve that,” Grabar-Kitarović said.

Asked about the situation in the ailing Uljanik shipbuilding group, the president said that analyses were being made as to whether the group should file for bankruptcy or be restructured. “I hope a restructuring of some kind will be chosen because… the shipbuilding industry is one of the strategic Croatian industries, however, it cannot continue the way it has operated so far,” she said, adding that Croatian shipyards evidently could not compete with Asian shipyards and had to specialise and find a niche, to rely on domestic experts and know-how and to start building smaller vessels.

As for announcements that Zagreb University would grant an honorary doctorate to Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandić, which has been strongly criticised by some political parties, Grabar-Kitarović said that the decision concerned “the relationship between Bandić and Zagreb University, and universities are autonomous.”

More news about Jasenovac commemorations can be found in the Politics section.


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