Milanovic: It Would Be Good Not to Embarrass Ourselves as a Country

Total Croatia News

Screenshot | Al Jazeera Balkans
Screenshot | Al Jazeera Balkans

Screenshot | Al Jazeera Balkans

ZAGREB, Aug 4, 2020 – It would be good not to embarrass ourselves as a country, President Zoran Milanovic said on Tuesday referring to announcements by some individuals that they would attend the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the military and police operation Storm in Knin wearing T-shirts with the emblem “For the Homeland Ready”.

“That isn’t the same. In Okucani, it was a matter of protocol. They appeared before the prime minister and me. This is a different situation. It would be good not to embarrass ourselves as a country, but if they wish to shout, let them but they should not wear those T-shirts, that just causes us harm,” Milanovic said after attending the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the first Croatian police unit at the Croatian Police Academy in Zagreb.

Asked whether he would react as he did in Okucane when he left the commemoration because of the “For the Homeland Ready” HOS emblem if the same emblem was included in the protocol of the Knin commemoration, Milanovic said he would because he acted in line with his principles which the people had recognised.

I will not allow Croatia to be ridiculed, PM will make sure everything goes well

“I will certainly not allow the Croatian state and symbols to be ridiculed. I am certain that the prime minister will make an effort for that to be clean,” said Milanovic.

With reference to Deputy Prime Minister Boris Milosevic of the Independent Democratic Serb Party (SDSS) attending the Storm celebration, Milanovic said that that was good but that he had not expected it.

“There will be a celebration in Knin tomorrow and not a commemoration. I do not expect everyone in Croatia to celebrate everything in the same way. That is why I am glad, if this is sincere, and I believe it is, for Milosevic to come,” stressed Milanovic.

At not one moment, with possible faults during the war and in its aftermath, did Croatia fall into a moral disaster, he added, saying that there were mistakes and faults which had been paid for both in courts and materially.

“A stain remains but the victory is big, clean and unquestionable. If some are unhappy about it, let it be. That is why I am glad that Boris Milosevic is coming, he was an official in my government, too,” Milanovic underlined.

No harsh words between prime minister and myself

Asked whether he had been in contact with Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic since last week following mutual criticism, Milanovic said that there were no harsh words there.

“The only thing he said was that I was bored, but that wasn’t directed at me personally but to the position I hold. I didn’t take that personally,” he added.

As far as the powers of the National Civil Protection Authority are concerned, which he considers to be unconstitutional, Milanovic said that he had not launched proceedings to test its constitutionality because thirty other people had already done so and that it would not be any more relevant if he did so too.

“The president does not have any special status or special active legitimacy before the Constitutional Court and that is not the job of the president. It is up to me to say, and I have done so clearly from the very beginning – it is unconstitutional,” he said. He reiterated that there is a way to regulate the matter, with the Sabor granting certain powers to the authority for a limited period.

EU funds: The prime minister has to take and use that money without delay

With regard to EU funding allocated to Croatia, Milanovic said that this was an enormous amount and that it was up to the prime minister to make sure that money was taken and used without any delay.


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