New controversy for an already controversial Culture Minister.
After Culture Minister Zlatko Hasanbegović was photographed on Monday evening next to a flag with Ustasha emblem, at the event marking the inauguration of a controversial monument to Miro Barešić, former Assistant Minister of Veterans’ Affairs Bojan Glavašević (SDP) sent a letter to HDZ president Andrej Plenković. Responding to the letter, the Minister said he did not see what kind of flag he was standing next to, reports Index.hr on August 2, 2016.
“Dear Mr. Plenković. I have decided to send you this letter after I saw a photo of Mr. Hasanbegović, member of the HDZ presidency, posing next to a flag with the letter U featured prominently. Recently, while answering a reporter’s question about your attitude towards Mr. Hasanbegović, you said that people should read an interview which he gave to Le Monde two months ago, in which he allegedly explained his position towards historical events. You also said that he would have his place in the forthcoming elections.
However, a picture is worth a thousand words. I believe that it is a disgrace for a member of the government and a member of the HDZ presidency to pose next to a flag which includes Ustasha symbols. A person who is sympathetic towards this criminal regime has no place in parliament.
Dear Mr. Plenković, I call on you to state your opinion about this move by Hasanbegović, and to distance yourself from it. Due to unambiguous evidence that Hasanbegović shares attitudes and values which are contrary to the values engraved in the Constitution, I think that he, contrary to what you said, should have no place in this election process. When you were elected as HDZ president, you promised that you would move away from ideological demons of the past. Here is your chance to demonstrate how serious and consistent you are”, wrote Glavašević in his letter.
Responding to the letter, Minister Hasanbegović said he simply did not see the flag. “Among hundreds of people who approached me, I have not seen it. This is unfortunately a price which has to be paid”, said Hasanbegović. “Of course I did not see it, do they think I am a moron”, he asked. “The point is, in democratic Croatia, everyone who uses Ustasha or similar symbols represents a form of political and social pathology, or a provocation”, said the Minister.
Asked about the issue, Plenković repeated Hasanbegović words that “the Minister did not see what was written on the flag”.