ZAGREB, August 5, 2018 – Leader of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) Davor Bernardić on Sunday said that statements by Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vučić do not contribute to establishing and normalising relations between Croatia and Serbia while the president of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) parliamentary group Branko Bačić considers that it is important for Serb MP in Croatian Parliament Milorad Pupovac to express his view of Vučić’s statement.
Vučić’s statements do not contribute to establishing and normalising relations between Croatia and Serbia, Bernardić told reporters in Knin at the central celebration of Victory and Homeland Thanksgiving Day, Croatian War Veterans Day and the 23rd anniversary of Operation Storm, when asked to comment on a statement by Vučić made on Saturday in which he compared Croatia to Hitler’s Germany.
Bernardić added that what concerned him the most about those statements is that they can in no way help Serbs in Serbia either, who are en masse emigrating from that country. He considers that nationalist rhetoric is aimed at just one thing – to incite national tension while at the same time Croatians and Croatian citizens are emigrating from Croatia just like Serbs are from Serbia.
Asked whether Prime Minister Andrej Plenković should have reacted because MP Milorad Pupovac, who is part of the ruling majority in Croatia’s parliament, attended the event where Vučić made that statement, Bernardić said that that was something for the ruling majority to be asked.
When HDZ MP and president of the party’s parliamentary group Branko Bačić was asked to comment on Vučić’s statement, Bacic said that those statements primarily speak about Vučić and of his style of leading Serbia which does not contribute to good relations between Croatia and Serbia. He underscored that the statement was a historical lie and that Croatians had the right to liberate a great part of its country in which “we took account of our citizens, member of the Serb community.”
Asked whether HDZ would react because Pupovac attended that event on Saturday, Bačić said that it was necessary to speak with Pupovac because it would not be good if Pupovac did not clearly state his position regarding events at which the Homeland War is qualified in that way.
“It would be more important for Pupovac to state his opinion on the statement made by Serbia’s president because in that way we will best contribute to our mutual relations and trust in Croatia. It deserves every condemnation,” Bačić underscored.
On Saturday Vučić lambasted Croatia, the Homeland War and Operation Storm and said that “Hitler wanted a world free of Jews and Croatia wanted a country free of Serbs.” Vučić said that Operation Storm was motivated by hatred towards Serbs and that strong Serbia would never again allow another Storm.