Croatia Condemns Provocation in Rijeka and D’Annunizo Monument

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, September 13, 2019 – After a historical flag of the Kingdom of Italy was displayed in the northern Croatian Adriatic city of Rijeka and a monument to Italian protofascist Gabriele D’Annunzio was unveiled in Trieste to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the occupation of Rijeka by his followers, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said in Zagreb on Thursday that Croatia would not tolerate such provocations and the government would not allow violations of the country’s legal order and dignity.

“We have presented a protest note and Minister (of Foreign and European Affairs) Gordan Grlić Radman was quite clear in his press interview. We condemned the decision by the local authorities, regardless of the fact that the Italian government has distanced itself from it, as well as a series of provocations that happened in Rijeka today. We don’t tolerate provocations … and we don’t allow anyone to violate our country’s legal order and undermine its dignity,” Plenković told reporters on the sidelines of a ceremony marking 29 years since the establishment of the youth organisation of his HDZ party.

Reporters recalled recent provocations by the former European Parliament President, Antonio Tajani, who said “Long live Italian Istria and Dalmatia” at a remembrance day ceremony near Trieste.

“That’s not the same. This was orchestrated specifically for the 100th anniversary. We immediately condemned it and presented a formal note. As I understood the response from the Italian side, it has nothing to do with their government policy,” Plenković said.

Croatia’s Foreign and European Affairs Minister Gordan Grlić Radman on Thursday said that he most sharply condemns a decision by the City of Trieste to erect a monument to fascism originator Gabriele D’Annunzio, which the ministry expressed in a diplomatic protest note, and added that anyone who promotes “ideologies that were defeated has no place in this kind of EU.”

Trieste today unveiled the monument to D’Annunzio, who on 12 September 1919 proclaimed Rijeka as an independent state called the Italian Regency of Carnaro. The Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs sent a diplomatic note in reaction.

“We most sharply condemned that act. The Italian Ambassador came too and in a way apologised,” Grlić Radman said in an interview with the Media Servis online news portal.

On Thursday morning, a historical flag of the Kingdom of Italy was displayed on the fence of the Governor’s Palace in the northern Croatian Adriatic city of Rijeka and Grlić Radman commended the police for their quick response.

“The Croatian police reacted promptly to the displaying of the flag of the Kingdom of Italy, the flag of the occupier, and arrested the perpetrators.”

Grlić Radman said that this is not an example of Italy’s state policy and that he considers Italy to be “one of the most important members of the EU,” but rather a decision by local authorities in Trieste. He recalled that Croatia considers D’Annunzio an occupier.

“Those are ideologies that were defeated and that introduced the horrors of the Second World War. Anyone who supports such an ideology has no place in this kind of European Union,” Grlić Radman said.

Asked about a comment from Serbia that a terrifying revision of history was occurring in Croatia, Grlić Radman said that he did not “know whether to laugh or pay any importance to that.”

“The surprising thing is that Serbia doesn’t understand the geo-political context,” he added.

More news about relations between Croatia and Italy can be found in the Politics section.


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