Roma MP, Ex-President, Zagreb Mayor Address Press after Uštica Commemoration

Total Croatia News

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He noted that today’s commemoration was attended by many young Roma people, and that the most senior state officials now attended the commemorative event as well.

Asked if he expected an apology from President Zoran Milanović for his latest statements about Roma, Kajtazi would not give a straightforward answer.

“I stand by what I have already said and I will always advocate the interests of the Roma community. I am not into high politics, Roma interests are my primary concern,” said Kajtazi.

Former Croatian President Stjepan Mesić said that Milanović’s statements were inappropriate and that it would be good for him to apologise.

Criticising the government’s energy saving scheme last Thursday, Milanović said that if air conditioners would need to be set to 25 degrees Celsius, they had better be sold to Roma. “They will make a profit out of it. Roma are very skilled in these matters,” he added.

Mesić recalled that crimes against Roma in the WWII Nazi-allied Independent State of Croatia were committed also in Orahovica, where he was born.

“The local Roma were hard-working craftspeople and workers and they just disappeared one day, and Roma and Jewish children did not show up for school because they had all been taken away one night,” said Mesić.

“I think that the Roma minority should be helped and given a chance to show their abilities,” Mesić said.

Zagreb Mayor Tomislav Tomašević said that the city administration was advocating greater rights for all ethnic minorities in Zagreb, including Roma.

“We have carried on with all good projects (intended for ethnic minorities), all residents of Zagreb must be equal. Of all the cities (in Croatia) we have the highest scholarships for Roma students,” Tomašević said, noting that today’s commemoration was not an occasion to make political statements.




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