Serbia Protests Over Croatia’s War Veterans’ Law

Total Croatia News

The focus is on the definition of the Homeland War.

When it seemed that the long-awaited Law on Rights of Croatian War Veterans, which was recently supported by all political parties at the Parliamentary Committee on War Veterans, would soon be adopted without major problems, Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić and leader of Serbs in Croatia Milorad Pupovac changed the plans, reports Večernji List on September 25, 2017.

Vučić talked about the law during his recent visit to the UN General Assembly in New York. “In this law, one article speaks about the aggression of Serbia and part of the inhabitants of Croatia. Such a definition and its introduction to the law is extremely difficult for us,” said Vučić in a statement to the Serbian public television.

At the same time, Pupovac commented on the issue for Radio Belgrade. “The proposed law is not acceptable to us because elements which were part of the war propaganda are now trying to be legalized regarding relations with Serbia and regarding relations towards Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro,” said Pupovac, adding that “it cannot be good for Croatia to keep returning, prolonging and escalating the issue of war.”

Veterans’ Affairs Minister Tomo Medved commented that “provisions of the new law are based on the Declaration on the Homeland War.” However, the new law uses the formulation “aggression against the Republic of Croatia being conducted by Serbia, Montenegro, the Yugoslav National Army and paramilitary units from Bosnia and Herzegovina, with the help of a large number of members of the Serbian national minority in the Republic of Croatia” to define aggressors, with the emphasis on “a large number” of Serbs , while the Declaration does not mention Bosnia and Herzegovina and speaks about the armed rebellion of just “a part of the Serb population,” which prompted Pupovac and Vučić to react.

“Vučić is being ridiculous, why is he talking about law on Croatian war veterans? He is apparently scared of war damages that will be sooner or later have to be paid by Serbia, which is one of five points for Serbia’s accession to the EU,” said Josip Đakić (HDZ), Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on War Veterans.

“As regards the formulation of ‘a part’ or ‘a large number’ of Serbs who participated in the aggression and which is now being disputed, it is easy to compare the number of Serbs who lived in Croatia at the time and the number of those who fought against it. But, the fact is that this figure was large,” said Đakić.

Parliamentary Committee member Zdravko Ronko (SDP) said he supported most of the provisions of the law but added that it would be more accurate to write that part of the Serb national minority participated in the aggression, rather than “a large number”, because some Serbs actually defended Croatia.

Miroslav Bulj (MOST) had a message for Vučić. “Whether the number was large or not, Vučić knows that best, since he was one of the rebel leaders and a member of Chetnik units. It would be better for him to tell us where our missing people are and to deal with war damages, which will cost him 40 billion euros. It is a shame that Vučić is even talking about our law, with Pupovac’s assistance”, concluded Bulj. He added that the fact that the Serbs occupied one-third of Croatia in the 1990s speaks for itself.

Pupovac and other Serb national minority MPs are key members of the HDZ-led ruling coalition, and without them, the government would lose the majority in Parliament.

Translated from Večernji List.


Subscribe to our newsletter

the fields marked with * are required
Email: *
First name:
Last name:
Gender: Male Female
Please don't insert text in the box below!

Leave a Comment