Serbian Foreign Minister Criticizes Croatian Policies towards Minorities

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Ivica Dačić is not happy with the way Croatia treats its Serb national minority.

Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dačić said that it was “tragicomic” to state that the position of Croat national minority in Serbia was worse than the position of Serb national minority in Croatia, adding that Serbia wanted to develop good relations with Croatia, reports on December 2, 2016.

“God forbid that Serbia would act that way towards Croat in Serbia”, said Dačić, commenting on a recent meeting between Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković and representatives of the Croat community in Serbia, when the Croatian Prime Minister said that there was a “need to respect the Croat minority in Serbia, similar to a way in which the Croatian government treats the Serb national minority in Croatia”.

In an attempt to prove his assessment, Dačić explained that Serbs in today’s Croatia, if they want to vote for a candidate representing the Serb national minority, have to publicly demand to receive a special voting ballot.

“How many people would dare to do this in the anti-Serb atmosphere which currently exists in Croatia? We want to have good relations with Croatia, but the idea that the position of Croats in Serbia is worse than the position of Serbs in Croatia is tragicomic”, added Dačić.

At the same time, the Serbian Foreign Minister confirmed at a press conference that the Western Balkan countries had called on the European Union to make exception for the citizens of these countries with regards to the proposal that entry into the European Union should be additionally charged for citizens of countries which do not need visas. He added that such a move “would not contribute to European integration”.

Dačić said that all the countries of the Western Balkans, on the initiative of Macedonia, sent a joint letter to the High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, European Commissioner for Enlargement Johannes Hahn and European Commissioner for Migration Dimitris Avramopoulos demanding that the system does not apply to the Western Balkan countries.

If the system were to be introduced, that would mean that citizens of Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and other countries in the region would have to pay a small fee to enter one of the countries of the European Union, including Croatia. Majority of Croats living in Bosnia and Herzegovina would be exempt because they also hold dual Croatian citizenship, so they would not have to pay anything.


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