Veterans’ Associations Harshly Criticize Government

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Veterans continue to oppose government’s decision to allow Serbia to continue with EU accession negotiations.

Associations of Homeland War veterans held a press conference on Tuesday morning about the decision of Croatian government to unblock Serbia’s accession negotiations with the European Union, reports on July 19, 2016.

They warned that this was the last opportunity to prevent the so-called “mini-Hague Tribunal” and the prosecution of Croatian veterans, adding that “Serbia is celebrating today, and the celebrations will be paid by Croatian defenders”.

“It is unacceptable that someone is going to history in such an embarrassing way, after only six months in office, by adopting such a decision”, said the veterans about the outgoing government which decided to allow the opening of chapter 23 in negotiation. Veterans pointed out that the government’s decision inflicted great damage on veterans and added that it was a major political mistake, because veterans will now be “arrested on Croatian territory as well”.

Đuro Glogoški, one of the veterans’ leaders, warned that negotiations on chapters 23 and 24 should not have been allowed to be opened because of Serbia’s law on universal jurisdiction for war crimes. He said that there should have been “sharper and stronger reactions” to provocations by Serbian politicians.

“Families of killed, detained and missing persons cannot accept the way in which the government has allowed the opening of the chapters. Yesterday, it officially allowed Serbia to get rid of the responsibility for locating missing persons. The responsibility has been transferred to those who have signed and agreed upon the opening of chapters 23 and 24. Serbia had to fulfil the conditions prior to the opening of these chapters. Now we can only expect that someone will say that war victims are a burden for this country”, said Glogoški.

“They have turned their backs to veterans, families of the missing people and the dead, and they have turned their backs to the Homeland War. We are going to have elections soon, and everything will be told at the polling stations”, he added, warning that the declaration which was proposed by veterans no longer made any sense. “With this decision, they have turned the winners in the Homeland War into losers.”

Asked who was the most responsible, veterans said “diplomacy overall, the government in general, and the Prime Minister”. “Veterans Affairs Minister Medved was absolutely opposed and he has our support”, they said.

Glogoški was asked whether there was any chance they might again put up a protest tent. “They have negotiated with the Chetniks who are in power in Serbia… The people of Serbia decided to have a Chetnik government, and what can we expect from them? Croatian government has decided to negotiate with the Chetniks”, concluded Đuro Glogoški.

Veterans’ representatives met yesterday afternoon with the Prime Minister, but obviously the meeting was not successful.


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