ZAGREB, September 14, 2018 – Vukovar mayor Ivan Penava held talks with Prime Minister Andrej Plenković in Zagreb on Friday, saying afterwards that a protest in the eastern town he announced for October 13 was not a protest against Plenković.
Speaking on N1 TV, Penava said the protest was not a blow to the prime minister and the government because “that’s my government, my prime minister” and that he had come of his own accord for talks on the protest against “the silence of institutions” about the failure to solve war crimes committed in Vukovar.
Speaking of the talks with Plenković, he said “there is truth on both sides” and that “the subject is too important and too sensitive.”
“There are attempts by every possible stakeholder to use this subject in this or that way, humiliating victims yet again. That too was on the agenda,” Penava said, adding that he came to Zagreb as a member of Plenković’s HDZ party and the mayor of Vukovar to “try and tell” Plenković that the protest was not against the HDZ or Plenković.
The only goal of the protest is to find the criminals responsible for executions in Vukovar and throughout Croatia, and any use of the protest for one’s own goals is disgusting and represents, in a way, another shot at Vukovar and the victims, said Penava.
“For me, Prime Minister Plenković is the best prime minister so far and has the best government. Whether I managed to convince him that this isn’t against him is less important… I think he understood the context of the story,” he said.
He also said it was a coincidence that the protest would take place at the same time as the sport games of the Hvidra association of disabled war veterans, which Vukovar is hosting on October 12-14. This means that disabled war veterans from all over Croatia will be in Vukovar on October 13, N1 said.