Disabled War Veterans to Support Protest against Serbian President’s Visit

By 9 February 2018

ZAGREB, Feb 9 (Hina) - Josip Đakić, leader of the national association of disabled war veterans and HDZ’s MP, whose acronym is HVIDR, said on Friday that the association would support the protest war veterans' widows have announced for Monday, when Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić is expected to arrive in Croatia for a two-day visit.

An association of Homeland War veterans' widows said earlier in the day that it would protest against Vučić's visit outside the parliament and government headquarters in Zagreb on Monday.

"HVIDR has always supported the parents and families of soldiers killed or gone missing (in the 1991-95 war) and this time too, it will express dissatisfaction with the inactivity of the Serbian government and Aleksandar Vučić because none of the benchmarks and criteria defined in Serbia's EU accession talks have been met," Đakić told reporters in the parliament. He would not reveal any details about the protest, saying only that the police would be informed on time.

Đakić also commented on Serbian Defence Minister Aleksandar Vulin's statement that Croatia's political and public life had never been rid of Ustasha ideology and that he expected the Ustasha to stage protests against Vučić in Zagreb.

"We are not Ustasha, we were not Ustasha during the Homeland War and are not Ustasha today. We have nothing in common with Ustasha ideology, the more so as we were exposed to the (Serbian) aggression in the democratic and free Croatia. They are the ones who should ask themselves who they are, even though we know who they are and what kind of ideas they advocated, ideas of a Great Serbia, as well as what kind of insignia they wore. They are actually fascists who promoted Chetnik ideology in the past period. But that is now behind us. Today they have to do what the EU tells them to do," said Đjakić.

He underlined the need to deal with the issue of the war missing and the payment of war reparations by Serbia in the amount of some 43 billion euro.

Asked if talks should be held with Vučić, Đakić said that he had "unfortunately been elected by the Serbian people" and that it was necessary to talk with him.