Serb Minority Representatives Warn about Rise in Hate Speech

By 7 November 2018

ZAGREB, November 6, 2018 - President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović received on Tuesday a delegation of the Joint Council of (predominantly Serb) Municipalities (ZVO), who informed her of their view on the status of the ethnic Serb minority in Croatia, particularly the eastern parts of the country that were peacefully reintegrated into Croatia's constitutional and legal system in 1998, the Office of the Croatian President said in a press release.

"The delegation expressed concern over what they see as a rise in hate speech and expressions of intolerance against the Serbs as well as over incomplete implementation of the laws that regulate the rights of ethnic minorities," reads the press release.

The president expressed her conviction that some of the problems were caused by the unfavourable economic and demographic situation in the areas that were peacefully reintegrated, explaining that those problems affected all residents and should be solved by concerted action of the state-level and local authorities.

She underlined the importance of the permanent development of the culture of dialogue and full social integration of ethnic minorities.

"Since all unresolved issues from the recent past still affect coexistence, it is necessary to investigate all war crimes, which are not covered by the statute of limitations or amnesty, and in that process there must be no room for collective stigmatisation as responsibility is always individual," the president was quoted as saying at the meeting.

For the overall progress in coexistence, it is of the utmost importance to continue inter-state dialogue between Croatia and Serbia and keep making joint efforts in the search for all missing persons, Grabar-Kitarović said.

For more on the position of Serbs in Croatia, click here. If you are interested in reading more about relations between Croatia and Serbia, click here. More info about the political events in Croatia can be found in our dedicated section.