Prime Minister Regrets There Won't Be Joint Jasenovac Commemoration

By 24 March 2019

ZAGREB, March 24, 2019 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said in an interview with Croatian Television (HTV) that he had been in touch with Milorad Pupovac, leader of the Independent Democratic Serb Party (SDSS), which is part of the ruling majority, and that they had agreed to hold a meeting next week. He added that he regretted there will not be joint Jasenovac commemoration.

In the interview, Plenković commented on a number of current topics, including his relationship with Pupovac. Pupovac has said on several occasions that his party is considering leaving the ruling coalition and recently he said that this had to do with hate speech that was being encouraged by the ruling structures.

At a party meeting held on March 11, the SDSS decided that it would not leave the ruling coalition, authorising Pupovac and the party's parliamentary group to discuss the situation with the coalition partners.

"I think that I, this government and the HDZ have been committed to enhancing the protection of the rights of all ethnic minorities in Croatia," Plenković said in the interview, adding that it was excellent that minorities were part of the ruling majority, which, he said, had been the ambition of his government from the very start.

Plenković said he and Pupovac had developed a kind of dialogue and relationship in which they could discuss matters openly, see if they understood each other and if there were elements of which he, as prime minister, was not entirely aware, which, he added, was also possible. "If there are such elements, we will discuss them and deal with them together," said Plenković.

Responding to the interviewer's remark that this year again there would be two separate commemorations at Jasenovac, the site of a WWII concentration camp, Plenković said that he would be glad if there was one, joint commemoration. "Unfortunately, judging by the current situation, that won't happen," he said.

The SABA alliance of antifascist fighters and antifascists of Croatia, the Serb National Council (SNV), the Coordinating Committee of Jewish Communities and the Kali Sara Croatian Roma Alliance will organise a separate commemoration for the victims of the Jasenovac concentration camp on April 12.

This will be the fourth year in a row that separate commemorations are organised at Jasenovac.

Speaking of the reasons for the separate commemoration, SNV vice president Saša Milošević said recently that "the state did not take the necessary measures to stop or at least reduce the negating of the Holocaust and genocide committed during World War II and revisionism."

More news about Jasenovac commemoration issues can be found in the Politics section.