Saturday, 25 June 2022

Ceremony "The West Gate of Croatia - For The Wounded Ukraine" Held

ZAGREB, 25 June 2022 - A ceremony called "The West Gate of Croatia - For the wounded Ukraine" was held at the Goričan border crossing with Hungary on Saturday, where Ukrainian Ambassador Vasily Kyrylych said that Croatia has accepted displaced persons from Ukraine "in a special family way".

The ceremony, initiated by the Municipality of Goričan, included the scattering of soil from Ukraine on a mound that contains soil from each EU member state, and the planting of a tree by the mound.

"More than 80 per cent of all displaced persons from Ukraine in Croatia have used the Goričan border crossing and our transit reception centre Stara Mura. I am glad that we were the first to visit the Hungarian-Ukrainian border and see how it was functioning, and that we swiftly responded and set up the reception centre," Mayor Emanuel Sinković said.

Kyrylych compared the present situation in Ukraine to the military aggression against Croatia in the 1990s, saying that the 1991-1995 war in Croatia was a strong lesson to the defenders of Ukraine and the Ukrainian people on how to successfully defend their country. "That is encouraging, and we are aware, we are certain that we will manage to defend our country," the ambassador said.

He thanked Croatia for accepting displaced persons from Ukraine. "We feel in Croatia like we feel at home. That is a strong message of support."

Kyrylych also highlighted Croatia's role in a historic moment for his country - the award of the status of candidate country for EU membership.

Thursday, 5 May 2022

Milanović Attends Pula City Day Ceremony

ZAGREB, 5 May 2022 - The City of Pula on Thursday marked its day and the 77th liberation anniversary with a City Council session attended by President Zoran Milanović.

Congratulating the people of Pula on their day, he recalled the time when "Croatian Partisans added Istria to Croatia" and Istria, notably Pula, was not populated only by Croats. Tens of thousands of people left Istria, he said.

"In order to be able to morally ask some things from others, we must admit what happened in Istria. I see this level of maturity and honesty in Istria. I'm glad to look at this multiculturalism and this unity, the awareness of one's own shortcomings and omissions, but also the energy and desire to build better, to let go of some things and move on," the president said, urging the people of Istria to absorb as much from EU funds as possible.

"Croatia... now lives the European reality. But Europe is also a Europe of first, second and even third-rank states," he said, adding that one must never consent to that.

"We invested our sovereignty in Europe... That has its price, its moral obligation. As a state, we renounce certain rights... to invest them in a common project, which is Europe, and to get something out of it," Milanović said, adding that "Croatia is taking too little money from the European Union."

The only measure of success of both state and local politics is "solely the success in taking the money that is ours," he said.

"That's the goal we should strive for, that's the key task of Croatian politics. The war in Ukraine won't solve the big problems in any way. I don't like the expression 'that is not our war', but we must watch what we do, say and where we align ourselves and look out for our interests."

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Tuesday, 20 April 2021

No Joint Ceremony to Pay Tribute to Jasenovac Victims

ZAGREB, 20 April, 2021 - There will be no joint commemoration for victims of the World War II concentration camp Jasenovac on Thursday, representatives of the victims will lay wreaths separately from the state leadership while President Zoran Milanović will do so separately from the prime minister and parliament speaker.

President Milanović's spokesman Nikola Jelić confirmed to Hina that Milanović and his delegation will lay wreaths at the Stone Flower monument at Jasenovac at 11 a.m. on Thursday.

Office of the President did not receive reply from gov't, parliament

"President Zoran Milanović and his delegation will pay tribute to the Jasenovac victims on 22 April, at 11 a.m., as agreed with the organiser, the Public Institution Jasenovac Memorial Area," Jelić said.

He added that the Office of the President had not received a reply from the government or the parliament to its invitation to pay tribute to the Jasenovac victims together.

"As early as last Friday the President of the Republic proposed to the Prime Minister and the Parliament Speaker that they all pay tribute to the Jasenovac victims together, but we have not received any reply," Jelić said.

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said today that a government delegation would lay a wreath at Jasenovac at 9 a.m., again dismissing the possibility of paying tribute together with Milanović, noting that "there is no reason for us to put on an act."

"As regards any joint laying of wreaths or flowers, I said yesterday.... there will be no putting on an act," he told reporters during a visit to Rijeka.

Plenković: We were not the ones to start with insults

"The President of the Republic or his staff are now launching an initiative for the Parliament Speaker and myself to lay a wreath with him in Jasenovac. We were not the ones to start with the 'animal farm', we were not the ones to start with insults or a number of other things that are most inappropriate, so there is no reason to put on an act, let that be clear to everyone," said Plenković.

He added that the organiser of the commemoration was the Jasenovac Memorial Area, not the government or anyone else, and that this year's commemoration would be held in line with epidemiological restrictions.

The government's delegation will arrive at 9 a.m. and the parliament's delegation at 10 a.m., he said.

"This has nothing to do with representatives of the victim ethnic groups. We met with them last week, we hold meetings regularly, we respect the victims and went to Jasenovac in the past four years as well. We will go this year again, next year, in 2023, 2024. This has to do with the protocol, but putting on an act is out of the question," he said.

Reporters asked Plenković if he should ignore his relationship with Milanović, regardless of how bad it may be, in situations such as commemorations, to which he said: "No, there's no need for that. In this case it is not envisaged and is out of the question."

Representatives of Serbs, Jews, Roma and antifascists to form separate delegation

The Serb National Council (SNV) said earlier in the day that representatives of ethnic groups that were victims of the Ustasha terror would have a separate, four-member delegation in Jasenovac.

SNV president Milorad Pupovac, the leader of the Coordinating Committee of the Jewish Communities of Croatia, Ognjen Kraus, Roma association "Kali Sara" representative Veljko Kajtazi, and the leader of the SABA association of antifascist fighters and antifascists, Franjo Habulin, will lay a joint wreath at the Stone Flower monument at noon on Thursday.

Kraus confirmed to Hina that this decision was made yesterday, after it became evident that there would be no joint delegation comprising top state officials.

"After we realised that there would be separate delegations, we decided on a separate delegation as well. As you can see, a single delegation does not depend on us. We cannot support the use of commemorations for political one-upmanship," said Kraus.

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