Friday, 2 November 2018

Croat Minority in Serbia to Elect New Leaders on Sunday

ZAGREB, November 2, 2018 - The Croat minority in Serbia on Sunday is choosing a new Croatian National Council (HNV), the 29-member umbrella organisation that represents the Croatian community in education, media, culture and the official use of the language.

The leaders of the Croatian minority will be chosen indirectly, by electors. These are ethnic Croats who have gathered at least 60 certified signatures of support from their community.

The Serbian Electoral Commission has found that 82 members of the Croatian community have gained elector status. They will meet in the Serbian National Assembly at noon on Sunday to elect the new HNV.

The new HNV will consist only of candidates from the "Croats Together" slate led by the Democratic Alliance of Croats in Vojvodina (DSHV) because it will be represented by 78 of the 82 electors. The remaining four electors come from the Croatian Civic Alliance and the Croatian Independent Slate.

The DSHV has gathered about 5,200 signatures of support.

Slaven Bačić, who has led the HNV in the last two terms, is not running for president of the HNV.

The new HNV is being elected indirectly, by electors, because there are not enough Croatian voters registered in the voter roll.

In addition to the Croats, all other 22 ethnic minorities will also choose their leaders on Sunday.

The status of Croats in Serbia has been in focus in recent years, and it is often influenced by the state of wider relations between Croatia and Serbia, which have hardly been fantastic lately.

If you want to know more about the status of Croats in Serbia, click here.

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Serbia Accuses Croatia of Selling Its Military’s Hotel

We will not do nothing and allow Croatia put to a public auction the former Yugoslav military resort in Baška Voda, said Zoran Ristić, the president of the “Stolen Property” association from Serbia. He said that the hotel was actually Serbia’s property, reports Večernji List on Octobr 31, 2018.

In the article “Croats Are Selling Our Military Hotel”, the Večernje Novosti daily from Serbia write that “the famous military resort in Baška Voda is the first piece of real estate that the Croatian authorities have put up for sale by public tender under the new law on state property management.” The law allegedly allows for the lease of real estate “belonging to companies, institutions and banks from the former Yugoslavia, which Croatia transferred to its own ownership in 1991.”

Ristić pointed out that the former Sutjeska hotel, later renamed Croatia, was built in Baška Voda by the Hidrogradnja company from Sarajevo, and that it gave it to the Yugoslav federal ministry of defence in the late 1980s to finish the construction, with a request that company’s workers would be allowed to use it during the summer months. Later, Hidrogradnja added another floor to the hotel, which was financed by the military.

“Before the war, the then Yugoslav defence ministry, whose legal successor is Serbia’s defence ministry, entered its ownership of the hotel in the land registry in Makarska. The hotel has three floors, with 180 rooms, and 12,500 square metres of gross surface,” Ristić explained, adding that "at the outset of the war, the hotel, just like all other Serbian properties, was taken over by the Croatian state which transferred the ownership to itself.”

He said that the Croatian government announced a public invitation for purchase of the hotel on September 13, and that the deadline for applications expired on October 26, with three bids received. The highest price, of about two million euro, was offered by the Marea Alta company from Makarska, owned by Herzegovina entrepreneur Petar Ćorluka, also known as the “the king of the toilet paper” since he made his fortune as owner of the well-known Violeta brand. Other two bids were reportedly received from the Adria Coste Tourism company from Zagreb and Maros Nekretnine from Slatina.

Ristić explained that he had sent information about the case to Serbia’s Directorate for Property, which collects data on the properties of Serbian institutions and companies in Croatia.

“This hotel has not yet been subject to court proceedings and that is probably why it was the first to be offered for sale. But we are not going to just sit and do nothing,” said Ristić. The association has already contacted the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, challenging Croatia for discrimination, and is preparing for arbitration proceedings in The Hague.

Večernje Novosti claim there are around 180 cases being considered by the Croatian courts involving restitution of property owned by companies and institutions from Serbia.

For more articles on relations between Croatia and Serbia, click here.

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Croats in Serbia Mark Josip Jelačić's Birthday

ZAGREB, October 17, 2018 - The Croat community in Serbia held ceremonies in Novi Sad and Petrovaradin on Tuesday evening to mark the birthday of Ban (Viceroy) Josip Jelačić, who had served as the governor of Croatia from 1848 to 1859.

Monday, 15 October 2018

“Right-Wing Parties in Croatia Affecting Serbia-Croatia Relations”

ZAGREB, October 15, 2018 - Right-wing political parties in Croatia have been evidently growing stronger and exerting strong pressure, which affects Serbia-Croatia relations and contributes to the continuation of an anti-Serb hysteria in Croatia, Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dačić said on Sunday.

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Minister Promises No Lenience towards Serbia on EU Accession

ZAGREB, October 13, 2018 - Serbia has to meet all criteria for accession to the EU and there will be no concessions in that regard, and the MOST party is making up an affair, Foreign and European Affairs Minister Marija Pejčinović Burić told a press conference on Friday after the MOST party accused the government of betraying national interests regarding Serbia's EU negotiations.

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

“Croats in Areas Bordering Serbia Should Own Arms,” Says HDZ MP

ZAGREB, October 3, 2018 - A parliamentary debate on a bill on firearm possession on Wednesday went off on a tangent, focusing on "historical topics", after Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) MP Stevo Culej said that "every able-bodied Croat in areas bordering with Serbia should have a firearm within their reach," with Social Democratic Party (SDP) MP Nenad Stazić retorting that Culej was making fascist statements.

Saturday, 29 September 2018

Serbian President Talks with Serb Minority MP Attacked in Zagreb

ZAGREB, September 29, 2018 - Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić said that he would not want to "add fuel to the flames of poor relations between Serbs and Croats" and that efforts should be made to improve these relations in the future.

Saturday, 29 September 2018

President Disappointed with Serbia’s Statements about Croatia

ZAGREB, September 29, 2018 - Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović said on Friday that she had invested her "political capital" in the improvement of relations between Croatia and Serbia, warning that "inflammatory statements" from Belgrade could cause irreparable damage to the two neighbouring countries' relations.

Monday, 24 September 2018

Serb Leader in Croatia Defends His Actions

ZAGREB, September 24, 2018 - In response to the question of a Croatian Television talk show host why he has not clearly and unequivocally expressed his position on Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić's claim that the present-day Croatia is like Nazi Germany, Croatian Serb leader Milorad Pupovac has countered with the statement that nobody has ever heard him (Pupovac) saying that Croatia is an Ustasha state or likening the modern Croatia to any Nazi or Fascist structure.

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Officials Respond to Serbian President’s “Provocations”

ZAGREB, September 11, 2018 - The Croatian government on Monday dismissed as futile provocations Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić's statement that former Serbian President Slobodan Milošević was a great leader and that the Croatian coat-of-arms that is displayed in Knin today was never there before, noting that those provocations could not change historical facts.

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