Thursday, 24 March 2022

Tramišak Confirms She Has Reported Threats To Police

ZAGREB, 24 March 2022 - EU Funds and Regional Development Minister Nataša Tramišak confirmed on Thursday that she had reported the threats she had been receiving since last summer, to the police,  however, she stopped short of revealing the identity of who was making the threatens.

"The threats started in early September, I cannot say who made them," she told the N1 broadcaster on Thursday, explaining that the threat in reference to blood-shedding was made in January.

The minister said that it was unpleasant to hear such things, however, they did not make her hesitant to continue conducting her ministerial duties.

As for the media reports that she said she would seek political asylum in Brussels in response to the person who made the threats against her, the minister explained the statement was taken out of context.

"I do not plan to leave Croatia. Sometimes things are said in the heat of the moment," she said.

Tramišak also explained that she did not contact the police or other authorities since the threats had were not direct.

She admitted that she could not deny the media reports about the threats when this became breaking news on Wednesday.

As for speculation that the threats were the outcome of internal wrangling inside the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) after she did not extend a contract for the engagement of the private Omega Software company,  she only said that media outlets had already commented on that in the past.

The Wednesday issue of the Jutarnji List daily said that the problems for Minister Tramišak started when she decided not to extend a contract for the eFond information system with the Omega Software company and awarded it to the state-run Financial Agency (FINA).

Fina was awarded this job after it already started working on the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP).

"It was logical that we should not advertise a public call for that job, as there were indications that only one company would apply, and in those situations, we cannot comply with the principles of public procurement. Also, Fina is capable of doing the job. As a result, we signed the relevant agreement with Fina," she said.

As for media claims that former HDZ official Milijan Brkic threatened Tramišak and that Prime Minister Zvonimir Savić was also implicated in conveying the threatening messages, Tramišak told the N1 that she had never met with Brkić, and that Savić was also a special adviser to the ministry and that he had never threatened her.


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Wednesday, 23 March 2022

Croat Deputies in BiH Call for Urgent Investigation into Threats Against Officials

ZAGREB, 23 March 2022 - The Croat parliamentary group in the House of Peoples of the Parliament of the BiH Federation entity on Wednesday harshly condemned death threats sent to HDZ BiH officials Dragan Čović and Ivo Tadić, calling for an urgent investigation and punishment of those responsible.

The death threats against Čović and Tadić, who is at the helm of the HDZ branch in Zenica-Doboj Canton and is also the whip for the Croat parliamentary group in the House of Peoples of the BiH Federation Parliament, were published on Tuesday in a Facebook post.

The Croat caucus underscored that the police and judicial bodies need to treat this as a very serious case because Tadić was exposed to similar threats in 2011, when an explosive device was planted in his car.

The HDZ BiH believes the threats are due to the failed negotiations on election reform. After the last round of negotiations failed, Čović and the leader of the Bosniak Party of Democratic Action (SDA), Bakir Izetbegović, exchanged some sharp accusations, blaming each other for the blockade and obstruction of the reform.

Čović told reporters on Tuesday that he had been exposed to threats for years, adding that he would not be intimidated.

For more, check out our dedicated politics section.

Wednesday, 23 March 2022

Minister Tramišak Says She Has Received Threats

ZAGREB, 23 March 2022 - Minister of Regional Development and EU Funds Nataša Tramišak has confirmed for the Jutarnji List daily that she has received threats which she hasn't officially reported yet, saying that the problems started when she did not extend a contract with the Omega Software company.

"Unfortunately, I can't say that the rumours of the threats I am receiving as reported by the Nacional weekly aren't true. I have been receiving indirect threats for months now and all because of business decisions I make as Minister of Regional Development and EU Funds. The last one I received said '... There will be blood...' and was conveyed to me by a man whom I'd rather not name but who was in the ministry in January this year," said Tramišak.

The Wednesday issue of the Jutarnji List daily said that the problems for Minister Tramišak started when she decided not to extend a contract for the eFond information system with the Omega Software company and awarded it to the Financial Agency (FINA).

Not one of the threats were directed or sent to her personally, so she did not officially report them.

"However, in that last conversation with that man and following his comment that 'there will be blood', I said I would then seek asylum in Brussels," said Minister Tramišak.

She said that she did not discuss this with Prime Minister Andrej Plenković but had told her friends and colleagues about it.

"I didn't discuss the threats with Prime Minister Plenković," she said, stressing that she had a few witnesses who were present at the meetings when the threats were conveyed to her.

Asked whether she would name the persons conveying the threats, if they were the people the Nacional weekly wrote about and if speculation was true that it was Milijan Brkić, Tramišak said that she had never spoken with Brkić.

"I heard from FINA unofficially that Brkić had met with them when we terminated our cooperation with Omega Software and hired FINA," said Tramišak.

There is no official confirmation that Brkić allegedly conveyed the threats.

The Jutarnji List tried to contact Brkić but he did not respond to its calls or messages.

Plenković's advisor Zvonimir Savić has frequently visited the ministry, however, Tramišak said that the purpose of his business visits was of a completely different nature.

"I don't know who is behind those messages. I don't know if Omega Software - which has in the meantime reportedly changed its owner - has a shadow owner, but the messages aren't stopping, in fact, they have intensified and I do not feel comfortable," she said.

Omega Software was taken over by the M SAN Group in October.

Omega Software said they cannot comment on "unverified and sensationalist media reports" of which they have no knowledge, claiming that someone evidently wanted to slur the company's reputation, the Jutarnji List daily said.

For more, check out our dedicated politics section.

Friday, 5 November 2021

Croatian Writers Society Condemns Threats to Journalist Boris Dežulović

ZAGREB, 5 Nov 2021 - The Croatian Writers Society (HDP) on Friday condemned institutional and non-institutional threats against its member, journalist Boris Dežulović, over a text in which he expressed solidarity with the Vukovar victims.

"The Croatian Writers Society most strongly condemns institutional and non-institutional threats against our renowned, internationally awarded journalist and writer Boris Dežulović, made over his article headlined 'F*ck Vukovar', published on the N1 broadcaster's website," the HDP says in a statement.

It notes that Dežulović was previously awarded for his text about the plight of Vukovar, having received one of the most important journalistic awards in Europe.

"He is directly threatened by reactions by some of the members of parliament, Vukovar Mayor Ivan Penava, the War Veterans Ministry and war veterans' associations, which claim the exclusive right to determine the borders of freedom of expression as well as of coming to terms with painful facts," the statement says.

Dežulović already has problems because of his public work and now he has been targeted by a campaign launched on social networks and by right-wing media outlets as well as state institutions that are putting a stamp of state, regime legitimacy on attempts to put his livelihood at risk, the HDP says.

Following harsh reactions to his article, Dežulović said on Wednesday that if there were Vukovar victims who felt offended, they were not offended by his article but by those who trade in their suffering, and that his article was about trade in the horrible sacrifice of Vukovar in the 1991-95 war.

The Homeland Movement party, led by Vukovar Mayor Ivana Penava, and the Ministry of War Veterans, claimed that with his article Dežulović "tried to degrade all victims of Vukovar and the Homeland War."

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Friday, 6 August 2021

Croatian Minister Condemns Threats against Montenegrin Croat Minority Official

ZAGREB, 6 Aug 2021 - Croatia's Foreign and European Affairs Minister Gordan Grlić Radman has condemned threats against the leader of the Croat Civic Initiative in Montenegro, Adrian Vuksanović. 

The threats against the leader of the Croat minority party were made in comments on the In4s portal, with some of the readers saying that Croats should have been killed or expelled from the former Yugoslavia and that Vuksanović would be "among the first to pay for it."

Grlić Radman condemned the threats in a conversation with Vuksanović and the leader of the Croat National Council, Zvonimir Deković, noting in a Twitter post that he had discussed the matter with his Montenegrin counterpart Đorđe Radulović and that minority protection was the focus of bilateral relations.

The threatening messages against Vuksanović were posted under a text in which he responded to Montenegrin Parliament Speaker Aleksa Bečić's comment on the 1995 Operation Storm, with which Croatia put an end to a four-year Serb armed insurgency, in which Bečić said "May Storm never happen again."

"You can rest assured that the military and police, liberating Operation Storm will never happen again because nobody will ever dare again to conquer Croatian territory, expel its residents and heartlessly shell towns across Croatia, including its capital, for four years," Vuksanović said in response to Bečić's comment as carried by In4s.

For more on politics, CLICK HERE.

Tuesday, 18 May 2021

Police Investigating Death Threat Against Karlovac Mayoral Candidate

ZAGREB, 18 May, 2021 - Davor Petračić, an independent candidate for the mayor of Karlovac backed by the Social Democratic Party (SDP), on Tuesday reported to the police having received a death threat. He has refused police protection, but hopes the perpetrator will be identified soon.

Petračić found a letter in his post box containing a bullet and a message saying "the real one comes through the barrel."

"I don't have anything against anyone, I defended this city in the war and will try to defend it once again," Petračić said, adding that he hoped the police would find the perpetrator.

Police spokeswoman Andreja Lenart confirmed to Hina that police had received Petračić's report and were investigating.

The incident was condemned by Petračić's political rival in the 30 May runoff, current mayor Damir Mandić of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), as well as by the county branches of the SDP, HDZ, Homeland Movement and Croatian Party of Rights (HSP).

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.


Thursday, 25 March 2021

Zvonko Milas: "Serbian Croats Receiving More and More Threats"

ZAGREB, 25 March, 2021 - The head of the Central State Office for Croats Abroad on Thursday told the parliament that after the "shameful" decision of the Subotica city's authorities to give a status of an official language to the Bunjevci vernacular, local Croats in Serbia had been receiving more and more threats.

In the wake of the discussions about that wrong and shameful decision by the Subotica City Council, which were also soon followed by the propaganda film "Dara iz Jasenovca",  more and more threats were made against ethnic Croats, notably ethnic Croat leaders in Serbia, Zvonko Milas told the Sabor, while presenting the 2019 report on the implementation of the strategy pertaining to Croat communities outside Croatia.

He also warned that the Subotica decision on the Bunjevci vernacular was against the Croatia-Serbia bilateral agreement on the respective ethnic minorities and that it also led to the further fragmentation of the ethnic Croat community in Vojvodina and Serbia.

Milas said that Croatia would do its utmost to make sure that Slovenia can grant a status of ethnic minority to local Croats.

The community has more than 50,000 members, Milas said adding that Slovenia does not recognise any ethnic rights of those Croats.

For more about the Croatian Diaspora follow TCN's dedicated page.