The Croatian Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs has strongly condemned the erection of a monument to Gabriele D'Annunzio in the Italian city of Trieste.
The ministry conveyed its dissatisfaction and concern about the move to Italy through the appropriate diplomatic channels, including the delivery of a protest note to the Italian Ambassador to Croatia.
The Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs released the following statement:
"The Republic of Croatia strongly condemns the decision of the City of Trieste to erect a monument to Gabriele D'Annunzio on the day of the 100th anniversary of the occupation of Rijeka on September 12th. Although it was a decision made by local and not state authorities, such an act, as well as commemorating the anniversary of the occupation of Rijeka in several other Italian cities, not only undermines the friendly and neighborly relations of the two countries, but also acknowledges ideologies and actions that are in profound opposition with European values."
President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović also condemned the move, saying Rijeka was, and always will be, an important part of the Croatian Homeland.
D'Annunzio and an army of Italian nationalist irregulars seized the city of Rijeka on September 12th, 1919, after the city was ceded to the newly formed Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, at the Paris Peace Conference following the end of the First World War. D'Annunzio promoted ultra-nationalist ideas which were later adopted by Benito Mussolini and the fascist movement.
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