SDSS Party Chairman Milorad Pupovac (L) Prime Minister Andrej Plenković (R) (Photo: Patrik Macek/PIXSELL) SDSS Party Chairman Milorad Pupovac (L) Prime Minister Andrej Plenković (R) (Photo: Patrik Macek/PIXSELL)

The comparison was made by Milorad Pupovac, a Member of Croatian Parliament who's Independent Democratic Serb Party (SDSS) is a member of the coalition government. Pupovac is one of three seats in Croatian Parliament reserved for the Serb minority in Croatia. The SDSS Party Chairman made the statement following a skirmish between Croats and ethnic Serbs in Knin.

In its statement the Government of the Republic of Croatia made it clear that not only was this an isolated incident but that this kind of inflammatory rhetoric from Pupovac was both illegitimate and unwelcome: "The modern Croatian state emerged from the sacrifice of Croatian soldiers who defended her in the Homeland War and she is neither politically, nor ideologically or legally the successor to the Independent State of Croatia. Given his years of political experience, it is expected that Mr. Pupovac refrain from making statements that are designed to raise tensions, polarize society and provoke even more radical rhetoric from politicians on the extremes of the political spectrum."

Health Minister Milan Kujundžić also commented on the issue today: "I consider any attack, especially an ethnically motivated attack, to be truly disgraceful. However, no less disgraceful and saddening is what Mr. Pupovac is doing, trying to elevate an incident involving hooligans into a political problem and trying to present Croatia and Croatians as problematic in this regard. The unfortunate truth is that these kinds of incidents happen the world over."

Also weighing in on the issue was Nikola Grmoja of the opposition MOST Party: "It is entirely unacceptable for any politician, especially one who is a member of the governing coalition, to compare Croatia with the Ustaša regime and try to burden it with the crimes of the Ustaša. Croatia achieved statehood in spite of all previous criminal ideologies and regimes. We cannot accept his arguments. Obviously the HDZ is comfortable with them."

Source: HRT