The Croatian Prime Minister and HDZ Party Chairman has warned Vukovar's Mayor that he has little understanding for his methods or timing in raising the issue of processing Serb war crimes in the public domain.
Vukovar Mayor Ivan Penava has called for major protest in Vukovar on October 13th to draw attention to the fact that many Serb war crimes from the 1990’s have still not been processed 27 years later.
Prime Minister and HDZ Party Chairman Andrej Plenković confirmed on Thursday that he would meet with Penava to further discuss the issue. "Regarding the processing of war crimes anywhere in Croatia, and especially the horrific crimes committed in Ovčara and Vukovar, obviously, I as a human being, as Prime Minister and as HDZ chairman, have the same interest, desire and intention to see them processed and to have those responsible punished," Plenković said.
He added however, that he had no understanding for Penava's methods. "That is not how things are done. He, as a member of the HDZ and as the mayor, has a responsibility to his electorate and the issue itself - and on this we agree. The other responsibility is regarding a political assessment and his choice of timing regarding how to put that topic into the public sphere," Plenković noted. He concluded that there was no need for Penava to give the opposition any additional reasons for trying to topple the government.
Asked if Homeland War veterans associations were demanding that Serb minority MP Milorad Pupovac of the SDSS be removed from the governing majority, the prime minister replied that no one would dictate to him who will be part of the parliamentary majority. Veterans groups say they support the planned protest in Vukovar. However, the president of the Special Police Association, Zoran Maras, denied that veterans would push for Pupovac’s removal, saying that they only wanted to hear him take a clear public stand on the Homeland War, Operation Storm and the recent rhetoric coming from Serbia.
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