The Pensioners Together on Wednesday pointed out in an open letter that the disrespect and denial of Statehood Day by the President of the Republic of Croatia, as an institution in a democratic society, is an unprecedented act that insults all citizens and the sacrifices made for the freedom and independence of the homeland.
In an open letter to the President of the Republic of Croatia, Zoran Milanović, the political platform Pensioners Together (Party of Pensioners, Pensioners Together Bloc and Democratic Party of Pensioners) said that it was deeply disappointed and extremely dissatisfied with his "extremely undemocratic behavior of completely ignoring and denying" Statehood Day, which is celebrated on May 30, by a Croatian Parliament decision, being the largest legislative body in the Republic of Croatia.
They emphasized that it is his duty as president to represent all citizens of Croatia, regardless of political views and beliefs, including his own.
They recalled that national holidays in every democratic country are important for the preservation of national identity and unity, and it is extremely important that all officials, including the President of the Republic, set a personal example of respect for their country on all such occasions.
The belittling of Statehood Day is the last straw
The Pensioners Together assessed that Milanović's non-participation in the events intended to mark Statehood Day sends a negative message to the public, including the international public, because the president of the state is expected to be an example of encouraging national unity by his behavior, to respect and promote democratic values, and as a legalist, to respect every democratically made decision of Croatian Parliament.
"What kind of message are you sending to the public if you publicly deny and do not recognize the decisions of the largest legislative body, Croatian Parliament? We wonder with anxiety what kind of laws you would respect or implement if by any chance you had power in your hands, when you did not respect democratically passed laws?" They also asked if Statehood Day is not also a time to remember and honor all those who wove their lives into the foundations of Croatia's independence.
In an open letter to Milanović, they added that at the beginning of his mandate, “many members of the Pensioners Together political platform perhaps even looked with some sympathy at some of your unusual actions, rhetorical bravado or behavior, but over time their patience melted and they spent all credits for tolerating increasingly frequent outbursts that do not befit a serious president of a democratic and independent state.”
"Disparaging Statehood Day is the last straw because of which you have certainly lost the support of many pensioners, the votes of which you have to thank for being the President of the Republic of Croatia today," said the Pensioners Together in their letter to Milanović.