Convicted war criminal Milan Martic’s Serbs have announced that they’ll sue Croatia for not paying them their pensions for the period during which they lived in the self-proclaimed “Republic of Serbian Krajina” (RSK), reports HRSvijet portal.
I might add, during this period – with the help of Serbia based Yugoslav People’s Army – they engaged in the horrific aggression against Croatia and certainly did not consider themselves as living in Croatia but in their RSK.
Serb refugee organisations have reportedly announced that they will be approaching the parliamentary assembly of European committee as, according to them, there are discriminatory laws that, even 17 years after the war has ended, are still preventing them from receiving pension arrears (from Croatia).
While cases have been dealt with, there are reportedly about 50,000 Croatian refugees in receipt of Croatian pensions (40,000 receiving it still live in Serbia), there are many cases where apparently problems exist with proving or providing evidence of working years in RSK.
To put matters into factual and historical perspectives, I quote an extract from 1994 Los Angeles Times article that shows how things were in Krajina from 1991 – 1995 when it comes to pensions payable by Croatia (Zagreb):
“…at the mere suggestion that his retirement income could be arriving regularly if Serbs in the disputed Krajina region made peace with the Croatian government in Zagreb, the mild-mannered engineer erupts in a defiant, nationalist tirade.
‘Serbs will never be part of Croatia. We cannot live there. We don’t have any money, but we have our own country. It is my right to choose, and I choose to stay here and refuse their money,’ the silver-haired pensioner declares with ferocity.
Even the allure of pensions owed by the Zagreb government to 60,000 Serbs living in the occupied Krajina region seems unable to sway the rebels to contemplate a compromise and peace.
As recently as four years ago, all residents of today’s Krajina were Yugoslav nationals who accrued pensions payable by the government of their republic within the Yugoslav federation, in this case Croatia. So retirees here in Knin should be collecting their monthly checks from Zagreb.
But with their insistence that Croatia is a foreign country with no political relationship to occupied Krajina, the Serbs of this impoverished and isolated region have effectively renounced their claims to be beneficiaries of Croatia.
Idealists like Zora Zelic, who worked 23 years as a hotel maid in the coastal resorts of Croatia, insist that Zagreb should pay the pensions to Krajina Serbs anyway, noting that retirees who move abroad in most democratic countries continue to receive the pensions they earned during their working years.
In the case of Krajina, however, it wasn’t the pensioners who moved, but the country. Croatia seceded from Serb-dominated Yugoslavia in June, 1991, prompting the Krajina Serbs to grab a third of the Croatian republic’s territory in a bid to form their own state”.
Krajina Serbs now (in 2012) want Croatia to pay them for the time they spent destroying it, for the time they voluntarily rejected their pensions in favour of their terror campaign, ethnic cleansing and destruction.
There was no reciprocal agreement between Croatia and Yugoslavia (Serbia) on social security and pensions until 1997. One would think that one does not qualify for arrears of pensions due before the date of reciprocal agreement while the intended pensioner lived in a country that has no agreement on social security with Croatia. At least that was always the case with most Western countries.
But perhaps Krajina Serbs consider that normal rules don’t apply to them. They seem to think that they can make up rules as they go. Even to this day they do not acknowledge nor accept the pension laws of Croatia which, by the way, are as good as any other democratic country’s – and better than some.
I think Serbia should pay their pension arrears for the time they spent living in Republic of Serbian Krajina (RSK) given that they served Serbia’s political agenda then. They worked for Serbia’s agenda – Greater Serbia – and it is Serbia not Croatia who should pay any pension arrears. These, I gather, could be as high as 800 Milliom EURO.
Or maybe, Croatia should deduct from the pension arrears (if it is found that arrears are in fact due) the money to cover for wilful damage individuals seeking pension arrears had caused in Croatia prior to leaving Croatia. That damage would not be difficult to assess, I imagine. And, to be just that is what occurs in all civilised countries – you do damage, you pay for it. Ina Vukic, Prof.(Zgb); B.A., M.A. Ps. (Syd)