Croatia: No Referendum But Vukovar Gets A Chance To Regulate Against Serbian Cyrillic

Remembering Vukovar Croatia

Croatia’s Constitutional Court on Tuesday 12 August finally ruled on the Committee for the Defence of Croatian Vukovar initiative seeking referendum aiming at removing Serbian Cyrillic script signs from public office building – the Committee had gathered more than 650,000 signatures in their effort to seek a referendum and presented those signatures to the Croatian parliament back in December. They proposed to amend the country’s Law on National Minority Rights so bilingual rights in local government and public offices only applied in areas where the minority makes up at least 50% (and not 30% as is current). The Constitutional Court ruled that there will be no referendum on the matter and that the proposed referendum question was unconstitutional as the proposed change would undermine minority rights. In the same ruling, however, the Constitutional court said that no ban existed in principle on raising the necessary percentage of a minority in a given administrative unit (local area) for the provisions of the minority law to apply.

In other words, the court said that the people have the right to change their own legal framework with which they will operate in a local government area. It added, though, that changes “must be reasonably justified for reasons that spring from a democratic society based on the rule of law and protection of human rights”.

The referendum question is not in line with the constitution and the referendum will not be held. However, the city authorities in Vukovar have one year to regulate where the bilingual signs can be put,” Judge Miroslav Separovic said, adding words to the effect that there should be no forced erection of bilingual signs in a local area where such erections cause unrest. Hence, opening the possibility of tighter rules regarding bilingual signage in Vukovar.

While the proposed and now denied referendum would have applied across Croatia, the Committee for the Defence of Croatian Vukovar has specifically opposed the Social Democrat-led government’s efforts to put up such signs in Vukovar, seeking that Vukovar be declared a place of special piety where there would be no Cyrillic alphabet signs on public buildings. Such demands are based on the claimed rights of victims of brutal Serb aggression in early 1990’s.

Vesna Skare-Ozbolt, member of Croatian Parliament and president of Democratic Centre party (a former justice minister in Croatia) is of the opinion that the court decision against the holding of the referendum on Cyrillic is a good foundation for a lasting solution regarding the introduction on Cyrillic in Vukovar.
The Constitutional court, which with its decision binds Vukovar City Council to regulate within its Statutes the introduction of bilingualism within one year of the gazetting of courts decision, has in essence opened up the space of an only politically reasonable and acceptable solution of the introduction od bilingualism and that is that the government of Croatia passes a law regarding the special status of the city, which would regulate the question of postponement of introduction of Cyrillic,” said Skare-Ozbolt.
Regardless of the referendum question I had thought that a referendum was unnecessary because the use of bilingual signs on public institutions has not been a problem anywhere in Croatia except in Vukovar,” Skare-Ozbolt added, citing recent public survey results that point to such facts.

The Constitutional court had referred to Article 8 of the Constitutional Law of the rights of national minorities, twice and, hence, emphasised its relevance in the context of the question of the process of trust renewal and (co)habitation which, due to its complexity, requires not only a literal reading of legislative paragraphs but also the examination of the wider picture, that is, understanding of the ‘spirit of the law’. Every law … has a goal of a positive result and benefit for the society or wider community, and not destruction. Sadly, the lack of current government’s understanding – purposeful or not – of the whole problem around the introduction of bilingualism and its selective reading of the law has led to destruction and consequently to the significant erosion of the achievements made to date in the peaceful re-integration of Podunavlje area,” Skare-Ozbolt concluded.

Indeed, the largest parliamentary opposition party, Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), with its president Tomislav Karamarko had at all times during the Vukovar protests against the government’s introduction of bilingual signage in Vukovar attempted to draw the attention that the government was applying the law on minority rights without any regard to its Article 8. Without any regard to the fact that even according to the relevant law bilingual signs cannot in essence be erected if such actions cause unrest among people. HDZ’s pursuits, albeit falling on the government’s stubbornly deaf ears at the time, are now largely ‘vindicated’ within this Constitutional court decision on the referendum.

Vlado Iljkic from the Committee for the Defence of Croatian Vukovar said that the Committee was relatively satisfied with the Constitution court decision, which shows that the erection of bilingual signage in Vukovar was illegal. “The ball is now in the Vukovar City Council’s court,” he said and continued, “as to the level that applies to whole of Croatia we are dissatisfied and see that the Constitutional court is more a political than a body for justice. It’s obvious that the court had delivered its decision under various political pressures, which we had witnessed on a daily basis. For that part we will also appeal to the court in Strasbourg”.

And wouldn’t you know it: Pedja Grbin, president of the parliamentary committee for the constitution – member of the governing Social Democrats party – has announced that he will set in motion changes to the Law on referendums in Croatia! His vision would be that organisers of signature collections for a referendum would not be able to collect signatures on the streets for such petitions but for signature collection places to be designated office spaces etc.! While he tries to convince the Croatian public that collection of signatures on the streets can end up in ‘pressured’ solicitation of signatures he conveniently forgets that setting-up signature collection places within some official premises does actually open up the doors to dire corruption and political intimidation of anyone walking into such premises with signing the petition in mind! The latter being a preferred way of communist regimes and Grbin is apparently not the one who has turned his back to communism.

The developed world of democracy is used to and applauds collection of signatures for petitions on the streets as such practices support freedom of expression in a more effective way that what having to enter designated premises, which may evoke uneasy sentiments for many, do. So, one can only conclude that Social Democrats in Croatia want to control the freedom of expression of citizens by imposing rules as to where they can register their signatures for a petition to the parliament! Referendums affect citizens’ daily lives and as such collection of signatures to hold them in essence needs to occur on their streets, within their daily lives without the need to make “special trips to special places”.

Croatian presidential elections candidate Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic commented that the Constitutional court had in this case also indicated to the need for dialogue, tolerance and trust and that the government had acted wrongly by imposing bilingual signs.


“You know, if someone had murdered my children, I do not know if I would succeed in forgiving them. They have forgiven, but not forgotten so let’s not touch the old wounds,” she said and called upon talks with the people of Vukovar about their real problems, starting with the raped women, men and children, to reconstruction and creation of new jobs.

It’s clear to me that everyone bar the “Red” government and its supporters seems to know why Vukovar cannot have Cyrillic signage on public buildings for the foreseeable future. That fits into human rights of the victims of Serb aggression – they have a right to live free from fear and distress that Cyrillic signage causes them. The reality of today is that there are still a large number of unprocessed war criminals and rapists walking the streets of Vukovar; that the Croatian government is still ‘walking on eggshells’ over the horrible events of the war, thus giving excuses to the Serbs not to divulge where the Croat dead and the missing are. The fact is that Serbian Cyrillic signage is used in many villages and towns around Vukovar and Croats have no difficulties in recognising the rights of minorities but when it comes to Vukovar the right to bilingualism is far outweighed by the right of the victims to justice and for war crimes perpetrators to be held responsible for their crimes in every conceivable way including denial of their Cyrillic script on public buildings. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

Related posts:
Navigating via clicking on “Cyrillic” tag on the left side-bar of this blog will lead you to several articles regarding the topic of Cyrillic in Vukovar

Croatia vs. Serbia ICJ Genocide Case – A Door To Future Success Or Failure Of Genocide Claims?

Vukovar cemetery - Photo

Vukovar cemetery – Photo

By Vesna Skare-Ozbolt

First published in
Translated into English by Ina Vukic

When a respectable British Weekly such as The Economist in its article from 11 March regarding the ICJ genocide trial between Croatia and Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) pronounces (promotes)  that case as “utterly idiotic” in advance, that, in the least, must cause a decent reader to raise his or her eyebrows.

That is, this trial opens up several controversial questions upon which the international and the domestic professional circles are bound to debate; from the standards of proof of genocide, questions associated with the continuity and succession in the dissolution of a state, questions of state responsibility as well as the retroactive application of the Convention on Genocide. Court practice – even the one associate with genocide – has developed significantly during the past several years and this court could perhaps offer new interpretations, at least for some of these questions.

The Croatian legal team submitted its presentation properly and it’s worth emphasising the submissions made by James Crawford, Professor of International Law at Cambridge University, Philippe Sands, Professor of Law at London University and Davorin Lapas, Professor of International Law at the Law Faculty of University of Zagreb.

It’s difficult to give a serious assessment of Serbia’s legal team’s strategy because the extraction of evidence contained in the ICTY Trial Chamber judgments when it’s favourable for Serbia, bargaining with ICTY Appeal Chamber judgments when they are in favour of Croatia, appealing to the judges to study the ICTY Trial and Appeal judgments in an individual case and then to decide which one of these they like best, etc., does not constitute a serious strategy.

The biggest surprise from the trial is the British professional and professor of International Law, William Schabas. Although it was known in advance that Serbia had weak arguments one expected that he would, nevertheless, pluck something strong out of that material. The fact that even he was not successful at that speaks volumes of the quality of Serbia’s counter-claim in the proceedings. Regardless, Professor Schabas has appeared as a master in evading matters that did not benefit Serbia and, hence, when he rejects the key point Serbia relies on – that FRY did not exist as a state before 27 April 1992 and that in accordance with the Convention on Prevention of Genocide it is not responsible for events that occurred before that date – he omits to mention the fact that the very wording of the Convention does not seek nor exclude retroactive application or UN Convention regarding the application of statute of limitations for war crimes and crimes against humanity from 1968, where, it says in Article 1 that “statute of limitations will not be applied for crimes … regardless of the date of their perpetration … and for the crime of genocide under the definition in the 1948 Convention”. Also, even though this is a matter of a trial against a state it is worth reminding ourselves of the judgment in the Eichmann case where it says: “… that the crime with which he is charged has always carried the stamp of an international crime” and this adds to the weight favouring the retrospective application of the Convention. Or, as the renowned Serbian lawyer, the late Srdja Popovic, said in relation to the genocide lawsuit Bosnia and Herzegovina Vs. Serbia: “ … no one can call upon the dissolution and anarchy, because it is exactly in such situations when genocides occur …” (interview in BH Dani, 2006)

The charming Professor Schabas suggests to the court “not to enter into some new areas” but to keep firmly to the restrictive standard for proof of genocide contained in article 373 in the Bosnia and Herzegovina vs. Serbia 2007 judgment and not the lower one from the Karadzic case. While on the one hand he is right, because the Kardazic judgment has not passed the Appeal stage, I think that this trial is the moment when the court must and should “enter into some new areas”, that is, open the debate around the question as to whether the standard from article 373 is the best standard for the finding of responsibility of some state for genocide? If it is, that would mean that future proof of genocide will become an impossible mission.

Schabas claims that there was no genocide anywhere in the former Yugoslavia (except in Srebrenica which he characterised as a mini-genocide) because “ … there was no uniform pattern nor plan nor defined state politics on implementing genocide …” and, as an example of the existence of such a plan he gave Adolf Hitler’s stay at the Landsberg prison in 1924 where he began writing Mein Kampf. On the other hand, he does not mention the existence of the mid-19th century onwards plans for the formation of Greater Serbia to Croatia’s detriment (Nacertanije by Ilija Garasanin, as the first Greater Serbia political Memorandum SANU, etc.). (SANU – Serbian Academy of Science and Arts)

The fact that the Serbian academics Dobrica Cosic and Antonije Isakovic had as early as 1989 offered Istria and Dalmatia to the Italian neo-fascists (Alleanza nazionale Gianfranca Finija) serves as one more example of the Serbia’s leadership’s plans directed at the “annulment” of the Croatian state, not as a whole but within the frame of the rattling Virovitica-Karlovac-Ogulin border against which the HDZ of the day had protested publicly on 29 September 1989, labeling the “academic matters” of these two Serbian academics as “Greater Serbian customisation of Croatia”.

Also, the data from dr Andrija Hebrang’s book “Crimes in the Serb-Montenegrin aggression against the Republic of Croatia” which shows that more civilians than solders were killed on battlefields on the Croatian side contributes to genocidal intentions. The killing of 400 children, all of whom were not “collateral victims” of say bombing but were intentionally murdered, often in the most cruel of manners in front of or together with the whole of their families, needs to be emphasised.

Serbia’s legal team, in fact, did not attempt to deny the crimes perpetrated on Croatia’s territory in the 1991-1995 period, but it kept exhausting itself in the attempts to accomplish a win-win situation, according to which Milosevic was guilty for 1991 and Tudjman for 1995, that is, maintaining an eternal balance of responsibility for the war. The introduction of events from NDH (WWII Independent State of Croatia) into the whole story, as supposedly the exclusive reason for the rebellion of the Krajina Serbs in 1991 against the independent Croatia and the attempts to prove the so-called genocidal character of the Operation Storm had the placing of a connection Jasenovac 1941 – Storm 1995 as their aim in order to continue ad nauseam perpetuation of the concocted genocidal stigma of Croatia.

This court will mainly rely on ICTY judgments – confirmation of this can be found in the separate deliberation by the presiding judge Peter Tomka from 2008 when decisions were being made regarding the court’s jurisdiction in the case of Croatia’s genocide lawsuit against Serbia: “…it remains to be seen how Croatia will succeed in proving that the crime of genocide has been committed and that FRY is responsible for it …” although ICTY “…has not passed its judgment against the persons who carry the greatest responsibility for genocide in Croatia” – and one could conclude that a judgment of genocide has no chance.

Regretfully the court does not have a fact-finding mission capacity and it’s difficult to expect that the judges will “comb” through all the documents (from the Croatian as well as from the Serbian sources), which are archived in the Croatian Homeland War Memorial-Documentary Centre and which were collected by dr. Ante Nazor and his team through to this year, or that they will read every book written by Serbian academics or war leaders of the day that could significantly contribute to a judgment about the intent to commit genocide within a limited time span and within specific areas, especially in Eastern Slavonia.

One also should not exclude the option to dismiss both claims. If it comes to that, this court case will nevertheless represent a victory for Croatia – or, a useful defeat – as the renowned professor Mirijan Damaska said (interview, Nacional, 2007) because it will, once again, remind the international public that the ICTY has not convicted a single Croat, that Croatia is not responsible for the War and that its defence was legitimate. On the other hand, Serbia has come out from the ICTY with 13 final convictions so far, and with a conviction from this court for failing to prevent genocide in Srebrenica.

One thing is for certain: this court has a very difficult task before it and it’s distasteful to enter into prognoses because, as Luka Misetic, a member of Croatia’s legal team said: “all options are on the table”.

Vesna Skare-Ozbolt Photo:

Vesna Skare-Ozbolt




About the author: Vesna Skare-Ozbolt is a Lawyer with post-graduate studies in Criminal law. She served as legal advisor to the late President Franjo Tudjman for ten years. She led the process of Peaceful reintegration of Eastern Slavonia in the late 1990’s. She was Minister of Justice of the Republic of Croatia (2003-2006) and author and initiator of many legislative proposals in Croatia. She served as elected member of Croatian Parliament over three mandates from year 2000. She is also President of Democratic Centre party. Honorary citizen of Vukovar, Ilok and Brela. 1998 Woman of the Year. Decorated with the Order of Croatian Interlace, Order of Croatian Trefoil and Order of Katarina Zrinski and Vukovar Medal. Source:

Croatia: About Cyrillic In Vukovar

Collecting signatures for referendum on Vukovar  Photo: FaH/ Damir SENCAR /ds

Collecting signatures for referendum on Vukovar
Photo: FaH/ Damir SENCAR /ds

When a group of EU parliamentarians get together to sign an open letter or statement against an issue hotly circling among the people in one of the EU member states then we start feeling uneasy about democratic freedom and political pressure and machinations evidently designed to spread certain fear or uneasiness.

The Committee for the Defence of Croatian Vukovar has collected 680,000 signatures initiating a referendum process in Croatia regarding bilingualism. The issue of Cyrillic script signage on public buildings has been at the forefront of current affairs and restlessness in Croatia for almost a year. I have written articles on this previously.
The question for the referendum is formulated as follows: “Do you agree that Article 12, clause 1, of the Constitutional Law on rights of national minorities be changed so that it reads: Equal official use of the language and script used by members of national minorities is realised in the area of local government, state government and judiciary when members of individual national minority make up at least one half of the population of that area.”
On 20th December 73 MEPs (Mainly Greens, Social Democrats and Liberals) and the European Language Equality Network (ELEN is the new European level NGO working for the promotion and protection of lesser-used languages and linguistic rights) have sent in open letters to the Croatian media voicing their concerns over the proposed referendum about Cyrillic script in Vukovar, which, if successful, would according to them undermine national minority rights, for example, raising the threshold for bilingual provision in a municipality from 33% to 50%. ELEN group say the referendum would adversely affect Serbs, Czechs, Slovaks, Italians, Hungarians, Jews, Germans, Austrians, Ukrainians, Rusins, Bosniaks, Slovenians, Montenegrins, Macedonians, Russians, Bulgarians, Polaks, Roma, Romanians, Turks, Vlachs and Albanian national minorities and contravene the Treaties that Croatia ratified in order to join the EU.
Croatian news agency HINA reports that Tomislav Josic, a leading activist in the campaign against Cyrillic signs on public institutions in the eastern Croatian town of Vukovar, has said that the issue of dual-alphabet signs is a matter for Croatia and not for the European Union.
If only our deputies were fighting for more funds from EU and for the benefit of Croatia. However, they are fighting for some other things. The Europeans are being asked to give their opinion on minorities in Croatia, while we know that in France there are no minorities at all,” Josic said.
As for 73 signatories of that letter, Josic interpreted it as only a 10% of possible signatures in the European Parliament, while the group whose leader he is collected “60%” of signatures for a petition for a referendum in Croatia on how to regulate the right of minorities to use their language and alphabet.
Josic said that it seemed to him that the activists “will be forced to collect signatures also in the European Parliament“.

Vesna Skare-Ozbolt Photo:

Vesna Skare-Ozbolt

Vesna Skare-Ozbolt (a Lawyer with post-graduate studies in Criminal law. She served as legal advisor to the late President Franjo Tudjman for ten years. She led the process of Peaceful reintegration of Eastern Slavonia in the late 1990’s. She was Minister of Justice of the Republic of Croatia (2003-2006) and author and initiator of many legislative proposals in Croatia. She served as elected member of Croatian Parliament over three mandates from year 2000. She is also President of Democratic Centre party. Honorary citizen of Vukovar, Ilok and Brela. 1998 Woman of the Year. Decorated with the Order of Croatian Interlace, Order of Croatian Trefoil and Order of Katarina Zrinski and Vukovar Medal.  Source:
recently wrote an article “Cyrillic and the triumph of Prime Minister Milanovic’s Will”, which was published in portal and translated into English by Sonja Valcic.

After months of the status of “neither war nor peace” between the Croatian government and the Committee for the Defence of the City of Vukovar, due to the introduction of bilingualism, it has become clear that the issue cannot be solved by implementing the law ”by force.”  The citizens of Vukovar wanted that their city be granted a status of Memorial City of Victims of Serbian Aggression and as such to be exempted from the introduction of Cyrillic alphabet.

Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic had no understanding for this proposal nor did he bother to examine legal options for the realization of this proposal. Instead of listening to the politically wise President Dr. Ivo Josipovic who advocated the dialogue with the Vukovar citizens, Milanovic gave green light for setting bilingual sign plates at the crack of dawn. From that moment on, all hell broke loose: the normalization process painstakingly built for years was compromised; bilingual sign plates were flying from the Vukovar façades and from those in other cities, and the blood was shed. This was the result of placing bilingual sign plates in Vukovar which Prime Minister Milanovic called ”the triumph of the Croatian will and the state” whereas in reality that was only a triumph of his own will.

After the Croatian Parliament had refused to put the issue of Cyrillic on the agenda, the Committee had no other option but to launch an initiative for a referendum. But, since the introduction of Cyrillic alphabet in Vukovar is a complex issue, both from the legal and human perspective it is of no surprise that  the referendum question is ill-conceived: while it could not have been asked for an explicit ban on the use of the Cyrillic as this would be discriminatory, it remains unclear why the ban on the use of minority languages extends to state administration and judiciary.  Moreover, the raising of threshold for obtaining minority rights from the current 33% to 50% represents de facto a step backward in the protection of minority rights.
What is important to underline is that a deadline for the introduction of bilingual sign plates in Vukovar is an internal matter of the Republic of Croatia. The official position of the European Commission is that the issue of ”bilingual signs is within the competence of the Member States”, thus, it is utterly inappropriate for the Croatian government to „pull up the sleeve „ of the EC, begging support for the introduction of Cyrillic! The European Union does not insist on bilingualism at all costs as there are many EU member countries which have not yet resolved this issue in the best way:  i.e., Slovakia has rather restrictive laws on the use of the Hungarian minority language; Estonia also has not resolved the situation with the Russian minority, etc.
Judging by over 580,000 signatures collected for the referendum on Cyrillic across the country, the conditions for introducing Cyrillic in Vukovar are not met: the citizens of Vukovar are still waiting that war criminals who, due to the lack of evidence at the moment of the promulgation of the Amnesty Law escaped from justice, are waiting for the citizens of Serbian nationality to help them find their missing citizens which can be done in a way that would not put local Serbs at risk. It is time that the Serbs from Vukovar take an active role in building of co-existence; just asking for their rights but not wanting to reveal information about the missing and killed is not a good way towards building a good relationship with the Croats in Vukovar.
In such circumstances the only politically correct option would be to leave the representatives of both Serb national minority and those of Croatian citizens to agree when the time for introducing of Cyrillic is ripe. Until this moment, there are no legal obstacles for granting a special status to the city including the postponement of the introduction of Cyrillic by law, without bidding deadlines from both sides. There are some who say that such status would ”freeze” the development of the city, but it makes no sense: only happy people who have jobs and the youth who sees the prospect for their future make one city alive. It could be assumed that some do not like to see Vukovar being portrayed as a victim and they would prefer that all signs be eliminated suggesting Croatia was a victim of Serbian aggression.
For the time being the speculation that for the Croatian Serbs Cyrillic is important only as a step toward restoring the status of a state-building nation and for a potential autonomy in the future, needs to be put aside. The only thing which is now important is to let the people of Vukovar decide on Cyrillic themselves…
Even if the referendum does not take place – as the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Croatia will probably be called to establish whether the issue of the referendum is constitutional or not – all the effort of the Committee for the Defence of the City of Vukovar was not in vain: a huge number of signatures in favour of referendum collected across Croatia is the message to the Government that this issue cannot be resolved from the office of the St. Mark’s Square but only through a dialogue with the representatives of both nationalities living in the City of Vukovar.
This is also a message to Milorad Pupovac, the representative of the Croatian Serb minority and the president of SDSS (Independent Democratic Serb Party) to refrain from providing inappropriate statements regarding the referendum initiative, such as ”…Milosevic did the same thing in Serbia…” as such statements aggravate not only the position of the Serbs in Vukovar but also in the entire Croatia. Moreover these signatures are also a message to all the politicians to stop their political trading across the back of the citizens of Vukovar.

During the past couple of weeks there has been a significant number of criticisms about the formulation of the referendum question (as set out above). Many say it is not well formulated in the legal sense. Hence we are awaiting a decision from the Constitutional court in Croatia regarding the matter. There is a fair consensus among legal professionals (including the author of above article, Vesna Skare-Ozbolt) that it would have perhaps been much better had the referendum concentrated on declaring Vukovar as a special place of piety (perhaps it should have included other Croatian towns too).

One can expect that whatever the Constitutional court decide the referendum will go ahead; perhaps even a re-formulation of the question will be called for? However, it would seem to me that the desired status of a special place of piety would have formed a platform for a more positive move towards bringing closure to the still open questions of war in Croatia. This way there does not seem to be any word in association with the referendum on the still missing persons, there are no positive movements in holding the Serbs accountable for the horrors perpetrated against Croatia, there are multitudes of known or suspected Serb war criminals that have achieved amnesty for their crimes through deals made by former Croatian governments and president and this amnesty is a deep and open wound to Croats – and there are more and more accusations against Croatia regarding “the horrors” persons suffered as Serbs in Croatia in 1991!

It is to be emphasised that, regardless of media write-ups or claims to the contrary, Croats have never been against the rights of ethnic minorities and they have never even expressed anything against positive discrimination when it comes to minorities. Someone or some group with political agendas are obviously trying to turn the fight for victims’ rights in Vukovar into discrimination against minority rights!

It is to be remembered that during Croatia’s negotiations with the EU, for membership, Croatia was expected to behave in line of some political precedent towards its open enemy (Serbia). The pressure for this “task”, which no self-respecting nation would ever place upon itself and which often bore the hallmarks of humiliation, seemed to come from Britain and its political satellites in the EU (perhaps even the same players who hoodwinked Croatia into the unnatural Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes in 1918 – the Kingdom to be ruled by Serb king, who married into Queen Victoria’s family?). One could see that this pressure was never about creating rights for the Serb minority in Croatia but about creating chaos in Croatia, creating radical social situations and eventually stopping Croatia from becoming a member of the EU in order to achieve a new re-arrangement of political positions in the region. Along with this went the trumped-up charges against Croatian leadership for the so-called joint criminal enterprise during the Carla Del Ponte ICTY prosecution leadership. Aware of such positions the Croatian Serbs continued serving those interests, especially their leaders, openly positioned themselves as some kind of partners of the Republic of Croatia, without an inkling of a real intention to integrate into Croatia’s cultural, political, social and community values.

And so, the question of 50% rather than 33% of ethnic minority in a local government area of Croatia for achieving the right to bilingual usage does not seem to relate to ethnic minorities but rather to an authentic issue of national interests and the threshold of protest against humiliation.  And, indeed, Croatia simply cannot be a hostage to the real Greater Serbia and anti-Croatian politics. The 680,000 signatures for the referendum say that loud and clear! Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)


Disclaimer, Terms and Conditions:

All content on “Croatia, the War, and the Future” blog is for informational purposes only. “Croatia, the War, and the Future” blog is not responsible for and expressly disclaims all liability for the interpretations and subsequent reactions of visitors or commenters either to this site or its associate Twitter account, @IVukic or its Facebook account. Comments on this website are the sole responsibility of their writers and the writer will take full responsibility, liability, and blame for any libel or litigation that results from something written in or as a direct result of something written in a comment. The nature of information provided on this website may be transitional and, therefore, accuracy, completeness, veracity, honesty, exactitude, factuality and politeness of comments are not guaranteed. This blog may contain hypertext links to other websites or webpages. “Croatia, the War, and the Future” does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness or completeness of information on any other website or webpage. We do not endorse or accept any responsibility for any views expressed or products or services offered on outside sites, or the organisations sponsoring those sites, or the safety of linking to those sites. Comment Policy: Everyone is welcome and encouraged to voice their opinion regardless of identity, politics, ideology, religion or agreement with the subject in posts or other commentators. Personal or other criticism is acceptable as long as it is justified by facts, arguments or discussions of key issues. Comments that include profanity, offensive language and insults will be moderated.