Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic has started delivering on his promises about the improvement of the status of the Croat community in Vojvodina, but the problems that are being dealt with are simpler problems that are not crucial for the community's status, a member of the Serbian parliament and leader of the Democratic Alliance of the Vojvodina Croats (DSHV), Tomislav Zigmanov, said on Tuesday.
A department of the Apatin Music School has been opened in Senta and classes will be held in the Croatian language, 1.2 kilometres of dirt roads in Tavankut have nearly been asphalted, the Croatian-language radio programme at Radio Television Vojvodina will be expanded and Croatian-language school books have been printed and distributed to Croat children in Subotica, said Zigman.
The Croatian-language media in Vojvodina recall that these were some of the promises Vucic made at a meeting with Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic and representatives of the Croat community in Subotica and Tavankut in June this year.
Zigmanov said the Croat community in Serbia appreciated and welcomed the improvements, however, "as regards a number of other issues, such as the need for more tolerance, a positive policy of recognition and a policy of integration of Croats into Serbia's social and political life... not only have they not started to be dealt with but we have been witnessing problems that we did not encounter before."
Zigmanov said that when readiness was demonstrated at the highest political level to improve the status of the Croat minority, obstacles appeared at lower, local levels.
"Croats are excluded from local government in Subotica, which is their political, educational and cultural centre in Serbia," he said, noting that the possible inclusion of representatives of the Serb minority in Croatia's new government could provide impetus to efforts to regulate the more difficult issues related to the status of the Croat community in Vojvodina and Serbia.
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