kolinda grabar kitarovic vukovar.jpg
Photograph: HINA / mm

The chairman of the Joint Council of predominantly Serb-populated Municipalities (ZVO), Dragan Crnogorac, said on Thursday after talks with Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic in her temporary office in Vukovar that the ZVO believed that the problem of bilingualism in that eastern Croatian town must be resolved through dialogue and abidance by the law.

"Our position is known, as is the position of war veterans associations on the other side. As far as we are concerned, international norms must be honoured. The president has given us her support for talks and maybe she is the one who should call all parties for talks and not just she, the prime minister designate too. We hope for a good and joint solution and that Vukovar is not only seen through the prism of the use of the Cyrillic script as the only problem in the city,"Crnogorac said.

Asked to comment on a statement by Prime Minister-designate Tihomir Oreskovic that the Cyrillic script would come to Vukovar but that it was not yet the time for this, Crnogarac said "And when is the time to introduce the Cyrillic script."

"It's been five years since the census was taken and when will we do this? After eight or nine years? We must sit down and talk. Will this be gradual, will some places be exempt? But this needed to be discussed five years ago," he concluded.

The relevant legislation provides for the introduction of the official use of the Serbian language and Cyrillic script in Vukovar and a score of municipalities in Croatia where, according to the 2011 census, the Serb ethnic minority accounts for more than a third of the population.

Crnogorac said Grabar-Kitarovic was briefed about the disrespect of the decision on the participation of ethnic Serbs in state institutions proportionally to their percentage in the population.

"Their representation is rapidly going down. Once an ethic minority member retired, his place is filled with a member of the majority people," he added.

The president also receive representatives of the Association of Croatian Returnees who briefed her about measures for improving the situation in formerly war-stricken areas.

Latest news

Merkel calls for fewer EU regulations as nationalist sentiments grow

As voters in the Netherlands, France and Germany show increasing support for nationalist, euro-sceptic political movements ahead of this year's elections, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called for limits on EU regulations.

French prosecutors transfer Fillon case to investigative judge

The French judiciary has opened a formal investigation in connection with presidential candidate Francois Fillon to examine whether the employment of his wife as a parliamentary employee was a sham, the country's financial prosecutors' office said Friday.

White House bars major news outlets from press briefing

Major news organizations, which were Friday blocked by the White House from attending an informal press briefing, condemned the move just hours after President Donald Trump described parts of the media as "the enemy of the people."

Report: German intelligence spied on BBC, other foreign journalists

Germany's intelligence agency monitored foreign journalists at the BBC, the New York Times and other news organizations from 1999 onwards across several countries, according to a Friday report from Der Spiegel magazine.

Classroom for Islamic religious education opened in Split

A classroom for Islamic religious education, whose equipment was financially assisted by city and county authorities, was opened in the coastal city of Split on Friday.

Ministry say no licences for export of military goods to Saudi Arabia issued in 2016

The Economy, Enterprise and Crafts Ministry on Friday issued a statement regarding media reports about export licences for military goods, stressing that in 2016 it did not issue any licences for the export of military goods to Saudi Arabia.

Croatia for preserving Bosnia's stability

Croatia on Friday supported the stability of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), calling on its authorities to adopt decisions in institutions, after a request by BiH Presidency Bosniak member Bakir Izetbegovic to review a ruling which acquitted Serbia of genocide.

Mexico is not a migrant "waiting room" for US, interior minister says

Mexico will not accept undocumented immigrants from other countries whom the United States plans to deport, Mexico's interior minister said Friday.

Right-wing populist Wilders declines first Dutch election debate

Candidates from nine Dutch parties answered questions from journalists Friday at the first national radio debate of the election campaign, but the leading candidate

Bosnian Croat reps insist on channel airing programmes in Croatian

Being one of the constituent peoples, the Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina are entitled to a broadcaster that will air programmes in their native language, HNS BiH official Ivan Vukoja said at a news conference in Mostar on Friday.

Same-sex couples in Slovenia can marry

A Slovenian law allowing same-sex couples to marry went into force on Friday and the first civil registrar ceremony, between two women, is to take place in Maribor on Saturday, the town's Vecer daily said.

Moody's changes Agrokor's outlook to negative

The Moody's rating agency on Friday changed its outlook for the Agrokor food retailer from stable to negative, affirming its rating of B3.