Ethnic Serbs, Croatian returnees talk with president

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.

Last update: Thu, 14/01/2016 - 20:07

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