Zoran Milanović, Sanja Musić Milanović.jpg
Photograph: HINA / Dario GRZELJ / mm

Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic on Monday laid flowers and lit a candle outside the French Embassy in Zagreb, expressing condolences to Ambassador Michele Boccoz following terrorist attacks in which 129 people were killed in Paris this past Friday and noting that in terms of values Croatia was together "with the great French nation" for good.

"I was greatly shocked to learn about the news, we are with (the French) 'a jamais' as far as values are concerned. The French nation is great, it set some of the fundamental values at a time that was very turbulent and it was not easy, and the European continent and the EU live by those values today," Milanovic said after observing a minute of silence at noon and signing a book of condolence at the embassy.

Milanovic said that "the world is a cruel place and we must fight against that together."

"I believe that we are in good company," he added.

Even worse than terrorist attacks is the fact that there are people who poison the youth "who are fragile and sensitive." "Evil people can manipulate the youth and it happens," Milanovic said, adding that Croatians can feel safe and "that being a small country has its advantages."

Signing the book of condolence, Parliament Speaker Josip Leko wrote that he sympathised deeply with the French people on behalf of the Croatian parliament, people and citizens.

"We will stand together in the defence of our values regardless of where and when an accident happens. We will have to defend the values on which our world and humanity rest," Leko said while laying flowers and lighting a candle outside the French Embassy.

Foreign Minister Vesna Pusic extended condolences to France, its citizens and Ambassador Boccoz and her staff, saying "We consider this an attack on us all."

"We must not allow this evil to pass. We have to stand together against attempts to destroy our way of life," said Pusic.

She opposed, however, a change of the current migrant policy, recalling that "exactly France says this should not be done."

"Both France and many other countries that are directly affected make a very clear distinction between migrants and terrorists whose leaders and organisers are foreign militants, people born in Europe or living in Europe for several generations, people who went to Syria and Iraq to fight on the side of terrorist organisations and who returned to continue their terrorist activity," said Pusic.

She underlined that "Croatia is the only country that has the movement of refugees and migrants entirely under police control, from the point of entry to the point of exit."

"We will continue with such security measures," Pusic said. As for putting a stop to the migrant wave, she said that that could be done only on the Turkish-Greek border. 

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