First Deputy Prime Minister Tomislav Karamarko, Veterans' Affairs Minister Tomo Medved and the leader of fully disabled war veterans Djuro Glogoski on Monday assessed a meeting held between representatives of eight ministries and veterans associations as "constructive and substantial."
After the meeting behind closed doors, Karamarko expressed his satisfaction, saying that the talks were concrete and open because this government wants to solve problems faced by veterans.
The same people were sitting at both sides of the table, Croatian defenders, and so the talks were conducted in a "good tone" without the need for us to make false promises and gain cheap political points, he said.
We came to hear the problems and agree how to resolve them. It was a good meeting and we need to continue with that practice and problems have to be resolved on a daily basis, Karamarko said.
Minister Medved said that everyone had expressed their readiness to take responsibility in resolving problems veterans are trying to point out with their sit-in rally which has been continuing for 550 days. "We are sending a clear message to veterans that the government has recognised their problems and finds their demands justified," Medved underscored.
He hopes that the disgruntled protesters will never again seek solutions to their problems in (protest) tents and that one of the ministry's priorities is for veterans' rights and those of their families to be regulated by a single law.
The minister called for patience because a systematic analysis of the situation was required in order to come up with a quality solution to their problems.
Glogoski said that what had been said at the meeting could satisfy veterans because a great step was made even though the goal was far away. "Cooperation was agreed to in an effort to reach the goal, for Croatian veterans and the Homeland War to be given the place they deserve in society," he said.
Glogoski stressed that veterans would decide among themselves about removing the tent outside the ministry when they feel that the time is right however the tent where they are holding their sit-in will remain there for the time being.
Other ministers attending the meeting included Science, Education and Sports Minister Predrag Sustar, Labour and Pension System Minister Nada Sikic, Entrepreneurship and Crafts Minister Darko Horvat and deputy and assistant ministers.