zlatko hasanbegović.jpg
Croatian Culture Minister Zlatko Hasanbegovic
Photograph: Hina/ Dario GRZELJ/ dag

Social Democrat member of Parliament Nenad Stazic on Thursday called on cultural workers to raise their voice against cuts in funds for the Kultura Nova foundation, noting that if they failed to do so, "what is left of culture after this government and this (culture) minister will fit under an Ustasha cap."

Stazic made the statement after a break in today's parliamentary session which he requested on behalf of the opposition Social Democratic Party (SDP) club of deputies, recalling that Culture Minister Zlatko Hasanbegovic had annulled several public advertisements for the appointment of the foundation's steering board and director and that the foundation would be left without any management as of May 1.

He stressed that in 2015 the foundation supported 118 projects and that one of the planned projects was a UNESCO project worth HRK 202,000.

"UNESCO is giving us money and the Minister is doing his best to make sure the foundation, which should be in charge of implementing the project, stops existing," said Stazic calling on the Public Administration Ministry to urgently appoint a commissioner to run the foundation until its new management was appointed.

Nada Turina Djuric of the opposition Croatian People's Party (HNS) said she was insulted that funds for cultural institutions and projects in Rijeka and the Primorje region were being reduced.

"One of the best institutions, the Croatian National Theatre (HNK) in Rijeka, is being deprived of funds under the pretext that its programme does not fit the ministry's criteria. Considering the situation we are all well aware of regarding the public debate about the HNK Rijeka, this seems to be aimed at preventing the implementation of the theatre programme, the ultimate goal being the removal of the person in charge," Turina Djuric said.

She called on Hasanbegovic to reconsider also his decision on cuts in budget funds for the Italian-language daily "La voce del popolo", which she said was part of the local tradition and culture and a matter of respect for an ethnic minority.

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