željko reiner.jpg
Photograph: HINA/ Denis CERIĆ / dc

Parliament Speaker Zeljko Reiner on Friday congratulated all Croatians at home and abroad on Statehood Day, which is observed on June 25, saying in a message that June 25 was a historic date for Croatia and calling on citizens to justify in these turbulent times the sacrifice of their ancestors, notably Homeland War defenders.

Statehood Day is observed in honour of 25 June 1991 when the Croatian parliament adopted a declaration on the proclamation of an independent and sovereign Croatia and a constitutional decision on Croatia's independence and sovereignty.

That was followed by big trials for the Croatian people which, with great sacrifice and self-denial, in an imposed war and Serbian Chetnik aggression, defended its state, Reiner said, calling on citizens to remember the defenders, notably those who gave their lives for Croatia's freedom and independence. We remain eternally grateful to them, he added.

Over the past 25 years, Croatia has developed into a modern European state in which the highest social values are respected - equality, tolerance, dialogue and the rule of law, Reiner said, recalling that Croatia also joined NATO and the European Union.

New challenges are ahead of us today, primarily economic and political ones, and it is up to all of us to have sufficient sense and persistence in responding to them in these turbulent and insecure times, to justify the sacrifice of our ancestors, notably Homeland War defenders, making Croatia a country with a better future for all its citizens, Reiner said.

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