Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) leader Andrej Plenkovic, responding to a call by Serbia's minister of justice for Brussels to react to alleged glorification of terrorists and neo-Nazi ideology in Croatia, on Wednesday said that Serbia "cannot lecture" Croatia as member of the European Union (EU) which had fulfilled all its requirements.
Serbia is just at the start of accession negotiations with the EU and cannot lecture Croatia, which is a member of the Union and which has satisfied Europe's high criteria and standards, Plenkovic said when asked to comment on Serbian Justice Minister Nikola Selakovic's call to Brussels to reprimand Zagreb "for glorifying terrorists and neo-Nazi ideology."
"Serbia is yet to seriously face up to its recent past and undergo a catharsis. As a candidate for EU membership it should not be lecturing a country that is a member of the Union. Serbia as a candidate cannot cause legal insecurity for Croatian citizens and in particular Croatian veterans," Plenkovic told reporters in reference to Serbia's controversial law on regional jurisdiction for war crimes that Croatia does not want to apply to Croatia.
Asked to comment on a proposal by the president of the Serb National Council, Milorad Pupovac, for Croatia to designate one day in the year to mark the civilian Serb victims in the wake of Operation Storm, Plenkovic said, "naturally we express regret for all civilians victims of the war and those during and in the wake of Storm. However, the Croatian judiciary has proved, by trying all those crimes, that it is ready to work independently on reconciliation within Croatian society and set an example to others," Plenkovic underscored.
He added that on the eve of Victory Day and Homeland Thanksgiving Day he hoped tension would calm down because "Croatia is a country that respects minority rights, including the rights of the Serb minority."