President says won't go to either Jasenovac or Bleiburg this year

President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic has saidthat this year she is not going to either Jasenovac or Bleiburg because she refuses to take part in ideological divisions.

As president, I do not want to participate in raising tensions even further, I want this to end because I believe that politicising about Jasenovac and Beliburg is victimising the victims once again. The victims deserve dignity and peace, Grabar-Kitarovic said in an interview with Jutarnji List daily which hit the newsstands on Saturday.

She said she was disappointed by the growth of ideological conflicts which prevent Croatia from turning to the future.

"Croatia does not have a strategy about what to do after joining NATO and the EU. We do not have a development strategy for the next 5,10 or 15 years. The easiest thing to do is to make a distraction with the Ustasha and the Partisans," the president said.

Asked if there was anything she could do to calm the tensions, Grabar-Kitarovic said she had launched an initiative for dialogue.

Asked if Croatia planned to block Belgrade on its path to joining the European Union, Grabar-Kitarovic said this is not about a blockade. "What Croatia is asking is not a bilateral issue, but an issue of meeting the accession criteria, the same criteria we had to meet," the president said. She added that it was up to Croatia's diplomats to explain to the EU that this is not about a dispute between Croatia and Serbia but about the fact that Serbia must adopt European standards.

Speaking of the first 100 days of Tihomir Oreskovic's government in office, Grabar-Kitarovic welcomed the presentation of the National Reform Plan and expressed hope that disagreements would turn into a constructive dialogue and cooperation.

She underscored that all reforms were aimed a creating new jobs, ending negative demographic trends, keeping young and educated people in Croatia, encouraging the business climate, the economic growth and legal security. "The implementation is crucial. In the end, we will be assessing what has been done and not what has been written," Grabar-Kitarovic said.

Last update: Sat, 30/04/2016 - 12:25

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