milorad pupovac.jpg
Photograph: HINA / Mladen VOLARIĆ / mm

A considerable increase in cases of ethnically-motivated violence, threats and hate speech directed against ethnic Serbs in Croatia was recorded in 2015, according to figures from a bulletin published by the Serb National Council (SNV).

The main reason for this is increased nationalism, historical revisionism and militarisation of the public sphere, the SNV president and parliamentary deputy of the Independent Democratic Serb Party (SDSS), Milorad Pupovac, said at the presentation of the bulletin in Zagreb on Tuesday.

Data was gathered by the SNV in cooperation with the parliamentary group of the SDSS. In 2014, 82 cases of ethnically-motivated violence, threats and hate speech were recorded, as against 189 in 2015. The figure was higher in part due to a change to the data gathering methodology with greater focus on media monitoring.

Pupovac said that the deteriorating situation was due to growing nationalism since Croatia joined the European Union, adding that this was contrary to the country's commitment to European values. He blamed it on the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) party, which he said had abandoned its Christian Democratic orientation.

"They are oriented towards markedly nationalist political activity and towards a political alliance with those who are not only nationalists but who also advocate pro-Nazi, in our case pro-Ustasha, views," Pupovac said.

The Serb leader said he appreciated the HDZ when it was a Christian Democratic party and when it fostered Christian Democracy as a prerequisite for political stability in Croatia, adding that without it there could be no democracy in the country.

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