Representatives of several Homeland War veterans's associations on Wednesday objected to the idea of merging the Veterans' Affairs Ministry with the Defence Ministry and called on the government to a dialogue over this matter.
Liljana Alvir of the alliance of associations of families of those who went missing during the Homeland War underscored that at a meeting on Wednesday of veterans associations it was unanimously concluded that the veterans' ministry should not be abolished but instead that it should be strengthened due to all the problems that this population group faces. Our message is that we should sit down and discuss that until a solution is found to mutual sanctification, she said.
The president of disabled veterans and one of the leaders of protesting veterans Djuro Glogoski said that it was obvious that the ministry needed to exist. "We wish to discuss this so we can inform them of the problems that the veteran population is faced with and believe that when they are fully informed they will change their mind," said Glogoski.
Asked to comment on the fact that a new minister had not been appointed even though three weeks had passed since Mijo Crnoja stepped down, Glogoski said that it was officials who made the decisions and that unfortunately, veterans were in the situation they are in.
"I'm certain that a solution needs to be found urgently so that work can start. We believe that everyone has to be involved in finding a solution to this problem, the government, local government units and individuals," he said. Asked whether anyone had contacted them, he answered in the negative, adding however that he hoped to meet with Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic soon. "Protesting Croatian veterans are not satisfied with how they are being treated by state institutions or how they were treated by the former minister. I believe that that will not be repeated and that talks will be held with Croatian veterans with the aim of resolving problems," he underscored.
We, Glogoski said, have been without a minister for 486 days now since we started out protest and the reasons for our protest have remained. This situation is not good for Croatia or veterans. We are yet to see what this government intends and then we will make some decisions, he said.
HSP AS MP Pero Coric, a member of the ruling coalition on Tuesday said on the national broadcaster that his party had advocated, prior to the election, the position that the veterans' ministry was surplus and that all their rights should be implemented by the Defence Ministry.
Defence Minister Josip Buljevic on Wednesday told reporters that he personally objected to merging the two ministries and added that "not one serious discussion had been held in that regard."