Vukovar deputy mayor Srdjan Milakovic said on Thursday that the Serb community and its political representatives were totally marginalised socially and condemned three Serb youths for assaulting a Croat youth in the eastern town.
He called on the government and other relevant institutions to ensure the continuation of the peaceful reintegration of that region on the principles of the Erdut Agreement and other legal acts, to enhance the constitutional law on national minorities' rights, and to ensure the respect of the rights of the Serb national minority, which he said were gravely infringed.
Milakovic said that Vukovar mayor Ivan Penava had reduced the funding of Serb associations, cancelled scholarships for 60 Vukovar students attending universities in Serbia, and amended the town statute so that it did not honour said constitutional law.
Milakovic complained that he had been prevented from performing his duties and that Serbs were slowly losing the positions gained and promised at the time of the peaceful reintegration of the Danube river region. He said that no Serb was in an executive position in a town institution, company or government.
"The situation is similar in state administration offices and in a few years Serbs won't have even one court judge because trainees haven't been hired for years," Milakovic said, adding that Serb representatives were partly to blame because they kept quiet "for higher partisan or political interests."
Milakovic was ousted from the Independent Democratic Serb Party because he ran in last year's parliamentary election as an independent candidate.
As for the recent assault of three Serb youths on a Croat youth in Vukovar, he condemned it, saying it was perhaps not ethnically motivated but an act of hooliganism because he knew that one of the attackers had a criminal record.