The mayor of the eastern Croatian town of Vukovar, Ivan Penava, on Sunday accused the former government led by Social Democrat Zoran Milanovic of having tried to cause chaos in Vukovar by refusing demands by the town authorities to conduct a new census in that town.
Addressing a news conference, Penava said it was prompted by an interview with outgoing Minister of the Interior Vlaho Orepic in the Vecernji List daily of Saturday, in which Orepic commented, among other things, on the number of Serbs living in Vukovar.
"No one wants to say the truth, but I believe that if all false registrations of residence are removed, the Serb minority will not have the 30% (share in the local population entitling it to the equal use of its language and script). If that has been the only ground for using the Cyrillic script in Vukovar, after this, it will no longer exist. The Serb minority has manipulated residence registration," Orepic told the daily.
"Despite the fact that in the period from 2013 to 2014 we gave the creators of chaos led by Milanovic, (former Minister of the Interior Ranko) Ostojic, and (Croatian Serb leader Milorad) Pupovac lists with the names of 400 people with fictitious residence in Vukovar and real addresses in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and despite data from primary schools showing that the share of Serb pupils is 20% and identical data from kindergartens, they disregarded all the arguments," said Penava, a member of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) party.
He said Orepic was the only one to respond to the numerous appeals by the town authorities to finally establish the real number of Vukovar residents.
Vukovar needs peace and stability as a precondition of economic recovery and investment, said Penava.