zlatko hasanbegović.jpg
Croatian Culture Minister Zlatko Hasanbegovic
Photograph: Hina/ Dario GRZELJ/ dag

The director of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, Efraim Zuroff, has supported an appeal for the replacement of Croatian Culture Minister Zlatko Hasanbegovic over his pro-Ustasha statements, the Belgrade-based B92 television reported on Sunday.

That someone who supports or is nostalgic about the Ustasha movement can be a government minister in an EU member-state is unbelievable. He did not say that he had made a mistake, because he was young, he made statements that make it obvious that he sympathises with the rightists, Zuroff said in an interview with B92 in Tel Aviv.

Hasanbegovic, Zuroff claims, identifies more with Bleiburg than with Jasenovac.

Hasanbegovic is not the only problem, the problem is that in Croatia today legitimacy is given to statements that are entirely fascist. The proposal to introduce the salute "For the homeland, ready" in the army, teaching about the Ustasha regime as something positive - that means that something is very, very wrong in Croatia, Zuroff said, adding that the Croatian government was not doing anything despite all the criticism, appeals by French intellectuals and protests by the Simon Wiesenthal Centre.

The regime that committed genocide against Serbs, Jews and Roma has not been condemned properly, he said, among other things.

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