Prime minister: Serbia deserves to be in EU

LOZNICA -- Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dačić has stated that Serbia deserves to be a part of the EU thanks to its anti-fascism fight.

Ivica Dačić is seen at the commemoration in Draginac (Tanjug)
Ivica Dačić is seen at the commemoration in Draginac (Tanjug)

He noted, however, that those who had committed crimes against Serbs prevented the country from joining the EU.

The prime minister on Sunday laid a wreath in the western Serbian village of Draginac where about 3,000 civilians were shot to death by Nazis on October 14, 1941.

He pointed out that the Serbs needed to be proud of their fight against fascism and libertarian history. He added that the fact that Serbia lost a half of its male population in World War I and had an enormous number of victims in World War II must never be forgotten.

“After the genocide we survived in two world wars because we were on the right side of the international community, Serbia and its national interests do not deserve to be treated unfairly today because Serbia has always been on the side that fought against fascism,” Dačić stressed.

According to him, the Serbian victims have been forgotten and history has been rewritten so the defeated nations have become more important in the Balkans than Serbia and the Serbian people.

“Those who lost their lives here were innocent victims, they gave their lives for the new Europe and the EU is now conditioning our entry by saying that we have to allow what started in WWI and WWII to be finished and that it is to shrink Serbia as much as possible,” the prime minister warned.

He said that Serbia had given much more in combat for human and European values than some other countries that had very easily become EU members, “countries that today say that Serbia does not belong there, that threaten us every day and say that Serbia should recognize Kosovo’s independence and that visas should be reintroduced for us”.

“Serbia is not asking for anything and you should not give anything to it. Serbia deserves to be a part of Europe because it was creating Europe here as well. That is why by remembering and not allowing the darkness of history to engulf this we are proving our desire to fight for ideals of freedom, equality and respect,” the prime minister said.

“If the Draginac victims were members of some other nation, legends and stories would have been told about them and that is why Serbia needs to insist that its dead must never be forgotten,” he added.

“We need to forgive those who committed the crime but we cannot forget or accept that their victims are more valuable than ours.” Dačić said and noted that everything should be done to prevent new wars and rewriting of history.

“It is important to know who was on which side. We were on the side of truth and justice and we expect those on whose side we were on to be on the side of truth and justice when it comes to Serbia,” he explained.

Loznica Mayor Vidoje Petrović and numerous citizens attended the commemoration in Draginac.

The execution of the civilians in Draginac was the first mass shooting in the WWII. It was a retaliation for the death of Wehrmacht troops who died in an offensive against civilians aimed at clamping down an uprising in western Serbia.

Adolf Hitler ordered that 100 Serb civilians be killed for one killed German soldier and 50 for every wounded soldier. 2,950 persons were killed in Draginac. The youngest victim was only three days old.

Mass executions then followed in Kragujevac, Kraljevo and many other towns across Serbia.