"Serbian PM secretly meeting with Croatian opposition"
Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic on Friday accused his Serbian counterpart of holding "secret talks with Budapest and with Karamarko in Zagreb."Source: Tanjug
Tomislav Karamarko is the leader of the opposition Croatian HDZ party.
According to the Croatian daily Jutarnji List, Milanovic said these "talks" were taking place because the three sides he mentioned make up "a little crew."
Milanovic reiterated that he had offered Aleksandar Vucic "a fleet of buses to help Serbia in the south of the country, on the Macedonian border, so that people (migrants and refugees from third countries) could be transported immediately to Bajakovo (Croatian border) but also to Horgos (Hungarian border)."
"The man won't (accept it). Explain to me what motives someone to refuse it? Can the offer be any clearer, more well-meaning, and precise? So, you won't, you've got your motives, because you're in cahoots with someone. Because you're talking with Budapest, you're secretly meeting with Karamarko in Zagreb. That's this small crew. You refuse my well-intentioned, structured offer, which costs me, to jointly solve the problem. To disembark at Horgos, that dirty wall which is the disgrace of Europe, a thousand and something migrants, and let the others go to Bajakovo. Well we did not close the door to the people. He won't do that. So, these tricks can be sold only to those who want to buy them," Milanovic has been quoted as saying.
However, he also "stressed he was intensively working with his associates to consider removing the measures that Croatia had to enforce."
"With the warning that I will, at any moment when I deem it in the interest of Croatia, reach for something similar or the same thing. Because I cannot and will not do otherwise," said Milanovic, adding that he "does not want not only Croatian companies but also the workers in the companies in Serbia to suffer."
As he said, he will "not react to manipulation and demagoguery from the school of Seselj and Milosevic."
"We've seen plenty of that in Croatia. While my colleagues, like Ranko Ostojic, after Operation Storm helped Serbs in Donji Lapac, some others made inflammatory speeches in Petrinja and Glina and sought to bombard Croatian cities. That's the huge difference and will not be deleted for as long as we live," said the head of the Croatian government.
Milanovic also "pointed out that his country had not introduced measures against Serbia, but against everyone, even against Croatian trucks."
He added that "a state that is not a member of the European Union, and which does not function as a state but as a territory through which people pass without any control" was "the first to introduce discriminatory measures against Croatian trucks and Croatian goods."
"Our measures on the border may have been harsh, but it was in defense of national interests and in order to control migrants who pass through Serbia without any control," said Milanovic.
According to him, "national interests will always have priority over any company's profits."
"After Serbia introduced its measure against a members of the European Union, the Republic of Croatia, by banning the entry of trucks with Croatian license plates and of all Croatian goods, regardless in which trucks they are transported, we had to react with another measure," said Milanovic.
According to the Croatian prime minister, he has the interest and safety of Croatian citizens in mind above all else.
"Associations and some small private interests who act as if they do not live in Croatia and as if their EUR 10,000 or 15,000 - that they lost today and will compensate for as soon as tomorrow is the most important thing - do not act as loyal citizens of this country. This is unfair because we are taking care of that as well the whole time," Milanovic was quoted as saying.
He thinks "the situation with migrants will last," and sees "the behavior of Budapest" as "unpredictable."
"Now they have put wire on the border with Slovenia, therefore inside the Schengen (area), which cannot possibly be justified or explained", he stated.
Milanovic "reiterated that the acceptance of 10,000 people in one day is a lot for Croatia if we want to maintain this order."
"We can let people into the fields, as Serbia does, but then it is not a state. It is an accidental state, a disorganized state, which wants to join the European Union. They must consider hard how they intend to behave in the European Union, because this is for me a very bad signal. So, Croatia is the only one at this point that is doing the job in an organized way. We are not comparing ourselves with Austria and Germany, which are in a ten times more difficult situation than us because these people stay there," said Milanovic.
When it comes to Slovenia, he pointed out that the country "has been spared for now," and added he was "constantly in touch with Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar, and knows very well that the Slovenian organizational capacity is high."
"That state functions, and then some," said Milanovic.
The Croatian prime minister also "stressed that he was constantly talking with his associates, with several statesmen and with the European Commission about the protection of what is important, and that is safety, order, and functioning."
"People come to our state with a hundred euros and exit with a hundred euros. In Serbia, they take those one hundred euros from them for various services. That's that economy," said Milanovic.