Croatian town's removal of Serbian Cyrillic "clear message"
There is no room for the Serbian Cyrillic alphabet in any of Croatia's 23 municipalities where Serbs constitute at least a third of the population.Source: B92
The decision passed on Monday by the local administration in the municipality of Vukovar "sends a clear message - Serbs are not welcome: they best be assimilated, or move out," says Miodrag Linta.
The president of a coalition of Serb refugees from Croatia added:
"Clearly the time has not come for Serbs to be accepted as equal citizens in Croatia, nor to be considered a bridge of cooperation between Serbia and Croatia - instead, they are considered to be a disruptive factor."
The Vukovar city assembly passed with a narrow majority a new statute which cancels bilingualism - that is, the official use of the Serbian Cyrillic alphabet.
Although 13 years ago they obligated themselves, with a law, to respect ethnic minority rights, the Vukovar municipal leadership is not ready to honor this obligation even today. After video footage emerged a day before the town hall vote of the deputy mayor and the city council president singing a fascist Ustasha song - the question is whether they should have been expected at all to respect the law and prevent the removal of the use of the Serbian alphabet.
They today used the votes of their party colleagues from the HDZ and the Croatian Conservative Party, along with Slavica Jelinic from the HDSSB - a party led by Branimir Glavas - to pass the decision by which signs on public institutions in Vukovar will not be printed in both Croatian and Serbian.
The new statute also leaves the possibility to decide each year in October whether the conditions for bilinguality in that town had been met.
According to some announcements, the Croatian government should dissolve the Vukovar city council over passing the new statute. The Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other institutions are yet to react to the news out of Vukovar today.