Croatia's "registry of traitors" minister abandons his idea
The cabinet of Croatia's Minister of Veteran Affairs Mijo Crnoja on Tuesday announced that registers of aggressors and traitors will not be produced.Source: Tanjug
Furthermore, said the cabinet, the newly-elected minister "never spoke about it."
This came after Crnoja (HDZ) repeated several times in the past days that he intended to seek the introduction of such registers, telling the media explicitly he would not give up on this initiative.
His cabinet's statement on Tuesday also came shortly after Deputy PM Bozo Petrov (Most) said that such a thing could jeopardize future cooperation among Croatia's ruling coalition parties.
"I hope the other side will not want to introduce the register at any cost and bring into question the overall cooperation," said Petrov.
Crnoja's idea has caused consternation among the public, but was supported by Deputy PM and HDZ leader Tomislav Karamarko, and was also the focus of attention on Monday as the new minister officially took over from his predecessor.
But the Croatian media on Tuesday carried the statement from Crnoja's cabinet, that read:
"We wish to in this way stress that the focus of the new veteran affairs minister and his associates will not be any kind of register, but much more important existential, social, and health problems of the defender (veteran) population - something that Mr. Mijo Crnoja clearly stressed in his statement to the media."
However, said his cabinet - "some media carried something that the new minister did not say," and added:
"On the contrary, Minister Mijo Crnoja clearly said that the ministry he is heading will not be dealing with producing any kind of register, and that anyone who in any way wrongs Croatia's laws should be dealt with by the competent institutions of the Republic of Croatia."
Meanwhile, Croatia's Index website reported that Crnoja retired when he was 40 although he has no disability, "and is, it is claimed, completely healthy."
The Nacional magazine said he was at one point detained for violent behavior, and that he has been harassing a widow who has a disabled child - a woman whose husband was killed by mafioso Vinko Zuljevic Klica, himself "liquidated" last year.
According to the magazine, Crnoja has been harassing the woman for six years, "sealing her property into a garage while she was in the hospital."
The article said that Crnoja lost a court case, "during which he lied," and has for years been trying to "hush everything up."
The same magazine said that he once, at a bus station, "struck with his hand a bus driver who was supposed to deliver him a package."
"Clearly this is a man who does not respect the legal order of the country," concluded Nacional.
Zagreb daily Jutranji List also writes that Crnoja's biography lists the wrong address, and that if the State Prosecution determines he does not live at the address where he is registered, the minister could face criminal charges.