Former top Croat officials join boycott of Jasenovac event
Former Croatian President Ivo Josipovic has said he will boycott the official state commemoration for the victims of the Ustasha death camp Jasenovac.Source: Tanjug
He said that "despite its strong anti-fascist tradition, the emergence of ustashism is being tolerated in Croatia."
The Ustasha regime was in power in the Nazi-allied WW2 Independent State of Croatia (NDH). The Ustasha operated death camps that were the sites of mass murder of Serbs, Jews, and Roma.
In a statement for the Belgrade-based daily Blic on Tuesday, Josipovic said that the current authorities in Zagreb have "unfortunately, to a large degree" contributed to the tolerant attitude toward the Ustasha ideology.
"Croatia is not an Ustasha country. It has a strong anti-fascist tradition, but people who think otherwise have now come to certain positions," he said, and added:
"I will go to the commemoration of the Jasenovac breakthrough, but not the state one - instead to the one that will be organized by the Jewish Communities and anti-fascist organizations."
He added that he "hopes Serb National Council (in Croatia) representatives will join us."
Former Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic, the leader of the most influential opposition party, the SDP, also announced he would boycott the official ceremony, the Tanjug agency reported on Tuesday.
The Coordination of Jewish Communities in Croatia and the Serb National Council announced their boycott earlier.
Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic met with their representatives on Monday in a failed bid to persuade them to reconsider their decision, and said she was "concerned over the strengthening of ideological divisions, particularly when it comes to the upcoming commemoration for the victims of Jasenovac."