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Serbia Begins a Diplomatic Offensive against Croatia

Published on , , Zagreb, Twitter: @AdelinaMarini
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The noose around Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic's neck is beginning to tighten up more and more precisely especially around the second anniversary of his government. In the middle of his term, Mr Milanovic has to fight not only the severe economic problems in the country and defend the minority's rights, but also a new challenge from Serbia. Last week, the Serbian foreign ministry sent to all countries where it has diplomatic representations, a document with "accusations" against Croatia of violations of the rights of the Serb minority in the country. The list with the Zagreb's violations consists of 14 points, to which the Croatian government has not yet responded officially.

According to Belgrade, the anti-Serb incidents have increased recently and have even turned into an anti-Serb campaign, while condemnation on behalf of the authorities is "sporadic". This, the Serbian foreign ministry believes, leads to the lack of a large scale condemnation in the public domain of such incidents. An euinside source in the Croatian foreign ministry confirmed the already expressed official Croatian position that those were isolated cases and cannot be considered a campaign against the Serb minority. The greatest increase of the incidents is related to the introduction of bilingual inscriptions, which caused significant tensions in Vukovar and led to a division into a Vukovar-Croatia and a non-Vukovar-Croatia right on the anniversary of the devastation of the city by the then Yugoslav People's Army (JNA). The rebellion against the Cyrillic inscriptions on public buildings in Vukovar has led to individual cases of destruction of inscriptions in Cyrillic alphabet in other towns and cities in Croatia, where bilingual inscriptions had long been introduced.

Zagreb believes, however, that the Serb accusations are not justified because the government could have postponed the introduction of the inscriptions, but it, on the contrary, insists on fulfilling its obligations. Moreover, Zagreb expects official support from Belgrade in these efforts. To the defence of the Croatian efforts are also several important dates from the past. In 1997, the Croatian government ratified the convention on protection of national minorities as well as the European provisions for regional and minority languages. In 2002 a constitutional law was adopted on the rights of national minorities. In addition, there is a law in the country that allows minorities to study in their mother tongue and writing. On national TV and radio there are also programmes in the languages of the country's minorities and the council on national minorities meets regularly and often reviews whether the provisions related to public media are implemented.

euinside's source recalls in this context that the Croatian minority in Serbia does not have such rights. For example, in Croatia, minorities have representatives in parliament. They are eight, three of whom are Serb MPs. Something that has not happened yet in Serbia, the source said. Croatian kids have still not received textbooks in Croatian language, which was mentioned as a problem during the first official visit by President Ivo Josipovic in Serbia this autumn.

In Belgrade's "charge list" it is also pointed out that the Croatian state prevents some 50 000 Serbs with a refugee status to return to Croatia and their properties to be restored. According to data by the Croatian foreign ministry, so far 133 000 members of minorities have returned to Croatia, 93 969 of whom are of Serb nationality. The rest are from Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Croatian Danube region. From the beginning of the war until now Croatia has invested in recovery of properties 5.5 billion euros from its budget. This money was spent on restoration of destructed homes, infrastructure, removal of landmines and affect some 150 000 homes and properties. 120 million euros are planned to be spent both from the Croatian budget and the EU funds, 90% of which will be spent on securing housing for 3 541 families who have housing rights in their capacity of refugees.

On Belgrade's list are also most of the unresolved bilateral problems that have been discussed in visibly good spirit during Croatia's head of state's visit in Serbia in October. A visit that was impossible only a year ago because of nationalistic and incorrect statements on behalf of the then newly elected President of Serbia Tomislav Nikolic. One of his remarks that caused freezing of the Serb-Croatian relations was aimed precisely at Vukovar, which he called a "Serb city". Ivo Josipovic's condition to formally meet his Serb counterpart was Mr Nikolic to apologise. There was no formal apology, but nonetheless the visit happened, thus the two countries scored good marks before Brussels in terms of bilateral relations. This was reflected in the progress report on Serbia which the European Commission presented in October. This year, thanks to all these efforts, Serbia turned from the biggest troublemaker in the region to a champion of European integration in the Western Balkans.

Among the unresolved bilateral issues on the list is also the establishment of the fate of those who disappeared and were killed during the war between the two countries in the beginning of the 1990s. An issue which is a major one for Croatia in all bilateral contacts. For its part, Zagreb believes that it is his initiative to solve some of the most important issues like the one about those who disappeared during th war, the prosecution and conviction of accused of war crimes and also the return of arts. For Croatia, however, the fate of the disappeared is of key importance. The problem with payment of pensions is also a major one for Zagreb. 40 000 people in Serbia receive pensions from the Croatian budget. Croatia disagrees with the statement that pensions are not paid and recalls that the only period of interruption of payments was during the war.

Moreover, our source adds, this issue is currently discussed in the context a bilateral agreement for social security. This, though, is a bilateral issue. In the beginning of the year, the foreign minsters of the two countries - Vesna Pusic and Ivan Mrkic - outlined three groups of issues to be resolved between the two counties. The first is the issue of the consequences from the war, mainly the disappeared persons; the second is Croatia's exit from CEFTA (the Central European free trade area) and its entry into the single market; and the third group is cooperation in the European integration for which Croatia established a special centre which shares documents and experience in a language that is close to everyone in the region, except Albania.

On its list of "accusations" Serbia has included the issue of the behaviour of football fans and hooligans during sports events. This year there were two football events that took a political dimension because they were the first major clash between Serbia and Croatia on an international football terrain. The game between the two countries in Zagreb took place with severe security measures and was followed closely by the entire international community and all the media in the region. Similar was the organisation of the match in Belgrade. Nonetheless, there were incidents. It is important to note how Croatia treats violations of bon ton. During the decisive game with Iceland, with the victory of which Croatia qualified for the world cup championship in Brazil, one of the Croatian football stars Josip Simunic shouted in the end of the game in a microphone before the full Maksimir stadium "ready for homeland", a solute that is considered fascist in Croatia.

The player was punished for several games and the incident caused sharp debates in the Croatian public domain, most of which condemned such a behaviour. This cast a shadow on the victory in the game. Croatia says in its defence that there is no country in the world immune to such incidents, but said such problems must be solved. Croatia, too, has in its archive inappropriate slogans from the Serbian stands and is ready to quote them if necessary.

Serbia's diplomatic offensive caught Zagreb by surprise. Belgrade had already protested orally through its embassy in the Croatian capital against the incidents and insisted the rights of minorities to be respected. On that occasion the Croatian news agency Hina reported that there were meetings between the two parties during which Serbia expressed concern. All this has been unfolding against the backdrop of the successful completion of collection of signatures for another referendum. This time on the introduction of Cyrillic inscriptions in regions where there are minorities. 650 000 signatures have been collected. However, the preparation of constitutional amendments is in a very advanced stage that will practically ban referenda on issues that affect the rights of minorities.

On Friday, the leader of the biggest opposition party in Croatia, the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), Tomislav Karamarko made a U-turn in his position on the matter and said that it was not the right time for such a referendum. He admitted he signed for the voting because he only wanted to show his disagreement with Zoran Milanovic's government. In a series of interviews in the weekend Mr Karamarko accused the cabinet for the growing tensions in Vukovar, but said he would support the constitutional amendments. Serbia, for its part, expects to start accession negotiations with the EU, which emerge as the toughest in the enlargement history not only because of the enlargement fatigue in the EU, but also because of the perspective the negotiations to take place under changed conditions, like for instance restored visa regime. This could be one of the reasons behind the surprising diplomatic move by Belgrade. Whatever the other reasons, though, the EU has long stopped to believe in tears, but in reforms. Yet, reforms that have a long expiry date.

comments
Mickey
9 December 2013 19:01
If Serbia wants to 'protect' their minority rights in Croatia, they should consider giving Croatian minorities some rights in their own country.

Niko
9 December 2013 19:04
Serbs need to relax and just take a vacation.

I suggest Croatia. It's awesome!
Marko
9 December 2013 20:20
Croatia is the only country which has not made nazi and fascist paraphernalia illegal. The Croatian government is pretty much taking a stance of Holocaust denial. I don't know why anyone would think its ok to chant "hang the serbs" or any other racial insult that has roots in the genocidal campaigns brought upon by the Usatase regime. I'm glad that Serbia is finally calling them out on this.
Elvis Klokanovic
9 December 2013 21:40
Marko...please..oh please...

As an Australian I lived in Croatia for three years in the 90's - never had I witnessed a fascist salute or a "hang the serbs" chant.

I do recall however a plethora of footage of drunk Serbian 'soldiers' asking Milosevic to send over some salad - as they were about to slaughter some Croatians. And slaughter them they did. With the backing of Belgrade.

Seriously, who is Serbia to call anyone out on anything?
Rachel
9 December 2013 21:55
Germans are ashamed of what was done in their name against the Jews in WW2. Croats feel no shame though. They keep trying to exterminate the Serbs today. Bob Dylan was spot on with his remarks.
Jonny
9 December 2013 23:00
Hey Elvis..please..oh please...

Are you serious, the crotian community here in Australia as they are back home..... Have a look at what type of concert they held in Melbourne with "Thompson Band"....

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/archive/news/croatian-stars-gig-sparks-outrage/story-e6frg6of-1111114762655
Torcida
9 December 2013 23:02
Marko and Rachel,
Look up "Croatian Partisans". And while you're at it look up "Anti-Fascist Struggle Day". It's a national holiday in Croatia. Since you're doing homework, look up Croatia's first President Franjo Tudjman. Lastly, look up ZAVNOH (Zemaljsko antifašističko vijeće narodnog oslobođenja Hrvatske).
Pat
10 December 2013 00:39
Torcida, I don't think anyone denies that Croatians played their part in liberating Yugo, however, their Nazi/Ustasha past is something they have never come to terms with, and they desperately need to. As far as tudjman goes, this is a guy who basically said he was glad that his wife was not a "serb or a jew", and denied the fact that the extermination of a predominately Serb population took place to the extent that it did in WWII. He said it on canadian television. I guess at the end of the day, time will only heal wounds through understanding and admittance that such things did happen.
J
10 December 2013 00:51
It was about time for the Serbian government to start taking some measures and claim loud and clear what has been obvious ever since. To begin with, Croatia has never admitted to committing a holocaust against Serbs in WW2. Then again, what about the ethnic cleansing of Serbs during the 90s war, where indigenous Serbs were exiled in blood from their centuries-long homeland. No one is talking about numbers there... and if a country signs some democratic convention, resolution, joins the EU, or whatever, that doesn't make it any more democratic or Serb-loving. Facts are facts, CROATIAN COMMUNITY WILL NEVER GO PAST ITS FASCIST ROOTS.
The bad thing here is that the egalitarian and liberal Europe is turning a blind eye to this whole situation.
Elvis Klokanovic
10 December 2013 01:31
Jonny,

I wasn't talking about Melbourne Croatians was I?

And as far as Thompson is concerned, how many Chetnik Riblja Corba concerts have there been in Melbourne? What exactly is your point?

I said that I never saw fascist salutes in Croatia in my three years there.

I am well aware of dumb-witted 14 year old Australian kids who think they are Croatian - singing stupid songs of a homeland they have never seen.
anonymous
10 December 2013 07:58
You are all stupid chetnik loving rats
Michael
10 December 2013 15:47
Whenever anybody says 'Croatia' they think of great beaches, good food, solid sports teams...
Whenever anybody says 'Serbia' all people think of are wars and crimes.

Serbia needs to clean up its image for its part in the recent war in the 1990s. They have yet to apologize for bombing the historic city of Dubrovnik, burning down Vukovar and its citizens, surrounding and snipering citizens in Sarajevo for four straight years, and the thousands murdered in the Srebrenica massacre (I won't even mention the concentration camps). As per the UN, they were responsible for 90% of the war crimes committed in this war.

Instead of an apology, all we hear is denial from Serbia that these well documented events ever occurred, and instead, Serbia focuses its efforts on an aggressive lobby in trying to bring down the image of its neighbours, instead of working on their own image.

Constantly relying on painting themselves in this 'joint victim' picture with other WW2 victims (even though Serbia, like many Euro nations, committed holocaust atrocities with Belgrade being touted as the first 'jew-free' city) is just a decoy to avoid having to address their recent crimes in the 90s against Croats and Bosnians.
Eddie
10 December 2013 16:59
Serbia and Serbs 100% same as a Serial Killer who starts complaining he has been mistreated for the crimes he has committed … Shame on this nation of murderers. Their place is back to their Cyrillic Carpathian mountains from where they arrived in Balkans by the end of 6th and beginning of 7th century, not to Europe.
NY
10 December 2013 17:22
Michael,
It seems like you need a fact-checker here. In WW2 Belgrade was occupied by Nazi-German forces within the first days of the Nazi siege, so the Nazis were the ones who committed the holocaust. Serbian people were killed, bombed and forced to concentration camps, the government fled the country... The Serbs were always among the Allied Forces, unlike the Croats who were Fascists, Nazi supporters, and who committed some of the worst atrocities of the WW2, for example, they were the only Hitler-supporting country who had concentration camps for CHILDREN (Serbian and Jewish children).

When talking about the 90s war, nothing compares to what they did, they ethnically cleansed the whole country (exiled Serbs, the second biggest nationality on that territory at the time) and created a nice little country which is even today the country with the smallest number of minorities in Europe, WONDER WHY?
Frank
10 December 2013 18:32
I can´t understand why Croatia allow citizens from such a hostile nation as serbia to travel freely without a visa to Croatia.
Michael
10 December 2013 18:45
@NY

Again, you are a typical example of more deception and aversion from taking accountability from what the Serbs did in the 1990s.

So let me get this straight...it was entirely the Nazis' fault (and not the Serbs' fault) for what happened in Serbia during WW2, but it entirely the Croats' fault (and not the Nazis' fault) for what happened in Croatia during WW2?

Give me a break.

Both countries had neo-Nazi puppet states(NDH for Croatia, and Nedic's Serbia for Serbia) and both countries had the anti-Nazi movement (the Partizan movement, which was actually created and lead by a Croat) and eventually liberated all the territories from Nazi rule.
T.O.
10 December 2013 19:45
A mass evacuation of the Krajina Serbs ordered by Serb leadership in Belgrade does not equal ethnic cleansing of the entire Krajina Serb population. Undoubtedly, the Krajina Serbs felt retribution was coming for their ethnic cleansing of Croats living in Krajina at the beginning of the war. Obviously better for the Serbs to leave on their own terms than face the relatives of the Croats that they had raped, murdered and forcibly expelled from their homes. Media outlets all over the world documented Croat forces going into Knin which was essentially a ghost town due to the evacuation. Operation Storm was completed in 4 days. Do Serbs really believe the world will buy into the notion that Croat forces forcibly expelled over 200,000 people in just 4 days? Perhaps the Croats would have tried and perhaps they would have succeeded. But the reality is that you can't force someone from their home if they are not in it to begin with.

I still believe all the tragedy and suffering of the Croatian and Bosnian wars of independence could have been avoided had the Serb population in these republics not taken up arms and pursued diplomatic solutions. Instead they became seduced by Milosevic's perverted vision of a “Greater Serbia” and now they are living with the consequences of that decision. Well one could see how the Serbs might think the tactic of ethnic cleansing is the way to go. After all they committed legitimate ethnic cleansing and genocide in Srebrenica and were subsequently rewarded with a Serbian Republic in Bosnia.

It is indisputable that the Serbs controlled the powerful Yugoslav army and the put it to use against non-Serbs to achieve a “Greater Serbia”. They used this army to perpetrate unspeakable atrocities and now they are playing the victim card. This is both revisionist and ridiculous.
NY
10 December 2013 22:56
@Michael

During the WW2 Serbia was a direct occupation zone of Germany, while on the other hand, Croatian NDH was to an extent a sovereign state the Nazi regime (a puppet state with enough authority to perform some nasty actions on their own).

The number of Serbs who under Nedic's military command was around 15,000, while the number of Croats under Pavelic's military command was over 300,000. Furthermore, the Croats sent the entire legion of soldiers to the Eastern front to fight the Allied forces. On the other hand, neither one Serbian solider fought against the Allies on the Eastern Front.

When talking about the Partisan movement in Croatia during the WW2, this is the ethnic composition of Partisans on that territory:
According to Goldstein, among Croatian partisans at the end of 1941 there were approximately 77% Serbs and 21.5% Croats and others as well as unknown nationalities. The percentage of Croats in the partisan troops had increased to 32% by August 1942, which rose to 34% by September 1943. After the capitulation of Italy, it continued to increase rapidly and at the end of 1944 there were 60.4% Croats, 28.6% Serbs and 11% of other unknown nationalities in Croatian partisan units.[71]
By 1944, the Partisans in Croatia were 60.4% Croat, 28.6% Serb, 2.8% Muslim and 8.2% other.[50] Overall, from 1941 to 1945, the Partisans in Croatia were 61% Croat, 28% Serb, and rest composed of Slovenes, Muslims, Montenegrins, Italians, Hungarians, Czechs, Jews and Volksdeutsche.[32]

As you can see, the Partisan movement at the beginning of the war was mainly composed of the Serbs, but as the war went on, and Germany and Italy started losing thee war,the Croats started joining the Partisans, obviously, to wash their hands of all their dirty business.

So think about that...
njegos
10 December 2013 22:56
T.O. - Your comments seem to have been written by the US Public Relations firms to whom the Croat gov't. paid million of dollars to to create an image of victimization. Why would the Croats pay millions to slant the media if they the victims? Please answer.

And your Greater Serbia charge is laughable. How could Serbs be accused of creating a Greater Serbia when all they wanted was to live on the land where they had lived for more than 500 years in peace. When Croatia broke international law and the Yugoslav constitution by prematurely seceding, Serbs were fired from their jobs and Ustasha symbols were reintroduced by the Tudjman gov't. WWII war criminals (Dinko Sakic, Jasenovac commander) was invited back to the newly independent Croatia. And tell us about Tudjman's failed attempt at a Greater Croatia in Bosnia, aka Herceg Bosna. Please answer.
Halibedija
10 December 2013 23:06
Jadna li ste i vi dica.

Stop worrying about Ustase, partisans, and cedos and start worrying about your economy and standard of living. If the "Croatians of servian origin" are worried about their minority rights they sould start integrating like every other place in the world. Nobody ever said you couldnt be a Croatian of Orthodox faith. You have only had around 600 years to do it?? Why does it only take 50 years in every other country?? Must be that ol' greater serbia thing?? maybe we need to get over that.

In regards to any 'Croatian of serbian origin' that currently lives in Croatia that took up arms against Croatia you should really leave. theres plenty of room in Beograd. No body wants you there and truthfully you dont belong there. Imagine if serbs in australia went to war against australia, would australia let them back in?? why are they back in Croatia???

Jadni li smo i ciji smo.
Halibedija
10 December 2013 23:09
Jadna li ste i vi dica.

Stop worrying about Ustase, partisans, and cedos and start worrying about your economy and standard of living. If the "Croatians of servian origin" are worried about their minority rights they sould start integrating like every other place in the world. Nobody ever said you couldnt be a Croatian of Orthodox faith. You have only had around 600 years to do it?? Why does it only take 50 years in every other country?? Must be that ol' greater serbia thing?? maybe we need to get over that.

In regards to any 'Croatian of serbian origin' that currently lives in Croatia that took up arms against Croatia you should really leave. theres plenty of room in Beograd. No body wants you there and truthfully you dont belong there. Imagine if serbs in australia went to war against australia, would australia let them back in?? why are they back in Croatia???

Jadni li smo i ciji smo.
Tom
11 December 2013 02:51
Talk about the doctrine of "unclean hands". Are the Serbians joking? This is a country that attempted genocide less than 20 years ago and still sees itself as the victim. They have some nerve to complain about minority rights when they are the most violently nationalistic country in Europe. Hey Serbs, you know which right is more important that the right to use your alphabet? I'd think the right to life, which you refuse to respect when it comes to all the other peoples of the former Yugoslavia. I don't think the world needs a lesson from one of the most violent and corrupt nations in Europe - one that reveres and worships its paramilitary warlords that committed unspeakable crimes on civilian populations. They complain about Simunic,which I admit was wrong, but at their soccer matches we see posters of Arkan! Their national team mascot might as well be a tiger with an AK47. This is also a people that staged massive rallies of hundreds of thousands of people defending that blood-thirsty murderer Milosevic. Serbs in a nutshell: They kill you and then complain you said nasty thing about them. I would implore the Croatia government to respond to the Serbian grievances as follows:
1. Murder of over 200 hospital patients in Vukovar;
2. Srebrenica;
3. Skabrjne;
4. Kosovo;
...and the list can go on and on.
T.O.
11 December 2013 03:57
@njegos – when the the war broke out there was a very brief conflict in Slovenia. However, the serious hostilities began in Croatia and shortly thereafter the crap hit the fan in BiH in a very real way. The reality is that when war first broke out Croatians had very little in the way of weapons or a military to defend themselves let alone take aggressive action. I'm sure you will agree a make shift militia group armed with hunting rifles and such doesn't really have much of a chance against the mighty JNA who had fighter jets, tanks and all sorts of heavy artillery at their disposal. Now Croats are many things but suicidal usually isn't your typical characteristic associated with them or anyone from the Balkans. It would have been suicidal for the Croats to take aggressive military actions in the early stages of the war. As it turns out it didn't matter because the Serbs knew that by controlling the JNA they had an enormous military advantage and they used every bit of it and the slaughter was on. Obviously the world media saw this for what it was and newscasts across the world called it “Serbian led aggression”. During this Serbian led aggression Serbs living in Croatia didn't try to use diplomacy and negotiation to come to a peaceful solution to the differences between the two sides. Instead they took up arms expelled non-Serbs by force from areas where they were the majority. The Serbs were now proclaiming that the Krajina region was the “Republic of Serbian Krajina”. They set up military barracks, roadblocks, checkpoints and placed thousands of land mines around their perimeter. There was no genuine attempt at diplomacy. Instead it was taken by force and the Croats had no choice but to accept it. Heck the UN couldn't even negotiate a cease fire let alone a peace deal with some sort of autonomy for the Krajina Serbs. Why? Because the Serbs took advantage of their military might to seize as much land as possible so they could ultimately have purely Serbian territory from Serbia proper to Zadar. Despite their military might and this dream of a “Greater Serbia” proved to be too ambitious even though the Croats were under an arms embargo and had to take drastic measure to secure weapons just to defend themselves let alone take aggressive measures against the Serbs. It was appropriately called “Serbian led aggression”. It wasn't until years later that the Serbian lobby started to make inroads and media outlets abandoned the term “Serbian led aggression” in favour of a civil war in which all sides were equally responsible for starting. How ridiculous to even suggest that the Croats with their infant and badly outgunned military wanted a war with the JNA?!? So if the Serbs could pay million to slant the media why shouldn't the Croats be allowed to use the same tactic to set the record straight?

You assert that my “Greater Serbia” charge is laughable – I think the chant “Srbija do Tokija” is laughable. If all the Serbs really wanted as you allege was to “was to live on the land where they had lived for more than 500 years in peace.” Why didn't they try to negotiate some form of peaceful settlement instead of forcibly expel non-Serbs in the region by means of murder rape, murder, looting and arson? Once they cleansed the region they set up military barracks, roadblocks, checkpoints and placed thousands of land mines around their perimeter. If they truly wanted peace why would they do this? Because they thought the JNA would help them carve out a greater Serbia and that Belgrade would back them the entire way. Turns out they were wrong. They believed their leaders and ultimately they were betrayed by them. Wouldn't it have been better for the Krajina Serbs to try and find a diplomatic solution. Some form of autonomy perhaps? After all the Croats couldn't have done much because they didn't have the means and the world was watching. Furthermore, in the beginning many Croats (admittedly not all Croats) wanted to avoid the stigma and awful legacy of the NDH and Ustashe of WW2. I still believe that if the Serbs turned to diplomacy as enthusiastically as they embraced ethnic cleansing the war could have been avoided.

As for Tudjman – He was far from the perfect leader. I will credit him for liberating Croatia and its citizens during a tumultuous period. I truly believe that had he miscalculated Croatia would have been annihilated and many more of Croats would have been massacred. Imagine how many more Srebrenica's there would have been if disgusting war criminals like Arkan and Mladic would not have been up against a proper resistance to from the Croats. However, despite liberating Croatia Tudjman did many things that were questionable (especially after the war). Alienating the Serb minority prior to the war was irresponsible and unnecessary. However, the Serbs should have turned to violence as an absolute last resort. Instead they embraced it as if it was the panacea for all of their concerns. Tudjman's vision of integrating Herceg-Bosna into Croatia proper was doomed from the start. After all he made a deal with the Milosevic to make that happen and we all know that when you deal with crap it stinks. The real tragedy in all of this is that the Serbs got away with true genocide in Srebrenica. What a proud legacy for “Republika Srpska”.
In the end all Croats really want is to have as little as possible to do with Serbs. However, it seems to me that the Serbs will do whatever they can to get as much as they can from Croatia including launching a diplomatic offensive for their minority rights. I suggest the Serbs ask the Bosnian men of Srebrenica for their thoughts on this issue. Oh yeah…. Never mind…. After all “Republika Srpska” lives on.

Marko
11 December 2013 06:04
You Croatians are a despicable people. Not only have you committed some of the worst atrocities ever seen on this Earth, but you deny them and have the nerve to chant "srbe na vrbe" during your concerts and soccer games. We Serbs are not jealous of you. True your economy is better now, but its a nice break from you being our bitches for so long. Everyone knows what country ran Yugoslavia. Our capitol city is beautiful and is one of the biggest metropolitan areas in Europe. Not only this, but the best thing about Serbia is that it isn't full of Vatican ass kissing Holocaust denialists. So to all of you Ustase, you can kiss my hairy Serbian ass.
Ivo
11 December 2013 16:46
Whatever man.

I read the articles to keep up-to-date on the news, but I laugh when I read the comments section.

Croatia is an awesome country with awesome food, women, sports, and weather, and I look forward to going there every summer (much like the majority of Europeans).

It's understandable that Serbs will continue to dream of taking it over. They can make up monster tales and evil stories all they like about Croats, but none of it matters. Nobody wants to go to Serbia. Not even Serbs.
Marija
11 December 2013 20:42
Im a female from Croatia and although Serbs have done questionable things in the recent past, I think we as a Croatian people have a lot of things that we need to work on. It is historically accurate that the Croatians committed horrible acts during the Holocaust, and I think its disrespectful to the victims of Jasenovac and other concentration camps to deny these atrocities. We as a people should accept and apologize for these things, and then move on into the future. I also think nationalistic bands like Thompson and racist chants at soccer games are ignorant and making us Croatians look bad as a people. And I'm sorry Ivo, but I have been to Belgrade, and it is a beautiful city. Serbia and Croatia need to reconcile!!!!!!!
Sramota
11 December 2013 21:00
Marko, look up Zbor, the "Grand Anti-Masonic Exhibit" held in Belgrade and the postage stamps that were issued by Serbia in January 1942.
Jovan
11 December 2013 22:08
@Marija

I agree. I am a male from Serbia. Although I think Croats may have done some questionable things in the past (like many European nations) I feel that Serbia must actually at least make an effort to apologize for the war crimes they had committed in the 1990s instead of blatantly denying responsibility for anything.

It is historically accurate that Serbs committed horrible acts during WW2 AND in the 1990s Balkan wars, and I think its disrespectful to the Croat and Bosnian victims to deny these atrocities.

I also think banning Gay Pride marches in Belgrade, burning the Croatian flag at soccer games, and having our own President incite hate by claiming that Vukovar is a 'Serbian' town are awful and making us Serbs look bad as a people. Serbia and Croatia definitely need to reconcile, but us Serbs need to make the first step and apologize for our crimes, like the Montenegrins did.
Stampar
11 December 2013 23:21
THIS IS AN IMPORTANT NOTE THAT SHOULD END ALL ARGUMENTS BETWEEN BOTH NATIONS:

1. IF THE CROATIANS WERE SUCH NASTY EVIL NAZI'S AND KILLED SO MANY SERBS THEN WHY IS IT THAT THERE ARE SO MANY SERBS LIVING IN CROATIA AND HARDLY ANY CROATIANS LIVING IN SERBIA

2. HOW MANY TIMES DID CROATIA INVADE SERBIA ON A PATH OF DESTRUCTION IN HISTORY? ANSWER = NIL

3. HOW MANY TIMES DID SERBS CAUSE MASS DESTRUCTION IN CROATIA ANSWER = 4 TIMES IN HISTORY
Milan
12 December 2013 00:45
http://www.ushmm.org/exhibition/jasenovac/
Read. Deny this Croats
Milan
12 December 2013 00:48
@Stampar

Your retarded. There used to be more Serbs living their until you kicked them out during the Yugoslav Wars. And there was even more living their before you exterminated half a million of them in one of the most brutal concentration camps to ever exist on this Earth. All of you are so ignorant and this arguing is pointless. Both sides have committed crimes against each other. But the facts are there, if you question it just look up Ante Pavelic or Jasenovac and read.
Jelena
12 December 2013 00:49
@Jovan

Its self-loathing Serbs like you which make our people weak and susceptible to Croatian racism and mistreatment.
andi
12 December 2013 08:54
Pretty objective minded New Zealander who has lived in Serbia for the last 2 years and my observations of relations between the Serbs and Croats has been formed by assessing visual data.
Example - drive to Beograd with a Croatian number plate,no issues, no hassles.
Drive the opposite way to Zargrab with a Serbian reg car and see the welcome you get.
STOP
Elvis Klokanovic
12 December 2013 14:14
andi...

Try to formulate this with your objective mind...perhaps the fact that Croatian tanks and drunk paramiltaris from Zagreb did not stream over the border into Serbia indicates why Croatian number plates get no reaction.

Also - there are thousands of Serbians in Croatia with Croatian number plates and that's what the Serbian Serbs probably assume.

Serbian number plates in Croatia...well it wasn't Croatian shells that fell in Serbia was it?
Jason
12 December 2013 16:56

Bombs dropped by Serbs in Croatia:
Too many to count (estimated to be in the hundred thousands)

Landmines planted by Serbs in Croatia:
150,000 with 90,000 remaining (and still killing people to this day)


Bombs dropped by Croats in Serbia:
ZERO

Landmines planted by Croats in Serbia:
ZERO
Svasta
12 December 2013 18:23
Read about the "Great Serb Migrations"
Svasta
12 December 2013 20:42
Read: "Croat-Serb Coalition"
john
12 December 2013 22:58
Serbs are modern day savages, that is proven in massacres of non serbs in bosnia ,Croatia and Kosovo.Read massacres in focha,visegad,srebrenica,borovo naselj,dalj,vukovar and so on.These subhumanoids are shown in war as greatest cowards ever,never ever won a single battle.first world war was marathon to escape from battle all the way to Greece,second world war their army was in peace and alliance with Nazis killing Croatian women and children,and in same time where pretending to be aly of alied forces,I have to admit -they are real masters of politics.
As an rewad serbian borders expanded for about 50%,so today Serbia is mostly somebodys occupied territory...when I read Serbian statements toward other countries I get diarrhea...This joke out of country needs to be punished for what they say about others,should not even have right to make any statements about war crimes at all
mario
14 December 2013 16:49
This can only be tolerated in Croatia: Only today headlines in Croatia read: " Zoran Pusic he regrets that he can not shoot all Croats and He and Teršelićka are paid by Croatia to represent anti-Croatian's, Serbs" and message sent to me on B92 said "who needs whom"…"Croat that lives in Lala land. By the time we are finished with Croats they will be begging for Serbs to stop. This is only the beginning." "Serbs are going to dish it out and you’re going to eat it and smile. Remember this is not the 1990s"

What you Serbs do not mind that your whole history reads as the April Fools Day. where is your pride and truth. "Serb is born with eraser in his hand, not a rifle like you say!" Where is your pride? wretched man what do you want permission, license to millions of Croats? you already attacked us when we were weakest, what what are you waiting for Russians to help you kill Croats, Turks, Christian, Muslims and who knows whom…miserable backward people and even more miserable government! fight for food on the table, better life and safety for your children! what you did not drunk enough blood by now? I'll leave you with this you pathetic little man… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWmTcDBJ9r8
Tonic
7 January 2014 22:40
Let serbia reflect how it treats its own minorities??!!!! Presevo???!!! they should lead by example (you get what you give??!!) Lets be a positive force and have an EU / Western attitude for Democracy is the best way and the most just thus far.
Anthony
28 January 2014 09:09
@NY

Your numbers regarding the Serbian Nazi collaborators are somewhat inaccurate. The number of Serbs in the State Guard under the command of pro nazi government of General Milan Nedic quickly reached a strength of 18,500, and by late 1943 the SDS reached its maximum strength of 36,716 men. However, this figure does not include other collaborationist forces in Nedic's Serbia - such as the Chetniks under the command of Kosta Pecanac (who openly collaborated with the Germans) and comprised about 8,000 men) - as well as Chetnik leader Dimitrije Ljotic. Ljotic's units were primarily responsible for tracking down Jews, Gypsies and Partisans for execution or deportation to concentration camps. They made up about 10,000 men.

Then there's the Chetniks of Draza Mihailovic of course (31,000). Early in the War Mihailovic did offer some resistance to the German forces but by the end of 1941 he was in collaboration with them as well as the Italians. Mihailović's strategy was to avoid direct conflict with the Axis forces while fighting mainly the Partisans, So now we are up to 85,716 nazi collaborators.

Side note: The SDS (The Serbian State Guard) routinely executed captured Partisans, and frequently took and murdered hostages in towns and villages. The SDS also included former members of the gendarmerie that had assisted German troops to round up hostages to be shot at both Kraljevo and Kragujevac in October 1941. In July 1941, the Banjica concentration camp had been established in the suburbs of Belgrade. It was initially guarded by both the Gestapo and the SDS, but sole responsibility was eventually transferred to the SDS, who behaved sadistically and violently towards the inmates. Despite their limited independence, the SDS actively engaged in dehumanising Jews, Roma and communist Serbs, and in killing people from those groups or delivering them to the Germans for execution.


As for the Croatian Homeguard, it reached its maximum size at the end of 1943, when it had 130,000 men, not over 300,000 as you indicate. You also stated that, "Croats started joining the Partisans, obviously, to wash their hands of all their dirty business." However, by 1942 more and more Croats were already joining the partisans; and when Italy surrendered in 1943, Dalmatia was in total control of Croatian Partisan hands, which bolstered their numbers.

Where were the Serbian Partisans in Serbia Proper? In 1942 there were 8,000, in September 1943 there were 13,000; then in late 1943 there were 22,000 partisans in Serbia. Then in late 1944 that number rose to 204,000. The Serbian Chetniks who were collaborating with the Germans and Italians converted to the partisans "en masse" at the very end of the war. "Obviously, to wash their hands of all their dirty business.
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