Mayor of eastern Croatian city of Osijek Ivica Vrkic called on the citizens of his country and neighbouring Serbia to cooperate and warned that because of the waves of migrations from both states it could happen that in the future neither Croats nor Serbs would live in the region, the Beta news agency reported.
Addressing the 11th Interactional Scientific meeting Croatian-Serb Relations held near the northern Dalmatian town of Obrovac, Vrkic said that “if the migrations continue to intensify, we Croats and Serbs will integrate because of the social needs.”
“We will do that because we are close, even though in those conditions media present that we are not (close)… We have a chance to try to live a better life because if we don’t, it could happen that we don’t live here at all,” he said.
Darko Gavrilovic, a historian from Serbian northern city of Novi Sad, said that malicious politicians “had transformed a period of evil into a century of hatred.”
“To stay in power by fuelling hatred instead by socially responsible economy you (politicians) created inflation of media deceptions and lies. You flooded schools and sports halls, supposed to be the source of health, with raw ethnic nationalism,” he said.
“You turn criminals into martyrs and impose collective guilt to other nations,” Gavrilovic added.
He said that the region needed authorities with a capacity to develop partnerships and an economic model which would destroy personal financial interests between the political and commercial areas and stop the pauperisation of people and thus turn them into “ordinary ‘yes men’.”
His colleague from the Croatian Association for History, Cooperation and Reconciliation Davor Paukovic agreed, saying that irresponsible politicians created frustration.
“But in spite of them, we can say that life goes on and shows that it can be better in this region. This generation of politicians obviously cannot face the traumatic past. That’s why both the culture of memory and states’ narratives provoke new conflicts instead of contributing to the improvement of relations,”Paukovic said.