Making war criminals face justice is Croatia’s public and national interest, Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said on Sunday reacting to the announcement of a protest initiated by the mayor of Vukovar against the slowness in finding missing people and processing war criminals.
"There was some progress at the Croatian courts and the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia and some were processed in courts in Serbia," Plenkovic said.
"The initiative came from the mayor who is every day in contact with those who lost their beloved ones and are still suffering because of Milosevic’s great-Serbian aggression on Croatia," the Prime Minister said.
He noted that the Interior Ministry has formed a special working group that deals with war crimes and is making progress. The Government, he said, fulfilled all of its pre-election promises regarding homeland security, veterans, the Croatian army and police.
"Look at the budget of the Veteran’s Ministry, the Law on Croatian veterans, we did everything we could to strengthen the Croatian Army and everything the police does to protect our borders, the modernisation and the equipment," he said.
When reporters asked asked him whether he fears the Vukovar protest will spread and develop into an anti-government protest, Plenkovic said he is convinced that several political fractions will take part in the gathering and that most of the actors who supported the protest right away have "clearly identified their political goals through other activities" but that this is not a problem for the Government.
The protest could be “kidnapped” by some political forces in Croatia and that is a “political risk” the mayor who is organising the protest “will have to live with,” he said.