Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said on Sunday that if it turned out that diplomat Elizabeta Madjarevic's social media profiles had not been hacked, the statements she made on them were "a catastrophe".
In connection with media reports on the appearance of racist and xenophobic remarks on the Facebook account of Madjarevic, the first secretary in Croatia's embassy in Berlin, the premier said today that the foreign minister Gordan Grlic Radman and the ministry had responded very well.
They recalled her and the procedure to establish the facts surrounding the case is under way, the premier said and praised the ministry for promptly distancing itself from the views expressed on Madjarevic's Facebook profile.
Asked by the press about dismissal of the embassy staffer in this case, the premier, who was on a visit in Barban, Istria, explained that Madjarevic had not been immediately fired as there was legal procedure.
He also said that it should be established whether her Facebook profile had been hacked, as claimed by Madjarevic. In the event that it was not hacked, that is then catastrophic (what she has written), Plenkovic said.
On Friday evening the Foreign and European Affairs Ministry strongly distanced itself from the views of Elizabeta Madjarevic, a member of the Croatian embassy staff in Berlin since the start of this year, which she published on social networks and which were carried by the Index news website.
"The Ministry... strongly distances itself from the views which its employee Elizabeta Madjarevic, a staff member of the Croatian Embassy in Berlin since January 2019, has posted on social networks, as reported by index.hr, " the ministry said in a statement.
Madjarevic was also recalled to Zagreb.
Being prompted by a growing interest of the public in the case, the ministry said in a statement on Saturday afternoon that diplomats accept the responsibility of representing their country abroad and are supposed to comply with Croatia's official policies.
The ministry reiterated that it distanced itself from any statements or behaviour marked by xenophobia, racism and other forms of intolerance, made by anybody in the diplomatic service regardless of the rank of that person in the diplomatic hierarchy. Under the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations, interfering into the internal affairs of the Receiving State, which includes comments of foreign diplomats on office holders in the Receiving State, is unacceptable, the ministry underscored on Saturday. According to the index.hr web portal, Madjarevic has criticised German Chancellor Angela Merkel over her migrant policy.
In the meantime, the diplomat stated that her Facebook profile was hacked.
"My profile is hacked. I am shocked with contents cited by media. Being a professional, I fully share the policy of the Government of the Republic of Croatia. None of those media outlets have contacted me to ask me about that statement," Madjarevic told on Saturday afternoon the Fenix Magazin, which is published in Frankfurt by the Croatian expat community.