The Ministry of Veterans' Affairs has strongly condemned continued comments by the leader of the Croatian Peasant Party (HSS), Kreso Beljak, in which he insulted war veterans and belittled their contribution to the defence of the country during the 1991-1995 war.
"At a party meeting in Kalnik (held on Friday), Beljak said that for more than two years of his premiership Zoran Milanovic put up with a tent pitched by a handful of drunks in Savska Street (in Zagreb) and that there is not one general who isn't a multimillionaire. With statements like these Beljak belittles the Croatian war veterans and their sacrifice," the ministry said in a statement on Friday, adding that such rhetoric was unacceptable.
The ministry said that the protest launched during the term of the Milanovic government had been prompted by built-up dissatisfaction with the unacceptable treatment of veterans and civilians affected by the war. It recalled the death during the protest of a fully disabled war veteran, Nevenka Topalusic, adding that it was "a tragic event that deserves respect and not derision."
The ministry said that Beljak's claim that all Croatian generals were multimillionaires was "false, unfounded and tendentious" and aimed at further defaming the veteran community.