Vojvodina PM: We want to renovate public buildings in quake-hit Banija region

NEWS 27.04.2021 20:15
Source: N1 info

The Prime Minister of Serbia's Vojvodina province, Igor Mirovic, said on Tuesday, during his visit to the quake-hit Banija region in Croatia, that "unity should be expressed in the reconstruction" and that by renovating a public building, Vojvodina wanted to help the locals, including those who are not necessarily ethnic Serbs.

“We came as neighbors because this is a disaster in which we must show solidarity,” Mirovic said in Begovici, a village southeast of Petrinja, where he visited one of the families provided with aid.

“We want this (solidarity) to be seen when it comes to ethnic Serb families, but also where there are public buildings that will be used by non-Serb citizens as well,” Mirovic said.

Vojvodina had helped Banija residents with €150,000 worth of construction materials and the purchase of housing units. Serbia had earlier helped with €1 million, and the city of Belgrade also sent funds, the head of the provincial government said.

This week, seven families in the towns of Petrinja and Glina had received aid from Vojvodina.

“We want to continue participating in the reconstruction,” said Mirovic, who toured the quake-hit village with head of the Serb National Council (SNV) and Croatian MP, Milorad Pupovac. Later, they met with Croatian Foreign Minister, Gordan Grlic-Radman, in Petrinja. Grlic-Radman minister will visit Subotica on Wednesday.

Healing visit

After meeting Grlic-Radman, Pupovac said at the army barracks in Petrinja that Mirovic’s visit was “encouraging” because “solidarity doesn’t end, but continues”.

“Today’s visit is healing and encouraging. I trust that… it will be the basis for strengthening political, economical and cultural relations between the two countries,” said Pupovac.

Mirovic, member of the ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) led by Serbian PM Aleksandar Vucic, and formerly a longtime chairman of the Novi Sad branch of the right-wing Serbian Radical Party, expressed hope that a lot could be done so that the relations between Croatia and Serbia would “move more toward the future and less toward the past”.

He mentioned “a significant change” in Vojvodina, in which members of the ethnic Croat minority were appointed into the provincial government.

Grlic-Radman welcomed that change, but he also underscored that the Croat community in Serbia was “waiting for the fulfillment of the bilateral agreement on minorities between Zagreb and Belgrade” signed 16 years ago, and that Zagreb was “waiting for the participation of the Croat minority in government at country level in Serbia.”

Commenting on recent incidents in Serbia against the ethnic Croat minority, such as threatening messages and the removal of the flag from the Croatian embassy in Belgrade, Mirovic said that “of course there are problems”, but that “this is the case in all communities.”

“But I want to show openness, that we are changing things for the better, that we are talking. I wouldn’t say that we live in an environment of incidents, on the contrary, I think that we live in an environment of cooperation and understanding,” he said, listing a number of decisions on the improvement of the status of the Croat minority, such as increasing funding for Croat magazines, establishing a Croatian language department at the University of Novi Sad and the reconstruction of a Catholic church in the town of Petrovaradin.


Vaš komentar