BELGRADE - If the European Union does not condemn the anti-Serb campaign and glorification of the Ustasha movement, Croatian fascists, who committed genocide against Serbs during World War II, the remaining Serbs in Croatia could be in jeopardy and faced with a danger of a new exodus, the Coalition of Refugee Associations in Serbia has noted.
The coalition reacted to the new chants of the audience at a football match between Dinamo from Zagreb and Hajduk from Split, during which sports fans of both clubs shouted the infamous Ustasha salute "For homeland - ready!".
The Coalition is shocked at the fact that the EU has remained silent for three months, and does not deem it necessary to condemn the anti-Serb campaign against the official use of the Serbian, Cyrillic script and glorification of the Ustasha movement in Croatia, and thus send a clear signal that such things are unacceptable.
"If the EU does not do that soon, there is a danger that individuals and groups will take the things in their own hands and start putting the remaining Serbs at risk physically and massively, so as to expel them from Croatia," said the Coalition that brings together the refugee associations of the Serbs who fled Croatia during the 1991-1995 civil war.
"Eighteen years following the war, the pro-Ustasha hysteria is spreading more and more, it becomes a normal thing in the Croatian society and dominant phenomenon bringing together various social groups," the coalition noted.
The Coalition is also nonplussed at the fact that no Croatian institution has clearly and unambiguously condemned the glorification of the Ustasha ideology after November 19, when Croatia's football player Josip Simunic took a microphone after the match with Iceland and chanted the Ustasha salute at the Maksimir stadium in Zagreb, and urged the relevant state bodies to press criminal charges against all those doing that.
The question arises, if the mentioned Croatian institutions stay silent, whether that means that they are afraid of condemning the glorification of the Ustasha ideology, as they represent a minority in the Croatian society or they silently back this, reads the release issued by the Coalition.
This also poses a question as to whether Croatia is a democratic country in which there is the rule of law, if it does not adhere to the Constitution which clearly states that any call for national, religious or racial hatred or any other form of intolerance is forbidden and punishable.
Commander of the second-largest concentration camp complex of World War II -- Croatia's Jasenovac -- passed away last week and received a burial in his homeland -- in full Nazi uniform, with full honors, and with a Catholic priest officiating. No media attention and therefore no public outrage is being devoted to the funeral of Dinko Sakic, a gruesome but not atypical occurrence in what is the Former Yugoslavia's frontrunner for EU membership -- Croatia. George W. Bush recently cited the country's picturesque coastline while hailing Croatia for "showing leadership in the cause of freedom.