“A sick decision made by the Ustasha regime against Vučić and Serbia”, “Ustashas have banned Vučić from going to Jasenovac”, “Plenković’s regime does not allow Vučić to visit Jasenovac”, “Plenković and his team proved to be Ustashas”, “Ustashas’ attack against Vučić”, are just some of the headlines in local tabloid newspapers in Serbia which have reported about the Croatian government in an offensive manner.
On Sunday, Aleksandar Vučić planned to visit the site of the Jasenovac concentration camp and Pakrac privately, but the Croatian authorities did not allow him to do so, because he did not adhere to the relevant diplomatic protocol.
However, the offensive reporting by Serbian tabloids doesn’t come as a surprise, considering that the Serbian Interior Minister, Aleksandar Vulin, used the same word – Ustashas (a term for Croatians who fought on the Nazi side in WWII) – to describe the Croatian government in a written statement.
“The President of the Republic of Serbia is not allowed to visit the largest Serbian execution site. Today’s Ustashas, who are also members of the European Union, do not like to remember how many children they slaughtered there. From today, all Croatian state officials, all holders of official or diplomatic passports will have to announce and justify separately their visit or passage through Serbia and will be placed under a special control regime,’ Vulin said.
Lawyer Čedomir Stojković says that according to that logic, the Progressives (the Serbian Progressive Party – SNS) should declare Germans and the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz Nazis and Italians fascists, so consequently, media headlines should be ‘Vučić hangs out with Nazis and fascists.
“One of the crimes against its own people that this SNS-led government has been trying to hide recently is the corrupt sale of arms to Asian countries. The plane crash in Greece raises the question of how a private company is allowed to sell Serbia’s weapons to Bangladesh and for what commission. To remind, Aleksandar Obradović, a whistleblower who uncovered corruption and criminality in arms sales, was held in illegal detention for a long time by the SNS-led government,’ Stojković underlined.
According to him, the SNS-led government wants to hide their corruption in the arms issue and is fabricating Vučić’s alleged visit to Jasenovac, calling the entire people and government of other countries Ustashas.
He adds that the alleged scandal further damages the image of Serbia. The vice-president of the Union of Independent Journalists, Slobodan Ćirić, believes that the tabloids only add fuel to the fire, which leads to nothing good, but even more discord and divisions.
‘The media are at all times professionally obliged not to behave in a polite and courteous manner, but to objectively present the opinions of both sides. This, of course, does not exclude the possibility of commenting on someone’s decisions, but not in an offensive manner,” Ćirić underlines.
This post is also available in: Italiano