Zagreb - Croatian Parliament Speaker Željko Reiner said after an official commemoration at Jasenovac on Friday that he was glad to see that today's commemorative event had been held in a dignified manner free of any political connotations.
"This has been a dignified commemoration with no links to any politics. We have paid our respects to the victims of the Ustasha regime, to those who were tortured and killed at Jasenovac," Reiner said after the ceremony and, alluding to those atrocities, underscored "Never again".
As for the objections of a majority of Jewish and Serb organisations and WWII veterans who did not attend today's state-level commemoration, in protest against what they described as attempts to downplay crimes committed during the WWII Ustasha-ruled Independent State of Croatia (NDH), Reiner said that he wanted to reiterate that the present-day democratic Croatian state had no basis in the NDH regime or in any totalitarian regime, including the Communist regime.
"The present-day Croatian state is a democracy founded by Croatian defenders during the (1991-1995) Homeland Defence War," he said. Asked by reporters about occurrences of the Ustasha salute "For the Homeland ready", Reiner said that he could not solve all issues, including problems of marginal groups.
"There are many countries, far developed countries, where some extremes are more conspicuous than here and no one speaks about that. I am personally against any extremism, including the extremism of marginal groups," the parliament speaker said.
The National Council of Serbs in Croatia, which was against the decision by the Serb National Council (SNV) to boycott this year's state-level ceremony commemorating the Jasenovac victims, had its representatives at today's commemorative event. (Hina)