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News 25 Aug 16

Croatia Ex-PM’s ‘Chaotic Bosnia’ Comments Spark Debate

Heated debate erupted on social media after audio was leaked of Croatian Social Democratic Party leader Zoran Milanovic saying that Bosnia and Herzegovina was a chaotic state.

Rodolfo Toe
BIRN
Sarajevo
 
 Zoran Milanovic. Photo: Zoran Milanovic / Facebook.

Bosnians took to Twitter and Facebook after Zagreb-based newspaper Jutarnji List on Wednesday leaked the audio of SDP leader and former prime minister Milanovic effectively describing Bosnia as a failed state.

"Bosnia is not a [real] country... you don't have anybody to talk with there," Milanovic said on the tape, recorded during a conversation with two representatives of Croatian war veterans, Josip Klemm and Drazimir Jukic.

"You don't have order [in Bosnia]," Milanovic added.

Bosnian politicians have so far not commented on what Milanovic said.

But local media reported that many Bosnians responded by saying that his comments were not a shock.

"Milanovic has simply read a tweet from some citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina aloud," one Twitter user commented.

"I don't know what has Milanovic said that is so offensive, we knew this already," another comment said.

 

"Unfortunately [Milanovic] said nothing wrong... this is true, here you don't have anybody to talk to and agree with. I love Bosnia more than myself, but it is a sinking ship," another Bosnian commented on the Facebook page of Dnevni Avaz, a Sarajevo-based newspaper.

During the leaked conversation, Milanovic also said that if Bosnia's Serb-dominated entity Republika Srpska secedes from the country, Bosnian Croats will be left in a country mostly inhabited by Bosniaks.

"What will we do then? Do we want to leave Croats from Bosnia in a country with Bosniaks... we are dealing with villains, remember that," Milanovic said.

After his comments were made public, Milanovic reacted by saying that he had suspected that somebody was recording the meeting, which was supposed to take place behind closed doors.

"We figured out [that somebody was recording the conversation], but we didn't say anything about that and we laughed about it ... [what happened] says a lot about the behaviour of [those who leaked the conversation to the media]," Milanovic told Croatian media.

But SDP member Franko Vidovic who organised the meeting, accused the two veterans' representatives of recording and leaking it in order to discredit the party before the general elections which are to take place on September 11.

"The next meeting... with you gentlemen as far as I'm concerned will never take place," Vidovic wrote on Facebook.

Jukic however rejected the allegations.

"We are not that advanced to have recorded this meeting... these are internal conflicts inside the SDP," Jukic told Zagreb-based website Tportal.

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