JULY 24 2012 15:40h

SDF urges gov't to stop non-transparent financing of SNV

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Croatia
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The Serb Democratic Forum (SDF) called on the government on Tuesday to stop the "non-transparent and illegal financing" of the Serb National Council (SNV) and to check on what it was spending the money that was allocated from the state budget for the development and work of Serb organisations and institutions in Croatia.

The chairman of the SDF's management board, Veljko Dzakula, told a press conference in Zagreb that the government of Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic had continued the practices of the previous governments led by the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and was financing the SNV non-transparently.

Dzakula said that over 50 million kuna had been paid from the state budget to the SNV in the last six years, of which 25 million kuna from the budget reserves alone. He said that the present government had paid 1.8 million kuna to the SNV in the first seven months of its term in office even though the term of this non-governmental organisation had expired a year ago and the new leadership had not been named despite the fact that elections for minority councils had been held.

Dzakula accused SNV leader Milorad Pupovac of taking advantage of the SNV.

"The Serb community, like all other ethnic minorities, needs its own national coordinating body, but it must be formed and registered, and like all other associations, it should receive money for its programmes based on tenders," he said.

When asked why the government was tolerating such behaviour, Djakula said that the government was protecting Pupovac and his mission to keep telling EU officials that the Serb issue in Croatia was settled and that the law on formerly war-affected areas was not discriminating against Serbs.

Djakula said that the SDF had expected the government to stop the undemocratic, illegal and non-transparent functioning of the SNV given that the Serb community had strongly supported the coalition led by Milanovic's Social Democratic Party (SDP) in last elections. (Hina)