New diplomatic incident for Italy, this time with Slovenia and Croatia. The authorities of the two countries of the former Yugoslavia have not clarified the words of the president of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani that on the day of commemoration of the victims of the sinkholes he had let himself go to a proclamation "Long live Italian istria, long live Italian Dalmatia live the Italian exiles ». The governments of Ljubljana and Zagreb officially protested, the president of the Slovenian Republic Borut Pahor also sent a letter of clarification to Sergio Mattarella.

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In his message, Pahor expresses "concern about the unacceptable statements by high-level representatives of the Italian Republic on the occasion of the commemoration of the victims of the sinkholes who want to create the impression that it was an ethnic cleansing". "It is not the first time – the Slovenian president recalls in the letter released by the Sta news agency – that the statements of some Italian politicians are arousing indignation and concern in Slovenia, but the use of rhetoric is worrying in a period when Italy and Slovenia must defend the common European project from the many challenges ". In this context, observed Pahor, it is necessary to make a "special effort" to reject any declaration or behavior contrary to the European project. The Slovenian prime minister spoke of "unprecedented historical revisionism".

Croatia: «Unacceptable revisionism»

The Croatian foreign minister, Marija Pejcinovic Buric, also condemned the words pronounced by Tajani saying that it is an "unacceptable historical revisionism, especially because it comes from a senior official representing the European Parliament", one of the EU institutions, which, he recalled, «was founded with the intention that wars are never repeated in Europe». "These statements are absolutely inappropriate, especially if expressed by the President of the European Parliament," he added. For Pejcinovic Buric similar messages can only benefit those who want a different Europe from the one that has always been built by the European Union. "They are opposed to the spirit of reconciliation, of coexistence and of all the values ​​of the civilization on which the EU was built".

The explanation of Tajani

Antonio Tajani, for his part, soon wanted to clarify the meaning of his statements in front of the monument that in Bassoviza recalls the Italian victims of the sinkholes. The president of the European Parliament said that his sentences did not allude to a territorial claim. "On Sunday I participated in the commemoration of the day of remembrance – said Tajani -. It is a solemn celebration instituted by an Italian law of 2004. As recalled by the president of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella, last Saturday in his speech at the Quirinale, celebrating the day of remembrance means reviving a dark chapter in national history and international. It was not a retaliation against the wrongs of fascism. Because among the Italian victims of a hatred, however intolerable, which was both ideological, ethnic and social, there were many people who had nothing to do with the fascists and their persecutions' ". "With my presence I wanted to remember the thousands of victims, mainly Italian, but also Croatian and Slovenian, of what should be considered one of the most brutal tragedies of the last century".

11 February 2019 (modification 11 February 2019 | 21:34)




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