Police in the eastern Croatian city of Vukovar have had their hands full on Tuesday, after members of the Defence of Croatian Vukovar began removing all cyrillic signs from official government buildings….
After honouring fallen heroes at a mass on the occasion of the 23rd anniversary of the 204th Vukovar Brigade at the Memorial Cemetery, the members began to remove the bilingual signs which have caused problems in the city since they were first erected last year. Police have made a number of arrests on Tuesday, as the members smashed and tore down 14 signs, reports RTL.
Croatia’s Constitutional Court recently ruled that there will be no referendum held on the question of cyrillic signs in Croatia. The Headquarters for the Defence of Croatian Vukovar, an initiative aimed at removing Serbian cyrillic alphabet signs from official buildings, gathered more than 650,000 signatures which were presented to parliament last December in an attempt to pose a referendum question to all citizens to see if they were in favour of changing the constitution so bilingual rights in local government and public offices only applied in areas where the minority makes up at least 50%.
The Constitutional Law on the Rights of Ethnic Minorities in Croatia allows for ethnic minorities, where they made up more than a third of a city’s population, to be entitled to have their language used for official purposes. Around 35% of Vukovar’s population is made up of Serbian nationals according to records, but that number is disputed. Bilingual signs, in latin and Serbian Cyrillic, were first erected on official government buildings in Vukovar last September. (pic: Archive)