Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic went on live television just hours after more than 20,000 Croats protested on Sunday against the introduction of the Serbian Cyrillic script for official use in the town of Vukovar.
Milanovic said that despite the large turn out at the protest, he had no intention of backing down from plans to erect the Serbian Cyrillic signs in Vukovar, and that they will be up immediately after the upcoming local elections.
“Politics are full of passion and emotion, but the law is reason and valid for everybody, including for Cyrillic,” said Milanovic, adding that he would not change the law regarding minorities in Croatia.
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 38% of Vukovar’s population is made up of Serbian nationals.
Protestors on Sunday sent a strong message to the Croatian government, saying that they will remove by force if need be the Serbian Cyrillic signs if they are put up. Milanovic was then asked what will happen in that case. “The law is the law and we will defend the law,” said Milanovic.