Linta: Serbs in Croatia in difficult position

BELGRADE - President of the Coalition of Refugee Associations Miodrag Linta has noted that the Serbs in Croatia are in a difficult position, including the expelled ones, as they cannot exercise their basic human rights.

Linta said in a release that he is not satisfied with the estimate by Croatian Ambassador to Serbia Gordan Markotic who said that the position of the Serbs in that country is "generally good".

Noting that the Serbs in Croatia cannot claim their basic human rights, Linta said that over 40,000 Serb families did not restore their housing rights and that the Croatian program for meeting the housing needs is discriminatory in favor of the Croat refugees from Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Besides that, with its law, Croatia made it impossible for more than 10,000 Serb families "whose houses and shops were demolished in terrorist actions across Croatian towns during the war to get the compensation", he said.

With its Law on Reconstruction, Croatia also made it impossible for over 8,000 Serb families to repair their houses that were torn down following the operations of its armed forces, Linta said.

Over 800,000 cadastral units of agricultural land were seized from the expelled Serbs, and contracts were not cancelled concerning the exchange of houses that were concluded during the war under pressure and threats, he added.

Linta welcomed Markoticev's stand that Croatia will not use bilateral issues to condition Serbia during the EU entry talks and called on him to back the Coalition's initiative to open a constant dialogue between Serbia and Croatia so as to find a lasting and just solution for all outstanding problems.

He explained that this requires the setting up of a joint Serbian-Croatian...

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