Angela Merkel in Croatian Nationalist Song Controversy

A spokesperson for Angela Merkel said on Wednesday that the German Chancellor was not familiar with the nationalist song that was performed at the Croatian Democratic Union rally that she attended on Saturday, and was not informed about the content of the event's musical programme in advance.

At the rally in Zagreb, where Merkel was the special guest, a Croatian band played the song 'Lijepa li si' ('How Beautiful You Are'), which was originally performed by nationalist singer Marko Perkovic, alias Thompson.

The song glorifies the unrecognised wartime statelet of Herzeg-Bosnia, which was created on Bosnian territory just before the start of the war and was backed by Croatia. Six of its leaders were convicted of wartime crimes by the Hague Tribunal; one of them, Slobodan Praljak, took poison as his verdict was announced.

"Chancellor Merkel was not familiar with the songs that were to be played during the party rally in Zagreb, nor with the content of these songs. Chancellor Merkel clearly expressed her attitude in opposing nationalism during her visit to Zagreb," her spokesperson told regional TV station N1.

Concerts by Perkovic - nicknamed 'Thompson' after the machine gun - have often caused controversy in the Balkan region and have been banned in several European cities, including Berlin.

Ne-me-že bez Thompsona 🙈 Lijepa li si za Merkel i Webera #N1info #politikahr

— Elvir Mesanovic (@Elvir_Mesanovic) 18. svibnja 2019.

In 2017, Thompson held a concert in the Bosnian town of Mostar in support of the Herzeg-Bosnia ex-officials on trial for war crimes, where around 8,000 people chanted the slogan "Za dom spremni" - ("Ready for the home[land]"), the slogan of Croatian WWII...

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