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Socialist and Conservative MEPs try to down play violent attacks against gay pride in Split


17 Jun 2011


Social Europe & Jobs

Croatia - Gay Rights

Following the incidents that occurred during the gay pride in Split last Saturday, Ulrike Lunacek, co-spokesperson of the Greens for the Foreign Affairs Committee and Co-President of the LGBT Intergroup and Marije Cornelissen,  member of the delegation for relations with South East Europe, condemn as harmful the assessment of MEPs Doris Pack (EPP) and Hannes Swoboda (S&D) in the Croatian press regarding the Split Pride. Pack and Swoboda played the events in Split down as an "isolated incident that could happen in any EU member state".

Reacting to the declaration by Pack and Swoboda, Dutch Green MEP Marije Cornelissen today said:

"To refer to the shocking and violent events in Split as an isolated incident is absurd. When 10 000 counter protestors assemble within one hour and attack peaceful pride participants with stones, fireworks and offensive hate speech such as "Kill the faggots", you can't speak of an isolated incident that could happen in any EU member state. It is not an incident, but a symptom of deep-seated homophobia in Croatia. For MEPs to trivialize this is ridiculous.

"Swoboda's harsh criticism of the Dutch ambassador was out of order. The Ambassador marched alongside me in the Pride Parade. She was brave enough to face 10 000 hooligans and experienced first hand that the police weren't securing the participants adequately and barely maintained control. She is absolutely right to criticise the Croatian authorities and call for monitoring between now and accession."

Austrian Green MEP Ulrike Lunacek said:

"I would have expected Hannes Swoboda, as Croatia Rapporteur, to criticise these attacks and to make clear that there is no place for homophobia in the EU. The protests in Split show that the enforcement of European values - like freedom of assembly and non-discrimination - are not as widespread in Croatian society as  would be expected for a candidate country about to gain access to the EU. It's therefore necessary that, before the end of the negotiations, a monitoring process be held between government, civil society and the Parliament. The accession process can only succeed if the Croatian Government takes responsibility for pushing forward currently lacking implementation in the area of judicial and human rights."

Press Service of the Greens/EFA Group
in the European Parliament
Helmut Weixler
Head of Press Office
phone: 0032-2-284.4683
fax: 0032-2-284.4944
mobile phone: 0032-475-67 13 40


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