Zagreb, February 20, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency
By Marija Avramovic
President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Anne Brasseur called on Friday Croatian politicians before of the upcoming parliamentary elections to loudly speak out against rhetoric of divison and populism, intolerance and hate speech.
She is currently in a three-day official visit, during which she met yesterday with the President of the Croatian Parliament Josip Leko and Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic.
Today she is visiting the Croatian Parliament and later she’s meeting with the President of Croatia Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic.
“On the eve of the upcoming parliamentary elections in Croatia, I wish to point out that politicians have a special responsibility to promote inclusiveness, tolerance and respect. All democratic political forces must loudly declare against the divisive rhetoric and populism, intolerance and hate speech”, Brasseur said in her speech to MP’s.
Prime Minister and Brasseur spoke about the human rights situation, and a worrying increase in intolerance, racism and anti-Semitism in some member states of the Council of Europe, the crisis in Ukraine as well as the problem of illegal migration.
President of the Parliamentary Assembly said that Croatia is an example for the success of compliance and implementation of human rights and stressed that the important freedoms, such as freedom of speech and assembly, should be constantly fought for.
The Council of Europe, which brings together 47 states, is not based on economic nor on the safety criteria, but on values, she added.
“For a man to have fundamental rights, first he must have more or less a decent life”, Brasseur said on the question of relations between Greece and the European Union.
Croatia has made huge progress in terms of fulfilling its obligations to the Council of Europe, but still hasn’t ratified the two conventions and now that needs to be a priority, Brasseur assessed after meeting with Parliament Speaker Leko.