We asked safety guarantee for our citizens jailed in Greece, stepping up consular assistance

  • Slika
Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Gordan Grlić Radman appeared on the Croatian Television to comment on the transfer of Croatian football fans to Greek prisons. He said that the Greek justice system does not recognize the institution of detention, and that suspects and convicts are all placed in the same location. He added that the ministry was at the disposal of the parents and that the government was doing all it can to guarantee the safety of the arrested supporters as they await trial.
Grlić Radman expressed condolences to the parents of the AEK supporter that had been killed, adding that he understood the Croatian parents’ concern and they had already been advised to contact the ministry, government and diplomatic service.
“Allow me to first express my condolences to the parents of the Greek youth that was killed. I understand the parents’ concern; it is only natural, human. They have been advised to contact the ministry, the government and the diplomatic service. We have been doing all that is necessary, professional and human, and which is our constitutional obligation, from day one, through our embassy in Athens,” he said.
The minister added talks has already been held with the parents.
“The other day we received two groups of parents separately, and we remain at their disposal,” he said.
President’s statements diminish government’s efforts
Grlić Radman said that some of the parliamentary parties and MPs had been parasitizing on this case.
“I would like to tell the parents to rely on the government, and not little political parties and their representatives who are parasitizing on this case,” he said.
The minister commented on the president’s statement of Monday that Greece “was not a state of justice”.
“The president is causing us a lot of damage. You have seen the reactions of Greek officials. He is diminishing all our efforts,” Grlić Radman said.
He added that the president could have called his Greek counterpart, expressed condolences and contributed to the resolution of the situation.
“The prime minister, myself and my colleagues are in constant contact with our ambassador. The prime minister has also been in touch with his Greek counterpart Mitsotakis. I have also heard from my counterpart. We are doing all that has to be done to protect our citizens,” Grlić Radman underscored.
Qualifying offences
The minister commented on the start of the legal process and the qualifications suggested by the prosecution.
“A three-member panel of judges will decide in the days ahead whether there will be a criminal prosecution, whether the charges will be dropped or whether it will be a misdemeanour. Had this happened in Croatia, the rioters would have been detained just the same,” he added.
Grlić Radman underlined that Greece was a democratic country and that the government was trying to repair the damage caused by the president.
“Greece is a democratic country, it has a legal system, which the president denied. We are now doing our best to annul the damage he caused,” the minister said.
He added that Croatia “has never had better bilateral relations” with Greece.
“A signatory to all the conventions, Greece is also a member state of the EU and NATO. It is our ally. We have never had better bilateral relations than the ones we have now with Mitsotakis’ government,” Grlić Radman emphasized.
Safety guarantee for Croatians in Greek prisons
The minister commented on the fact that there are a lot of Serbian citizens in Greek prisons, adding that the government has asked the Greek authorities to guarantee the safety of Dinamo fans.
“Our main role is to request a guarantee for their safety. The prime minister has spoken to Mitsotakis, my colleague Malenica and I have sent a letter to the Greek authorities. We cannot meddle in the legal process. The law states that if there is a large number of perpetrators, they have to be spread out across different prisons,” he said.
Stepping up consular activities
Grlić Radman explained that detention does not exist as an institution in the Greek justice system, which is why the arrestees are placed in the same prisons as convicts.
“We will increase consular assistance with more staff so they can constantly visit them so they feel protected and safe, and to send the message that the Croatian government cares about its citizens,” Grlić Radman underscored.

Press releases