The Social Democratic Party's (SDP) candidate for Mayor of Split, Ante Franic, said on Saturday that "For the Homeland Ready", the salute used by the pro-Nazi Ustasha regime that ruled Croatia during the Second World War, should be outlawed.
“I wish to make it clear that the Ustasha salute ‘For the Homeland Ready’ should be banned,” Franic said in a statement, adding that it should be banned in all contexts, including where attempts are made to legalise it “under the guise of safeguarding the values of the Homeland War.”
“We need a clear, legal ban,” he stressed.
Franić said that the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ)-led government, depending on the need to flirt with the far-right, often shifted the responsibility onto the police and the State Attorney's Office, rather than clearly outlaw the use of the Ustasha salute and insignia.
“Prime Minister Plenkovic, there is no acceptable context for the Ustasha salute. I fully support President Milanović who leaves venues where this salute is used,” Franić said.
Franic issued the statement after a press conference, scheduled for today near the monument to the 9th HOS (Croatian Defence Force) Brigade, was cancelled for security reasons because it was to be held on 10 April, the day of the proclamation of the Ustasha-ruled Independent State of Croatia (NDH) in 1941.