By Chris King • 21 January 2023 • 19:45
Image of Croation President Zoran Milanovic.
Source: Damir Sencar/HINA/POOL/PIXSELL/Social Democratic Party of Croatia
Zoran Milanovic, the President of Croatia, criticised the EU yesterday, Friday, January 2o. Following talks with Katalin Novak, his Hungarian counterpart, the leader condemned Brussels for penalising Hungary financially over its alleged breach of rule of law standards.
Speaking in Budapest at a press conference, he insisted that the bloc faces being torn apart by the continual upholding of democratic standards in member states by those in Brussels. Billions of euros in funding destined for Budapest have recently been frozen by EU decision-makers.
Milanovic pointed out that this desire by the EU to hold total control over bloc members had already led to the United Kingdom leaving. He did not want to see the EU turn into a ‘United States of Europe’ he continued.
He warned: “This sort of approach – between the EU and Hungary – is deeply irritating. Today it is Hungary, tomorrow it will be some bigger country that will need to be ‘taught a lesson'”.
The Croatian President – known as a liberal and left-leaning candidate – came to power towards the tail end of 2019. In recent times though Milanovic has been accused of turning to populist nationalism, and becoming pro-Russian, something he has denied.
His criticism of the West and its policies towards Russia and the Balkans continues. He recently voiced his opposition to the Ukrainian military being allowed to train in his country. Milanovic is also opposed to Sweden and Finland joining NATO.
Earlier this week the President openly accused the West and Washington of using Ukraine as a means to conduct a proxy war with Russia. On the topic of sanctions against Moscow, in agreement with the leadership of Hungary, he refused to support sanctions, commenting: “The question is how much damage these sanctions will bring upon us. It creates damage to Europe”.
“We managed to bring Russia and China closer together. In whose interest is this? All those questions will have to be answered to me, especially by those who are making those decisions in my name. I demand an answer”, Milanovic continued.
On January 1, Croatia became the newest addition to the 27-member Schengen Area that allows free travel in Europe. Speaking at the same press conference yesterday as Milanovic, Katalin Novak expressed her delight that her neighbouring country had joined the zone.
Now that the border fence between their two countries had been removed, it can only make travel easier and also enhance tourism she emphasised, as reported by euronews.com.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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