Romanian MEP: Insults to Serbia’s politician sad, shame for state

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The member of the European Parliament from Romania, Vlad Gheorghe, told late on Tuesday it was sad to see politicians in Serbia attacked based on ethnic criteria on a TV with national frequencies and added the Government should treat the insults against the Romanian people with the utmost seriousness.

Commenting on a former member of the ‘White Eagles’ paramilitary unit from the 1990 wars in ex-Yugoslavia, Dragoljub Bokan’s statement about Marinika Tepic, an opposition politician in Serbia of the Romanian roots, Gheorghe joined many politicians in Serbia who condemned the insults and demanded the authorities to react.

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Romanian MEP from the European liberals (‘Let’s Renew Europe’) said he hoped that Serbia would condemn the statement as a country that wanted to join the European Union.

„If there were once problems between Romania and Serbia, they were generated by undemocratic regimes, and not by honest citizens who respect the law and maintain good relations with their neighbours,“ he said.

Gheorghe added that „it is sad to see that this kind of hate speech based on ethnicity is still present in the public sphere, in Serbia or anywhere in Europe. Those are not just insults to politicians, women or ethnic minorities, but a serious attack on democratic values, social peace and the rule of law. It is shameful to see such a discourse publicly promoted. We hope that this incident will be legally and publicly condemned, as it should be in a country that is ready to be part of the EU and share its values.“

Commenting on the media in Serbia, Gheorghe said that „unfortunately, I am well aware that in Serbia, as in other countries in the region, large media funds and ownership of institutions lack transparency or are politically dependent. That affects the function of journalists as democratic guardians and the right to freedom of speech press.

„These are aspects that should be addressed in the right way because they endanger Serbia’s path towards a European future,“ he added.