Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic on Thursday asked the families of the Croatian football fans detained in Greece for patience after they asked him what "soon" meant in his recent statement that good news would come from Greece, adding that he was deeply confident of a positive outcome. Pročitaj više
Earlier this month, the prime minister announced that he would soon be able to announce good news for the fans held in custody in Greece, without revealing any details.
On Thursday, the families of the football fans spoke to the media outside the National and University Library in Zagreb, where the government was holding a regular meeting, asking the prime minister to explain what he meant by announcing good news.
“What does ‘soon’ mean to the prime minister, given that our boys have been in prison for a full three months now?” said Marina Kos, speaking on behalf of about 50 family members.
Plenkovic said at the government session that the government “very much understands the parents’ concern and care” for their children,” adding that “soon means soon.”
“This means that certain activities are underway on the Greek side that will result, in my deep conviction, given our discussions, in a positive outcome for Croatian citizens,” the prime minister said, asking the parents and everyone concerned for patience.
Plenkovic emphasised that Croatia “always takes care of its citizens in any situation,” citing the evacuation from the Gaza Strip, the case with adoptive parents in Zambia and the fans detained in Greece.
He said that the government was fully engaged and that the ministers of justice and foreign affairs of the two countries, as well as the two prime ministers, were in close communication on this matter.
Fans of the Dinamo Zagreb Football Club were arrested in Athens in August before an away game that was previously banned by UEFA. A Greek fan was killed in a fight between Dinamo and AEK supporters on the eve of the match with AEK that was subsequently cancelled. Media reported that the DNA analysis of the knives seized showed no traces of the arrested Croatian citizens on them, but 102 of them are still in Greek prisons for more than three months.
Their families asked the prime minister on Thursday what his optimism “about this extremely sensitive situation” was based on, adding that more than a hundred families “worry about the fate of these boys” every day.
They resent him for not answering their questions or seeing them to discuss what “the Croatian government, without interfering in the independence of the Greek judiciary, can do for our citizens.” At the same time, Plenkovic sends them messages through the media, they added.
“Our boys are neither murderers nor members of an organised criminal association, which is, what we now see, what they are being accused of without evidence. That’s why we want to know on what basis the prime minister, after talking with his Greek colleagues, makes optimistic statements about the fate of our loved ones,” said the representatives of the families of the Croatian fans detained in Greece.