By Mladen Pupavac and Vanessa Pupavac
‘Minister Matić and his deputy Vesna Nad insulted me personally’, disabled Croatian veteran Đuro Glogoški informed waiting veterans and reporters outside the Croatian Ministry of Veterans on 19 October 2014 (http://www.braniteljski-portal.hr/Novosti/Hrvatski-branitelji/Prosvjed-branitelja-Koliko-ponizenja-moramo-trpjeti). The wheel-chair bound veteran representative had gone to see the veterans’ Minister Predrag Matić about the problems of disabled veterans. Matić is himself a veteran diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). But veterans object to Matić as ‘one of them’, part of the Croatian establishment, enjoying ministerial perks and betraying their interests, and are demanding the Minister and his deputy resign.
The incident has triggered other veteran organisations, informally led by a former special police commander Josip Klemm, to camp in protest outside the Ministry of Veterans for the last month. The protesters claim that a systematic campaign is being waged against veterans. The protests became particularly tense after the sad death from natural causes of one of the disabled veterans camping out.