Thousands of Croatians attended a demonstration in Zagreb on Sunday to protest against the return of the Cyrillic alphabet on signage in the town of Vukovar.
Vukovar, a town in eastern Croatia, was destroyed during a siege in the breakup of the former Yugoslavia, and was ethnically cleansed of non-Serbs before being taken by Serb forces. The city was reintegrated into Croatia in 1998. The Croat and Serb communities in Vukovar remain divided.
According to the 2011 census, the Serbian population has reached over a third (34.8%) of the city’s population, which therefore protects the community’s right to have the Cyrillic alphabet displayed on public signs. The Croatian language uses the Latin alphabet. Croatian Minister for Public Administration, Arsen Bauk, said such signs were now necessary under a constitutional law that mandates bilingual signs in towns where a minority accounts for more than 30% of the population.
Croatia is due to join the European Union on July 1st, and protesters are testing the country’s resolve on matters of minority rights.
Source: BBC News