The Croatian Journalists Association (HND) on Saturday condemned the decision by Serbian European Integration Minister Jadranka Joksimovic to refuse giving a statement to Croatian journalists during a meeting of senior Southeast European politicians in Slovenia on April 25.
Hrvoje Kresic of the N1 TV network confirmed to HND that Joksimovic would not speak to Croatian reporters but gave a statement to Serbian reporters shortly after.
When he asked why she would not speak to Croatian reporters, the minister told Kresic that she chose who to speak to - the reporters she had brought along. There is both video and audio of her response.
After that scandalous statement, Joksimovic's office issued an equally scandalous explanation of her behaviour, claiming that Croatian reporters had been rude and insulted her, HND said in a press release.
Despite there being no evidence of that, the minister repeated the claim on Belgrade B92 TV.
"Evidently, the purpose of the moves by the Croatian journalists mentioned was to impute and provoke. They are full of aggression, they intercepted me, heckling and shouting," she said.
The HND said an officials current office did not entitle them to separate journalists into "ours" and "theirs" or their questions into suitable and unsuitable ones, nor to use their office as an alibi for spreading untruths about journalists' actions.