Pro-Ustasha Bleiburg gathering will not be held this year

A controversial annual mass gathering in Bleiburg is not expected to take place this weekend, Austrian police said.

“No gathering has been reported for the weekend, not even from the Honorary Bleiburg Platoon, which has organised this gathering so far,” Croatian media quoted the police spokesperson for the Austrian region of Carinthia, Reiner Dionisio.

Dionisio said that despite this, police will be “present on the spot” just in case. He also pointed out that anyone who comes from Croatia to Austria should go into quarantine under measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

A protest by local opponents of the annual gathering is expected to be held in the centre of Bleiburg, he added.

The annual Bleiburg gathering commemorates tens of thousands of Croatian Nazi-allied Ustasha troops and civilians  killed by Yugoslav Partisans in 1945.

Lawmakers in the Austrian National Council, the lower house of the country’s parliament, called last year for a ban on the Bleiburg gathering, because it promotes the glorification of the fascist Ustasha regime.

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