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Croatian student fined for offence to EU flag

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(ZAGREB) - A Croatian court fined a student 102-euros ($135) for removing an EU flag from a city hall in protest at Zagreb's imminent membership of the bloc, Hina news agency said Saturday.

Kristina Curkovic, 21, was found guilty of "disrupting public order," the agency said.

In April 2011, Curkovic, a student at the Catholic theology faculty in the coastal town of Split and a member of a local group "I love Croatia - No to EU", removed the European Union flag from the entrance to the city hall and replaced it with the Croatian national flag.

At her trial, she said she did it to "defend the honour and dignity of Croatia."

"Our parents fought during the (1991-1995 Croatian) war for an independent and free Croatia, and not for (it to become) a province within the EU," she said.

In January, she tore up another EU flag in front of several dozen people gathered to hear her ultranationalist speech.

Croatia is set to join the EU in July 2013.

For years, EU flags have flown alongside Croatian ones from buildings of the country's state institutions.

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