From a tasteless joke to a severe crime, Croatian captain and restaurant owner Jakov Jakša Begović could now be facing severe fines. Although the restaurant has already stated that the message seemingly against Hungarians was actually a joke, that does not mean he will not face repercussions. Continue reading below to find out more about the situation.
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“We do not serve Hungarians. You are not welcome at your seaside. But if you bring Hernadi with you, you are welcome,” a sign outside a bar in Pelješec, Croatia, read a few weeks ago. The restaurant was responding to Viktor Orbán’s remarks about the Hungarians having their sea taken away from them.
Our website wrote several articles discussing the issue. We have come to the conclusion that the message could not pass through the cultural barrier. In fact, Croatian restaurants have been known to write seemingly hurtful comments on their signs. What many fail to realise, is that these are meant as complete jokes, even if they appear blatantly hurtful.
Tuna Bar restaurant is owned by captain Jakov Jakša Begović and he has run the establishment for 30 years. The establishment has become known for its various satirical signs in the past. Begović now became a suspect for violating the dignity of Hungarians according to the Croatian Anti-Discrimination Act. This law prescribes much larger fines for establishments than natural persons. Seeing as the sign was in front of Begović’s establishment, Tuna Bar, he could be facing severe consequences for his actions.
The restaurant owner has now spoken out about the case, reports Azonnali. He said he had received thousands of threatening emails and phone calls in a single day. Furthermore, his restaurant’s rating had been pulled down on the internet and the joke could now lead to a fine of up to HRK 200,000 (EUR 26,570; HUF 10,650,996).
“Several times the police came to my house and told me that they were going to press charges against me. I asked for the report, but I didn’t get it straight away. Later, my lawyer called me and offered to represent me for free,” the restaurateur told RTL.hr.
The punishment could be upwards of HRK 30,000 (EUR 3,985; HUF 1,597,650) if the offense was made by a natural person. Unfortunately, in his interview, the restaurant owner says that due to the severity of his action, he could actually be fined HRK 10,000 to HRK 200,000. As reported, Begović is suspected of insulting the dignity of Hungarians.
Source: azonnali.hu, rtl.hr