Grabar Kitarovic said in an interview with Austrian newspaper Kleine Zeitung on Monday that Europe had received the “wrong refugees” from Syria – able-bodied men rather than vulnerable women and children.
She said that the majority of those who had made their way to Europe from the Middle East were “men able to fight” in the wars there.
“But what about the mothers who remained in Aleppo, what about the children? They really need our help,” she said.
She added that she fears for women’s rights because of the amount of Muslims coming to Europe.
“It may not be politically correct, but we’re making a terrible mistake if we think that people who learned in school and listened to the religious authorities throughout their lifetime in Afghanistan saying that women are inferior to men will now, overnight, take our values,” she said.
She further warned about the creation of “ghettos abandoned by states” in Europe, where migrants are isolated.
In the interview with Kleine Zeitung, Grabar Kitarovic insisted that life was better in contemporary Croatia than in socialist Yugoslavia.
She proposed that people who are nostalgic for Yugoslavia should be returned to Yugoslav times for a day “to see which rights would be abolished, which they can enjoy in present-day Croatia”.
“Yugoslavia was a utopia. [Yugoslav President]Josip Broz Tito, the Communists and then the media assured the people that life was superb here. Everyone had a salary, regardless of whether they were working or not,” she said.
But, she argued, money in Yugoslavia was “spent on megalomaniac projects that were intended to convince the world that it was an industrial country”.
Grabar Kitarovic insisted that nationalism did not destroy Yugoslavia, but was just the “catalyst” for its collapse.
“We, the Croats and Slovenes, wanted to live better because we are part of the Western world, and we wanted to freely dispose of the money that we create,” she explained.
“The difference compared to the former state [Yugoslavia] is that people [now] have a free choice. If someone thinks that here isn’t good enough, he can go,” she added.
Asked about US President-elect Donald Trump, Grabar Kitarovic told the Austrian newspaper she believes that the tycoon turned politician will have a “positive legacy”, saying that she likes statesmen with “personality”.