May 17, 2017 / 2:26 PM / 3 months ago

Slovenia bars concert of Croatian nationalist singer

LJUBLJANA, May 17 (Reuters) - Slovenia's second-largest city Maribor has banned a planned concert by Croatian nationalist singer Marko Perkovic Thompson, whose shows have been canceled in several European countries because of his unruly fans.

Municipal official Ksenija Klampfer told Reuters on Wednesday the concert was canceled because police considered it a security risk. The police had earlier said they expected problems from unruly ultra-nationalist fans coming in from nearby Croatia.

Thompson, who has had concerts banned in the Netherlands, Switzerland, Bosnia and even in his home country in recent years, rejects accusations that his folk-rock songs glorify the Nazi-backed fascist state in Croatia during World War Two.

The Nazi-hunting Simon Wiesenthal Center has protested to Croatian authorities against his concerts and condemned their use of songs popular with the fascist Ustashe movement accused of wartime mass murder of Serbs, Jews, Roma and other groups.

Denying such criticism, he told TV Slovenia earlier this week his songs simply represent a love of God, family, homeland and people.

The singer's nickname Thompson recalls the U.S.-made submachine gun better known as the "Tommy gun". He used one to fight for Croatia's 1991 independence from former Yugoslavia.

He now uses the nickname professionally, attached to his given name, and for his band.

Miran Trol, who was organising what was to have been Thompson's first concert in Slovenia, told local media that he would appeal against the ban. (Reporting by Marja Novak in Ljubljana and Igor Ilic in Zagreb; Editing by Tom Heneghan)

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