Into 22nd year of independence from Communist Yugoslavia. Into 22nd year when Yugoslav passports ceased to exist – became null and void. Into 22nd year when country of birth on passports, birth certificates and all such major personal identification documents for those born on Croatian soil ceased to be Yugoslavia, replaced with Croatia.
And yet, only two days ago, Croatia’s Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic stated for the German Der Spiegel, just ahead of his current visit to Germany, that he was born in Yugoslavia. Not in Croatia – in Yugoslavia!
Need I say anything else about Milanovic’s political conscience and sub-conscience? No.
Need I say anything else about his leadership for Croatia? No.
Even if he said that in the context of talking about the federal set-up of Yugoslavia he should have said he was born in Croatia, which once was a part of Yugoslavia.
There are those in former Yugoslavia that would like to forget the past 20 years. It’s the magic-slate idea for those like Milanovic’s Social Democrats who did not want an independent Croatia. He gives the impression that one could simply lift up an acetate window and those 20 years would suddenly vanish.
For a Croatian Prime Minister to say today he was born in Yugoslavia is an abomination of everything Croatians had fought for and died for. It’s an abomination of the democracy and freedom Croatians fought for.
Furthermore, Milanovic did not dispute Der Spiegel’s journalist who said that “nationalism provoked war in the Balkans during the 1990s”. Milanovic did not put the journalist on the right footing by, for example, telling him that it was not any Croatian nationalism that provoked the war but the fact that 94% of Croatian citizens (which included several nationalities living in Croatia) voted for independence from Yugoslavia and that Serbs didn’t want that, didn’t want to accept or acknowledge the Croatian Constitution and attacked brutally Croatia.
On this issue of nationalism Milanovic goes on to say that his Social Democrats were elected, despite the fact that they “never divided people based on their language or religion and despite the fact that we are anything but nationalistic”. It would seem that Milanovic hasn’t read the Croatian Constitution enacted in 1991, which forbids discrimination on national, religious etc grounds. More likely though, I think, Milanovic is all about glorifying his Social Democrats (former Communists) at the expense of the majority of Croatian people and their good name and human decency.
Mirror Mirror, on the wall, is Milanovic best fortune-teller of them all?
In his Der Spiegel interview Milanovic, on the issues of economy and recovery, likens European Union to the former Yugoslavia. He implies that EU you could be as great as Yugoslavia was. “In the current situation, one also cannot forget the fact that during the last five decades, the EU has enabled an area that runs from Spain to Finland to grow together when it had previously been worlds apart. That is clearly a success story — a master stroke. I was born in Yugoslavia, a multiethnic entity — and there we had structural aid for the poorer regions…”
While helping your neighbour belongs up with the highest of human and social virtues Milanovic seems to have forgotten that within the federation of States, Yugoslavia was in the practice of proportioning aid to various states or regions within the federation from the federal budget, into which some States paid more than others and received back much less, and that this was one of the main reasons for widespread disenchantment with former Yugoslav federation as it developed into a thorn bed of oppression, corruption and biased protectionism.
Oh, boy! Is EU in for a rude shock if it goes light-hearted in the footsteps of Milanovic’s parallels. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)