Croatia: Josipovic’s helter-skelter politics

Croatia’s President Ivo Josipovic

The palpably ever-present helter-skelter in the Croatian left-wing politics have shown their unsavoury face during the past week, again.

It’s blatantly obvious that the head of the Croatian state, President Ivo Josipovic, just like his predecessor Stjepan Mesic has absolutely no visible strategy or ordered plan for the integration of Croatian Serbs into a desired and needed homogeneity of Croatian citizenship. Furthermore, he, just as his predecessor Stjepan Mesic, shows that he has absolutely no strategy or plan as to how to afford the Croatian war veterans of 1991-1995 the status of defenders of democracy – for that’s what they were and that’s what they are. These two issues are paramount in Croatia’s progression into a fully fledged democracy.

On the belief that all Croatian Serbs as ethnic minority actually want to, after all, live as citizens of Croatia without many of them twisting their neck backwards in Belgrade’s direction, I must agree with Josipovic when he said during the past week that representatives of all Croatian Serbs must be heard and not just those of one group. The latter, of course, refers to groups huddled around Milorad Pupovac, president of the Independent Democratic Serb Party/SDSS in Croatian parliament who has used his parliamentary mandates and his “state funded privileged existence as wheeler and dealer of Serb issues in Croatia” to cause more damage than good for the process of reconciliation. In fact Pupovac has towed the Belgrade line always – still to this day denying and minimizing the horrendous damage done to Croatia by Serbs in early 1990’s.

So, when Croatia’s President Josipovic stood up to Pupovac, telling him there are other Serbs in Croatia besides the ones he represents who must be heard and everyone needs to be given an opportunity to be heard, I thought this was – finally – what Croatia needs. Indeed it was only relatively recently that all of the numerous ethnic minorities in Croatia got a mention in Croatia’s Constitution when the Preamble was amended from mid-2010. But until recently mostly the Italian minority and the Serb minority were the only ones that received decent public coverage and representation; due public care.

But the helter-skelter politics on ethnic minorities’ integration are not really abandoned by this seemingly positive move by Josipovic. Unearthing the likely roots of this public row between Josipovic and Pupovac revealed that it may well have been a bitter reaction by Josipovic to scandalous allegations made by Croatian Serbian National Committee in newspaper Novosti (enthroned years ago with anti-Croatian propaganda, with Pupovac grip but funded by the Croatian government!) against Josipovic that alleged Josipovic was closely associated in the ZAMP affair which looked at how a close personal friend of Josipovic allegedly secured enormous profits in heading the company that channeled royalties from copyrights into its bank accounts.

Josipovic accused Pupovac of having monopolised the dealings with Croatia’s Serb ethnic minorities and of having cemented an “ethno business” with this for personal gain rather than for the gain of Croatian Serbs.

The fact that in a bizarre and inconsiderate move Josipovic invited and brought Veljko Dzakula – rebel Serb leader from early 1990’s who was instrumental in injecting ferocious winds into the brutal Serb aggression against Croatia in early 1990’s – to the official commemoration of the 17th anniversary of Operation Storm in Knin on August 5 does not serve as supporting factor for an eventuality where Josipovic might be seen as having matured politically and abandoning his haphazard ways of addressing Serb integration into Croatian citizenship.

There is simply no plan or strategy visible; it’s all about grabbing headlines that linger on for a day or two and then – nothing! Well, not nothing, really, as people at large are quite annoyed with having to bear the picture which tells them that the politicians have done so little on such an important issue. Integrating ethnic minorities into a democratic Croatia is not something that’s achieved through sporadic public rows or sweeping statements. What on earth have the public servants and the politicians been doing all these years?

Holding onto tatters of communist Yugoslavia any which way?

It would seem to me that the strategy to achieve integration of Croatian Serbs into Croatian citizenship must start with the declaration of the righteousness of Croatia’s Homeland War. Instead of doing this Josipovic (and prime minister Zoran Milanovic) still pussyfoot around the fact that Croatia had to defend itself from brutal Serb aggression and – wait for it – brag to the world that Dzakula’s presence at the commemoration of the 17th anniversary of Operation Storm contributes to the legality of Croatia’s liberating military Operation Storm (1995).

To add to this miserable political show, Josipovic, instead of lifting Croatian war veterans of early 1990’s as the most deserving defenders of Croatian independence and democracy, reverberates the antifascists idiocy which attempts to brainwash the masses into thinking that Croatia’s war veterans of 1990’s are the same as the communist Partisans of WWII. The brainwashing attempts go even further as Josipovic claims that if it was not for antifascists, today’s independent and democratic Croatia wouldn’t exist.

It is no wonder that Croatia has so many difficulties in achieving homogeny among its people. People know only too well that communist Partisans fought for Yugoslavia and for communism, not for Croatian independence and democracy. People know that communist Partisans committed horrendous crimes against their own people and nothing Josipovic or his predecessor Stjepan Mesic say can bring Croatian war veterans of 1990’s to see themselves as same with Partisans. They are simply not the same; they are simply much better.

The helter-skelter politics of former communists, who in many cases have never accepted Croatia’s secession from communist Yugoslavia, is thus a perfect breeding ground for continued unrest and disenchantment but also for extreme, unrepentant (for Serb aggression against Croatia) political nutters such as Dzakula and Pupovac to hold onto or gain greater footholds that stifle meaningfully lasting and real integration of all citizens into independent Croatia.

If Josipovic (and the Social Democratic Party/SDP led government) have a strategy for homogenisation and integration of Croatian citizenship that is expressed in abovementioned ways of public blusters then the strategy may as well have been drafted by Paul McCartney and the late John Lennon:

“When I get to the bottom I go back to the top of the slide

Where I stop and I turn and I go for a ride

Till I get to the bottom and I see you again.


Do, don’t you want me to love you

I’m coming down fast but I’m miles above you

Tell me, tell me, tell me, come on tell me the answer

You may be a lover but you ain’t no dancer.


Helter skelter, helter skelter

Helter skelter”.

Josipovic may be a lover, a musician and a dancer, but he ain’t no strategist. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)


  1. Well put. Excellent.

  2. Steven Hunt says:

    Someone needed to put Pupovac in his place, it’s just been shocking the way he has been pushing himself to front stage, destructively I might add, just creating bad air and never working towards helping Serbs to overcome the guilt of their aggression and move on from there. There’s no doubt about it – Pupovac wants perpetual unrest in order to keep tight with Belgrade’s Greater Serbia idiots.
    I hope many Croatian Serbs come forward and give their voice to help their home, Croatia, become better and better for all.
    But yes, Josipovic is up and down like a jo-jo, never can one see a continuity of his politics that might give one the confidence of a plan that has the start, the stages and the final outcome.
    His sticking to the Partisan’s of WWI is atrocious and utterly destructive for Croatia. So maybe that’s his plan and strategy?

  3. Miso Sorbel says:

    Good stuff this – great pin-pointing to the fact that Josipovic and SDP leftist government are all about big words and big statements, haphazard stuff that grabs headlines but nothing much as far as ordered work behind is concerned when it comes to boosting the economy or sorting out practical issues such as integration of Croatian Serbs into Croatian citizenship.

    So, I say to Josipovic: stop blustering about and show the people that there is a method in your madness, that you have a well worked out plan to work on meaningful integration of Serbs into Croatia WITHOUT checking or worrying what Serbia has to say about it. If any Croatian Serb doesn’t want to integrate then like people everywhere and of every ethnicity they can emigrate to where they think they can have a better life. Croatia cannot do anything more but to bring fair laws and equal opportunities for all.

  4. More and more, Serb propganda reaches into the the western world in an attempt to rewrite history like they did so effectivly after WWII. Deleted by admin

    • Unfortunately Felix your suggestion to read a particular blog on Serbs was deleted because after reading that blog we cannot agree as it has biased facts.


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