Spiegel Spiegel, on the wall …

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)


  1. Like I said before, what has Milanovic ever done to deserve more than a kick in the pants? Only through the implosion of the HDZ did Milanovic get into power. He lacks intellect, charisma and ‘real’ world experience. Poor Croatia….between the Serbs trying to ruin and over-take Croatia and our bad goverance and politics it seems that we still have much to learn, the hard way.

    • Very true! What’s really funny though is that many Croatians living here have come to the conclusion that he’s fallen off his rocker, ever since he’s begun to use quotes from the Old Testament (this from an atheist bolshevik) to attack his opponents.

  2. Need I say anything else? No.

  3. I’m sure that all the non-party inhabitants of the Lika region would be ecstatic to hear that there was “structural aid” coming in from all sides from 1945 to 1990. 🙂

    And as far as dividing people in Croatia, it’s easy to see who the culprits really are in that respect. Consider the late Dr. Tudjman, who unified descendants from both Ustasha and Partizan family history to resist the serbian aggression during the 1990’s. Compare that with Josipovic and the current SDP, or better said the Kukuriku coalition as a whole, who, at every opportunity, open up that very same wound, time after time. Who’s zooming who?

  4. Incidentally, the irony of Milanovic’s comment in the above cartoon is that Milanovic himself shocked many people in Croatia, especially war veterans, by calling Croatia an “accidental country”. In response, Karamarko called him an “accidental premier”

  5. Robert Matic says:

    There’s nothing like holding a funeral for something or someone that dies. It gives closure. So while Milanovic is in Germany he should learn a lesson from the Germans and pick-up on details how to organize and execute a public funeral for Yugoslavia, with the coffin (that would have for example a poster with word Yugoslavia on it, placed in the coffin) and coffin-carrying procession along the streets of Croatian capital city, to Mirogoj cemetery, into a grave-pit, seal the grave…
    Germany held a similar funeral for their Deutschmark once they took on the EURO.

    It’s absolutely horrible what that man does while gallivanting abroad. Don’t know why he’s still the Prime Minister, taunting his own people.

  6. ” I was born in Yugoslavia, a multiethnic entity — and there we had structural aid for the poorer regions”

    Yes, a multiethnic entity in which one ethnicity, the Serbs, dominated all others and where the only recognisable structural aid found its way to Belgrade which, thanks to such aid, was considered one of the most beautiful and modern cities in the region during ex-Yugoslavia times. Now that there is no funding stolen from other republics, i.e. Croatia and Slovenia, it looks like a run down hole.

    Surely the Dinaric regions of Croatia, highlands of Bosnia and Hercegovina or Macedonia could have benefited by this structural aid Milanovic speaks about.

  7. How is it that countless emigres from Croatia were able to state their place of birth on immigration records as Croatia whilst Yugoslavia was in existence, yet, when Croatia is now free its own Prime Minister wont say he was born in Croatia!

    Even the Australian government, very hostile to Croats during the 70s and 80s, used ‘Socialist Republic of Croatia, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia’, or something in the same vein, in official documents

  8. Croatiians please use the power of the vote wisely – be informed, be critical, be careful – we can’t afford another Milanovic ever again. Is there a repeal process in Croatia? If so get this guy out of office as soon as possible.

  9. I’m amused how Milanovic makes it sound like nationalism is a bad thing. I’m sure in his mind he envisions it as some riotous drunk confrontational flag-waving horde Hell bent on making Croatia’s life difficult. In fact I think it is quite different. I would argue that nationalism is a form of duty to one’s homeland – not military duty but a passion of wanting to do good for one’s homeland in the diplomatic sense (and in this case) put Croatia first.

    I think any of us would do a better job than him, even though we might lack real world experience.

    Putting Croatia first does not mean being anti anyone it means that you will look out for Croatia’s best interests. That your views on issues, be it local or global be firm and confident and that you treat those issues no matter how big or small as being of great importance and not trivialize them like Milanovic did when talking about the current issue of delineating Croatia’s border with Bosnia and Herzegovina. He should not have called Veliki and Mali Skolj “two rocks” (he should have been talked to about that) and trivialize it as some inconvenience to Croatia that should be settled quickly just to get it off the agenda.

    Croatia needs people of vision to look out for the best interests of Croatia and the Croatian people. Milanovic, the SDP and HNS are not those people of vision.

  10. for those who can read Croatian a short overview of the three Milanovic’s “brilliant” public statements, in USA, in Berlin and in Croatia, at the conference of the European Socialists (PES), held in Rijeka, Croatia..

    .I have no time now to translate, will try, though…in a week or so…


  1. […] Milanovic told the German magazine, Der Speigel this week that he was born in the now non-existent Yugoslavia, rather than Croatia., saying that “ it’s an abomination of the democracy and freedom Croatians […]

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