Croatia: PM Visits Bosnian Croats And Protesters Say No Sex In Public Firms

Centre: Zoran Milanovic, Croatian Prime Minister In Mostar 9 Feb 2014 Photo: Branimir Boban/Cropix

Centre: Zoran Milanovic, Croatian Prime Minister In Mostar 9 Feb 2014
Photo: Branimir Boban/Cropix

This is not a joke; this is reality!
“Why is there no sex in state firms and government offices?… Well because it’s all relatives…family … in the Council, in the Government, in the Cantons ” says a protester on the streets of Bosnia in this translation of this fresh video clip.

In other words nepotism is rampant and chances for achieving real changes without some serious moves are nil!

Failed, fraudulent and corrupt privatisations, obscenely rampant unemployment (almost 60% among youth and about 42% generally), obscenely wide gaps between the rich and the poor, and the utterly inefficient and unaccountable political system are said to lie at the basis of the predominantly Bosniak (Muslim) protests that had gripped Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) for over a week now.

Protests in Tuzla, Bosnia Photo: AFP Getty Images

Protests in Tuzla, Bosnia
Photo: AFP Getty Images

Parts of towns and cities across BiH have seen eruptions of aggressive protests; government buildings burning (even the National archives building where a great deal of a thousand years of history has been reported as destroyed), rocks and all sorts of steel, sharp missiles thrown at government buildings, at hordes of bewildered police that sheltered themselves behind shields, crawling and shuffling at times against walls like black caterpillar formations in fear of injury, yelling and screaming “Down with corrupt government” “thieves – out!”, holding banners with inscriptions such as “Moja jedina nada, je da padne vlada” (My only hope if for the government to fall). In Tuzla, Mostar, Zenica and Sarajevo, government buildings have been set on fire and there have been demonstrations across much of the rest of the country. Hundreds have been injured, including policemen, but the determination in the protesters’ eyes is fierce – they want to overthrow the government that has brought them nothing but misery, unemployment, hunger, more corruption…no hope for their children’s future…

Graffiti: "He who sows hunger, reaps anger!"

Graffiti:
“He who sows hunger, reaps anger!”

Several leading elected officials in BiH have been under investigation for corruption. Ethnic or nationalist squabbling has paralysed government institutions and it’s not getting any better.

It is in that circumstance and reality that one must protect the nationality or ethnicity that’s being downtrodden and repressed, just as we would do for ethnic minorities anywhere.

Serbs and Bosniaks outnumber the Croats in BiH and, as a result Croats have demonstrated the suffering from threats to their very existence, identity, power to self-determination and struggle for equality amidst an ever increasing and ever louder self-imposed ethnic and administrative superiority of Serbs and Bosniaks.

Croatia’s Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic had decided to pay an emergency visit to Mostar and its burned buildings last Sunday. On that occasion he said, “all this would not have happened had the EU had clear BiH politics …I will make efforts towards achieving talks between EU and BiH …”. He emphasised several times that he had come there to give support to the EU path for BiH although some saw his visit to Mostar as support for the Croats living there for whom he said were already citizens of EU (apparently referring to those who hold double citizenships/that of BiH and that of Croatia).

Back in Zagreb, Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic stated:

It’s not realistic to ask a state such as Bosnia and Herzegovina to change its constitutional frame, which is 20 years old, and there is no consensus for this. Let’s accept Bosnia and Herzegovina as it is now. It’s not perfect, its Constitution is not the best but in the EU there is at least one country in which it is known that the president must be of one religion, vice-president of another religion or nation. That is not good, but at this moment this is the only possibility.”

At the same time Serbian Republic’s Milorad Dodik keeps pushing for a territorial division of BiH into three parts; One for Serbs (well they already have it in Serbian Republic, which they seized through genocide and ethnic cleansing of Bosniaks and Croats in the 1990’s) one for Bosniaks and one for Croats (source: Croatian TV evening news 13 Feb 2014 ). Having previously stated that the protests are also to destabilise Repubika Srpska and further involve the international community in the country’s politics.

The political/government order in BiH Croatia’s Prime Minister seems to support in reality is this: Three constitutional ethnic groups (Bosniak, Croat, Serb), five levels of government, two political entities (Serbian Republic and Federation of Bosniaks and Croats), one special district (Brcko), ten cantons (in the Federation) that compete with local governments (Councils) making it fourteen governments in BiH and one internationally appointed High Representative. The reality has been that in this situation no one answers to no one, and everyone makes their own decisions as they please, and to make things worse nepotism has spread like a plague in all public firms (and in private ones to a lesser degree).

In the constellation of loud Serbs and loud Bosniaks the Croatian voice is hardly heard; their presence in BiH seems to be even more repressed than before. So, Zoran Milanovic’s visit to Mostar can be seen as a reminder to all that the third ethnic entity in BiH exists and has rights also, although his motives for the visit can be seen as attempts to help quash nationalistic outbursts there.  Given the absolute fact that Bosnian Serb and Bosniak (Muslim) nationalistic passions are and have been running high for decades it’s a pity that he did not speak louder on behalf of Bosnian Croats who are struggling with their rights and identity within Bosniak predominance in the Federation.  Bosnian Croats have an absolute right to having in BiH what Serbs and Bosniak have – a piece of BiH where their voice will predominate; their rights be duly fought for and realised.  It was Croatia’s late president Franjo Tudjman who supported the evident and strong will of Bosnian Croats to self-determination and self-governance and for that he was branded as criminal! Perhaps Zoran Milanovic fears speking out too loudly in support of Bosnian Croats in fear of being labelled by the international political wheelers and dealers a criminal, too?

The current protests in the Bosnian Federation can only serve as a testament to what it was like for Croats in BiH during early 1990’s! A bloody fight for survival amidst competing Bosniak and Serb majorities! The international community has all but accepted that Serbs in BiH have a right to their entity; the Bosniaks seem to be waging protests not for the motive visible – get rid of corrupt government – but possibly to get rid of the cantons and thus achieve ethnic majority across the Federation, cutting any chance of expression where it counts for the Croats.  Croats deserve their own entity in BiH and that does not mean that such an outcome would result in tearing apart the BiH created by Dayton agreement.

Graffiti: Stop Nationalism Stop Nationalistic Division of Bosnia United Bosnia

Graffiti: Stop Nationalism
Stop Nationalistic Division of Bosnia
United Bosnia

It is true that the protesters have claimed to be anti-nationalist. The violence has stopped during the past couple of days and protests have taken the form of so-called “plenums” in the streets. Meetings of “fed-up” citizens at which they’re attempting to formulate political demands are being held and more planned as we speak. If these plenums don’t result in clear directions, in clear leaderships, in clear demands, nothing will change. All this unrest will be remembered as loud venting by frustrated people, some of which have been labelled by politicians in power as hoodlums.  These Bosniak led protests have been dubbed by the participants and supporter as “Bosnian Spring” – this reminds one of the recent “Arab Spring” and not the “Croatian Spring” of 1971 when Croatia unsuccessfully and with terrible backlashes sought greater independence from Tito’s Yugoslavia. How anyone can call this the “Bosnian Spring” when the only people participating in these protests are Boaniaks (Muslims) begs explanation! Serbs are not taking part, Croats are not taking part (except for a reported few in Mostar) – it cannot be a Bosnian Spring because Bosnia has three ethnic groups. Let’s not forget the Croats in Bosnia for they truly have been and are – endangered! Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

Comments

  1. wow, politics is very interesting puzzle.

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  2. Reblogged this on Anno Domini 2014 / News.

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  3. This makes me think of the saying that we have “politics make for interesting bedfellows” (bad pun intended). This is fascinating to me from thousands a miles away-thanks for keeping us aware of what is happening!

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  4. Already we have seen the “Bosnian Muslims did nothing, ethnic tensions between Serbs and Croats caused the violence and property destruction” lies come out. There’s a lot more to come for Bosnia and I fear for the fate of Bosnian-Croats. We find ourselves in a difficult situation because the truth isn’t the preferred narrative, either in the Balkans or in the West. As for Milanovic – I doubt fear held him back. What does he possibly have to fear, isn’t he a good little antifascist and we know that antifascists simply cannot be criminals according to Croatian government logic. He’s held back by the same political motivations that has held every politician in Croatia back from strengthening the ties between of Croats in BiH and RH. – it simply goes against the truth and the ambitions of the current political elite. Mesic did well to destroy the strength of the diaspora, it’s not like this current government will take real action to strengthen the political and social relationship of all Croats. Either that, or he’s really stupid and ignorant of the plight of Bosnian-Croats.

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    • Too right Kat – Mesic did well in destroying the strength of the diaspora. What a shame that only a few are left to join in the fight for Croat equality and identity in BiH. But then he, like the current government in Croatia are communists at heart and warped mind and it’s unlikely they will fight hard for the Croatian cause in BiH even if they see that it is frightfully endangered. Bosniaks have evidently grown wings, it’s time some more get to answer for war crimes in early 1990’s.

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    • therealamericro says:

      Good points Kat.

      There is a reason why Bradati Jasenovac is the most popular politician amongst Bosniaks in B&H and the most hated politician amongst Croats in B&H.

      The reason is that, during the war and every single day since, he has done everything to subvert Croats (and by default, Croatia’s strategic interest and geopolitical imperative) in B&H.

      In addition to being outed by genocidal JNA General Blagoje Adzic as a KOS operative (along with the treasonous rats Jozo Manolic and the walking Commust corpse that refuses to get in and stay in a well deserved grave, Josip Boljkovac), Bradati Jasenovac committed perjury at the Blaskic trial, with his idiotic, primitive, contradictory, science-fiction village commessar lies being the nucleus of the farcial Blaskic, Kordic and now Prlic et. al. indictmens and convictions (this is in part due to the political kangaroo court forbiding the ICTY-commissioned study by Lt. Col. Dr. Charles Schrader [West Point and US Army War College professor of history / military history] to be submitted into evidence as it entirely demolishes the Blaskic, Kordic and Prlic et. al. indictments and rulings).

      One hopes that Milanovic is sincere about his support for B&H Croats (though his systematically imbecilic remarks on WWII, post-WWII, and Croatia say otherwise, and his “support” is likely only to break up the B&H Croats’ votes for election time).

      The elephant in the room is that wasting 14 years on disenfranchising Croats in B&H has not produced one single job – on the contrary, it has produced throngs of SDA, SDP and SBB voters converging in Vitez, W Mostar’s bus station, and Tromede between Citluk, Medugorje and Siroki, searching for day labor.

      Croats’ fill 70 percent of the Federation’s cauffers, yet see no reinvestment by the state into their local economies (despite their employing Bosniaks as well).

      The elephant in the room is the Wests’ (the US and UK in particular) support of greater Bosniak nationalist unitarism (whether it is under the guise of neo-Titoist AVNOJ B&H unitarists, or politically Islamist Bosniak nationalists) that was allowed to run rampant and unchecked since Tudman’s unfortunate death in Dec. 1999.

      These ‘protests’ were and are a sham, to misdirect the public (being “antinationalist” in protest signs and grafitti while being ultra-nationalist in slogans and targeting [see HDZ HQ in Mostar being torched]) inside and outside of Bosnia.

      Other than Slavoje Zizek, no one is fooled. The media shills of Western intelligence in the entirely government owned “free media” of the West are forcing the false narrative knowing that the staged, well coordinated and planned ‘protests’ have everything to do with the EU resolution on B&H, which in politically correct terms denounced Bosniak nationalist unitarism, the disenfranchisement of Croats’ and negation of their votes, the systematic violiation of Dayton at the expense of Croats, and last but not least, Dodik’s separatism; and nothing to do with general, popular outrage, because Bosniaks voted for Croats’ political disenfranchisement and continue to justify it in B&H parliament and in Bosniak media.

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  5. Michael Silovic says:

    As I mentioned in your last article the real issue here is the failure for all 3 entities to continue to build on the Dayton accord. It seems that once it was signed everything just froze in place. The Dayton accords cannot easily be dismissed because then we would have chaos as was with the war and then I would agree that then we would not have unrest just for economic reasons but for ethnic reasons as well. In my last post you will noticed that I did not breach the subject of ethnicity as I do not believe that this latest action has much to do with ethnicity but is really about economics and corruption. Yes this can take a nasty turn quickly and become an ethnic issue which I hope it does not. But the truth of the matter is it is difficult to govern any people and ethnicity with the set up of the Dayton accords. I can relate to the Bosnian feeling the pain of disenfranchisement. Yes a majority of Muslims are the one protesting because they are the majority and not Croats or Serbs so I do not think that this should be of any surprise. Of course the Serbs have not much more to protest because they are the manipulating power house in BIH region as is Croatia. The real way to go about this is to let the Serbs have the north and let Bosnia have their own country. It should then be the choice of people to determine if they want to live under the term of a truly Bosnian elected government. If Croats or Serbs do not want to live under such a government then they should go to either Croatia or Serbia to live. I truly believe that all people can live together and expand on the Dayton accord if they want to but under the current conditions it is very difficult even if there was economic prosperity. The issue is a tough one that will take real leadership to sort out the issues. This type of leadership is not available because of nepotism and corruption and there are many who like it just the way it is. Is joining the EU the answer to the problem as some might suggest? I do not believe so as once all the borders are open you have more of a chance of ethnic strife and prejudices that will still create a problem.

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    • I agree Michael Silovic that Dayton had its good points in conception however as we have seen it has not brought the desired collaboration and sharing government as it was hoped; Serbs have wanted total independence and Croats are stifled in the Federation with Bosniaks. Serbs in Serbian Republic there have just as much to protest about in economic and corruption terms as Bosniaks and Croats have in the Federation – but Serbs are keeping “mum” out of nationalistic pride and Croats live in fear. If Dayton type of organising the country is to stay then Croats and Bosniaks need their own entities like the Serbian Republic and then all three will be on equal footing within BiH. The other option is to ditch Dayton but then BiH would still be left with ethnic bickering inside it competing for central government unless that central government is defined in terms of ethnic representation as is now but at a more equal footing. Truly a complicated state.

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  6. Good article Ina, well explained. ………
    It is so sad to see such unrest in Bosnia AGAIN!!! …… Why can there be no resolution without the need for violence?

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    • Thank you Nila Oreb for feedback. It is sad indeed that in 18 years since the war ended we now see it had never ended and situation was left to allow such ethnic rivalries, corruption, when there is room for all to live in peace at least side by side if not together.

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  7. Well done!

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  8. Well written…I quite like the idea of starting off with a joke. It gets the reader straight to the point! 🙂

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  9. Yup, keep it within the family – and stop office love affairs. They found the solution.

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  10. therealamericro says:

    QUOTE: If Croats or Serbs do not want to live under such a government then they should go to either Croatia or Serbia to live. ENDQUOTE

    Why would either leave B&H to accomodate unreasonable, Milosevicesque political demands and delusional expansionist, unitarist Bosniak fantasies.

    B&H exists thanks to B&H Croats, namely HZHB and the HVO, which was supported by the HV and government of Croatia. Were it not for B&H Croats organizing and defending over 80 percent of what is now the Federation, and bringing the VRS to its knees in 1995, there would be no B&H on paper or even in theory, and Bosniaks would have been exterminated.

    Bosniaks chose to play a double game with the Serbs, they chose to stab the Croats in the back repeatedly, they repeatedly elected the Islamist mountain goat Izetbegovic that cried to Holbrook about the road to Goradze needing to be widened and Holbrook conditioned Croatia’s international legitimacy, and the return of Podunavlje, on Croatia acquiescing the massive pocket of W Bosnia that the HV-HVO forces mopped the battlefield with the VRS in (the Mrkonjic Grad / W Bosnia pocket of RS today), 13 percent of B&H territory, for a few extra square kilometers between Sarajevo and that unproductive, unemployment center / hideous eyesore Goradze.

    Croats have shown great patience and have played fair.

    These staged ‘protests,’ which follow the EU resolution denouncing Bosniak unitarism and electoral disenfranchisement, are the Bosniak’s “Yogurt Revolution” a la Milosevic and the Serbs in Yugoslavia.

    Same rhetoric (if you don’t like it, get out; one-man, one vote when it fits our agenda; we are the guardians of the state, etc.), same strategy.

    And if history is any lesson, they should know beforehand that they will fail, miserably.

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    • QUOTE: Thus, as academics and scholars of the region, we call upon the representatives of the international community to say their good-byes to the kleptocratic ethno-nationalist elites and the institutions they have helped create. Neighboring countries – who were key instigators of the war – must also be advised to refrain from interfering in Bosnia and Herzegovina at a time when the ethnocracies they sustain are facing major challenges from below. ENDQUOTE Says in an Open Letter to International Community published on Friday http://balkanist.net/an-open-letter-to-the-international-community-in-the-bosnia-and-herzegovina/
      For them, speaking on behalf of Bosniaks (as Bosniaks are those protesting) it seems, even though under the veil of BiH, that others are guilty for starting the war in BiH, how quickly do some forget that BiH voted to secede from Yugoslavia too (let’s not mention Bosniak Izetbegovic who thought he could play two fiddles at the same time, before then. The protests and plenums seem destined to fail because they started dishonestly (even if their motives were righteous/unemployment, corruption, theft, poverty) – they pretend to represent BiH or at least the Federation and in their wild winds forget that the Federation also has another ethnic population (Croat)…Croats should stay where they are at home in BiH and assert their own, too

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  11. Reblogged this on idealisticrebel.

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  12. Zrinka Stampalia says:

    Draga Ina,
    Uvijek je za mene veliki uzitak citati postove na tvom blog-u! Ja sam izgubila vezu s tobom od Srpnja kad je nasa email adresa napadnuta od hakera, mozda si i ti dobila ‘strange’ email od nas!?!
    Zeljela bih se ponovo ukljuciti u tvoj blog sa mogucnoscu da ga mogu ‘share’ tako da svi moji kontakti budu ukljuceni i informirani sa pravim istinitim informacijama! Za mene ti si najbolja i cijenim sve tvoje stavove i moralne vrijednosti!

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    • Translation of Zrinka Stampalia comment: Dear Ina, Reading your blog posts has always been a great enjoyment. I’ve lost contact with joy from July when our email address was attacked by hackers, perhaps you received strange emails from us?! I want to connect to your blog again with the capacity to share so that all my contacts are included and informed with the real and truthful information! For me you are the best and I respect all your views and moral values!

      REPLY: Thank you Zrinka on your kind words, it’s so good to hear. Yes, the followers of my blog via email do receive a forward-able Post in their Inbox as soon as I publish the post. It is automatic. Hence, if you haven’t already and have a new email do use the Follow facility on the right hand side of blog and enter the email address. I have not received any strange emails from you and the “bug”must have bypassed mine, but I di receive similar ones from time to time as probably everyone does and I have learned to recognise them immediately, I never open them and delete them. Thank you on your concern. Cheers

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  13. Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says:

    What an awful situation! How on earth do people manage with children day to day? God bless them.

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    • I guess Jackie Saulmon Ramirez children go without many things others take for granted. God bless them for now but let’s hope that their future will have a chance of decent living rather than poverty and unemployment

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  14. Howdy. So, I realize that I’m really late to the game here, and I’m not sure if my post will get read let alone answered, but I wanted to ask anyway.

    It seems from this post that the author, the Catholic Bosnians were/are the biggest losers and victims from the war in the 90s. I’m curious how you reconcile this idea with what happened in the city of Mostar, where the Catholic people essentially stabbed their fellow Muslim citizens in the back when they attacked the Muslims and drove them to the east side of the river? While doing so, they took over the university, kicked out non-Catholic academics, and changed the name to a specifically Croat name. I get that terrible things were done to and by all parties, but with a look at Mostar, it really seems like the Catholics came out on top in this instance.

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    • Dave, what ever happened during the vicious war happened but then after Dayton agreement Croats and Muslims in the Federation were supposed to have equal rights etc and the situation is not that perhaps a new system of equality might bring some fairness

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      • I definitely agree that there should be equal rights for all, but it seems disingenuous to say that “The current protests in the Bosnian Federation can only serve as a testament to what it was like for Croats in BiH during early 1990’s! A bloody fight for survival amidst competing Bosniak and Serb majorities!” And with respect, I think it speaks volumes that you focus on the tragedies that befell the group you support while minimizing the violence perpetrated by this same group. Also, saying that Bosnian Catholics are “endangered” is quite over-the-top.

        But an even bigger issue is how continued partitioning of the country by so-called “ethnic” groups will lead to more equality and less corruption. As a minority, it would seem that it would be in the Bosnian Catholics best interest to begin breaking down the social-construct of BiH’s “ethnic” groups. In fact, I would suggest that if majority of Bosnian Catholics would rid themselves of foreign nationalism, they, along with the non-nationalist Bosnian Orthodox and Bosnian Muslims, could take back the country from the pro-“ethnic” powers supported by foreign governments. The acceptance and support of a pan-Bosnian national identity would lead to reduced tension between the three factions by minimizing the power of groups and parties that want to control the government for one particular “ethnicity.”

        Thank you for the conversation.

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      • All have right to opinion, Dave – but the fact is if within the Federation or indeed within BiH there can’t be equality – all constitutional ethnic groups have equal rights in government and authority – then separate enclaves for each should be contemplated in order to secure that there be no oppression.

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