Croatia: Happy Statehood Day

Franjo Tudjman


23 years ago, on 25 June 1991, the Croatian Parliament delivered a constitutional decision on the independence and sovereignty of the Republic of Croatia, declaring Croatia an independent State. Croatia would sever itself from communist Yugoslavia.


As evidence in the above video-clip, on that day Franjo Tudjman, the President of Croatia and the driving force behind Croatia’s independence said: “We can no longer support the state in which hidden and public aggression and pathological hatred and evil exist towards everything that is Croatian, in a state community in which we are faced with continuous threats, the use of aggression both joint and illegal in the shape of rebellion and terrorism. Declaring the independence of Croatia we are doing the same as all nations of the world do in the path to their independence, from the same national reasons”.

Narrator’s voice in video: “The historical decisions about a free path to the future were based upon the results from the referendum at which 93.2% voters circled “Yes” for independence of the state. In such a way the Croatian people had democratically expressed their wish to manage their own future and destiny. The referendum rejected all other options offered, which placed Croatia in an unfavourable position, and the proposition made by the Federal Prime Minister Ante Markovic for some kind of a democratic Yugoslavia and Slobodan Milosevic’s Greater-Serbian concept of the so-called Modern Federation, that is, of a new Serbo-Slavia. Croatian Parliament has unanimously voted for the Declaration of Independence but that unanimity was somewhat eroded by the fact that the reformed communists, under the name of Parties for Democratic Changes, expressed their voice against the Constitutional decision and the law. The club of Social Democrat (SDP) representatives sought that together with the process of separation there be a process of joining with other Yugoslav republics. That proposal was rejected and the parliamentary majority within which the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) held most seats decided upon a full and unconditional Croatian independence. The same day the Republic of Slovenia delivered its own decision for state independence. Yugoslavia was no more, although international factors advocated for some new kind of a Yugoslav community. That was the reason why a three-month moratorium and arms embargo was imposed upon the new states, which left the new states at perilous mercy of Serb aggression. But in the Homeland War Croatia defended itself and in January 1992 the international community had no choice but to recognise the new political reality on the South-East part of Europe”.

The prelude to independence and statehood
Translation of narrative in video about the referendum for Croatian independence: “In the history of the modern Croatia 19 May 1991 is one of the most important dates. That day Croatia came out to vote at a referendum, at which it was deciding about its future. The ballot paper had two questions.

Are the citizens for that Croatia as a sovereign state can enter into an alliance with other sovereign states and other republics or to remain within Yugoslavia, which would be a federative state? 83,56% of citizens voted at the referendum and more than 94% accepted the first choice, which in effect meant they decided for an independent Croatia. 4.18% voted against. 1.2% ballot papers were declared invalid. The referendum was held in dramatic circumstances of Chetnik rebellion that were assisted by Milosevic’s Greater-Serbia regime and the Yugoslav Peoples Army as the last advocates of the weakening communist Yugoslavia …in the meantime the army leaders formed its own party Communist Alliance – Movement for Yugoslavia, which assessed the democracy in Slovenia and Croatia as a temporary victory of counter-revolution. Milosevic and the Yugoslav Army assigned to Croatia the destiny of a small state that can be seen from Sljeme (mountain above Zagreb) and under the leadership of people like-minded with them (former communists/Social Democrats) … ”

23 years after June 1991 it’s difficult to shake off the threat to Croatian independence and sovereignty that existed in 1991 from the communists and as described in the last words of the above passage. The threat has grown roots in the political maneuvers od all political parties that stay loyal to the communist or antifascist groups of former Yugoslavia and, hence, it can be felt to this day. Despite that Croatia is a lucky country for it has multitudes of courageous and determined citizens who fight for progress in democracy and for settling the accounts with the evil communist regime that was under Yugoslavia. God bless them and happy Croatian national day! Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)


  1. Happy Independence Day! Now the hard work begins….

  2. God bless them. TS Eliot: So they built as men must build, with a trowel in one hand and a sword in the other.

  3. Enjoy the day🙋

  4. Very well done, Croatia! 😀 A moving post, Ina. 🙂

  5. Ina, We must celebrate our Statehood Day proudly, but I can’t help but be somber. The sacrifices and lives lost for our freedom were immense. We had a bright future and still do, but it is being destroyed by the same group of criminal, anti-Croatian ideologues that voted against independence. All politicians are to blame for this, but the SDP mostly. While Serbia is unified and focused on a Greater Serbia reinforcing its ties with allies, Croatia is divided and exhausted. Its leaders are without ideas and innovation. They’ve destroyed alliances with traditional allies – who is really our friend in the world? They’ve squandered time and opportunity. Conducted themselves disgracefully and at every turn pursued an anti-croatian, yugonostalic agenda. They have crushed our spirit and desecrated our homeland victory. They have brought shame on Croatia and ruined the lives of the average Croatian. Croatia it can be argued is in more danger today than it ever was – there are separatist referendum being planned in Dalmatia and Istria, Vukovar is being prepared and managed like a Yugo-slav city in service of Belgrade…the list could go on. This madness needs to stop. Are we not capable asa people to be united?

    • So many threats to freedom exist, Sunman, so much more reason to keep on fighting for unity – it is there somewhere but I think the main culprits for troubles on this front do stem from Yugonostalgics …

    • therealamericro says:

      The referendums will go nowhere, especially in Dalmatia ; – )

      Its one thing when native Istrians are calling for more autonomy for economic reasons, and another when Jovan or Hamdija is calling for independence.

      People aren’t stupid and see the messengers.

      Provocations, nothing else.

      Its just a matter of Markic’s next referendum passing and some normalcy coming over time.

      New government, new diplomatic policies, and Herceg Bosna being revived as three entities are the only solution.

  6. Happy Statehood Day, Croatia and thank you, Franjo.

    To all Croats against the current political, social and economic situation: don’t ever give up fighting against the communists. They can and must be put back into place and that place is away from any position of power.

  7. There is no way back for indepedence of Croatia and Bosnia a train reached its goal.

  8. Računovodstvo says:

    How sad that two days before the Financial Times published an article calling Croatian “the EU’s new economic laggard”. Tony Barber, the author of the article, stated that Croatia is the #1 EU economic basket case – how distressing but how true!

    The headlines in Croatian papers were blazoned with phrases taken from the article, as if everyone is so surprised at the economic situation. Dare I say this; but, I think people are finally becoming ashamed, and the media are slowly starting to lose its complicit role in propping up a very happily inept, corrupt government of both sides of the political spectrum.

    I believe that people are starting to finally wake up from its Communist stupor, though, I have to give credit to Mr. Barber’s closing sentences of his eye-opening article.

    “It would be asking too much to expect them to admit their past shortcomings. But can they not at least roll up their sleeves and start the long-overdue process of modernising the Croatian state?’

    Yes, Croatia, can you at least roll up your sleeves? Your past can be forgiven, maybe not forgotten, but definitely forgiven with how you grasp every opportunity and the future with both hands not willing to let go at any cost.

    • Indeed, Racunovodstvo, almost 50 years under communism resulted in the mentality of dependence on the government to solve the problems of a sustainable economy, secure unsustainable employment life-long tenures in every conceivable job, reliance of supposedly “free money” to get by and get ahead, three hour lunch breaks … time to roll up the sleeves and realise that it’s the effort of every citizen that make a country work – or not

  9. Ina Vukic day and night we should work to improve Bosnia/Croatia and became strong allies it was the same enemy that tried to destroy us both! 99% of the Bosnian population voted yes for independence can it became more clear ? 4 men in my family died in the liberation war so I should never be ruled from Beograd again the same with the Croatian hero’s from the homeland war! Our freedom and flag did not come easy our people had to pay a lot of blood for it.

    • And as it happened in early 1990’s there was great unity between Bosnian Croats and Bosniaks, and Croatia, Muhamed, fighting common enemy, but then came “divide and rule and confuse” … those who participated and still participate in this track are very active and politics seem stronger than common sense and common good …

  10. From 1992 to 1993 the Bosniak and Croat people were figthing together and tried to hold the Serb enemy back 400000 Bosniaks fleed into Croatia and 150000 Croats fleed into Bosniak controlled Sarajevo. But in 1993 Bosniaks and Croats did a very stuptid thing by turning the guns towards each other done by the agents of Serbs. ( Why will they figth again each other in a time when 500000 Croats and Bosniaks were captured in Serb concentration camps )They were allies again 1994-1995 infact in 1995 under operation Storm the Bosniak and Croats broke Down the Serb army lines if the United States did not stop them and save the Serb enemy Republika Srpska will had been destroyed back in 1995 our troops were just outside Banja Luka

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