Migrant Crisis In Croatia Widens Political Rift – Plans For Coup d’état Suspected

Refugees enter Croatia at the Serbia-Croatia border Croatian President Wants to Close these illegal border crossings and keep official ones open The Government opposes this Photo: EPA/Antonio Bat

Refugees enter Croatia
at the Serbia-Croatia border
Croatian President Wants to
Close these illegal border crossings
and keep official ones open
The Government opposes this
Photo: EPA/Antonio Bat

More than 190,000 refugees and migrants have crossed into Croatia over the past month and assisted to cross over Hungary to richer European countries (383,000 have crossed Hungary so far this year). At midnight Friday 16 October Hungary sealed its border with Croatia and, hence, refugees making their way to Hungary from Croatia can no longer contemplate that route. Hungary’s government declared its southern frontier with Croatia off limits to migrants, blocking entry with a metal fence and razor wire, as well as soldiers and police, just as it did a month ago on its border with Serbia.

Hungarian soldiers seal off border with Croatia 16 October 2015 Photo: Reuters/Antonio Bronic

Hungarian soldiers seal off
border with Croatia
16 October 2015
Photo: Reuters/Antonio Bronic

The UN refugee agency said people were being denied their right to protection under international conventions by Hungary’s actions. Hungary declared it is duty-bound to secure the borders of the European Union from mainly Muslim migrants threatening, it said, the prosperity, security and “Christian values” of Europe.
As Hungary sealed its borders with Croatia panic rose within Croatia that it would not be able to cope with or sustain such a large and incessant influx of migrants without a humanitarian catastrophe unfolding. The Croatian minister for internal affairs Ranko Ostojic was swift in his lame attempt to quell fears and panic within Croatia and announced that his government would immediately put in place their Plan C. However, outrage poured as he failed to reveal what the Plan C entails, although it became clear quite quickly that the refugees and migrants routed to Western Europe via Hungary would now be routed through Slovenia. Minister Ostojic said the government would continue ferrying migrants across the country by bus and train as long as Slovenia, Austria and Germany kept their borders open. Without Slovenia or Hungary keeping their borders open the refugees have no way of reaching Austria or Germany by land on that route, though.


Migrants and refugees crossing the town of Cakovec, Croatia Saturday 17 October to reach Slovenia

Migrants and refugees
crossing the town of Cakovec, Croatia
Saturday 17 October to reach

Slovenia said migrants would be registered at two border crossings where camps had the capacity of receiving some 8,000 people before continuing their journey to Austria and Germany, the preferred destination of the vast majority, many of them Syrians fleeing war. However, nervousness that Slovenia may follow Hungary’s example in applying strict Schengen border rules and seal off its border with Croatia inflamed the spirits and fears in Croatia. Hungary said it had reinstated border controls on its frontier with Slovenia, effectively suspending Europe’s Schengen system of passport-free travel though it. Both Slovenia and Hungary are part of the Schengen Area while Croatia is not. Slovenia, a small country of 2 million people, says it will allow in as many migrants as it is able to register and accommodate and put the army on standby to aid the effort. But, if the influx continues as it has been, Slovenia would suffocate under pressure of possible hundreds of thousands of migrants and most likely make the move to seal its borders with Croatia.

Syrian migrants in camp Opatovac in Croatia - Saturday 17 October 2015 Photo: Reuters/Marko Durica

Syrian migrants in camp Opatovac
in Croatia – Saturday 17 October 2015
Photo: Reuters/Marko Durica

If such a thing occurred the refugees and migrants reaching Croatia would literally become “trapped” within Croatia with nowhere to go for indefinite lengths of time. With poverty and welfare dependency already at a critical level in Croatia one can fully understand the panic and anger setting in among the population even though the refugees have enjoyed a welcoming, caring and humanitarian reception there so far.

Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic

Croatian President
Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic

This backdrop of realistic fear and panic, in a small and economically challenged country such as Croatia is, has given rise to a greater than expected political and governance crisis with President Grabar-Kitarovic accusing the government of failing to govern and protect the country. “The technical government is not capable of leading the country and allowing me to utilise my executive powers. I shall do that as soon as the Constitution permits me,” stated Grabar-Kitarovic on Saturday 17 October on her Facebook status while on a visit to China, which raised enormous interest and debate in Croatia. Croatia’s president has demanded strict control over the country’s border with Serbia after Hungary closed its own border with Croatia to migrants hoping to reach Western Europe. Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic late Friday urged the government to direct all migrant traffic to official border crossings rather than allow them to enter through illegal routes but her leadership is constantly undermined by the Social Democrat led government’s incessant, egotistic and malicious opposition to her suggestions. The general elections due 8 November certainly appear to have much to do with the government’s opposition and loathsome resistance to the President’s efforts as Social Democrats allege – scandalously and falsely – that the Presidents’ actions have everything to do with trying to make the opposition, HDZ/Croatian Democratic Union, look good and not with leading the country.

This being the case with Social Democrat train of thought and deed, and completely damaging to Croatia as a nation, the President should swiftly take over the leadership via exercising executive powers the Constitution permits, until a new government is sworn in sometime in November – but it seems there are no such powers. Perhaps they could be found if one looked deep enough? In this fast-paced and increasing migration crisis that threatens Croatia’s stability and security a great deal of damage by the irresponsible and politically maliciously inclined government can be done by the time general elections come in November and new government is sworn. But, on Sunday 18 October, President Grabar-Kitarovic stated for Croatian HRT TV that her Facebook status comment was done in irony to minister Ostojic’s outbursts when he said sarcastically that she could solve the crisis with Serbia in five minutes. She said that her statement was not an official one but a Facebook one and that she has no executive powers under the Constitution so she said “when Constitution permits her”.

Migrants and refugees at camp Opatovac Croatia Saturday 17 October 2015

Migrants and refugees at camp
Opatovac Croatia
Saturday 17 October 2015

President’s moves are not surprising,” said Zeljko Olujic, renowned Croatian lawyer and former State Attorney, “she sees things that are against the state and national interests happening in Croatia… She is the keeper of the Constitution and law in Croatia and has announced she will take measures that the Constitution permits her …as President Grabar-Kitarovic has, under the Constitution, great powers in leading the internal and foreign politics… ” He commented that foreign minister Vesna Pusic’s televised statement that the President had no such powers under the Constitution and that President’s statement regarding taking over the powers permitted her under the Constitution were insane, borders with treason and that she should resign her position.
There are speculations pointing to the possibility that by putting in place surveillance of three Constitutional court judges (Court President Jasna Omejec, Judges Slavica Banic and Marko Babic) as well as the Zagreb District Court President, Judge Ivan Turudic, Prime Minister’s Zoran Milanovic’s Social Democrat led government is preparing a coup d’état.
Some say that this story of this attack against the Constitutional Court is larger than the 1970’s  “Watergate” one and that it’s all geared up to secure another mandate of government for the Social Democrat led coalition – mostly made up of former Yugoslav communists or communist sympathisers. The attack against the Constitutional Court reportedly is associated with the alleged illegal arrest and appalling treatment of the former Dinamo Zagreb football club president Zdravko Mamic, who, within his constitutional right, has lodged with the Constitutional Court the question as to whether the new Sports Act, that came into force in August 2015, was passed in accordance with the Constitution. Mamic seeks clarification from the Constitutional Court whether the retroactive application of the so-called “Mamic clause”, within Article 13 Cl. 4 of the Act, was legitimate or whether it breached his rights under the Constitution.


Zoran Milanovic Current Prime Minister of Croatia Leader of Social Democratic Party

Zoran Milanovic
Current Prime Minister of Croatia
Leader of Social Democratic Party

And so, reported false opinion polls results, seeming misrepresentation of voter sentiments, and Social Democrats’ stooges keep convincing the power-hungry, gullible Zoran Milanovic that his voter popularity rating is close to and sitting on the tail of Tomislav Karamarko, HDZ opposition conservative leader. Hence, this false portrayal of his popularity seems to have catapulted the tragically misguided Prime Minister into violent, distant from the truth, verbal attacks of the opposition as well as the country’s President and the Constitutional Court – evidently thinking that by such verbal aggression and surveillance – which seems obviously designed with the hope of mounting sweeping and time-wise strategically placed arrests of Constitutional Court Judges – he will win power at the coming elections.

Tomislav Karamarko Leader of HDZ Croatian Democratic Union

Tomislav Karamarko
Leader of HDZ
Croatian Democratic Union

Croatia’s Social Democrats, the left coalition, has boarded an election campaign runaway train that evidently has no limits or qualms about the brutally vile strategies it’s taking to reach the winning outcome at the coming elections. They seem prepared to even destroy Croatia, its independence and fundamental institutions of democracy if they do not win the elections. No surprise there: their predecessors walked out of the Croatian Parliament in 1991, refusing to vote for secession from communist Yugoslavia. High time Croats woke up to these infidels of independence and democracy and voted them right out of the Parliament on 8 November. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)


  1. this is the long run can’t be good for Europe, it’s bound to dilute
    but then those who cause the problem in the first place..ah, that’s another matter and the rich Gulf states doing nothing to help..the migrants don’t want to go there anyway..and so many young men pouring into Europe for three things – sex, alcohol and drugs.

    These are challenging times, Ina



    • Indeed, John, but if romours of at least a couple of million more via Turkey to stomp towards Europe it’s not likely to stop any time soon despite the increasingly cold weather. All efforts need to be turned towards the borders in Greece and Italy as well as France, money poured in to seal the first borders and sift through only the true refugees. I think asylum processing stations should be established there, away from individual countries for once they break through it’s hard to control and order is needed otherwise tragedies will ensue.

  2. So sad how this war and unrest along with general elections is having such a widespread effect on people and their lives..well done for your reports Ina and your sensitivity to the situations 🙂

  3. The issue has demonstrated how fragile the European Union really is.

  4. You would think Ina that the EU would pull together rather than pull apart.. and while all of this is going on the Refugees keep coming and suffering.. Winter is going to see casualties, but it seems lives are cheap.. and always have been within the wheels that grind behind the scenes..

    Another excellent post enlightening us here.
    Thank you for all you report 🙂

    Love Sue <3

    • Yes Sue, it’s quite incredulous to see the lack of unity and camaraderie between the countries to address this awful plight of so many people – whether poverty or persecution, all deserve better than what’s happening. Thank you and love back 😀

  5. Stevie10703 says:

    Saudi Arabia has tent cities near Mecca which can hold up to 3 million people that are used for just one week out of the entire year. Each tent is air conditioned and have 64 square meters of living space (roughly 690 sq. feet) and yet, Saudi Arabia refuses to allow these people in, yet can find the money to build Mosques wherever these people setting. One has to ask, why is that? Europe is committing suicide and this almost seems to be on purpose right now and I don’t understand why Croatia isn’t following Hungary’s lead and closing its borders completely to these people. Croatia is a country that has a 25% unemployment rate, they cannot sustain what is going on without its economy collapsing, we cannot afford to keep any of these people and have them live off the taxpayers backs they can’t even give our defenders and older people the proper pension now they have to give these people something while they are in the country and it will be too much.

    • It looks like things will get much more worrisome, Stevie, as there are reportedly many many many more making the journey to Europe and Europe cannot absorb that many without serious problems developing no matter how much it tries to assist. Croatia should bring more order into how it deals with this crisis not simply letting it all happen on its soil. It should direct more pressure internationally for EU to set up asylum seeker application stations on borders in Greece, Italy and France – the entry points – allowing the wretched migrants to pass through only worsens their plight because many will be sent back somewhere once their refugee status is not confirmed. Certainly Saudi Arabia is playing a dirty game.

  6. What a mess. Angela Merkel’s a pain in the ass. she’s forcing her agenda down everybody’s throat. I can see the EU breaking up over this. It looks to me like Germany won the war after all. I wouldn’t look for the EU to come along with a spare teat.

    • It’s total madness, Robert – obvious Merkel’s word does not carry too much weight once Germany’s borders are crossed, even within, tensions are mounting. Most likely because it’s chaos and chaotic, bandaid solutions

  7. Before long the only ones standing in the Middle East will be the terrorists. Its nearly an impossible situation to handle keeping in under some kind of civil order. The movement of such a massive number of people will create a floating chaotic time bomb.

    • Indeed Arlin, and most don’t see that or choose not to, the terrorists’ job made much easier by carting people away from the territory and one thing is for sure: without a miracle jobs to satisfy the domestic jobless and migrant jobless won’t exists and hence, a prefect ground for such bombs and social catastrophes, humanitarian one will be plugged one way or another.

  8. On Croatia being a safe country, I found this: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/libertycentral/2010/sep/21/claim-asylum-uk-legal-position

    It is a bit old, so I am not sure of the current EU position, but it seems that the Convention does not specify in what country a refugee should claim asylum, and countries have therefore assumed a right to send refugees back to safe countries through which they have passed. It seems a small step for Hungary to prevent entry in the first place. It seems Hungary may be behaving legally, whatever difficulty this causes for its neighbours.

    • Yes Clare I think you are right regarding Hungary, every country like it that behaves like it would act legally as the regulations seem to say one claims asylum in first country the arrive to in EU unless there is say family unity question etc and many do indeed say they already have family members in Germany, Sweden etc…safe meaning not in war at the time of arrival and not likely to persecute on racial or religious grounds…the problem for a relatively poor country is housing and feeding so many as they pass through or stay a while …

  9. Thanks Ina. The mysterious ‘Plan C’….here we go…the government’s plan for the migrants: Plan A: ‘They won’t come at all.’ (27. August 2015). Plan B: “We are completely prepared.” (16. September 2015). Plan C: “We’ve lost all control.” (18. September 2015). This is an utter disaster and a deliberate attempt at destablizing the country under President Kolinda. The SDP are desperate and know they are on the way out and want to destroy Croatia as a final ‘screw you,’ for the incoming party, Croatia’s residents and to President Kolinda. They are despicable.

  10. On another note, I watched Bujica last night on Facebook (Osjecka TV) where the guests were soccer star Joe Simunic and film producer Jakov Sedlar. Always a great show. Interesting how Sedlar cites how there are a number of Israelis who have no problem with Croatia and the use of the historic term ” Ready for the Homeland – Za Dom Spremni.
    Kraljica Ina, I have to get Velo to get you on his show. You’re a one woman Pro Hrvatska Machine. Zivjela.

    • Love Bujica, Veronika, and the lines of political decency and truth he promotes. Joe Simunic comes from the stock of Croats who have Croatia in their hearts always. Much respect for the guys

  11. this crisis is getting ever larger creating great division in countries and amongst people. Unfortunately, you can not stop the flow, it will only grow as more and more Middle East countries are targeted and displacement increases!

    • I fear so too, Helena, and where it will all lead God knows – great social unrest and restructuring I think. It’s impossible for all of them to find jobs in Europe even if their arrival may boost demand for various goods and services and therefore a certain jobs increase…

  12. I do wish you all good fortune for the future. 🙂

  13. Stevie10703 says:

    Actually, speaking of Bujica, I thought that Ozana Basic was even better. Her show was called “Oluja” but it was forced off the air by the power that be. She loved Hrvatska, stood strong, and really conducted a great show giving everyone a chance to be guests and not just people who are promoting HDZ. Here show was excellent and hopefully she will be back on the air again somewhere in Hrvatska.

  14. Ina, thank you for sharing this and keep us informed. What worries me is why people in their thousands should be fleeing their countries to other lands. I think if the world could look at the problem from this angle and help solve it at that level, many countries would be spared this embarrassment. Those leaders from where people are fleeing should explain why their people are running away – undemocratic rule, poor living conditions due to mismanagement of resources, suffering, exploitation, corruption etc. The international community often sits by and sees these evils done. Hence, they suffer some of the consequences.

  15. Are we surprised?
    “German public television ARD admitted creating a false image of immigrants”


    The article talks about the media manipulation. Even though 80 % of the migrants are men of military age, the media desperately seeks out families with small kids. Media manipulation. What a shocker! (note sarcasm)

    • Yes, Veronika, those who manipulate and control do a great deal of damage. One needs only to look at any group photo of the emigrants and see majority are young and younger, strong males of military age and fighting spirit

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