Croatia – New Government Appointments Disappoint Masses

From left: Nina Obuljen, Andrej Plenkovic and Zlatko Hasanbegovic Photo: Hanza Media

From left:
Nina Obuljen, Andrej Plenkovic and Zlatko Hasanbegovic
Photo: Hanza Media

We live in times when more often than not we find ourselves among the ever increasing number of people that are dissatisfied with the make-up of their government cabinet or choice of ministers. More often than not there is a huge gap or shortfall between peoples’ expectations of government and what government delivers. Trust in government has been declining fast and certainly gives no room for a new Prime Minister to make steps that are bound to stir up a whole new round of public disappointment and outcries that in many ways make the work of the government more difficult than what it should be.


I stand deeply disappointed and sad in fact, that Croatia’s Prime Minister designate Andrej Plenkovic has in the evening of Tuesday 18 October 2016 announced that Dr Zlatko Hasanbegovic will not serve as minister in his new government but instead, the culture portfolio is given to woman who has been the subject of alarming scandals over past weeks – Nina Obuljen Korzinek – who as member of the Croatian Audiovisual Centre’s management board is said to have been instrumental during the recent past in permitting and supporting the production and the distribution of anti-Croatian films that, according to many, muddy the name and the reputation of the Croatian Homeland War.

From Left: Zeljko Glasnovic and Zorica Greguric Protesting new government appointments Photo: Robert Anic/ Pixsell

From Left: Zeljko Glasnovic and Zorica Greguric
Protesting new government appointments
Photo: Robert Anic/ Pixsell

General Zeljko Glasnovic, member of parliament, has along with Croatian volunteer war veteran Zorica Greguric already protested against this choice for minister Plenkovic has made. “Croatia is morally and economically on its knees, especially culturally on its knees because a ‘cultural Leninist’ is leading her,” stated Glasnovic in Zagreb Croatia.


Governments have traditionally been organised to administer, not to foster and enable. But if increasingly complex challenges call for the government to become an enabler, then it needs to be able to push forward with policy, not just deal with pushback. When it comes to Plenkovic it would seem he has missed the heeding of the former New York mayor, Michael Bloomberg’s famous words “In God we trust, everyone else, bring data“, who reiterated through his work those famous words initially attributed to W. Edwards Deming, the father of modern quality management. Bloomberg’s data-driven rationalism reduced crime and allocated resources more efficiently to those who needed them. But data can also be used to rationalise decisions and get public on side. Evidently, even if Plenkovic had data regarding the public’s opinion about Hasanbegovic and about Obuljen, and if Plenkovic had respect and acknowledgement of the data regarding the ceaseless public outcries regarding the lack of adequate attention towards victims of communist crimes, that is a burning divisive issue needing resolution so that Croatia can move on into a better future, then he would not have named a person as minister of culture whose nomination automatically creates bad blood across the very society he says his government will unify or work for towards betterment.

Perhaps Hasanbegovic’s widespread popularity was becoming personally threatening for Plenkovic? Whatever it was that helped him make this decision regarding his new culture minister must be removed from his mindset for it does not appear right. If he was intent on nominating another person instead of Hasanbegovic then, knowing that false allegations against Hasanbegovic to do with alleged neo-fascism or revisionism resurfacing in Croatia, he had the duty to install such a person into that ministry whose very nomination would assist the government in quashing the complex reputation challenges these allegations have brought to the Croatian nation as a whole. But then again, Andrej Plenkovic is no Michael Bloomberg or W. Edwards Deming – sadly. But, there is always time to put ones pride aside and change ones decision even if one is a Prime Minister.


Not a good start for Andrej Plenkovic as Prime Minister even if he may insist on justifying or explaining his decision with the enthusiasm new, fresh faces bring – he would fail miserably in showing that any new, fresh faces must bring novelty and freshness with them – not create bigger wounds of old ones. “When we talk about the new people (in his government), it’s a combination of experience. A notable contribution of people who are in the prime of strength in their energy and experience and some younger people...” Plenkovic said describing his new team.  Oh dear, what new Prime Minister has ever said anything different about his/her chosen government team.


He is not the only minister who worked within a delicate context…Hasanbegovic was the culture minister, he is elected into the Croatian parliament, he will be a member of our parliamentary team, we will find him the most competent position,” said Plenkovic commenting his decision not to appoint Hasanbegovic a minister.

Zlatko Hasanbegovic Photo: Robert Anic/ Pixsell

Zlatko Hasanbegovic
Photo: Robert Anic/ Pixsell

Well frankly, whether Plenkovic or HDZ find anything “most competent” to do for Hasanbegovic or not, the fact remains that Hasanbegovic already has a most competent position on his own merit, without Plenkovic’s “handouts” – Hasanbegovic was elected into parliament at September elections with an overwhelming number of votes from the electorate. Andrej Plenkovic, whose father is said to have been an active communist party of Yugoslavia operative,  has not even been sworn in as the PM yet and prognoses for shaken stability of his new government are already beckoning: watch this space. The fact that Plenkovic has named Davor Ivo Stier, whose grandfather is said to have been a colonel in the WWII Ustashe forces in Croatia, as his foreign minister, will not help a single bit with the public’s anger against Obuljen’s appointment as minister of culture. The issue of Nina Obuljen as utterly unsuitable as culture minister at this time of unrelenting pressure to unite the Croatian society by reconciling its post-WWII history to the full will not go away any time soon for society at large. It will most likely give rise to a serious split in HDZ party ranks as well. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)



  1. A disappointment, what a shame.I don’ t believe i putting the sins of the father (or grandfather) on the child and would be prepared to see how they work for the good of the country. It’s different n the case of Nina Obuljen who has accusations pointing directly at her, nor a forebear.
    It’s more than a shame that popular member like Hasanbegovic who has proved his worth to the country should be sidelined like this. Here’s hoping a cabinet reshuffle isn’t too long coming.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

    • I look forward to a reshuffle to David and yes, I do not agree with the “sins” of the father etc as we are all our own but often those “sins” continue their freedom from contrition because those that come after cover them up or try and justify or deny them – and so one may well be excused for ascribing a bit of “blame” to the nurture bit of nature:) Hugs, hugs

  2. Reblogged this on The Militant Negro™.

  3. Nicely sharp, could be sharper – it’s a disgrace what’s happening with this

  4. What a horrible slap in the face to those who have defended Croatia from Serb aggression – I now know the price Plenkovic was prepared to pay to get the support to form government, he did what Serb nutjob Milorad Pupovac asked of him. Shame, shame, shame

  5. So – will the Croats be happy to give up hope for justice to victims of communist crimes, for lustration – or – will we see another Croatian Spring I wonder? This is too much to bear.

  6. Wonder if Comrade Plenko will be held accountable to the electorate and the HDZ and explain his rationale for NOT choosing Hasanbegovic…wait, what a silly question to ask this is Croatia after all. Words can express how I feel about Plenko, but in polite company it’s best not to say. However, I can’t express my disappointment and disillusionment with Croatia – I am dumbstruck; WTF. It started with so much promise, even though we were forced into a devastating war, Croatia had so much potential but was suppressed of its potential and energy from within. Truly sad.

    • Ah it all resembles a big coverup and denial of the reasons Croatia broke away from communist Yugoslavia to bring in true democracy not this hybrid or cocktail that has communist elements rattling about, Sunman

  7. My bullsh*t meter is on overload, and I am not even directly affected by the goings on politically in Croatia. I don’t have the privilege of being born there, or of living there – but almost all of my family were and do. My frustration with the political elite and their unending duping of the Croatian electorate over the last 26 years is almost palpable and it leads me to wonder how much more and for how much longer will those within the borders of Croatia proper -those who are directly affected by Croatian politics – be prepared to stand for this nonsense! And let us underline, this is Andrej Plenkovic and HDZ we/they are momentarily lambasting – not Milanovic et al and SDP -and this is on day one of his mandate – already he’s got people’s blood boiling.
    Wake up call people! After the better part of two decades of HDZ majority governments, the results are evident; wide scale corruption, nepotism, cronyism, backroom wheeling and dealing, conflicts of interest, broken promises, ineptness, purposeful disregard and outright betrayal of the electorate, leaders who lack national and cultural pride,lack accountability, lack honor,lack integrity. When you have despicable leadership you get despicable results. We are no closer today than we were in Tudjman’s time to any kind of national lustration and reconciliation. We are no closer to any kind of unifying force that would reconstitute us and give us a common goal of national solidarity – despite Plenkovic’s rhetoric. Mr. Plenkovic, what about lustration? What about an objective investigation of our common history? What about justice for all those hundreds of thousands of Croatians that your forebearers murdered? – figuratively if not literally. How is it that those who were prepared to die for their country in the Homeland War are now conspicuous in their absence within the echelons of today’s HDZ? Was there not a supposed revamping and shaking out that was undergone in the party? or was that just another game of smoke and mirrors? How is it that a supposed ‘centre-right’ party is actually more leftist than rightist? All questions worthy of consideration and I believe a serious review of one’s support for HDZ would not be unwarranted.
    SRAMOTA! Shame on you! The people have democratically spoken – and you have chosen not to heed their expectations and their wishes. Perhaps your fate will come even quicker to you than it did to Oreskovic and perhaps you just might be blindsided yourself – this time by the electorate.
    Once again…….only in Croatia!…
    Za Dom Spremni!

    • With the SDP Social Democrats headed by the loathsome Zoran Milanovic, Velebit, at least one knew where one stood so one could act and until Tuesday we didn’t really know where one stood with Plenkovic at head of HDZ so we know now – indeed a time to worry for all – those that live there and those that don’t. Those that don’t still contribute with their families to the Croatian state whether taxes on property, sending money there or simply spending thousands of $ on regular holidaying…I do see a development of a stronger conservative party or a split in HDZ into stronger factions than already exist, unless of course people curl up and wait to die in despair. God forbid.

  8. Absolutely disgusting and speaks volumes of Plenkovic’s motives and lack of respect for the electorate.
    Hasanbegovic had overwhelming support.
    I am utterly disgusted with this clown from Brussels — Plenko.
    Where the heck was Plenko from 1991 – 1995…not on the frontlines fighting for his country and I bet not lobbying like you Ina!
    Glasnovic was correct to leave HDZ.
    Plenko will not pass lustration laws, more people will be kicked out of their homes like today, more young people will leave, there will be no clean up of the judiciary, state-run media, academia…etc….
    Yugoslavia, once again. Cro-Slavia.
    As they say in Croatia…it’s still a colony of Serbia! or worse “Cetnicka kolonija.” And they’re correct.

    • It is appalling indeed, Veronika – the move by Plenkovic truly sickens no matter how well and with dignity Hasanbegovic has taken the turn

  9. I’m most countries a Ministry of Culture either does not exist or is deemed trivial/unimportant. Perhaps it’s this obsession with the past that is responsible for Croatia’s lack of economic management. I am happy that for once a Croatian Government is focusing on jobs, growth and the youth, rather than remaining bogged down in matters that in no way, shape or form in matters that do not affect the existential problems faced by Croats.

    • Well Stjep, couldn’t agree more but if you look back several government each has had the same agenda: jobs, economy, growth, family…none did much so let’s hope this one will but I disagree with you because past is important and must be put to rest properly, not buried alive, because it rises up again…

  10. Hasanbegovic je jedan od rijetkih domoljuba koji se nasao u Hrvatskom parlamentu poslije Dr. Tudmana. Meni je zao da nije ostao ministar u Plenkovoj vladi, ali u drugu ruku Hasangegovic se nije snasao na tom mjestu i sto je jos gore nije se znao obraniti od svih napada koji su dolazili iz svijeta. Ja sam ga slusao i gledao svaki dan ali nije imao dobru obranu, zaista nije. Istina je takoder da me je Plenko iznenadio jer je njegova “vjerodostojnost” kako je on nazivao sebe, nista drugo nego jedna velika laz

    • Translation of comment by rb: Hasanbegovic is one of rare patriots who found themselves in the parliament after Dr Tudjman. I regret that he has not remained as minister in the Plenkovic government, but on the other hand, Hasanbegovic did did not orient himself fully in that position and what’s worst he did not know how to defend himself from all the attacks that were coming from the world. I watched and listened to him every day but he did not have a good defense, really didn’t. It’s also true that Plenko surprised me beacause his credibility as he called himself, is nothing more than a big lie.

      REPLY: Sorry rb but I think you are very wrong regarding your saying that Hasanbegovic did not know how to defend himself from all the attacks coming from the world – as far as I saw he did a great deal to defend himself against lies including a long interview in French (World) leading newspaper, which spread across the world including being translated into English in many parts etc and then the one who contributed to defending him was Tomislav Karamarko leader of HDZ and he soon found himself in hot fire with false allegations against him and was finally booted out. So, one cannot defend oneself from lies fully if his/her party does not engage in that defense fully also – and that is why Plenkovic’s moves are all the more repulsive as he decided to break break with the ones who engaged in persecuting Hasanbaegovic in order to win government ( eg Serb minority leader Pupovac, Italian minority leader Radin plus many many others) –

      Oprostite rb ali ne slazem se s vama da se Hasanbegovic nije snasao i nije znao obraniti sebe od napada koji su dolazili iz svijeta jer on je znao kako se braniti ukljucujuci i veliki internvju s franncuskom vodecom novinom, sto biva prevedeno na engleski u mnogim djelovima…i onda se sam onaj koji ga je branio – Karamarko – ubrzo nasao u vrucim vodama laznih i svakojekavnih nada … za obranu da bude ucinkovita cijela se stranka mora kompletno uhvatiti u kostac s tom obranom a HDZ se nije pokazala takova bas radi unutarnje trulezi, Plenkovicev potez za neimenovanje Hasanbegovica ministrom je jos vise odrvatno u tome sto se on uhvatio dijeliti kruh s onima koji su lazno napadali Hasanbegovica kao sto su to Piupovac, Radin itd samo da bi dosao do sigurne vlasti… sto kazati nego da osobe kao sto su Hasanbegovic nemaju sanse sa takvim “ubilackim” mrezama

      • U vecini se slazem s vama Ina, ali slusajuci i gledajuci Hasanbegovica on je u vecini svojih obrana ili obracanja javnosti se ponasao kao ljut covjek
        (i ja bih bio ljut s pravom, zato ga ne krivim), ali kao takav, cinjenica je da je to i bio povod svim onim nadmetanjima da se optuzi, sto vise jer su vidjeli krv.
        Umjesto da se diplomatski na FINI nacin obracao napadacima, bilo bi mnogo manje boli, optuzbi i sve bi se bilo zaboravilo in no time.
        Za Karamarka znamo kako je zavrsilo, jer je bilo ocevidno da je on imao repove i sto-vise on je na neki nacin i naskodio gospodinu Hasanbegovicu jer nije imao credibility .

      • Translation of rb comment: I agree with you Ina on most points, but listening to and watching Hasanbegovic in the majority of his defenses or approaching the public media he appeared an angry man (I would also be justifiably angry, and don’t blame him for it) but as such it was the lead to all attacks against him and more, because they saw blood. Instead if he diplomatically rejected the attacks, everything would be forgotten in no time. For Karamarko we know how he ended up, it was obvious he had tags and moreover he did more damage to Hasanbegovic because he did not have credibility.

        REPLY: one can succeed in fighting off constant bombardments by those whose agenda includes relentless attack, rb, no matter how hard you try. HDZ had huge holes within its cloth and that is why it was not united in protecting as a party anyone. Karamarko’s “sins” are really non-existent when one compares to others by other in the past.

  11. continued courage
    to share truth
    however difficult.

  12. Good friends ,
    It’s interesting that Kolinda has just visited the Queen .
    Everything seems to be planned like a game of chess.
    We can see everywhere , west and east , that election
    results are directed by the few ( look at here in oz , pencils ? )
    Sometimes good men or women get in . But they are always sidelined by the hidden hand .I know this is negative and sad , but it so obvious at this time . Politicians players in the system . Unfortunately , communism is now global .
    There are more billionaires in China ( or should I write CCP ) than the USA .

    • Yup, Anto, communism was/is always about power of individuals never power of community as it pretends to be. So the sooner all see that the better

  13. Sounds somewhat similiar to our cabinet… I think everyone was surprised by it… Now it’s a matter of how well they work together in the interests of the country and its people.


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