Croatia: Double Standards Officialdom And Hotchpotch Government

Croatia's new Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic in centre poses with his ministers after his government was approved by the parliament in Zagreb October 19, 2016. Photo: REUTERS/Antonio Bronic

Croatia’s new Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic
in centre poses with his ministers
after his government was approved by
the parliament in Zagreb October 19, 2016.
Photo: REUTERS/Antonio Bronic


Croatian new Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic cannot be criticised for defending his right to choose his own ministers, the team he believes he can work with in order to achieve advancements in Croatia particularly for the sinking economy, which despite rosy harvests from the tourist industry in summers threatens to bankrupt the country. He cannot be criticized for taking even the moral high ground on that issue, let alone the skills/merit based one. But he can be criticised for taking a political moral high ground in making those decisions and choosing those ministers who are persons that practice and encourage double standards in “doing business” with that government. Corruption more often than not has roots in political high ground and corruption in government destroys both civil society and economic growth.

Practicing and condoning double standards regardless of which facet of citizens’ lives they affect is a face of corruption that must be rooted out. This particularly because Croatia came out from the former communist Yugoslavia where double standards enjoyed the status of government officialdom – those in power could freely do anything, even that which they punish in others who were not in their political mindsets and acts of double standards included mass murder, denial of jobs/promotion despite good merit at work… Croatia, therefore, belongs to one of the most vulnerable countries in the democratic world, economies, when it comes to the penetration and sustenance of corrupt processes and mindsets; corrupt processes were the norm in communist Yugoslavia as were bribes and “yellow envelopes” filled with otherwise indispensable cash to get ahead.

Nina Obuljen new culture minister receives a bouquet of flowers from former culture minister Zlatko Hasanbegovic Photo: HINA

Nina Obuljen new culture minister
receives a bouquet of flowers
from former culture minister
Zlatko Hasanbegovic
Photo: HINA

Reacting to the rather large public outcry and rejection of Croatia’s new Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic’s appointment of the controverisial Nina Obuljen (whose work and actions have been characterised as working against Croatian national interests enshrined in the patriotic and self-preservation values of the Homeland War) as culture minister instead of Zlatko Hasanbegovic continuing, Obuljen has last week insolently asked the public that she be judged by the work she will do as minister rather than by her past actions. “I would like for people to respect me by the work I will do as minister, by the moves I will make, and all this is a part of the current political moment,” she said.

In that same breath she bothered not to even mention that her predecessor Zlatko Hasanbegovic, despite good work as minister, had surely lost his deserved ministerial position in Andrej Plenkovic’s new government because of the false allegations and interpretations pinned by her former communist mob to the T-Shirt Hasanbegovic wore decades ago as a university student and allegations of neofascist meanings pinned to statements he’d made in publications. The fact that she was not even a candidate on HDZ/Croatian Democratic Union’s list for the September 2016 parliament elections and that Hasanbegovic got more than any of Plenkovic’s new or old ministers, which in itself is a voter thumbs-up for work done as a minister, which should count the most in assessing merit in a democracy, is furthermore proof that this woman has no merit for a minister’s portfolio in the eyes of the people. The fact that she asks publicly for the advantage she herself denied to Hasanbegovic, for she had never said “stop spreading lies about the man”, is further proof of her corrupt mindset as politician.

The lovely and hard-working Davorka Jurlina Alibegovic former minister in public administration Photo: Zeljko Lukunic/ Pixsell

The lovely and hard-working
Davorka Jurlina Alibegovic
former minister in public administration
Photo: Zeljko Lukunic/ Pixsell

Furthermore, the other people who had done visibly excellent work as ministers in the former short-lived government toppled in June 2016 include Miro Kovac, former foreign minister, Dubravka Jurlina Alibegovic, former head of public administration, Anton Kliman, former minister for tourism, and others. So, why does Obuljen think that work or merit relating to performance on the job should be applied to her when it wasn’t applied to others? The answer is obvious I think: she acts without scruples when it comes to furthering the protection of the abominable communist regime.

Anton Kliman Former minister for tourism, Croatia Photo: Dejan Stifanic

Anton Kliman
Former minister for tourism, Croatia
Photo: Dejan Stifanic

Then we have the curious and rather cheap situation where the HDZ renegade and staunch criticiser of HDZ as THE party that had destroyed Croatia, Dr Milan Kujundzic, who left HDZ in 2013 and formed his own party only to fail miserably at elections and head into political oblivion, just like the other renegade Drago Prgomet who left HDZ in 2015 with spectacular allegations that HDZ is not a democratic party and now in 2016 it took HDZ’s so-called High Tribunal of Honour a whole 15 minutes to decide that these two men should be allowed to join the party once again. Kujundzic has secured minister for health portfolio; suddenly HDZ, according to him, becomes the best thing that has ever happened to Croatia!

(L) Drago Prgomet (R) Milan Kujundzic "Now you see us, now you don't and again you do" in HDZ Photo: Patrik Macek? Pixsell

(L) Drago Prgomet (R) Milan Kujundzic
“Now you see us,
now you don’t and again
you do” in HDZ
Photo: Patrik Macek/ Pixsell

The point is that in Croatia no person in a responsible public position seems to be judged by what they do and how they do it, but what political benefit their actions will have on their “superior’s” political career, on the retention of a cushy job for many in the immediate circle around that person in position. This kind of political indecency occurs almost everywhere, one could say – but that does not mean it must be tolerated. And so, HDZ becomes the political domain to be measured who and how will stand by the leader – just as it was the case for standing by the Marshal (Tito) in communist Yugoslavia. I could go on and on naming those that were good ministers in the short-lived previous HDZ-led government, who deserved an extension of their jobs if professional merit were the real measure of merit – but it’s not. Several of them had also deserved the curtesy and protection by their party (HDZ) from false and vilifying allegations against them, but they didn’t receive any of that human and political decency.

Miro KOvac former foreign minister Photo: Pixsell

Miro Kovac
former foreign minister
Photo: Pixsell

And so, Croatia has a new government that resembles more a hotchpotch stew of HDZ loyals, HDZ renegades, HDZ prodigal sons, HDZ renegades, HDZ left faction, HDZ conceited young and old politicians whose use-by-date expired for justice to all Croatian suffering well before their entry in government hallways and, of course, of politically well-seasoned communist minds in the hotchpotch coalition of minor parties and minorities supports for Plenkovic’s minority government, as well as the oddest ingredient to the hotchpotch stew yet that comes from HSS (Croatian Peasant Party) that is in real life officially affiliated with the biggest opposition party, Social Democrats. Just as one can taste the stew-flavour in a hotchpotch of ingredients one can clearly taste the main flavor and direction of Plenkovic’s new government and its parliamentary supports, which evidently lie in stopping justice for victims of communist crimes committed under former Yugoslavia and under the Serb aggression in the 1990’s Homeland War. It’s a hotchpotch brewed also to rub the right way against the rickety and moulting leaders of the seriously crumbling EU “empire”.

Jean Claude JUncker EC president Andrej Plenkovic, Croatian PM PHOTO:

Jean Claude JUncker
EC president
Andrej Plenkovic, Croatian PM


Plenkovic’s new government will most likely have a packed agenda in the next six months especially – it wants to prove to the people that it means business when it comes to reforms announced by HDZ and its largest coalition partner MOST/Bridge. They want to hit the ground running and count on the hotchpotch support from minor parties, minorities etc to let it run and not stumble. And indeed, its already announced that the government has hit the ground running with preparations for next year’s budget – the delivery of which carries a lot of hope to see some incentives that will lift the gloomy economic and living standards mood Croatia is suffering from. The problem with eating hotchpotch, though, is that you never know what the next spoonful will scoop out – which ingredient of the declared support for Plenkovic’s government will be the first to sour the whole pot of stew. But then again, the hotchpotch government and its supports in parliament may prove tough and durable and be the very element that will ensure Plenkovic’s government endures a full term. This has an even higher chance if Plenkovic were to rethink his “Cabinet” make-up within the first 100 days of government and eat humble pie with dignity if the obvious errors he made in the first place when he chose his ministers were corrected. In the meantime, the outcry for justice for victims of communist crimes and for justice to Croatia’s history and for today is likely to see a swell of like-minds that could well culminate in a new political party or camp that will present itself to the Croatian voters and be very successful in winning government or significant seats in the next general election. The swell could well embrace both the homeland and diaspora patriots, reminiscent of the drive for a democratic and prosperous Croatia we saw in late 1980’s and early 1990’s. No doubt about it, Croatia must have its major political force that will see through the real and effective transition into democracy – and this requires absolutely the shedding and the condemnation of communist past and of the acts of Serb aggression in the 1990’s. Anything else in essence accepts the double standards of communist regime in Croatia and that is unacceptable to all whose standards dwell on truth and justice and human decency. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)


  1. He cant be blamed but we can, for electing him.

  2. ValentinP says:

    From Facebook: Thanks for the update Ina. I’m trying to wrap my head around why they keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again. Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. – Albert Einstein

    • Looks like there’
      ll be no need for updates soon – we’ll no in advance unless of course we are become blind, no chance for new movements …Valentin

  3. You know Ina the more and more I see into the World of Politicians the More I see how this breed of governing bodies surround themselves with their Yes Sir No Sir and Three bags full Sir colleagues.. You scratch my back and I will scratch yours..
    Which is why I see so much unrest now within Politics.. Its always been a club of sorts.. Yet now more than ever I see how no one is trusting the other.. Which is why it appears to be crumbling in my view..
    It becomes laughable were it not so serious that these are the people whom we HAVE to trust with our countries futures..

    Love to you dear Ina.. and thank you for enlightening us within this world of hotchpotch governing.. 😉
    Hugs Sue <3

    • Yes, Sue – I wonder who will give in in the end: the pollies or the voter. Certainly we cannot continue like this into unforeseeable future – that is continue with the pollies not really listening to the voters

      • I wonder what would happen Ina if EVERYONE refused to Vote full stop.. Both my hubby and I were only discussing this the other day .. I can not tell you the amount of times I have heard here in the UK the British didn’t know what they were doing with their Brexit vote.. And we are going to pay.. And still they are not Listening.. We have not even left the EU yet.. It is the Bankers who are setting the value of the Pound and playing with its rise and fall.. It is the Bankers who are cutting savers interests rates to be non-existent. And what is all boils down to.. Its the Bankers who are ruling Politicians.. ( ok I will climb on down now lol ) but the bankers have the public now where they want them. and it is not going to change unless the momentary system fails big time.. They forget that is was the Public, Tax payer who bailed them out their Mess last time.. Maybe this whole world needs to go belly up Ina, because no one it seems is Listening to anything anymore other than their Big Egos.. xxx
        Love and Hugs my friend <3

      • Keep up there Sue – it’s what’s needed to hopefully help make changes. I shudder to think what life will be like in 30 years if these things don’t change – slavery all over again even if it is in a different form than working the fields or mines for the “Master”

      • Yes I shudder too Ina.. as I think of the world as our Granddaughter grows up to be an adult in..

  4. Double standards are everywhere. Nice work!

  5. Comrade Plenko has the right to select whom he wants. The voters also have the right to elect who they want. They expressed their will and said loudly that Hasanbegovic is their choice and is Kovac and others, without whose support the HDZ and Plenko could not have formed a government. Drug Plenko did the old ‘bait and switch’ trick…how clever is he? He went against voters’ will; he didn’t even bother to give these two (and other successful former ministers) important and influential roles in government. Truly hope the best for Croatia, and that Plenko learns a hard lesson that will be taught to him by voters. As for Obi she is a disgrace. Perhaps if people who believe in the truth could unite and demonstrate, protest and organize an international campaign against communist lies and crimes directed at her it would send a strong message. I am sure that if the left could organize this against Hasanbegovic, the right could do the same except that it would be truthful.

    • I think so too, Sunman, the right could organise beyond Croatian borders to usher in some pressure but that would take some doing as the right itself seems to have worked on contributing to the loss of drive from diaspora over past fifteen years or so so any pressure the way I see it would need to be based on new platform and perhaps away from main conservative parties in Croatia

  6. I have a very good Croatian friend who has taught me so much of your history. I don’t remember how I came across your blog, but it’s very interesting to me. We, in America, can’t seem to get it right, either. We’ve watched Europe make their mistakes, and then we seem to want to duplicate them here. As Valentin said, it’s insanity. Why we can’t seem to learn from the mistakes of others is confusing.

    Ina, I just sent you a tweet regarding some research I’m doing for an essay on government-funded college education. My friend has told me his experience with it, but he’s been in the US for 25 years, so things may have changed–drastically. I would love it if you, or any of your readers would allow me to “interview” you through email with questions for my essay.

  7. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:

  8. totally off comment – my brother was just in Croatia and loved it! The history is rich, the land beautiful – sorry about the political climate, but still it is mild… by comparison

    • Oh yes Helena absolutely beautiful country – politics, not so and nothing mild if you ask quite a few 😀 But hey, we’d run out of things to try a fix if it was all perfect – gradually perhaps 🙂

  9. I wish them all good luck and I hope they manage a corruption free government. It must be discouraging for the Croatian people living there now. Hugs, Barbara

    • Unemployment and relative poverty of many is what saddens Barbara but bit by bit battle bu battle it’ll get to a much better place for all, I trust – many hugs to you my friend <3

  10. Ah there you are Ina. I am currently writing a book about the Croatian president. I would, therefore, appreciate it if you could send me some pictures of the lady…especially if you have any of her engaged in mud wrestling with Davorka Jurlina Alibegovic.

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