Averting Yet Another Collapse Of Croatian Government

Croatian Prime Minister
Andrej Plenkovic
Photo: Damjen Tadic/ Hanza media

When upon my return from Croatia a few weeks ago I wrote about my observations on the state of the country one thing that rattled me a great deal was the extent to which the threatening bankruptcy of one private company (Agrokor) was shaking-up the whole country. Subsequently, Croatia was faced with an almost unprecedented, possibly ill-conceived move by the government to rush in new legislation that would enable it to take over the administration of the same company. Be that new law as it may, the Agrokor affair has created a monster that has reeled everyone into a storm of political possibilities and impossibilities.

As the phenomenon of turbulence would have it a rush of new wind either intensifies or stops devastation. The public revelation few days ago that Croatia’s finance minister Zdravko Maric is Agrokor’s former Executive Director for Strategy and Capital had sent the wheels of political winds into a wild spin, threatening the collapse of the government.

Presently, Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic is making last-ditch attempts to save the country’s government from collapsing second time in six months after sacking three ministers from its government coalition MOST (Bridge coalition of independent lists) partner amidst their, as well as MOST’s parliament speaker Bozo Petrov’s insistence that minister Maric could no longer enjoy parliament’s confidence and must go. They allege that Maric was in the know about the appalling financial situation in Agrokor and may have contributed to the threatening bankruptcy while working in Agrokor and Prime Minister Plenkovic stands firmly behind his finance minister, prepared for an all-out political combustion that may swallow his government into the cavern of no return. Ministers summarily dismissed/sacked are Interior Minister Vlaho Orepic, Justice Minister Ante Sprlje and Environment and Energy Minister Slaven Dobrovic. But, these sacked ministers are digging their heels in and refusing to go quietly – spurred on undoubtedly by their MOST leader Bozo Petrov who – wrongly to my view – insists that Prime Minister has no powers to sack ministers and that such sacking is tantamount to breaches of the constitutional order.

It needs to be said that the current Croatian Democratic Union/HDZ led government was constructed on sharp and deep fault lines that include coalition with the MOST whose political currents had trailed a path of seeking reforms on basis of criticising the HDZ majority rather than putting forth concrete submissions for reforms through camaraderie and reasonable compromise if need be. Furthermore, MOST and its leader Petrov were instrumental in the bringing down of Croatia’s former government in June 2016. So, the current Government was always going to be susceptible to dramatic shifts in the political landscape particularly if one considers the real possibility that MOST and Petrov are about bringing instability to Croatia – a reminder of the way UDBA/ Yugoslav secret service operated and still operates even if Yugoslavia has ceased to exist more than a quarter of a century ago.

Whether the aftershocks of the current political crisis in Croatia will cause the government to collapse is yet to be seen, but one expects that Prime Minister Plenkovic will do the utmost in his power and knowhow to avoid it. It’s too early to say whether the parliament will render a vote of no confidence in finance minister Maric driven by Petrov, but even if it does a collapse of government does not necessarily follow.

Amidst current trade-offs and talks to avoid a government collapse indications are that any new HDZ’s minority government and its stability will depend on whether similar fault lines to the ones that are currently causing epic tremours appear in new coalitions away from MOST. Given the political leanings on the scene the players in a new refurbished government may come from an available political mosaic of smaller parties such as HNS (Croatian People’s Party) and perhaps the unpredictable HSS (Croatian Peasant Party), some lone political party such as Milorad Pupovac from SDSS/Independent Democratic Serb Party as well as the independent members of parliament.

The prospect of Milorad Pupovac from the Serb party entering into a new government coalition is, frankly, frightening and utterly destructive. The overwhelming sentiment among the Croatian people is that a Serb associated with still unresolved condemnation of Serb aggression against Croatia in 1990’s that had as one of its tasks to stop the creation of an independent Croatia should not be in government. This sentiment is completely justified in this era when Croatia must turn a page and start living as a truly independent Croatian state that gives no leverage of success to any undermining coming particularly from Serb leaders, who are more loyal to Serbia than to Croatia.

Should HNS/Croatian People’s Party be the one to boost the government’s survival prospects then one would expect that its former president Vesna Pusic retracts her past statements in which she falsely and maliciously accused Croatia of aggression against Bosnia and Herzegovina during the 1990’s. Otherwise, any coalition between HDZ and HNS forming a government will be poisoned by Pusic’s extraordinarily evil statement. HDZ is the late president Franjo Tudjman’s party, it is the party that victory and Croatian independence are indebted to – a political marriage between that party and the party that still houses Pusic is unthinkable without Pusic’s public retraction of her vicious and false statement about aggression against Bosnia and Herzegovina; and without her public apology.

If alliance between HDZ and HNS ensues without resolving the Pusic statement then this is likely to be a scenario when civil unrest becomes really dangerous. That would be the time when everything begins to get truly confusing and crazy. It will defeat a great deal of needed and possible reforms and ensure a crash and burning of political and economic climate starting in 2018.

 

An unthinkable prospect of Social Democratic Party/SDP forming alliances with view to forming a new government, thus avoiding new and snap general elections sits like a dagger in the chest.

“We will seek new partners to continue the government and ensure political and economic stability,” Prime Minister Plenkovic told reporters in Zagreb. “Should in the next days there be no possibility to form a new parliamentary majority, we are ready for new elections.”

In the 1960’s British Prime Minister Harold Wilson coined the phrase “a week is a long time in politics” and currently in Croatia it feels like an unpleasant, tense eternity. A government collapse at a time when a third option amidst two major parties’ leads has not yet clearly appeared on the horizon as a shoe-in, a certain winner at elections, would spell more of the same and fuel the vicious political circle that has not brought the reforms or changes needed for Croatia. It is at times of collapse that party loyalties become stubborn, no room nor will to look the other way and embrace new political forces even if these may hold the biggest yet promise that Croatia will survive as an independent Croatian state, free, determined and wilful in creating the economic atmosphere for prosperity and well-being. Ina Vukic

Comments

  1. Will Croatia ever be rid of corrupt politicians? These criminals are holding Croatia back. It’s so depressing to see.

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  2. Your articles are great Ina, well written. As I scanned some of your articles for reading, a thought came to mind. You learn a great deal just by reading your “headlines”; even if you don’t read the entire article below it. You have a gift, I wish I had. Not jealous though! Maybe a little! 🙂 Have a wonderful day my dear!

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    • Aw thank you Arlin – that is good to hear. We all need a pat on the shoulder now and then, especially bloggers who work very hard to get the message out! You have a great day too 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This year’s Miss Slavonia is a black woman. The Soros gang already has bought-and-paid-for politicians in this country and white genocide is well underway with young Croats leaving the country in droves only to be replaced by foreigners here, I suppose. The anti-European EU has finally set its sights on Croatia.
    It is time for a new party to rise from the ashes of Yugoslavia that have been poisoning this country for over 2 decades now. I hope for an axis led by Esih – Hasanbegovic – Glasnovic and other patriots.

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  4. Maria Snjezana Pezer says:

    What’s sad is that people can’t see that it is in fact, Plenkovic and co that are the product of UDBA as their descendants and that the only reason they are bringing MOST down is because MOST was embarking on uncovering shady deals between Agrokor and former ministers, Dalic, Suker, and of course SDP ministers who protected Todoric and allowed him to get to where he is to be i a position to blackmail the government into saving his empire. Zdravko Maric is just a scapegoat in this entire episode. Finally, some young, enthusiasts appeared on the political scene that sincerely hoped to change the way both HDZ and SDP have led this country and let it virtually go to the dogs but unfortunately it seems that UDBA is far to strong and has been allowed to permeate in all levels of government, administration and so on for anyone to be in a position to make a break through for the wonderful country this could be if those who truly loved it were in power.

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    • Uncovering shady deals, corruption etc is certainly a good thing, Maria – however, bringing a government down as its main thrust is something that one does not want to see until allegations are proven…otherwise its all for the sake of scandals and political point-scoring, which can go either way for those who start the uncovering. Patience and justice at work is what’s needed

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    • Maria Snjezana Pezer: You are right on the money! But I would dare to say that UDBA’s fingers have been pulling the strings of every Croatian govt. since day one. Playing the populace for the fool for the last 27 years; promising everything and delivering on nothing. Hence, we have the unlustrated, communist riddled, corrupt and inept cadre of dyed in the wool “antifascists”/communists and Jugo-lovers in all levels of govt., public administration, judiciary and power positions in Croatia. I am not a defender or a member of any political party, but common sense tells me that MOST during the last six months, became a danger to the powerbrokers in the country – be it because of their support to open the archives to the public, be it because they were beginning to unravel the who, what, where and when of Agrokor…..the result is that MOST is being pummelled and denigrated from all sides….now all those political and ideological opponents of yesterday are suddenly potential allies of HDZ and worthy of forming govt.! Six months ago, it was Oreskovic on the chopping block and now it is Petrov, and of course the media is on side with the true wielders of power and the propaganda machine yet again is spinning the story in order to manipulate public opinion. Is there anyone out there who still believes that real change is possible with the motley crew of career politicians on exhibit in Croatia today? What a useless, unpatriotic,and embarrassingly stupid bunch.

      Za Dom Spremni!

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  5. Oh Dear, yet another mess. I do hope the Government can ride this one out and reach a period off settled work for the country
    I can’t understand how someone could suggest the Prime Minister doesn’t have the right to sack some Ministers..They are after all his ministers. They will remain as MP’s of course but if they don’t support him or are incompetent he has every right to sack them.
    And still someone with Yugoslav sympathies is trying to cause trouble.Do they never give up?
    xxx Huge Hugs Ina xxx

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    • It’s becoming to shape-up into a perpetual political mess and crisis, which means no true leaders accepted, David. I agree PM has the right to choose those working around him/her. This is a scenario of destruction led by government’s leading partner MOST and surely, while uncovering or pointing to possible wrongful deeds one needs to have the patience required for a just process. Hugs 🙂

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  6. Dear Ina, The God of Israel has laid Croatia on my heart n today i recieved a link for childrens coloring books n many languages.Croatian was on the list..I wondered if you or someone you might know would be interested in this tool for reaching the children with the Gospel of The Ancient of Days, our Redeemer n Lover n Creator of all souls.Jesus..i have included here for you n others to partake of..much love from Maine, USAU you are loved n beloved……….moriyah http://goodnewscoloringbook.org/languages-available-2/

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  7. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:
    IT TAKES CONSTANT VIGILANCE…TO SAVE THE COUNTRY!

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  8. despite the govt’s poor decisions
    may the citizens
    be protected,
    safe and happy 🙂

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  9. Hello Ina. Does the current situation in FYROM and Albania plays a small role in this current situation in Croatia? Thank you

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    • Not obvious one, “Eyes”, however company Agrokor is tied somewhat to FYROM through distribution and supplies, therefore employees…similar issues might be igniting the political scene, though

      Liked by 1 person

  10. What a mess yet again. Are we truly incapable of governing ourselves? We look like bickering children. No wonder Germany has thrown it’s backing to Serbia and Vucic as regional leaders and not Croatia. While Serbia is a vile denier of it’s criminal past and aggression, its leadership certainly has done a much better and more effective job in protecting Serbia and re-writing history and politics to its favour. We are simply weak, visionless and divided for any effective governance.

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    • Don’t like it one bit, either – Sunman!

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      • So very frustrating and sad. All the sacrifices, suffering and blood that Croatia had to pay for its freedom and have it all go for not and spiral downward is beyond words and comprehension. Don’t know whether to weep or revolt or both.

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      • Me too, Sunman, but I hold up my head into a better future that can only come with more sacrifice and suffering though determination to succeed in the end

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  11. splithead says:

    Velebit’s comment “What a useless, unpatriotic,and embarrassingly stupid bunch”, If HDZ form a coalition with Pupovac this statement will be correct. I don’t know why Most did not wait for the outcome of the investigation into the Agrokor so that they would have substance to any action of no confidence in the Finance Minister? Maybe inexperience or they thought a outcome would never eventuate. MP Bulj from Most, indicated on N1 program that Tordoric’s group, SDP and HDZ representatives knew of the ballooning Agrokor debt a long time ago (2006). All taking their piece of the pie. The only conclusion is that the communists/criminals are in power in Croatia, exactly as Zeljko Glasnovic indicated in the parliament in April this year.

    I’ll say is again, all soldiers where paid off in pensions after the war so that they would not get involved in the countries institutions, 20 years later this big mistake is being realised. Acceptance of pensions instead of jobs in the public service and the re-education of soldiers to access the work force has impacted a generation. Now not even their kids can obtain employment after they graduate. Citizens not connected to the communists/criminals have no jobs and leave the country. We are back to a time when people immigrated to Australia on mass, now it’s countries within the European Union.

    The only jobs on offer are waiters, cooks and cleaners during the summer. No positions of influence.

    I have no illusions any more, reality is here and now.

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  12. Splithead says:

    Prime Minister Andrej Plenković the leadership SDSS reach a political agreement on the entry of representatives of the Serbian minority in the Croatian Government. Places are reserved in the MUP, justice, culture and education, writes Direktno.hr.

    If this is statement is realised, it all over !

    Like

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  1. […] last week Croatia’s HDZ/Croatian Democratic Union led government was on the verge of a second collapse with a mere six months’ period and Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic found himself in the grips of […]

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