Persecuting Journalist In Croatia For Exposing Serb Orthodox Priests Glorifying Chetnik Murderers

Marko Juric Host: Z1TV "Mark's Square" Program Photo: Screenshot Z1 TV Croatia January 2016

Marko Juric
Host: Z1TV “Mark’s Square” Program
Photo: Screenshot Z1 TV Croatia January 2016

 

No judge, no jury – Croatia’s e-media (electronic media regulatory body in Croatia) has decided last week to temporarily shut down the broadcasting of Z1 TV programs as its draconian and utterly communist Yugoslavia-style response to opinion or comment expressed by TV program “Markov Trg” (Mark’s Square) host Marko Juric and an utterly ugly and hateful lynch against Juric was thus unleashed in public without any regard to justice or justification and indeed the right to “fair comment”, which – by the way – is and has been a solid rock for journalists to hold onto in defense of their opinions or comments throughout developed democracies of the Western world. Regretfully, Croatian democracy or democratic thought and deed have a long way to go before it can safely be said that Croatian citizens are truly safe from terrorist communist whips.

Specifically, the episode of Mark’s Square TV program, “Gvozdansko Versus Floral Square”, hosted by Marko Juric, included video material in which the current leaders/priests of Sebrian Orthodox Church in Zagreb Croatia along with their Serbian Orthdox Church officials sing Chetnik songs and praise the war criminal Momcilo Djujic. For those who may not be aware the Serb rebels in Croatia and the Serbs who attacked Croatia in 1991 (and later Bosnia and Herzegovina), slaughtering Croats and other non-Serbs, ethnically cleansing of them a third of Croatian territory – called themselves “Chetniks” as meaning Serbian royalist WWII Chetnik fighters; Momcilo Djujic was a Serb Orthodox Church priest who appointed himself a Chetnik during WWII and led the slaughter of some 2,000 innocent Croats in the Dalmatian region, he was also instrumental in perpetuating the Chetnik ideals throughout the Serb-aggression against Croatia and Bosnia and Hercegovina in the early 1990’s despite his advanced age.

 

Just before the last minute of the said TV program Marko Juric ended it, commenting: “…and another message to dear people of Zagreb, to all of you who stroll across the Floral Square, be careful, as nearby there stands a church in which, to paraphrase a Serbian Minister – Chetnik Vicars keep court. Hence, my dear Zagrebians, when you stroll along the Floral Square, especially mothers with children, take care so that one of those Vicars doesn’t run out of the church and, in his best slaughtering manner, executes his bloody feast on our most beautiful square in Zagreb, which perhaps should be marked with a plaque: “Beware – Sharp Chetnik Nearby.”

Left Serbian Orthodox Church Metropolitanate for Zagreb (and Ljubljana) Porfirije singing songs praising Serb Chetnik murderers January 2016, Photo: Screenshot Youtube 26 January 2016

Left Serbian Orthodox Church
Metropolitanate for Zagreb (and Ljubljana) Porfirije
singing songs praising Serb Chetnik murderers
January 2016, Photo: Screenshot Youtube 26 January 2016

When one considers the video material in which the Zagreb’s Serb Orthodox Church priests/leaders sing praises to murderers and war criminals, having in mind the fact that Croatia’s Homeland War, in which the Serbs were the aggressors, wounds have still not healed…one can only conclude that Marko Juric’s comment was more a fair comment and a fair opinion and not hate speech as Croatia’s communist league are branding it.
But regardless of what Marko Juric’s comment was, how it is branded, one would think that the measures of closing a television program/station for even a day would be a decision that only a court could make after all evidence is tested! After all, people’s livelihoods and freedoms are at stake. Criminal sanctions have been brought against Z1 TV by e-media regulatory body without even seeing a criminal court, let alone having the benefit of due process!

Protest in Zagreb Croatia 26 January 2016 in support of Marko Juric & Z1 TV Calling for sacking of head of e-media Photo: Facebook

Protest in Zagreb Croatia 26 January 2016
in support of Marko Juric & Z1 TV
Calling for sacking of head of e-media
Photo: Facebook

I am utterly guttered with disappointment that the Croatian authorities have not stepped in with appropriate steps to stop such practices. It’s true that this unfortunate and utterly unjust measure to shut the TV station down occurred during the days when the old “communist” government was on its way out in Croatia and the new one coming in last week, but this move by the e-media demonstrates clearly that public institutions are very much saturated with politics and need swift stripping down… If Croatia’s relevant laws or regulations permit a government agency such as e-media to shut down a public media outlet overnight, on basis of opinions about opinions expressed by journalists, without testing those opinions in a court of justice, then Croatia had during the mandate of the former communist-prone government of Zoran Milanovic slipped further back into the dark ages when the same people were your accuser, your judge, your jury and your executioner! Very disturbing, indeed.

Protest for freedom of speech for support of journalist  Marko Juric and Z1TV is "bigger than Ben Hur" on 26 January 2016 Zagreb Croatia Way to go! Photo: Boris Kovacev/CroPix

Protest for freedom of speech
for support of journalist
Marko Juric and Z1TV is
“bigger than Ben Hur” on
26 January 2016 Zagreb Croatia
Way to go!
Photo: Boris Kovacev/CroPix

It goes without saying: generally laws against inciting hatred should be universal and prohibit all incitements to hatred – not just some. And so, how come the doors of that Serb Orthodox church in Zagreb still remain open despite the fact that their priests and leaders incite hatred – incite or glorify murder of Croats through songs they sing at festive official receptions, soirées, etc.!
Singling out sides like the Croatian e-media has in this case creates resentment among people who are not protected by laws of hate speech or incitement to hatred – in this case it seems Croatians are not protected from Serb Orthodox priests singing praise to Chetniks who murdered many thousands innocent Croats through history but especially painful murders are the most recent ones from 1990’s, which is bad for community cohesion, to say the least. Everyone should be equal before the law, in which case all incitements of hatred should be an offense, however, fair comments must not be confused as hate speech and where politics drive agendas fair comments will often be presented as hate speech and the government instruments should be there to prevent this.
Under the condition of clearly marking hate speech there are sound arguments to justify a prohibition on inciting hatred as it is deemed to be a method of protecting people and creating a social atmosphere where subjects of hatred have redress against their tormentors. Another argument for protection against hate speech is that hatred is the gateway to discrimination, harassment and violence. It is without a doubt the psychological foundation for serious, harmful criminal acts. On these grounds, laws against inciting hatred are ethically justified and have practical benefits as long as they do not tolerate “trigger happy” individuals who take the law into their own hands such as the heads of e-media in Croatia have these past days.

Many thousands line the streets of Zagreb calling for sacking of heads of e-medija Croatia 16 January 2016 Photo: Facebook

Many thousands line the streets of Zagreb
calling for sacking of heads of e-medija Croatia
16 January 2016
Photo: Facebook

The downside of incitement to hatred prohibitions (laws), of course, is that they seriously risk infringing freedom of speech. Who decides what constitutes hatred? Where do you draw the line between legitimate robust criticism and satire, and illegitimate, criminal incitement of hatred? It isn’t simple and straightforward anywhere except, it seems, in Croatia (and other former communist Yugoslavia countries) where lustration has not been implemented and die-hard communists still hold important positions from which they can do as they please. The move to shut down Z1 TV for what Marko Juric said, out of his duty as a public journalist, in order to show the public the hatred still being spread through the Serbian Orthodox Church in Croatia is a terrible betrayal of Croatian people and justice. The heads of e-media in Croatia should be sacked forthwith! The head of Mirjana Rakic, head of e-medija, must roll!  Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

 

Setting Right Croatian War Veterans’ Rights

From right: Retired General Zeljko Glasnovic and Retired Colonel Mijo Crnoja In front of veterans' protest tent Zagreb Croatia Photo: hdz.hr

From right: Retired General Zeljko Glasnovic
and Retired Colonel Mijo Crnoja
In front of veterans’ protest tent
Zagreb Croatia
Photo: hdz.hr

If the Croatian Prime Minister designate, Tihomir Oreskovic, accepts the HDZ/Croatian Democratic Union nomination for the new Minister of Veterans Affairs the Croatian war veterans would, after several years of degradation by the leftist political winds finally reap their deserved rewards.

Friday 22 January 2016 is widely touted as the date when the composition of Croatia’s new government will be revealed. Prime Minister designate, Tihomir Oreskovic, has been working closely with the elected conservative HDZ and Most/Bridge coalition parliamentarians since he was appointed the PM designate less than a month ago.
All eyes it seems – in Croatia and abroad – are turned to this as expectations of miracles that will save the country from the economic abyss, a bottomless black hole since foreign debt has reached 90% of GDP – are hot and seething with restless anticipation.

 

Retired Colonel Mijo Crnoja Photo: hdz.hr

Retired Colonel Mijo Crnoja
Photo: hdz.hr

According to Croatia’s news portal Jutarnji List, Retired Colonel Mijo Crnoja has accepted the HDZ nomination for the minister of veterans affairs portfolio. Colonel Crnoja was put forward as candidate for the post by Croatia veterans who say that through Crnoja the dignity of Croatian soldiers/veterans will be restored. Fortunately, there are very few countries in the world that have treated their war veterans as poorly as the Croatian Social Democrat, leftist, Zoran Milanovic’s government and former communist presidents Stjepan Mesic and Ivo Josipovic have. The former Yugoslav communists of Croatia had done everything in their power to degrade, defame and destroy the spirit and might of Croatia’s brave war veterans of 1990’s to whom Croatia owes its freedom to an overwhelming extent. All that may well be behind us with when the new government sets sail forward in a week or so.

Crnoja’s whole life’s and war path have been dedicated to the fight for a just and free Croatia and to the protection of Croatian veterans’ dignity, says HDZ portal.
Reportedly there’s a new program developed, headed by HDZ’s Zeljko Dilber (head of HDZ’s committee for veterans). Reportedly the program includes the compilation of a “register of traitors of national interests” which may well be perceived as a step within a lustration process that would rid Croatian pivotal public service and administration and authorities of those who had worked in high positions within the communist Yugoslavia secret services and allied operations of power.

And what else is in the document called “The work program for the Veterans of the Croatian Homeland War“?

The 29 points within the program also include “prosecution of war criminals from the aggressor army, stronger representation of the Homeland War in the school curricula and textbooks, and the establishment of permanent co-operation and support of veterans’ associations.” The program points also refer to the plan for the “Constitutional law to protect the honour and dignity of the Croatian Homeland War veterans,” and that the “achievements of Croatian soldiers who went into the War will worthily be marked via anniversaries with co-financing of the memorials and to provide support for publishing on topics from the war“.

 

In the chapter titled “Ensuring lasting and full care for Croatian war veterans and their families“, which has eight points, there is the provision that “all the rights of Croatian defenders are to be regulated by one law which will be incorporated into the Constitution.” The program then states that the “veterans of the HVO (Croatian Defense Council) are a part of a single and indivisible Croatian defense corps – Croatian Army, and that their status will permanently be resolved“. The program stipulates that “Croatian war veterans will receive a patriotic or war supplement, and that they will never be brought into the situation of having to fight for their social rights,” and that “ war invalids will have priority in the use of public health services.” Furthermore, the program states that the withdrawn pension rights will be reinstated in accordance with the economic and financial recovery in the country… all that the program will “take care of housing through implementation of favourable measures such as affordable unit purchase price, tenancy protection, rights of first refusal, and subsidised housing.”
With regards to including the Croatian veterans into the sociopolitical and public life the program aims to include the veterans in all the institutions and authorities in the Republic of Croatia (Parliament, Government, ministries, diplomacy, secret services, office of president …); inclusion of veterans in vigorous employment programs and re-training where necessary or desired.

Affordable and subsidised loans to Croatian defenders entrepreneurs and business owners who employ Croatian defenders; Support for projects to businesses that employ Croatian defenders; start-up assistance for entrepreneurs veterans (favorable lease office space, require professional assistance and advice, technical assistance, professional training or retraining and available sources of financing in the years of new business start-up cycles); The use of EU funds – expert working groups (veterans, war veterans’ children), apply to programs for the Croatian defenders.
In reality, this program largely reflects the demands of the veteran protesters that had camped in a tent for more than a year in front of the ministry of veterans affairs.

Retired Colonel Mijo Crnoja (left) Retired General Zeljko Glasnovic (right) speaking in veterans' protest tent Zagreb, Croatia Photo: hdz.hr

Retired Colonel Mijo Crnoja (left)
Retired General Zeljko Glasnovic (right)
speaking in veterans’ protest tent
Zagreb, Croatia
Photo: hdz.hr

In summary, the program that will lift Croatian veterans’ dignity and pin due value to the Croatian Homeland War and independence under the leadership of Mijo Crnoja is as follows:

• Publication of the register the aggressors against Croatia
• Publication of the register of the traitors of national interests Croatia
• Publication of the register of illegally performed privatisations
• Lustration at all levels
• Stronger representation of the Homeland War in the school curricula and textbooks
• Defenders will receive a patriotic or war supplement to their income
• Consistent application of legislation on the benefits of hiring veterans and children of killed, detained or missing in state owned companies
• The inclusion of veterans in all the institutions and authorities in the Republic of Croatia
• Favourable measures/conditions for housing
• Favorable and subsidised loans to veterans entrepreneurs and business owners who hire veterans.

 

There’s a consensus among Croatian veterans and retired war defense force officers, which says: “The economic state our country finds itself in is unacceptable for the participants of the Homeland War. Something has to change strongly and decisively in Croatia.

Yes indeed, yes indeed. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

Europe’s Dithering Compassion Ignites Fears Of Inability To Cope With Refugee Crisis In Croatia

Refugees/migrants overwhelm Europe in 2015 and likely to continue in 2016

Refugees/migrants overwhelm Europe
in 2015 and likely to continue in 2016

 

In the second half of 2015, the Eastern, the South-Eastern European and the Balkan countries caused an overwhelming number of headlines when it comes to migration. Hundreds of thousands of migrants/refugees from the Middle East made their way to the West through Greece, Macedonia and Serbia, as well as Bulgaria, Croatia and Slovenia. All this fueled by the “welcome all, come to Germany” message trumpeted by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
For Croatia and all other countries in the East/South Europe region, regardless of whether an EU member state or not and given the evident rush of these migrants/refugees to reach their desired destination in Germany and the West of Europe, providing for a smooth and orderly passage was not an easy task by any stretch of imagination. The refugees were nevertheless assisted through in the direction of Austria and Germany.

Croatian border late 2015 inundated with refugees/migrants

Croatian border late 2015
inundated with refugees/migrants

To a large extent, governments along the so-called Balkan route, including Croatia, recognised the problem too late and were largely unprepared for the influx but as weeks rolled by the countries en route to Austria, Germany and the rest of the desired destinations became more organised, set up temporary refugee camps, made available trains and buses (and private taxis hurled along to earn a buck) that would transport the refugees to the border of the next country. The EU quota system by which each member state was supposed to take in a certain number of refugees caused resentment in the region and some countries, like Hungary, swiftly raised border fences including razor-wire ones to stop and divert the masses stampeding in. Slovenia followed Hungary and raised the fences on border between it and Croatia; Hungary and Slovenia said they would protect the Schengen border from the influx of the people escaping the Middle East or North Africa any which way.
The massive movements of migrants through and from the Balkans have forcefully shifted the issue of EU external borders into focus. The EU has tried to avoid this topic for more than a decade but time is running out for addressing it if it wants to get the waves of refugees under control. The enormous by number refugee and migration movements of 2015 are likely to increase in 2016, once Spring comes (although deep winter and snowfalls cover the region at this moment, thousands of refugees/migrants are still making their way from Turkey, across Greece and along the so-called Balkan route) the numbers are likely to increase to perhaps unmanageable proportions. This would seem a logical conclusion and prediction to make given the widespread hunger and devastation in the Middle East, particularly Syria and Iraq, resulting from the Islamic State terrorists but also their opposition. The mass migration into Europe from the Middle East has a security aspect inasmuch as religious radicalisation in the Muslim societies of the region poses a potential risk for the affected countries and for the whole of Europe.

Screenshot RT news January 2016

Screenshot RT news January 2016

Not only the EU, but NATO also needs to protect its borders in the Balkans. In 2015, NATO members Romania and Bulgaria repeatedly warned that the Ukraine conflict had put them in a potentially very dangerous situation. Both countries joined the sanctions against Russia, while Bucharest and Moscow also have tensions over Moldova. The geopolitical and energy-policy aspirations of the Kremlin in the region must be taken very seriously. On the one hand we have a country like Serbia, which is in a strategic partnership with Russia, and on the other Montenegro, which has just received an invitation to join NATO,” writes Deutsche Welle.

 

Migrants break the police blockade to enter into Macedonia from Greece late 2015 (AP Photo/Vlatko Perkovski)

Migrants break the police blockade
to enter into Macedonia
from Greece late 2015
(AP Photo/Vlatko Perkovski)

With her popularity and political longevity seriously and consistently being eroded German Chancellor Angela Merkel has during the past week increased her rhetoric on tough measures in Germany that would reduce the number of refugees/migrants coming in, tighten Germany’s border controls, increase the number of those being deported or sent back to the countries along the so-called Balkan route (which includes Croatia) and hasten the asylum seeking process as well as time to be taken to whisk or deport those who are found not to be genuine asylum seekers.
On January 15 Slovenia’s Prime Minister met the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel in Berlin, mainly to discuss the migration issue in Europe, says on the government of Slovenia Internet portal.

 

Loud and clear messages coming out of Slovenia in the past days include the resolve in Slovenia to drastically reduce the number of refugees/migrants entering Slovenia if Austria and Germany restrict their intake of migrants. Indeed, the awful statistics of sexual abuse and violence reportedly perpetrated against German women by men many of who are said to be refugees and asylum seekers during the past weeks has raised and intensified the political and civic activities that would see tighter controls of migrants as well as reduction in numbers that will be received in Western Europe.

Slovenia/Croatia border Slovenia raises razor-wire fences late 2015

Slovenia/Croatia border
Slovenia raises razor-wire fences
late 2015

Raised level of fear that it will become impossibly and alarmingly clogged up with new refugees/migrants as well as those sent back from Germany, Austria, Slovenia is surfacing across Croatia and it would seem that such fear is justified. There is more talk about control and reduction of refugees/migrants across Europe than what there is about compassion. Of course, the often reported incidents of refugees/migrants acting as if they are entitled to a comfortable living in countries they have arrived in does not do much to alleviate the intensely felt lack of compassion towards those running from certain death or starvation.

More importantly for Croatia, Slovenia’s Prime Minister Miro Cerar’s visit to Berlin last week seems to be heralding an erection of an even more forbidding wall between Croatia and Slovenia than what razor-wire fencing represents. Would this leave Croatia as a distressing bottleneck in the passage of refugees/migrants to the West is anybody’s guess but certainly the recently seen resolve to reach a European country of choice in the people fleeing the Middle East would strongly suggest that there is no strong enough barrier, bar waging an armed war against the refugees/migrants, that could stop these people reaching the West.

Syrian migrants breaking through razor-wire fencing Hungary/Croatia border

Syrian migrants breaking through
razor-wire fencing
Hungary/Croatia border

Furthermore, would this mean that the EU discriminates between its member states by excluding Croatia from increased measures to control the refugee/migrant influx just because Croatia is not yet a member state of the Schengen EU area?
Even further, would this mean that Croatia itself will need to protect its own sanity and ability to cope with the influx of refugees/migrants, registering them and checking their identification papers, by erecting razor-wire fences, putting police at the border with Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina in order to control the influx?

The EU commission keeps releasing phrases and fears that passport-free travel area, the Schengen Zone, was under threat that is directly associated with the refugee/migrant crisis. More and more member states have reintroducing border controls in response to migrant movements, including Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Hungary and Austria and now Slovenia is making loud noises in aid of such a prospect.

Austria Suspends Schengen 16 January 2016

Austria Suspends Schengen
16 January 2016

If Schengen collapses the collapse will be the beginning of the end of the European project. The European Commission is reportedly working on measures to create a more sustainable migration system. The steps would include financial assistance, a revision of the blue card immigration system and a new plan for resettling asylum seekers. The Commission is said to release its proposals in March 2016.
However, there is no doubt that what is happening on the EU ground and in the countries surrounding the EU or on the path of this migration crisis, is more and more a matter of fighting for self-preservation. While the European Commission insists on unity and camaraderie between member states when it comes to managing the refugee/migrant crisis – cultivating the symbol of “Solidarity” that caught on from Eastern Europe across the whole Western world some three decades ago – these days the symbol that Donald Trump’s stance on anti-migration represents seems to be making serious inroads across EU countries. Measures to control refugee/migrant influx, measures to stop it are an increasing content-filler on political podiums as well as the media. Schengen borders are considered in these restrictive measures more often than EU borders. Some EU countries point the finger at the other, some justify their policies of controlling and reducing the number of refugees/migrants they will let in while they expect the other country to take all that come through its borders – a mess of biblical proportions in unfolding in Europe. Croatia should indeed become gravely concerned about being excluded from EU migration measures just because it stands outside the Schengen borders. Regardless of the ugly parts of its face, as in the US so too in Europe, these are more and more the times when political leaders are generating the feeling that the only way to regain or keep political support is by showing that they care for their own, and not much for the refugees/migrants or aliens and Croatia would be wise to start reading these messages and act accordingly. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

Croatian Artist Showcased In Notable International Success

 

"Just Breathe" by Branka Grubic

“Just Breathe”
by Branka Grubic

Croatian artist Branka Grubic has just won the Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery (United States based) international competition in “All Women Art Exhibition” with her work “Just Breathe”, beating 890 entries from 33 countries from around the world.
In fact, in January, 2016. Branka received two awards for her work.
Painting “Just Breathe” won 1st Place in Painting Category, and 1st Place in Overall Category on 5th Annual “Woman Art Exhibition” in Florida, USA.

 

Reacting to her win Branka Grubic said: "I'm as happy as pig in mud!" Photo: Screenshot www.brankagrubic.com

Reacting to her win
Branka Grubic said:
“I’m as happy as pig in mud!”
Photo: Screenshot http://www.brankagrubic.com

Branka is a self-taught artist from Croatia’s beautiful and historic coastal town of Sibenik.

Old Town Sibenik Croatia

Old Town Sibenik Croatia

From her website “brankagrubic.com” we learn that Branka Grubic grew up in Sibenik, Croatia in the 1980’s. Her painting began as a teenager, but her career did not really begin until her early-30s. Branka’s paintings are contemporary and have a universal appeal to men and women of all cultures. The work consists of layers of paint and imagery that exude to energy and life. The viewer is drawn into a world filled with movement, a signature style illustrating Branka’s ability to juxtapose abstract mixed media with the feminine figure.

Charity is also a high priority for artist Branka Grubic. She donated her art to several charitable events and causes.
Continuous positive reception of Branka’s work is also evident in corporate settings with many leading organisations. Critics have said, “Similar to her pop art predecessors, Branka’s brightly colored abstracts and photo-paintings do not demand anything from us. They reflect ourselves back to us. They allow us to fill in the blanks with our own stories. Perhaps it is this lack of an agenda that appeals to such a giant segment of the population.”

Branka Grubic Croatian TV news Screenshot: HRT TV 9 January 2016

Branka Grubic
Croatian TV news
Screenshot: HRT TV 9 January 2016

Her success with winning the awards this month means that her work will now be featured on the Light Space & Time website for the month of January 2016 and thereafter, her artworks and link to her website will remain online in the Light Space & Time Archives.

Branka Grubic at work Photo: www.slikarskipribor.hr

Branka Grubic at work
Photo: http://www.slikarskipribor.hr

In an interview Branka gave for the Sibenik In publication in Febnruary 2015, even though her career in painting didn’t begin until her 30’s the beginnings of her art creativity are rooted in her childhood and, as she said, she has “been drawing always. The first thing I remember is a drawing I did in second grade of Primary school, when I adored Charlie Chaplin. I took the ink and drew his head, his eyes, his little mustaches, his hat, one could recognise it was him in the drawing.” After Chaplin she moved on to draw the Muppet Show characters and characters from well-known cartoons. She said that drawing and art must be ingrained into her genes because her father drew, her grandfather who was a stonemason also drew and so does her brother …

Branka Grubic Photo: Sibenik In/ Private Album

Branka Grubic
Photo: Sibenik In/ Private Album

Branka Grubic has come a long way from the days of her Charlie Chaplin drawings and is an accomplished artist, internationally acknowledged for her skill and artistic insight. Acrylic on canvas has become her trade mark as so have her muses, which are people’s faces because, as she says, the faces are best for showing emotions. Branka has become known worldwide via internet galleries and has sold paintings in several countries including Great Britain, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. The January 2016 United States art awards represent the highly esteemed award her work utterly deserves. Well done, Branka! Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

Croatia On Cusp Of Real Progress Despite Undermining

 From Left: Bozo Petrov, leader Most/Bridge Tihomir Oreskovic, Prime Minister designate Tomislav Karamarko, Leader HDZ Photo: Jurica Galoic/PIXSELL

From Left: Bozo Petrov, leader Most/Bridge
Tihomir Oreskovic, Prime Minister designate
Tomislav Karamarko, Leader HDZ
Photo: Jurica Galoic/PIXSELL

 

Timothy Less (a UK based political analyst on Eastern Europe according to LinkedIn profile in which he claims that his “primary role is running the Nova Europa political risk consultancy which helps businesses and international organisations to understand the impact of politics on their interests in Eastern Europe” ) wrote 5 January in International Policy Digest that with its new coalition government Croatia is embarking on a political experiment which, his article suggests, is destined to fail!

Croatia is embarking on a political experiment: a coalition government comprising the conservative Croatian Democratic Party (HDZ) and the insurgent Most party, led by a non-partisan prime minister, Tihomir Oreskovic, a businessman who has spent much of his life in Canada,” Timothy Less writes and continues: “…If all now goes according to Most’s (Bridge coalition of independents that is forming government with conservative HDZ ) plan, a reformist leader (Tihomir Oreskovic) with a track record of success in business will start to extricate Croatia from its long-standing economic malaise, marked by slow growth, high unemployment and dangerous levels of both public and private indebtedness… However, things may not turn out in the way that Most hopes. For one thing, Oreskovic will struggle to impose his authority. Not only is he a political unknown, but the party he represents is already losing its power base. Many of Most’s supporters voted to change Croatian politics and have instead seen Most put one of the establishment parties into power. If social media is a reliable guide, these supporters are already abandoning the party…”

Timothy Less goes further and prognosticates utter doom and gloom for Croatia in 2016 seemingly because – he suggests – the larger part of the new governing coalition, HDZ, will not – he says – want to be in government with Most/Bridge coalition for too long and will “spend the next few months picking squabbles with Most, distancing itself from controversial policies and reaching out to the key constituencies whose support it must win over ahead of the next ballot.” He further claims that Tihomir Oreskovic, the Prime Minister designate, will “struggle to control a cabinet comprised mainly of HDZ ministers and a parliament in which Most has just 18 (out of 151) seats,” and says that “2016 is likely to be a dismal period in Croatian politics, characterized by ineffective government and an incoherent policy agenda as the different parts of the coalition pull in different directions.”

A similarly biased analysis on governance value and immediate political flop that appointing of Tihomir Oreskovic as Prime Minister of Croatia will supposedly mean for the country was recently written by Tomislav Jakic, a journalist based in Zagreb Croatia, whose article “The Victory of Norval” not only assumes (like Timothy Less) that lack of political party alliance or belonging in a government head spells doom and gloom and inability to control the politicians in parliament, but it maliciously and wrongfully asserts that Croats living abroad and those living in Croatia are not equally Croatian. The latter platform is the hateful stand promoted by communists of former Yugoslavia and many subscribing to the left or centre-left political mood in Croatia today and it aspires to undermine the unity of all Croats – those in Croatia and those in diaspora.

“…Norval has defeated Zagreb,” writes Jakic, “The diaspora has overpowered the so-called homeland Croatia. All the citizens of the Republic of Croatia who were born in it, worked in it and earned their daily bread in it honestly are offended and humiliated because a man, although born in Croatia, but had lived abroad for such a long time (mostly in Canada) that he even does not speak well his mother language, is being brought to them as their Prime Minister. And that the immediate message to all from Croatia, to all who have earned their professional knowledge in Croatian schools and universities and applied them here and in the world, is that they are incapable, that there is not a single person living in Croatia capable of being a Prime Minister…” wrote Jakic.

This article by Jakic is not to be taken lightly – it is a serious attack on democracy and equal opportunity for all citizens of Croatia (no matter where they live in the world) to advance their life and professional and political circumstances as best their merit permits. It represents a loud element of a cancer that works at deteriorating the unifying fabric of all Croats in the world and as a suffocating force whose primary role is to disable and render ineffective all attempts to bring the essential reforms into Croatian economy, public administration, justice…so that it finally moves further away from the communism from which it stems. Tomislav Jakic’s said article represents the discrimination that anti-discrimination laws exist for – it is an appalling behaviour coming out of a pen of a journalist.

Timothy Less and Tomislav Jakic, and all others who use “old” measures to predict the future under “new” measures, appear to disregard the important fact that since it broke away from communist Yugoslavia in pursuit of democracy 25 years ago Croatia has had elected politicians only at the helm of its governments and these politicians failed to bring about the necessary changes and reforms essential to a well-functioning, just democracy that offers equal-opportunity to all of its citizens in contributing to its prosperity. Political suitability, protectionism, political and economic and public administration and judicial corruption had lost ground somewhat during those 25 years but not enough to mark real progress. Strong reforms are required in Croatia on all fronts of public administration especially, much stronger than those that had occurred. The idea of such reforms is not popular but it is the agenda that is seeing the formation of a new government.

I for one will always barrack for an opposition to a government because a parliamentary opposition has a very important role to play in the progress of public and citizen’s life but opposition based on ideological or discriminatory outbursts that are utterly unfair to a human being, not only a citizen of a country, is something that is abhorrent to me.

The government formed in Croatia is likely to be the one with the main goal of achieving the needed, albeit unpopular, major reforms and as such it is not likely to be popular with everyone but one can safely say that most Croats recognise the need for major reforms. Some people may not like it but they do recognise the need for major reforms and, therefore, there is a politically impacting chance that many who do not like the major reforms announced would ultimately be convinced of the benefits of those reforms. Most/Bridge coalition says that it is adamant it wants to govern in coalition with HDZ/Croatian Democratic Union and in this to have an important input into the key government departments/ ministries, such as justice and internal affairs that are essential in achieving the needed reforms. Sweeping reforms to public administration that will likely see a rather notable reduction of government administration and departments and red tape in order to further ease economic and investment growth as well as administrative processes involved in daily living are being flagged.

There is an underlying truth unfolding in the current political resolve of forming the new government in Croatia and that resolve has a great deal to do with the firm intent to effectuate the unpopular reforms that are needed, to bring home the reality of the well-worn although not always warming idiom: “No pain, no gain!”. Good luck, I say – about time!  So many habits and stifling administrative processes and attitudinal elements from communist Yugoslavia still exist in Croatia and they must be rooted out. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

Croatia: A Unique Greeting Of New Year

Collage of photos of New Year Parties In Croatia Top photo: Fuzine Photo: Nel Pavletic/Pixsell

Collage of photos of
New Year Parties In Croatia
Top photo: Fuzine
Photo: Nel Pavletic/Pixsell

 

Fuzine is a beautiful town in Gorski Kotar, Croatia, located 730m above sea-level where the mountains meet the sea, up and inland of northern coast towards Rijeka. Picturesque mountains surround Fuzine, and so do the centuries-old evergreen forests and the beauty of its Bajer and Lepenica lakes.
Summer refreshment can be found fishing or sailing on the lakes. Attractive hiking, cycling and mountaineering routes are marked; you can go horseback riding and ride in carriages or tour the landscape on a tourist train. “Summer in Fuzine” is a traditional event, and the Old Year Send-Off/Greeting of the New Year, which takes place in the open every 31st December at noon exactly, is also famous and attracts an increasing number of visitors from all over the world.

Partying at Fuzine Croatia

Partying at Fuzine Croatia

 

Well actually, I think the people of Fuzine have found the perfect way to celebrate the New Year because, there, the celebrations include everyone: the old, the young, the children, the pets… What better way to greet the New Year than to be with everyone you love and live with as well as voisitors and revellers from elsewhere. This year Fuzine has ushered in the New Year exactly at Noon on New Year’s Eve for the 17th time. Each year more and more people come from outside Fuzine to take part in this unique community event; some 15 thousand guests/tourists came to Fuzine this year to witness this unique and most jolly event and that is a very high number given that the population of Fuzine and its surrounding villages is only about 1600. But what beautifully spirited 1600 it is! The New Year’s party on the town’s streets and square, of course, goes on till several hours after midnight New Year’s Day but by then the children have well participated in it and so have family pets. This year’s New Year’s party in Fuzine offered the purchase of yellow balloons for charitable fundraising purposes and on which New Year’s messages and resolutions were then written. Following are some photographs from Fuzine’s New Year’s party at Noon on New Year’s Eve 2015. Enjoy while clicking on images to enlarge. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb);B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

Fuzine Croatia

 

Cheer at Fuzine Croatia Ushering in 2016 at Noon December 31 Photo: Nel Pavletic/Pixsell

Cheer at Fuzine Croatia
Ushering in 2016
at Noon December 31
Photo: Nel Pavletic/Pixsell

 

Fuzine Croatia Ushering in New Year 2016 at Noon 31 DEcember 2015 Photo: Screenshot euronews

Fuzine Croatia
Ushering in New Year 2016
at Noon 31 DEcember 2015
Photo: Screenshot euronews

 

Pets and all at Fuzine Croatia New Year's Party Photo: Ne; Pavletic/Pixsell

Pets and all at
Fuzine Croatia New Year’s Party
Photo: Ne; Pavletic/Pixsell

 

Many wishes for New Year Fuzine Croatia New Year's Eve December 2015 Photo: Nel Pavletic/Pixsell

Many wishes for New Year
Fuzine Croatia
New Year’s Eve December 2015
Photo: Nel Pavletic/Pixsell

 

Happy New Year From Fuzine Croatia

Happy New Year
From Fuzine Croatia

 

Fuzine Croatia Can't wait for 2016 to kick in

Fuzine Croatia
Can’t wait for 2016 to kick in

 

Noon on New Year's Eve at Fuzine Croatia ushering in 2016

Noon on New Year’s Eve
at Fuzine Croatia
ushering in 2016

 

Fuzine Croatia wishes for New Year 2016 on NY Eve Photo: Nel Pavlekovic/Pixsell

Fuzine Croatia
wishes for New Year 2016
on NY Eve
Photo: Nel Pavlekovic/Pixsell

 

Unique New Year's Party Happens in Fuzine Croatia every year at Noon on 31 December

Unique New Year’s Party
Happens in Fuzine Croatia
every year at Noon on 31 December

 

Fuzine Croatia New Year's Eve 31 December 2015

Fuzine Croatia New Year’s Eve
31 December 2015

Croatia Negatively Affected By Climate Change

World leaders at Paris Climate Change Summit 30 November - 11 December 2015 Photo: AFP

World leaders at Paris Climate Change Summit
30 November – 11 December 2015
Photo: AFP

 

Chiefs of the World – government leaders of 195 countries – have converged into Paris, France, this week with one main goal in mind to achieve from this major UN Summit on Climate Change: to attempt to agree (secure) a new universal deal to tackle climate change by cutting greenhouse gas emissions. In total up to 40,000 people will take part in this 2-week summit.
The UN wants to secure a truly universal global deal/agreement on tackling climate change for the first time, as part of efforts to prevent the temperature rising by more than 2C (3.6F) above pre-industrial levels this century.
Scientists agree that above that level the world is likely to see the most severe effects of climate change, including heatwaves, droughts and flooding.
Although there were previous summits on climate change, the Copenhagen summit in 2009 was the last time that world leaders met with the intention of agreeing on a binding global deal, which they hoped would cover emissions cuts from 2012. However, that summit ended in acrimony.
Although Croatia’s footprint on the total global CO2 emissions is a minute 0.06% one, the negative effects of climate change are felt in Croatia in the same way as they are felt across the rest of the world,” says in the Press release dated 30 November, Ministry for the Protection Of Environment and Nature, Croatia.

Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic at Paris UN summit on climate change Photo: HINA

Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic
at Paris UN summit on
climate change
Photo: HINA

Indeed, Croatia’s Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic, reiterated the words of the above Press release at the Paris summit where he led a Croatian delegation. Croatia, of course, will not be making any strides or new policy directions or statements that would make a difference to the goals set out for the summit, however Croatia is set to follow EU’s direction and directives in the climate change arena. Nevertheless Croatia’s Prime Minister did briefly address the summit in Paris on Monday 30 November.

“…the responsibilities and obligations should be allocated to parties not only on the basis of their greenhouse gas emissions but also considering their capacities of their GDP. Countries that largely contribute to emissions and have the economic strength to take measures must take on more responsibilities…,” said Milanovic.

 

In other words, according to the Croatian Prime Minister: those that have more should pay more!

 

Droughts, floods like the catastrophic recent ones of Eastern Slavonia or extreme temperatures have been seen as threats to the environment, to health and security of citizens and to the Croatian national economy. Croatian government’s plans to fall into the world efforts to battle climate change include strategies of low-carbon developments.
The Framework for the Low-emission Development Strategy of Croatia, prepared in cooperation with UNDP (UN Development Program), has been used as the basis for the development of the Low-Carbon Development Strategy (click here for PDF version), with defined sectoral aims to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Croatia had committed to develop the Low-emission Development Strategy as part of duty towards the European Union and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which fosters countries to prepare low-carbon development strategies and indicates that climate change requires developing long-term strategies in accordance with sustainable development. The development strategy aims at separating economic development from the exploitation of limited natural resources. While the emphasis is on reducing the greenhouse gas emissions, the more far-reaching goal is to make development plans that take into consideration mutual dependency between humans and nature.

Extract from presentation by Energy Institute Hrvoje Pozar - Croatia Photo: Screenshot

Extract from presentation by
Energy Institute Hrvoje Pozar – Croatia
Photo: Screenshot

Low-carbon development was/is also a part of the solution for the most important economic problem in Croatia: unemployment. UNDP’s research pointed out that a balanced focus on the energy efficiency and renewable energy sources could lead to the creation of 80 000 new “green” jobs and help Croatia fulfill the obligations connected to climate change. A lack of funds is not an excuse as Croatia spends 5-6 per cent of its GDP on the import of fossil fuels at the moment. These funds could be relocated to foster the development of renewables – stated UNDP on its website.
Zoran Milanovic’s government has been very slack, slow and ineffective in truly making positive and significant inroads in the creation of enough new “green” jobs to make a visible positive difference in unemployment figures; any green job created seems to get eaten up by another job lost or another company gone bankrupt. Perhaps the 2015 Paris summit on climate change may provide stepping-stones for Croatia to advance in the low-carbon development process.

 

Extract from presentation by Energy Institute Hrvoje Pozar - Croatia Photo: Screenshot

Extract from presentation by
Energy Institute Hrvoje Pozar – Croatia
Photo: Screenshot

Generally, the message coming out loudly so far from the Paris summit on climate change is that the leading countries of the world recognise for the first time in history the opportunities that come with taking action and that if they don’t take action their prosperity will suffer! Furthermore, it would seem that the consensus in Paris is, so far, that actions to be taken to combat climate change are not once-off actions or single actions as the Kyoto protocol might have suggested and promoted but that effective actions are in effect a process, even a long-term one.

If a universal deal or agreement is reached in Paris it, alone, most likely will not be enough to stop dangerous climate change. The process of actions will need to be heavily studded with determination, creativity, funds to invest in renewable energy sources etc. According to the UN, various national pledges to cut emissions made ahead of the 2015 Paris summit are likely to leave the world on course for warming of at least 2.7C. That will make a significant “dent” in the warming that might otherwise be seen, but not enough to prevent dangerous warming.

The aim of the Paris Summit is to also agree on a framework that will make countries improve their formerly expressed pledges of greenhouse gas emissions, as well as setting a long-term goal that will help limit warming to 2C.

paris climate change conference 2015
All countries will need to curb their emissions if dangerous effects of climate change are to be stopped in their tracks. One senses, though, that the developing countries do not want to miss out on the economic growth that developed nations have enjoyed on the back of fossil fuels and will seek greater leeway over actions they are to take in battling climate change. They will also want financial help to do all this and if one reads between the lines of Croatian Prime Minister’s words money is central to the success whichever way one looks at it. Money indeed seems to present as a major stumbling block and barrier to “ideal” speed of progress in battling dangerous effects of climate change and Croatian like several other EU countries, will depend on the size of the EU purse unless it lifts its governance game and injects more local knowledge, effort and resources into the low-carbon development plan realisation in order to pursue a truly greener path. Perhaps in days that come Croatia will soon have a new government that may turn a greener leaf in Croatia’s renewable energy source development and industry growth.
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi while acknowledging the reality that conventional energy sources such as coal would continue to be used at present said that funds were necessary to clean up coal-based generation. This could be done using the Green Climate Fund, which needs scaling up, he said.

Show me the money!” (if you want action) is likely THE mantra to come out of the Paris summit on climate change, sadly making the summit into a spectacular fizz.  But 11 December 2015 – when summit ends – is still a fair way away and chances of an easier deal, a not-so-slippery one as the one dependent on cold-hard-cash tends to be, may yet crop up. One reality remains though – all policies that limit the use of fossil or conventional fuels seem to make everyone poorer and the poor nations suffer the most unless money is guaranteed and in supply to prop-up clean energy sources.  Some poorer nations of the world, grossly and negatively affected by climate change, are lobbying and urging the Paris summit for a 1.5C target instead of the 2C warming above pre-industrial era levels. This latest target is indeed ambitious vis-à-vis the will and the might we have seen “the world” display so far and it could well prove to be an another lever raising the “Show me the money!” dependency any notable success of widespread curbing of greenhouse gas emissions has. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A.,M.A.Ps.(Syd)

Four Amazing Croatians Make it To New Europe 100 Outstanding Innovators List

European top 100 innovators

 

The most outstanding innovation leaders in Central and Eastern Europe were announced on 26 November 2015 and four Croats are among them. A proud moment for Croatia – indeed! Matija Kopic, Jan Jilek, Valent Turkovic and Miroslav Vrankic have all made the list of the Top 100 innovators from Central and Eastern Europe who are changing the world and improving people’s lives with ideas that scale up in the digital world.
The Warsaw-based journal Res Publica, Google, the Visegrad Fund, and the Financial Times selected the top 100 list of these superb professionals and thus recognised their courage for innovation, expertise in emerging technologies, unique skills and social outreach that are having a global impact in today’s world.

 

Here is a bit about the Croats who made the list
Jan Jilek Photo: forbes.com

Jan Jilek
Photo: forbes.com

Jan Jilek – is a pioneer of online advertising in Adria region. He started his online advertising career in 2002 in Httpool – the first online advertising network in Croatia. After a year of learning about online advertising and in cooperation with biggest Slovenian search engine Najdi.si he started full-text search engine in Croatia Pogodak.hr, later sold to Slovenian Telekom. After Pogodak.hr he started first Croatian contextual intext advertising network Xclaim.hr and in 2008 sold it to biggest Polish Internet Company Internet Group S.A. He also started online advertising network ad-net and adOps company Adserver.hr which he sold to Austrian adOps Company in 2015.
His newest adventure is big data internet audience measurement startup Dotmetrics.net. Few months ago Dotmetrics started operations in Croatia and it is already present in Serbian and Bosnia and Hercegovina, but also some bigger CEE countries are in a pipeline. Because of the need for funding of his newest startup adventure, which lacks in Croatia, he started the 1000startupsEU movement. He is trying to understand growth problems which European startups are facing in EU. The goal of the project is to gather more than 1000 EU startups who will together push for structural reforms and building of pan-EU startup infrastructure.
He is also president of IAB Croatia and a member of IAB Europe brand advertising committee and research committee. AB Europe’s mission is to protect, prove, promote and professionalise Europe’s online advertising, media, market research and analytics industries. As IAB Croatia president, Jan assembled and managing Croatia’s leading Internet media and digital agencies and rendered the association the leading body in the field of interactive marketing in Croatia.

 

Matija Kopic Photo:Marko Likunic/Pixsell

Matija Kopic
Photo:Marko Likunic/Pixsell

Matija Kopic– is CEO of Farmeron, a web data service that farmers can use to aggregate information about their animals: diet, health, reproduction, milk production and medicine or drug dosage. Matija created a single, unified database that they can use. By bringing farmers and their production data online, Farmeron is rethinking how agriculture must meet the newest global challenges – of feeding more and more people with more than ever scarce resources.

Miroslav Vrankic – is a professor of electrical engineering at University of Rijeka and founder and a CEO of E-GLAS.
When still at University studying engineering, he once read a poster that said “Merge your skills with your ideals”. Instantly reaching his heart, those words became his life’s motto. After completing his PhD in Engineering in 2008, he decided it was time to put his life’s motto into practice. Finding his life’s mission in helping people, he founded E-Glass, a university-based start-up company. Its main product is Servus, a voice-controlled assistant that helps people with special needs to perform simple home-based tasks, that are otherwise out of their control. The little silver box, about the size of an external harddrive, allows its users to put on the lights, open the doors, turn of the radio or log on the internet. Servus is designed to be speaker independent, which is why Miro and his team are traveling and recording hundreds of voices – so even if the user has a cold, the system will recognize the voice and execute the demands. The device is multi-language, operating in English, German, Italian, Dutch, Croatian and Slovenian.

Miroslav Vrankic Photo: Pixsell

Miroslav Vrankic
Photo: Pixsell

The idea of Servus came to Miroslav while he was doing his first volunteer assignment, helping a person in a wheelchair. Seeing how challenging simple tasks like turning on the lights or operating a computer can be for people with disabilities, he set his heart on developing an electronic system, which would allow them to regain at least a little bit of their independence, improving not only their lives, but the lives of their families as well. “Seeing the happiness in their eyes makes everything worth it,” says Mr. Vrankic.

 

Valent Turkovic Photo: pozeska-kronika.hr

Valent Turkovic
Photo: pozeska-kronika.hr

Valent Turkovic –  launched Projekt Otvorena mreža (Project Open Net) in Croatia in 2009 to promote the ideas of independent internet infrastructure and the internet as a public good. Based in Osijek, Croatia, Mr. Turkovic has a degree in electrotechnical engineering. He volunteered for Multimedia Open Laboratory in Osijek and for Multimedia Institute (Multimedijalni Institut) in Zagreb. He also blogs at kernelreloaded.com.
In the autumn of 2015, Otvorena mreža answered to the wave of refugees entering Croatia in a remarkable way. The activists set up human WiFi beacons, mobile hot spots carried in backpacks to small border towns where refugees lack internet access. The initiative has since then expanded to Slovenia, and an interactive map allows for keeping track on its development. Otvorena mreža provides internet access also to refugee camps, and have recently installed 12 hostpots in Slavonski Brod refugee camp under the auspices of the Minister of Interior Affairs of Croatia and Croatian Army Forces.

 

September 2015 Valent Turkovic makes Free WiFi for hundreds of thousands of refugees passing through Croatia possible Photo: Otvorena Mreza

September 2015
Valent Turkovic makes Free WiFi for hundreds of thousands
of refugees passing through Croatia possible
Photo: Otvorena Mreza

Congratulations to Jan, Matija, Miroslav and Valent – love your work and dedication to advancements for the betterment of the human race and its life. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

Croatia: Rebutting Accusations Against Blessed Aloysius Stepinac

Zagreb Croatia 24 November 2015 From Right: Zeljko Reiner, Croatian parliamentarian, dr Esther Gitman, historian and author, Archbishop Zelimir Puljic, Croatian Bishops' Conference, Cardinal Josip Bozanic and Zeljko Tanjic, Rector Croatian Catholic University Photo: B. Covic

Zagreb Croatia 24 November 2015
From Right: Zeljko Reiner, Croatian parliamentarian,
dr Esther Gitman, historian and author,
Archbishop Zelimir Puljic, Croatian Bishops’ Conference,
Cardinal Josip Bozanic and
Zeljko Tanjic, Rector Croatian Catholic University
Photo: B. Covic

Beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1998, Croatia’s WWII Archbishop Aloysius Stepinac – falsely and wrongfully accused and condemned as Nazi collaborator by Josip Broz Tito and his Yugoslav communists – still awaits canonisation. In this day and age of political correctness getting in the way of truth, a new element has been introduced – it seems – in the Catholic Church’s canonisation decision-making and that element has to do with what Serb and Serbia (who are predominantly of Orthodox Church) think about Stepinac being proclaimed a Saint of the Catholic Church. What an outrage! One finds it most difficult to comprehend why opinions are sought from Tito’s communists or their descendants who wrongfully accused Stepinac as Nazi collaborator were Serbs in many cases, as well as some communist Jews, and are not likely to admit today that they and/or their political predecessors were wrong and lied!
Hence the need to defend the innocent and good Blessed Aloysius Stepinac from lies, mud and concocted history – a sad fact of today’s mad political correctness by which one permits the propagation of falsehoods so that one avoids possibly insulting the emotions of the propagator of falsehoods. The Catholic Church, with his beatification, had examined thousands of documents and testimony, and had no doubts – (see Vatican insider) – today some Serbs and some Jews (all former communists or their allies as far as I can see) have made it their business to try and stop or obstruct Stepinac’s canonisation. The latest pathetic line of “criticism” is that although Stepinac did save Jews and others from peril during WWII he could have done more!

 

 

A world leader in historical research of the truth pertaining to the rescue of Jews in WWII Croatia, Dr Esther Gitman held a lecture in Zagreb, Croatia on Monday 23 November 2015 – ” Dr. Alojzije Stepinac, Archbishop of Zagreb in the trial organised by Tito’s regime, historians and current Serbian government” – as introduction to the one day conference held on 24 November 2015: “Archbishop Stepinac and Serbs in Croatia in the context of World War II and post-war period“. The conference was organised jointly by the Archdiocese of Zagreb and the Croatian Catholic University.

 

Introducing dr. Gitman, the Croatian Catholic University Rector, dr. Zeljko Tanjic, briefly talked about her 2011 book “When courage Prevailed – the Rescue and Survival of Jews in the Independent State of Croatia 1941-1945“, after which dr. Gitman has regularly addressed issues pertaining to Jews in Croatia during World War II and the matter of Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac’s innocence. She was a visiting professor at the University during the 2013/2014 academic year where she held courses on rescuing Jews, and last summer published a notable study of rescuing Jews.
Dr. Gitman proceeded to say that her presentation, based on facts and scientific research, would defend Stepinac as the man who made great efforts in alleviating human suffering and, thus, refute the allegations made against him during the last seven decades. As the guiding foundation of her lecture she used Archbishop Stepinac;’s 1941 memorandum to the Catholic priests and parishes in Croatia in response to the Croatian government’s attempts to force conversions of Orthodox and Jewish people to Catholicism:

When you are visited by people of the Jewish or Eastern Orthodox faith, whose lives are in danger and who express the wish to convert to Catholicism, accept them in order to save human lives. Do not require any special religious knowledge from them, because the Eastern Orthodox are Christians like ourselves, and the Jewish faith is the faith from which Christianity draws its roots. The role and duty of Christians is, in the first place to save people. When this time of madness and of savagery passes, those who would convert out of conviction will remain in our church, while the others, after the danger passes, will return to their church.”

Dr Esther Gitman Screenshot 24 November 2015 Croatian HRT TV

Dr Esther Gitman
Screenshot 24 November 2015 Croatian HRT TV

Dr Gitman made a point of saying that the foundation of anti-Semitism in the region that includes Serbia between the two World Wars does not lie in the Croatian Ustashe movement as some would want us to believe but in the media organisations and publishers that published and promoted books such as “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion“. Brochures were published in Serbia, despite a court ban. She reminded the audience at the conference that in 1938 Anton Korosec, Yugoslav minister of interior affairs, stated that in (Kingdom of) Yugoslavia (which by the way was under Serbian King rule) the Jewish question does not exist but pronounced the fleeing Jews as undesirables. In contrast to Korosec, Archbishop Stepinac in 1939 appealed to the faithful to help Jews, because it is a Christian duty to do so. In 1938 Stepinac hoped that Germany’s interest in Russia would keep war away from the South Slavs, and that Croats will have the opportunity to fight for their own state ruled by law and justice. In a meeting with students he said: “The love of man towards his people should not turn him into a wild animal that crashes all and acts in revenge, but rather enrich him so that he may obtain respect and love for his people from others.

Sarcophagus of Blessed Alojzije Stepinac in Zagreb, Croatia

Sarcophagus of
Blessed Alojzije Stepinac
in Zagreb, Croatia

 

Dr Gitman pointed out that some historians have criticized Stepinac’s behavior during the Ustasha regime. Their claim was that a person in his position could do and could have done much more (to save Jews and others from death…). Such statements do not prove or support the facts. Can any historian today point to any concrete action that could have been implemented then and have resulted in positive outcome? I say no, Dr Gitman was resolute and concluded: “My goal today was to portray Stepinac in his role as Archbishop of Zagreb during WWII. His position was unenviable because he found himself between ‘a hammer and an anvil’, between the Nazis and the Communists. He acted as a loyal servant of the Roman Catholic Church and humanity, never abandoning his faith, moral law as his guidance. He condemned the inhumane behaviour of the Ustashe regime at every occasion“.

She concluded her lecture with the word of the Holocaust historian Raul Hilberg: “the Churches, once with powerful presence in Europe, reached the lowest point of their influence during WWII, incapable of retaining their independence against secular regimes. Despite that, during the War years, Stepinac followed only one maxim, and that was: only one race exists, and that is God’s race“.

 

Other participants in the conference on 24 November 2014 were: dr Ivica Sute (Faculty of Philosophy, University of Zagreb), dr Tomislav Anic (Croatian Catholic University) dr. Mario Jareb (Croatian Institute of history), dr. Milan Koljanin (The Institute of Modern History, Belgrade, Serbia), dr. Radmila Radic (Institute for Newer History of Serbia, Belgrade), dr. Miroslav Akmadza (Croatian History Institute), dr. sc. Jure Kristo (Croatian History Institute and Croatian Catholic University), dr. Mario Kevo (Croatian Catholic University), dr. Robin Harris (journalist and author, Centre for culture restoration, Zagreb/ former member of UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher policy unit), mons. Juraj Batelja (head of cause of beatification of Alojzije Stepinac).

Celebrating the wonderful truth of Blessed Aloysius Stepinac and his work on saving and rescuing the Jews should not be this difficult but it is. It is difficult because others tied to Tito and Yugoslav communists – lied; the lies stick. Truth does prevail in the end, though, and that is comforting. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps.(Syd)

Croatian Knowhow Vital Role In Saving Venice

 

 

Steel barriers/floodgates ready for shipment from Croatia to Venice Italy Photo: Brodosplit

Steel barriers/floodgates
ready for shipment from
Croatia to Venice Italy
Photo: Brodosplit

Italian city of Venice is under serious threat due to the rise in sea level and sinking of land at an alarming rate. The MOSE project will protect the Venetian Lagoon from being submerged by the Adriatic Sea and protect the famous city of Venice and the neighbouring areas from flooding. MOSE, the Italian word for Moses, is an acronym for Modulo Sperimentale Elettromeccanico, which means Experimental Electromechanical Module. The name aptly alludes to the story of Moses parting the Red Sea.

Steel Floodgates to save Venice Italy Photo: water-technology.net/ adapted inavukic.com

Steel Floodgates to save
Venice Italy
Photo: water-technology.net/ adapted inavukic.com

After being successful at its tender to undertake the building of steel barriers/gates that are an important part of the very complex MOSE project, Brodosplit from the city of Split (Split Shipbuilding company) is well on the target and course to complete the building of 41 steel barriers worth 50 million Euro, reports the daily newspaper Slobodna Dalmacija. 2 barriers have been completed and are ready for delivery while 19 are in various stages of completion.
The buyer requests high precision in the making of the steel gates and long-term anticorrosion protection. Very limited tolerances, the highest quality class and the amount of accompanying documentation make this Project much more demanding in technical-technological sense than what shipbuilding is. Brodosplit will deliver gates with dimensions 27-30 x 20 meters, 4.5-5 meters height and with weight of 300 tons.

Brodosplit Croatia Split Shipbuilding Company Yard

Brodosplit Croatia
Split Shipbuilding Company Yard

Project is an integrated protection system consisting of a number of mobile gates that are capable of closing off Venetian Lagoon from the Adriatic Sea when the tide exceeds established level (110 cm) up to maximal three meters. These are mouths of Treporti, Malamocco, Chioggia and San Nicolo. For construction of steel gates for sea Mouth of San Nicolo, the tender is currently open and Brodosplit submitted its proposal.

A set-up of 78 gates designed as special reservoirs filled with air or water, is foreseen. They will lay at sea bottom when filled with water, and rise towards the surface to close the Lagoon entrances when filled with air. After air is released, they will get filled with water again and lie at the sea bottom. During these several hours, Venetian Lagoon would be closed and ships could not enter it freely.

Steel barrier for Venice, Italy Ready at Brodosplit Croatia Photo: brodosplit

Steel barrier for Venice, Italy
Ready at Brodosplit Croatia
Photo: brodosplit

Brodosplit is extremely proud of this Project, just as whole Croatia, because it will remain forever registered on the list of countries that participated in one of the biggest construction projects in Italian history with overall value of more than 7 billion euro and thus contributed to saving Venice from big problems caused by tide.

This project proves that Brodosplit is capable to build not only ships, but very complex and demanding steel constructions and that it can compete with majority of world shipyards with its knowledge and experience,” states on the Brodosplit/ Split Shipbuilding Co, website.

 

Landsat image Venice

Landsat image Venice

 

Landsat image Venice depicting MOSE project

Landsat image Venice
depicting MOSE project

The natural-colour Landsat images above show some of the MOSE engineering efforts that are visible above the water line near the Lido Inlet. The top image was acquired on June 20, 2000, by the Enhanced Thematic Mapper+ on Landsat 7. The second image, from the Operational Land Imager on Landsat 8, was collected on September 4, 2013. In 2013, a curved breakwater stands just south of the inlet’s south jetty. On the lagoon side of the Lido Inlet, a new manmade island appears; it houses the buildings and plants that operate the gates, which are underwater in two arrays on either side of the island. On the north side of the inlet, a manmade harbour for small vessels includes a small lock system that allows boats to pass from the lagoon to the sea when the gates are raised.

Since the beginning of MOSE construction, five million cubic meters of sediment have been excavated from areas adjacent to the lagoon’s three inlets. The $8.8 billion dollar project has encountered some scientific, environmental, and political objections about disrupting the natural water exchange between the lagoon and Adriatic.
The Lido Inlet gates were successfully tested on October 12, 2013, and operators aim to have the MOSE system fully functional by 2016. Certainly, all indications are that Croatia’s Split Shipbuilding Company “Brodosplit” is keeping its role in the project to save Venice up-to-date and on time, having signed the contract to construct the steel floodgates with the Italian company Costruzioni Mose Arsenale, COMAR, in January 2015.
After international tender, Consortium Venezia Nuova decided that Brodosplit was the best tenderer among the strong competition and it was officially selected as builder of steel gates for the two mouths. Total project that will be executed by Brodosplit includes over 12,000t of built-in steel.

Under threat of sea level rise, endangered architecture and numerous floods at Piazza San Marco and surrounding streets, Venice could become the dying relic. However, with Brodosplit in action there is a realistic and definite chance that this gem of culture in the Adriatic would be preserved for the centuries to come, “ Tomislav Debeljak, Brodosplit Chief Executive Officer, pointed out.
Well done, Brodosplit!

Korcula Croatia House where Marco Polo Was Born

Korcula Croatia
House where Marco Polo Was Born

Croatia’s participation in saving Venice also has historically-emotional significance as several parts of the Dalmatian coast had once and for number of decades been taken over by the Republic of Venice (696 – 1797) where on the Island of Korcula, in 1254, Marco Polo was born to parents who were Venetian merchants living in the old town of Korcula for several of Marco’s early childhood years. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

Croatia Remembering Victims Of Vukovar And Skabrnje

Fountain in Zagreb lights up as Vucedol Dove the symbol of Vukovar Croatia 24th anniversary of the fall of Vukovar

Fountain in Zagreb
lights up as Vucedol Dove
the symbol of Vukovar
Croatia
24th anniversary of the
fall of Vukovar

 

On the night of November 17th people of Croatia’s capital Zagreb and their friends and visitors lit up the city with candles lining its long and wide artery called Vukovar Street! This was in memory and honour of all those who perished and died defending the Croatian city of Vukovar from brutal and genocidal Serb aggression in 1991 until the city fell on its knees on 18 November 1991, suffered genocide and ethnic cleansing committed against the Croats and other non-Serbs and became occupied by Serb-led forces.

 Croatia's President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic Lights the candles along Vukovar Street in Zagreb 17 November 2015 Foto: Darko Tomas / CROPIX


Croatia’s President
Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic
Lights the candles along
Vukovar Street in Zagreb
17 November 2015
Foto: Darko Tomas / CROPIX

More than 10,000 candles were lit last night in the capital Zagreb along the 10-kilometre Vukovar Street to remember victims from the 1990s homeland war in the eastern town of Vukovar.

 

The damage to Vukovar during the long siege prior to that date in 1991 has been called the worst in Europe since World War II, drawing comparisons with the World War II–era Stalingrad. The city’s water tower, riddled with bullet holes, has been retained by city planners to serve as a testimony to the events of the early 1990s.

Vukovar, Croatia 1991 - brutally devastated from Serb aggression

Vukovar, Croatia 1991 – brutally devastated from Serb aggression

Vukovar was heavily damaged during the Croatian War of Independence. Approximately 2,000 self-organised defenders (the army of Croatia was still in an formative stage at that time) defended the city for 87 days against approximately 36,000 Yugoslav People’s Army/JNA troops commanded by Serbia supplemented with 110 vehicles and tanks and dozens of planes. The city suffered heavy damage during the siege and was eventually overrun. Untold cruelty was suffered by the Croatian people of Vukovar during the siege – massacres, murders, tortures, rapes, forced deportation, humiliation, forced detention… Some 2,000 defenders of Vukovar and civilians were killed, 800 went missing (more than half of which are still missing to this day in 2015) and 22,000 Croat and non-Serb civilians from Vukovar were forced into exile.

Remembering those that perished Vukovar Street in Zagreb 17 November 2015 Remembering Vukovar of 1991 Foto: Darko Tomas / CROPIX

Remembering those that perished
Vukovar Street in Zagreb
17 November 2015
Remembering Vukovar of 1991
Foto: Darko Tomas / CROPIX

On that same day – 18 November 1991 – on the other end of Croatia – in the seaside village of Skabrnje near Zadar – another terrible crime was committed by Serbs, under the command of Ratko Mladic (held also responsible for Srebrenica genocide 1995), against innocent Croatian civilians. Moving from house to house, Serb butchers tortured, murdered and massacred 43 civilians and 15 Croatian defenders. The Croatian villagers that survived were forced into exile and their property burned and pillaged.

 

Memorial to victims of massacres in Skabrnje Serb aggressors were most brutal 18 Nov 1991

Memorial to victims of
massacres in Skabrnje
Serb aggressors were most brutal
18 Nov 1991

Today on the 18th of November 2015 the 24th anniversary of the fall of Vukovar is marked in Vukovar and the 24th anniversary of the Skabrnje massacre.
On the main road in Vukovar, along the road where on 18 November the procession will pass, a banner with the names of the deceased Croatian soldiers has been put up. The banner is over 200 metres long and includes 1,145 names. This is the first time that the names of all those who have laid down their lives for independent Croatia in Vukovar have been publicly presented.

Vukovar Tower and banner with names of the victims of 1991 Serb aggression Photo: Davor Javorovic/Pixsell

Vukovar Tower and
banner with names of the victims of 1991
Serb aggression
Photo: Davor Javorovic/Pixsell

Vukovar and Skabrnje from 1991 are a sad, terrifying reminder and distressing symbol of hatred and aggression the whole of Croatia was made to suffer because it wanted freedom from communist Yugoslavia; because it wanted democracy for its people!

Croatia and Croats Will Always Remember!

Croatia and Croats
Will Always Remember!

 

Croatia's President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic Bows to the victims of Skabrnje 18 November 2015 Photo: HINA

Croatia’s President
Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic
Bows to the victims
of Skabrnje
18 November 2015
Photo: HINA

May the victims of the heinous Serb aggression rest in eternal peace and honour. Lest We Forget. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

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