Croatia: HDZ Walks Out Of Parliament Before Vote On Judicial Cooperation With EU, Calling New Law An Embarrassment, But …

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Walking out of parliament in protest against proceedings is a route, although not entirely unusual, taken rarely in the democratic world. The reasons for this are obvious and strong: when a matter dealt with by the parliament is against your convictions and principles you have the responsibility as a parliamentarian that the parliamentary records of voting on the matter do show that you were expressly against it, or on the side you say you’re on. The only parliamentary records are those that show the number of votes for, against and abstain. Walking out figures are not entered into the records, simply because those who walked out are not present and are not counted.

On Friday 28 June, 78 members of the ruling Social Democrats led coalition voted for the “Law on cooperation in criminal matters with members of EU”, while six opposition MPs were against – the Labour Party, the HDSSB party and independent MP Jadranka Kosor. The largest party in opposition, Croatian Democratic Union/HDZ, led by Tomislav Karamarko, walked out just prior to the casting of votes.

So, according to this law a EU arrest/extradition warrant will not be applicable to crimes committed before 7 August 2002.  And, as I feared in my previous post on the matter, it protects particularly those who had engaged in murders and assassinations ordered and executed by the Yugoslav communist secret police, viz. the Communist Party.

The Croatian government (evidently red in colour and red in nature) is desperately trying to convince the Croatian people that this new version of the Law protects Croatian war veterans (1991 – 1995)! Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic’s latest spin on this vomit is a “scenario” where, say, someone from Serbia (not an EU member state) could turn up, say, in Paris and file an extradition request for someone in Croatia, for a crime they, say, allegedly committed in Croatia between 1991 and 1995!  Why would France or any other country for that matter seek extradition of an alleged criminal for alleged crimes that did not occur in France is a question that deserves no response. The question is absurd and insulting of human intellect, let alone of jurisdiction and facts that tell the story of defending Croatia against aggression in early 1990’s.

Nope, the new law is all about protecting communist criminals who murdered innocent people across EU member countries during and after WWII.

Certainly the European Commission has apparently severely criticised this legislative move by the Croatian parliament and it’s to be expected that this will not be the end to this alarming story emanating from Croatia two days before it’s to officially join the EU.  Furthermore, while Germany’s Angela Merkel has suddenly cancelled her attendance of celebrations in Zagreb to mark Croatia’s entry into the EU may not have anything to do with a possible protest against this new law, the tongues that wag on the streets would beg to differ.

Tomislav Karamarko described the parliamentary voting on this law as “uncivilised and non-European conduct, saying the government had embarrassed Croatia”. Karamarko further said Croatia must clear up what happened during communism and talk about the responsibility of the former Croatian Communist Alliance for those events.

They are afraid of Josip Perkovic going before the German judiciary for the simple reason that he could talk about his superiors… We will soon see if there were criminal elements in the party succeeded by today’s SDP (Social Democratic Party), if there were elements of criminal activity among the people who perhaps are still their icons, and there will also be talk of Josip Broz Tito’s superior responsibility,” said Karamarko.

I agree with Karamarko on this, however, I cannot and I do not agree with him leading his parliamentary HDZ party colleagues out of the parliament when time came to vote for or against the new law. HDZ should have remained in the parliament and voted against the law! That way the numerical results from the voting would have had a strong “NO”, instead, it’s a pathetic “6 NOs”! That way the parliamentary records would show which side HDZ took in this matter. As things are there is no record of this because they had not voted and this very fact leaves an open slather to all sorts of speculations, including the ones that might say passing of this new law somehow suits HDZ?

Had HDZ appealed to the Speaker to defer voting on this new law, to remove it from the day’s agenda, to allow more time for discussions, then perhaps the walking out may be seen as a more positive protest. Walking out of parliament demonstrates not just disapproval, but also disrespect for the proposal of the majority party and the legitimacy of the proceedings. But this is only, I believe, in the case when the “walking out” party has first and explicitly appealed to the “House” that the vote proposal be removed from the agenda or adjourned. Criticising the proposal, as HDZ did, just prior to the vote, is simply not enough in this case – it represents rhetoric and parliamentary banter at best. Pleading for adjournment, and then walking out if adjournment not achieved, would have given the HDZ walkout much credibility. This way, it simply leaves it open, as I said above, to all sorts of unsavoury speculations, some of which are already visible in Croatian media. After all, HDZ did say that the proposed law presents a most serious issue for Croatia; not only regarding the need to process communist crimes but also vis-à-vis the embarrassment such rushed voting would bring to Croatia within the EU.

HDZ’s walking out of parliament on Friday has only given additional legs to the political theater evolving around communist crimes and, sadly, disregarding the victims of those crimes. The governing party throwing innuendo around about nameless persons from the HDZ and Church sides possibly carrying sins of communist crimes: “You chased a fox, and chased King Kong out,” Milanovic directed at HDZ.

Karamarko then replied that HDZ will chase King Kong out and see who had the subjective and command role in the murder of Croatians abroad.

By walking out of the parliament at voting time HDZ has in my view only provided fodder for further political games on the issue of not processing communist crimes. While their vote against the law would not have turned the results to a majority against vote, due to inadequate number of votes the largest opposition party has, it would have given the case against the law a much stronger footing. And, it would have given the victims of communist crimes the deserved consideration and voice.

This way, by walking out, HDZ had abdicated its responsibility and demonstrated a kind of unwillingness to engage in this particular legislative process. One cannot be against something and when the time to vote comes, walk out in what looks like a protest. One cannot also afford this particularly in Croatia where voter turnout is generally quite dismal and general or referendum elections.  Parliamentarians must serve as role models in this for the general population and not behave in ways that cheapen and endanger the power of voting. It’s known that while the Social Democrats (SDP) were in opposition in Croatia they too had walked out of or not turned up for voting at times, so they have no credible grounds to criticise such a move by HDZ.  However, citizens have every right to criticise it and harbor grave disappointment; citizens want it written in “black and white” (vote results records) as to who stood on which side when “push came to shove” and voting ensued. Walking out without voting in this case is simply another step backward in the proper (as opposed to street and media) processing of communist crimes. Simply awful! Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

Croatia: Joint Movement of Good – A Refreshing Force for EU Parliament Elections


Croatia will become the 28th member state of the European Union on 1st July this year – it will enter an established “international club” and it will strive to positively contribute to the life and the future of this “club”.

The Croatian Democratic Centre party (DC) had invited a group of distinguished Croatian citizens, who have excelled in the creation, defence and work for Croatia, regardless of any political party affiliations they may have, or not have, regardless of their political activities, to be candidates from EU Parliament elections.

Good, diligent and capable people exist. The system needs to facilitate and enable the expression of their activities, and DC has achieved this by compiling a list of independent citizens into its List of Candidates for the 14 April EU Parliament elections to be held in Croatia and its diplomatic missions abroad.

These are their Values, who they are and what they propose.

Our Values of Good:

•    All that is morally correct and just, is Good
•    Croatia is Good because it arose from the expressed will of the majority of its citizens
•    The civilisation of Good is the only path and it is possible
•    The civilisation of Evil is no longer possible
•    The Joint Movement of Evil had defined the International Criminal Tribunal in the Hague
•    We have realised Joint Movements of Good – through our will, knowledge, networking and actions
•    Good is the awakening of the will to do and spread the good, to foster knowledge, to join people, act and transcend the good – excel in the good
•    Our truth binds knowledge, beauty, experience and faith into the joint movement of good and builds a civilisation of good
•    We reject political and religious dualism, the division into good and evil
•    There is only one God – People create the Universal Good, either individually or jointly, where all are equal and all alone are weak, transient and sinful
•    We support freedom, democracy and human dignity for all
•    There are no superior people, no inferior people and no inhuman people
•    Europe, Croatia, all states and all the people of Europe, need and want a better world
•    Through vision of the Good, we apply ourselves and actively create a better world for Europe, Croatia, States and people

Support the Joint  Movement of Good

•    Every one of us (the EU Parliament candidates of the Joint Movement of Good) can and will represent our proposals because we have become Good People through our past work and actions
•    If no one from this List is elected, every Good person from other lists can represent these proposals
•    If no one from Croatia wants to represent them, any other Good person can represent them, any representative from another European country can represent them
•    If no member of the European Parliament wants to represent them, every European Good person can represent them, regardless of his/her gender, nationality, age, religion, political persuasion …
•    Visions should be expressed in words, join people and realised through actions
•    Calls for help to Dubrovnik, to the hospital in Nova Bila, Help for the Elderly after the Operation Storm, Peaceful Reintegration and others, were conversions of words into actions.

Matthew 25:40: “Truly, I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me!
Today they are the unemployed, the young who lack the courage to have children.

The Candidates of the Joint Movement of Good for EU Parliament elections, 14 April 2013: 
All the candidates have through their own actions demonstrated that they are Good people, in the creation and the defence of Croatia, and in their own personal careers to date.
Each one of them can enrich the future of Europe with Croatia and Croatia with Europe.
All can successfully represent Croatia before the European Parliament and across Europe.
Each one of them is, in his or her specific knowledge, experience and work, irreplaceable.

slobodan-langSlobodan Lang
Born 1945 in Zagreb; Professor of Public Health in Croatia and the world; Performed at highest state, parliamentary and diplomatic functions; President of network of healthy cities;
Prominent veteran and humanitarian; Published several books, scientific and other works;
Medical doctor; Believes in God, loves people and searches for the Good – everything else is less important

Aida Cvjetkovic

Aida Cvjetković
Born 1949, Island of Sipan; Called upon the women of Dubrovnik to remain in the city during its siege in 1991; Docoral disseratation under heading “Dubrovnik shipowner Frederiko Glavic”; leading professional in Tourism

Vida Demarin

Vida Demarin
Born 1944 in Zagreb; University Professor of Neurology; 2011 Woman of the Year; An Academic; Leading world professional in Neurology; Significantly contributed to the prevention of stroke

Darko Dovranic

Darko Dovranić
War TV correspondent, film director; Directed several films on the defence of Croatia; President Assembly of war correspondents of Croatian radio and television;
Again, the truth becomes the main criterion according to which we must live”:
During the aggression we were guided by the idea that only truth can save us. However, today we have forgotten the truth and a great deal remains unsaid, and the situation is so hard that a person cannot move away from his own problems, let alone worry about someone else’s problems”.

Josko Juvancic

Joško Juvančić
Joško Juvančić – Jupa born in Dubrovnik 1936; Legendary and very distinguished Croatian film and theatre director; Dean of Academy and especially active in Dubrovnik Summer Festival; Awarded with numerous distingushed awards and recognition, among them are Nazor Award, Dubravko Dujsin Award, and several awards by the Croatian Association of Theatre Artists; Irreplaceable in depiction of Croatian culture

Dragan Milanovic

Dragan Milanović
Born 1946, in Gospic. Graduated from High School and Faculty of Political Sciences in Zagreb; Played for 10 years as professional football payer for FC Lokomotiva and FC Zagreb; Adviser to Croatian government 2000 in Donji Lapac, Licko-senjska county;
Worked alone for eight years in the Croatian Chamber of Commerce in Belgrade; exceptional skills in communication, information and team work


Branko Pek
Born 1952 in Podrute
Leading member of the organisation for Croatian refugees and returnees since early 1990’s
Knows more than anyone else in the world about the persecution of Croats and their return to their Home.

Danijel RehakDanijel Rehak
President of Croatian Association of Detainees in Serb Concentration Camps (HDLSKL).
He emphasised that about 30,000 Croatian detainees were held in Serb concentration camps, of which there were 70. “About three hundred of the detainees were killed in the camps and about 2,400 considered as missing”; the truth about the camps has not been fully considered

Tibor SantoTibor Santo
Born 1954 in Zdenci. A Hungarian
Specialist in public health
Has been a member of parliament in Croatia and the president of the parliamentary club on national minorities
Fighter for health from his youth to today, in war and in peace

Vjera KatalinicVjera Katalinić
PhD in musicology, Vienna, 1999
Editor-in-chief of the Journal Arti musices (1999-2006) and several proceedings
Organised several international and national musicological symposia
Scientific advisor and director of the Dep’t for the History of Croatian Music, Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts in Zagreb. Part-time associate professor of the Dep’t of Musicology, Music Academy of Zagreb University. Author of books and scientific papers published in Croatia, European countries and USA. Participant in domestic and international scientific projects.
Ina Vukic 2013 FebIna Vukić
Born 1949 in Zrnovo, Island of Korcula. Left Yugoslavia in 1962.
A professor and master of psychology.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of services for people with disabilities and mental health difficulties in northern Sydney area.
Recipient in 1995 of Croatian medals of honour “Commemorative medal of war remembrance” and “Order of Croatian trefoil”; From Australia, since 1990 to today, she defends and builds Croatia, every day; of recent Wikipedia has included her opinions (the only ones from Croatia), as human rights activist, into its article on the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia


Petar Bašić
Born 1971 in Slavonski Brod
A Historian and Secretary of DC (Democratic Centre Party)

Proposals of the Good:

I.    To the European Parliament/Union

1.    Committee on full employment
2.    Committee on demographic Health (birth, family, the aged, living arrangement)
3.    Sustainable development (the country that proposes a sustainable development – democratic + economic + ecological + human rights), to be freed from debt within European Union countries
4.    Establishment of European forces of good (humanitarian, educational, work actions …)
5.    Adoption of the Romani as a nation of people of Europe (not only minorities in different countries)
6.     European conference about good

II.    To Croatia
1.    Nora’s conference on experimental therapy in Croatia
2.    Protection of Croatian “peasant women” (kumica) and farm produce markets (advice of the respectable)
3.    Franjo’s fund for superior international education of successful students
4.    Book “A Righteous War”
5.    Conference on Croatian future (Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, minorities, émigrés and invited internationally)

III To Respecting the Good – History and Dignity

1.    Commemorating the significant places where good was done
2.    The Roads of Good
3.    Sign on houses of the righteous among nations (returning good people from the museums to be among the people – there are 20,000 of them from countries of the European Union)
4.     Jewish flag at half-mast in front of the European Union Parliament building (a sign of responsibility for small nations. The Holocaust had turned the Jews into minorities)
5.    Town and city squares dedicated to Victims (respecting the past and responsibility for the future)

Am so proud to be an active member of this Joint Movement of Good. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

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