Croatia: A Nation’s Unrelenting Grief and Suffering On 29th Anniversary of Serb Aggression

Zeljko Glasnovic (Top centre), Jure Buric (bottom right corner), Tomislav Mercep (bottom right centre), Mato Mostarac (top right)

It has been a balmy breeze I stood in all this poignant week in Sydney, Australia, as I watched and participated in the profoundly moving emotions of the grieving Croatian nation. It was a week of the 29th anniversary of the blood-soaked fall of Vukovar in 1991, of bestial massacres of Croatians by Serbs in Skabrnja, of the death of widely revered hero who tried with all his might and unstoppable courage to prevent the Yugoslav and Serb aggressor decimating the Croatian people – Tomislav Mercep (according to multitude of credible claims, convicted by Croatian courts of war crimes on basis of trumped-up charges) and the death of dr. Anto Kovacevic, political prisoner of former communist Yugoslavia and a fearless activist for democratic and independent Croatia. I faced and saw multitudes of inconsolably sobbing widows, widowers and grown children, brothers, sisters, neighbours… of those Croatians whose life was brutally and cruelly cut short in the 1990’s during the Serb aggression against Croatia.

To make matters horribly worse and to keep the Croatian nation in perpetual grief (and anger) Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic and his government, which comprises of Serbs associated with 1990’s bloody aggression against Croatia, in this same week announces a new law that would provide war pensions even to the Serb civilian victims of the 1990’s in Croata! The agony Plenkovic and his government are inflicting upon Croatian victims of Serb aggression has no bounds it seems.

This Croatian government’s mindset is deplorable and depraved.  

As far as I can see that new law does not even take into consideration the fact that most Serb civilians in the rebel-Serb areas of Croatia brutalised, ethnically cleansed of Croats, occupied for years by those Serbs, would not satisfy the definition of civilians because they were complicit in one way or another with the aggression, tortures, banishments of Croats, murders … any so-called Serb civilians participated in Serb hostilities against Croats in Croatia before and during the Homeland War and the new law and its regulation does not appear to provide measures of essential proof as to who was a “true” civilian and who was a “civilian combatant”, helping willingly the anti-Croat Yugoslav and Serb military on their path of destruction, murder, genocide, torture, rape, ethnic cleansing.

I did not see during this week of mourning in Croatia either the Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic or the President Zoran Milanovic summon the people of Croatia to look beyond grief, to believe that the deaths they mourned had not been in vain. The President Zoran Milanovic laid a wreath in Vukovar’s Ovcara memorial field where the Serbs in 1991 slaughtered hundreds of Croatian wounded and sick, carting them off to their execution at that spot from the devastated Vukovar Hospital but je said not a single word while or after laying the wreath; his lips did not move, not even in silent prayer for the slaughtered victims. Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic walked with the procession from Vukovar’s hospital to the Ovcara killing field, saying that “it is important to pursue information about those still missing,” from the Homeland War. But in that procession of remembrance he took with him his deputy prime minister, Boris Milosevic, a Serb, who came to Vukovar to lay a wreath for the aggressor and murdering Serbs who died during their bestial attacks against Croatians!

Speaking about the presence of Croatian Deputy Prime Minister Boris Milosevic in the procession of remembrance in Vukovar, Plenkovic said that “Croatia won the Homeland War and thus extended a hand for coexistence to minorities… These are the messages of the future, focused on the values we share…” To add salt to the wounds of the atrocious attempts to equate the victims with the aggressor in Croatia, the Special Envoy of the President of Serbia for Resolving the Issue of Missing Persons with Croatia, Veran Matic, also huddled in Vukovar with a wreath for victims. His presence is mockery of Croatians, both fallen and living – both he and Serbia’s President Aleksander Vucic have and had means to access information about the missing Croatians from the days of aggression and still after almost 30 years they all keep silent with that information, hiding it on purpose.  And there are no messages to that effect coming from either the President or the Prime Minister of Croatia!

As to Serb civilians being “civilian combatants” in aid of Serb aggression against Croatia I am reminded this week of the heart-wrenching story of a Croatian man from Croatia’s Vukovar who ended up in Sydney, Australia, to recover from unspeakable tortures by the hand of Serb “civilians” during the 1990’s after the International Red Cross had come across the Manjaca concentration camp in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Mato Mostarac told his harrowing story in 1995 to the ABC TV documentary program Four Corners, which was producing the award-winning documentary film “The Coward’s War”, headed by Australia’s renowned investigative journalist Chris Masters. I myself assisted as psychologist and interpreter in the interviewing for the documentary film of the deeply traumatised survivors of Serb aggression.

Mato Mostarac’s Serb neighbours in Vukovar broke into his yard in late August 1991, beat his wife who cowered in pain and was paralysed from it, and forcefully took him with other Croats in a truck to the Begejci concentration camp in Serbia, for a while in Begejci and then transferred to the Serb-held Manjaca concentration camp (Bosnia and Herzegovina); a death camp of brutality unseen since WWII. Serbs cut and chopped Mato and the other Croatian victims with a razor blade over their bodies and faces, tortured and raped or forced them to watch a detainee father rape his detained son and vice versa… Many indications show that Serb civilians were largely not civilians but cruel torturers and murderers of Croats, in aid of the communist and Serb aggression against Croatia. When I met Mato Mostarac, his whole face and body were marked with numerous thin and long scars from razor blade cuts… Here is a bit of what Mato Mostarac told us at the shooting of the 1995 Australian state television documentary ABC “The Coward’s War”:

„After they (Serbs) took their turns I was completely covered in blood. I had a white jumper on, and everything was soaked in blood. I ate all my blood, dried blood, it dried all over me. I’d pluck it together with the fibres from the jumper and all that. I’d eat all that event the blood from my hair. I ate everything … hungry…hungry…and they just give you water…“

As to the passing of Tomislav Mercep and on the fact that some consider Mercep a national hero while others (mainly die-hard communists of former Yugoslavia) consider him a war criminal, here is what, according to Fenix Magazine, Croatian newspaper base din Germany, dr Jure Buric (wartime Mayor of devastated Dubrovnik, former member of Croatian Parliament) said this week:

„Tomislav Mercep – for some a hero, for others a criminal. The latter have a court verdict they can wave around for something like that, and the former have common sense and a good memory of his heroic deeds at a time when a rifle and a cannon and a pencil and a bad word attacked him and his homeland. Is it heroism to defend his home? It is! Is it heroism to defend your people? It is!

And? – there is further and no further. There is no further, because when a man defends himself, he can do something dishonourable, but even that dishonourable deed should be viewed through the prism of reality and the moment when we cannot all control our emotions and actions, because it is not a ballroom dance with pleasant music and chess. The buzzing of bullets and destructive grenades are the music here, and on the board are living, not wooden figures. So who is who ?! A punishment is enough for an honest man if he realises that he did something dishonourable, because he has to live with it. He doesn’t even need a punishment that will make the other side happy and drive him to the grave ahead of time.

For such a thing, courts and court scales are needed, on which everything should not be thrown in order for the desired party to prevail.

With Tomislav Mercep, the court scales tipped against him and it was not easy for him or us to watch the hero rot, like my friend the late prefect Đuro Brodarac (who died in prison), who was met by the same fate.

Only you, the latter, rejoice in his death, but know that there are infinitely many more of the former – those who mourn him and pray to God for his soul!“

As to Veran Matic’s visit to Vukovar this week representing Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic, retired general and former Member of Croatian Parliament, Zeljko Glasnovic, summarised so clearly and aptly the widespread sentiments across Croatia and its diaspora in his Facebook status:

„Veran, continue to be “faithful to your fatherland” and do not tell empty stories once a year when you come to Croatia. What kind of reconciliation are you talking about, what kind of cooperation and search for the missing are you talking about? You know where they went missing, why don’t you tell us Veran? You come to worship falsely and provoke false sympathy. Did you lay a wreath in the centre of Vukovar where in April, 45 years ago, 200 most prominent citizens of Vukovar were killed by the army that fought under the same five-pointed star under which Vukovar was destroyed in ’91? Did you lay a wreath at a mass execution site near Vukovar where 400 Croatian soldiers were killed by the same communist villains at the same time?

You will show the true respect you are talking about only when you say ‘SORRY, WE HAVE COMMITTED AGGRESSION AGAINST CROATS, we killed you, we raped your wives, we killed your children, we looted and burned your homes, we demolished your churches, we took out eyes, cut off hands, ears and fingers of your defenders, we buried them in pits, because of us mothers do not know where the graves of their children are, we have turned your people into refugees, we killed civilians and the wounded, we massacred them, we abused them, we are still silent today about where your missing are, SORRY WE REPENT.’

The persistent equating of the victim with the aggressor does not make your kneeling credible, Veran, no matter how much you cause your knees to bleed in Ovcara and other execution sites, you and those who will come after you. Veran, what kind of delay in normalisation and the search for the missing are you talking about? There is no delay, WE do not know Veran where our people disappeared to, YOU know and are silent. Who’s at a standstill here?

Tell us, Veran, who carried out the aggression on Croatia – we defended ourselves, and died while defending our country for the freedom of our people. After your ‘pal’ Sljivancanin (Veselin) was released from prison (after serving two-thirds of 17-year sentence for ICTY war crimes in Vukovar conviction) he gave a statement that ‘he did not finish his job in Vukovar’, and you would like to reconcile? You are covering up crimes against Croats just as all Croatian governments are covering up the communist crimes from World War II.

Veran, until the last bone is found, until you all kneel and cry over your crimes, until all your war criminals are punished, until you pay the last penny, until you admit aggression, until you open the archives, NONE of you need to come to any of our anniversaries. ALL of you, Veran, are persona non grata in Croatia for me. And not only you, but also half of our government that cooperates with you as the UDBA (communist Yugoslavia Secret Services) did to cover up and forget as many crimes as possible. A prime example of this, despite all the relevant evidence, is the honourable man Nikola Kajkic, who exposed you and was no longer suitable for our institutions while in the case of the betrayal and surrender of our generals to The Hague they were very expeditious and quick: “Locate, identify, arrest, transfer “. You just continue kneeling, Veran, our killed people also knelt before you as you (all)  brutally executed them – but they received no mercy.“

No memorial or monument to Croatian suffering such as Ovcara/Vukovar and Skabrnje during the 1990’s Homeland War should be a diving board for politics and especially not the politics of equating the victim with the aggressor. This is unacceptable, cruel and designed to keep the Croatian people who fought for and defended Croatia and Croatians for independence. Perpetual grief for the sufferings Croatians endured or fell victim to has not yet steeled the Croatian people for the future they lost rivers of blood for in the Homeland War. Grief should unite towards building a better future but, alas, the Croatian government and leadership continue interrupting that positive outcome from national grief…their sights are set on diminishing the value and the direction Croatian people took at the risk of their own lives from the very bloody dawn of Serb aggression. Time to put the foot down against the thugs in Croatian government and leadership who equate brazenly and cruelly the victim with the aggressor. Ina Vukic

Interview With General Zeljko Glasnovic

General Zeljko Glasnovic
Independent Member of Croatian Parliament for the Croatian Diaspora

 

Interview by Dario Holenda/Fenix Magazin

(Translated to English by Ina Vukic, with permission from Fenix Magazine)

“For positive and effective change in Croatia’s public administration – nationally conscious people are needed, not lizards that change colours as needed and whose mental set has remained on the other side of the Berlin Wall”

General, 28 years have passed since the proclamation of the independence of the Republic of Croatia and the collapse of the Communist regime. Is Croatia today a free and democratic country?

Croatia has not yet emerged from a single-party system. Croatia and Slovenia are the only post-communist countries in the EU that have not implemented a lustration law. Croatia continues to be a deep-seated UDBa state (UDBa/Communist Yugoslavia Secret Police) in which the old communist elites have taken over not only the political but also the cultural space. The mainstream media permanently blocks this truth. That failed experiment was based on the abolition of state, of private property, of faith (mostly Christian) and what is most destructive – on the abolition of the family. Wherever this single-party system ruled, it left behind a terrible legacy of economic and ecological destruction. More than 30% of the global population today still lives under communist regimes. Since the Bolshevik Revolution that “red plague” is responsible for the death of at least 110 million souls. The true image of Bolshevik Satanism is hidden within those statistics. Out of these 110 million victims, 102 million were members of ones own people. A further 100 million people were tortured and imprisoned. Snitching has become a virtue in those regimes. Although the crimes of socialist nationalism are well known, the largest criminal organisation in history – the communist international – has never been brought before the International Court of Justice for class genocide, aristocide (killing of social and intellectual elites), violent seizures of property and systemic memoricide (deletion of collective memory of nations). That is why everyone has heard about Auschwitz today, but no one can name any of the death camps in Cambodia during Pol Pot’s rule, during which one-third of that country’s population was annihilated. More than 100 camps were in operation in the Soviet Union until the fall of the Berlin Wall. More than 18 million prisoners passed through that network of camps known as the Gulags. An averagely informed person cannot name any of those torture places in which people died from cold, undernourishment and exploitation to death. Did you know that the largest communist camp of forced labour was established in Romania after 1945. About 300,000 Romanians were killed by the communist terror in that country.

The first Croatian President, Dr. Franjo Tuđman, based his policy on the idea of reconciliation. Did reconciliation give results?

Unfortunately not! Without truth and justice reconciliation is impossible and remains an illusion. The (Josip) Perkovic – (Zdravko) Mustac case confirms that the old structures to this day prevent the discovery of the historical truth. Croatians outside the Homeland must be aware of the fact that UDBa informers had infiltrated all their patriotic organisations. In the former system, snitching had become a virtue and a proof of criminal single-party dictatorship. It further destroyed the moral-ethical code of people in SFRY. Communism can be described as the “terror of every one against everybody at any time” and you can see yourself that this country is just a continuation of the UDBa communist caliphate. The same mindset, the same cadres and their heirs are in all the levels of Croatian society. Partisan disease and Kozara hysteria belong to non-curable pathology. One dies twice from this mental illness, spiritual death and physical death. It would only mention that in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 10, Jesus commanded his apostles to “cast out demons.” The Croatian social elite suffers from owning and taking possession of entire legions of unclean spirits that still oppress us through various non-governmental organisations, media and individuals in public life. We have countless examples like the anal alpinist Danijel Majic and the rectal climber Drago Pilsel who would make gaming dice out of their mother’s joints just to earn a Kuna or a Euro. If they don’t convert such Judas will be buried in Loncar’s field as their not so famous predecessor. Such characters, i.e. CULTURAL MARXISM, are the greatest threat to Christian Europe.

Was it necessary to implement lustration in Croatia and when was the best time for it?

It’s never too late for lustration! The optimal moment for the implementation of personnel lustration was in March 1994, when the former UDBA structures tried to execute a coup d’etat in the Croatian Parliament. Tudjman made a mistake when he thought these people could change. It is an anthropological problem because the mindset of the Yugozomboids is of a pathological nature. Tuđman was the product of the same system. He set up (Josip) Manolic as secretary, who de facto led the personnel policy. He put (Josip) Boljkovac to run the Ministry of Internal Affairs and (Josip) Perkovic to manage the secret services. Lustration is based on three levels:

  • Facing the historical truth
  • Opening all archives and returning archive material from Belgrade
  • Personnel lustration

We must be aware that the dossiers on present judges, faculty professors, politicians and others are still in Belgrade. The UDBA also infiltrated all religious communities. Individuals with dossiers are living in fear of being exposed because UDBA agents who have kept them connected are blackmailing them today and, with that, pose a threat to national security.

There has been talk in the past that Tuđman created 200 wealthy families that would rule Croatia. Many citizens today are dissatisfied with conversion and privatisation. How do you think the process of transition from the planned economy and state ownership to the free market, private property and capitalism should have looked like?

The cause and solution of privatisation is at the source! The whole product and failed social experiment, called the SFRY, came to a total collapse during the eighties. At that time, only two countries had a higher hyperinflation, namely Brazil and Zimbabwe. Privatisation did not begin in 1990. Red executives knew best the value of state-owned companies in the open market. Those who led the SFRY to bankruptcy continued the practice after 1990. Croatia today suffers the consequences of this plunder that has been carried out since 1945 through the abomination known as confiscation and nationalisation. Today, only 5% of land registers are properly registered, and the cadastre is the same one as the one from the Austro-Hungarian times. Despite possible war damages from the nineties, Croatia, in accordance with the international succession treaty, is paying almost 33% of the debt of former Yugoslavia, which amounted to about 20 billion US Dollars before the breakup of the state. It is important to note that Serbia, led by Slobodan Milosevic, in May 1990 usurped $ 5 billion that belonged to all republics. Milosevic also exchanged another $ 5 billion of Russia’s and Iraq’s debt for gas and oil. The SFRY tragedy lies in the fact that all the money that has been received from German compensation, loans from the West, and emigrants’ money were frittered away through corruption, robbery and catastrophic management. The solutions for this problem are retroactive laws, investigations of asset sources and mobile courts that will enforce the law on the ground. In some countries, hands are cut of for theft. In Croatia, every second parliamentary deputy would raise an arm stump when it was time to vote because the hands would no longer there. If naked thieves were pasted with tar and feathers and paraded from Ban Jelacic Square to the Upper Town, through a crowd of people armed with canes and spoiled vegetables, there would be much less Sanaders and Vidosevics. In Croatia, the question of what happened to the property that belonged to SKH (League of Communists of Croatia), SKOJ (League of Communist Youth of Yugoslavia), Unions, SUBNOR (League of United Fighters of The People’s Liberation War) and other socialist organisations was never put when national ownership was transferred into state ownership.

Who rules today over Croatia?

Former SKH (League of Communists of Croatia) and CKJ (Central Committee of Yugoslavia) personnel and their descendants, who have entered into an alliance with careerists, rectal climbers, cultural Marxists and covert neoliberals reign over Croatia. This Trojan horse, under the guise of multiculturalism, humanism and cosmopolitanism advocates mass emigration, disrupts European identity, and carries out the brainwashing with political correctness as its excuse. Croatia is specific in that up to 30% of the population is programmed from childhood to hate the Croatian state pathologically because they started in Yugoslavia. In the former communist countries, Bolshevik Satanism was imposed externally, while in Croatia unfortunately the same domestic product sprung from within. Those cadres have replaced one doctrine for the other. They have traversed the path from Marx to the backside (gender ideology).

In your speeches in the Parliament, you often mention the Croatian emigration. Croatian emigrants have played an important role in the independence of Croatia. On the other hand, we know that a large number of our people left the former state due to political persecution. Why has no significant return to democratic Croatia been recorded?

A systematic sabotage program has been implemented against the Croatian diaspora! The remains of socialist bureaucracy, inefficient public administration and ubiquitous corruption are just symptoms of deliberate and organised sabotage that prevents the return of Croatian emigration. The old Yugo-structures fear the knowledge, money power, and above all, the patriotism that Croatians living outside of Croatia possess. While other countries like Israel have integrated their diaspora into its legal and economic order Croats outside the homeland must fly for hours to even vote when elections are on. Without the contribution of the Croatian diaspora, the outcome of the Homeland War would have been questionable. Croatian emigration not only armed Croatian forces (HV & HVO) but gave six Croatian generals plus a host of other soldiers. Today, a minimum of 16.5 billion kunas per year comes to Croatia via bank accounts. But, surely, just as much comes through direct visits to Croatia, which cash flow is not recorded through the European Central Bank or Croatian National Bank. A new citizenship law is being drafted, which should go to the parliamentary procedure by October 2019. I know it’s late but better late than never.

Why are there no significant investments into the Croatian economy by Croatian emigrants?

Every investment seeks economic and political stability, but above all legal safety. Legal and military doctrines cannot be mixed. We cannot expect people from the former system to change their mindset and the way of doing business when that’s mostly based on thievery. Let’s remember one of the mantras of the failed self-managing anarchy: “If we can not do otherwise we will be honest” or “Bribe into car boot long live Tito.” This was not bad either: “We pretend to work, they pretend to pay us”. Every investor who has made his capital in a real economy somewhere in the world, in the first steps of establishing his company in Croatia, will notice that Croatia is far from Real economy.

Do you have a plan that would encourage the migrants to return and invest?

Yes, coup d’etat to save people – a little joke, our biggest problems are internal, not external! First, we must create an efficient system and professionalise staff in public administration. For that, nationally conscious people are needed, not lizards that change colours as needed and whose mental set has remained on the other side of the Berlin Wall. Another precondition is the reform of the legal system and speedy implementation of the law. That’s where there is a big problem because majority of staff in Croatian institutions come from the former system. If you’re inclined to respecting the legislation you must first respect the legislator. It’s difficult to have respect for a judge who sentenced someone to two years in prison just because that someone told jokes about a locksmith’s assistant (Tito) or about Milka Planinc.

Croatia is an EU member. Are you satisfied with the status of Croatia in the EU and what is your view of the future of the EU?

The Ministry of Regional Development and European Funds has announced that since the entry into the EU in 2013, Croatia is about HRK 14.5 billion in the plus, and we have already mentioned that more than double of that sum arrives from the Croatian Emigration direction. As you know, every foreign investor expects more than he invested after the investment, and the Croatian emigration invests money without such expectations and thus de facto contributes to the Croatian budget. It is precisely in this statistic that a total failure of Croatian economic policy is seen. It is also obvious that Croatia is actively implementing Brussels legislative regulations and ignores resolutions, such as Resolution 1481, which advocates decommunisation (lustration). After all, the EU is primarily a financial union that is now in the middle of a trade war between China and the United States. The next global financial crisis can shake the foundation of the EU more than the current BREXIT. With the exit of Great Britain from EU, Germany takes on the highest proportion of costs for incoming migrants, let us not forget that the German economy is based on car industry – what if the car industry known to us today undergoes restructuring and change? And we see that the German government itself is undermining its largest industrial branch so that by force and with the help of neoliberal structures and parties (Greens, Social Democratic Party SPD, Christian Democratic Union CDU, Friday for Future, mainstream media and the like) it attempts the impossible – overnight swap internal combustion car engines with battery run cars. Due to BREXIT, some countries will also lose a large part of incentives for agriculture, including Romania and Bulgaria. Most of the burden will be borne by Germany. How long can Germany resist this pressure from uncontrolled imports of unregistered migrants on the one hand and the economic burden through the EU on the other? Only Turkey receives 3.5 billion euros a year for the management of refugees, whom it uses as a lever to enforce diplomatic pressure upon the EU. The EU can survive as a financial union but if it interferes with the internal politics of a member state or attempts to impose its ideology and worldview – it will not survive as a loose federation of unequal states. I ask you what are the universal values that Brussels imposes upon us in the form of gender ideology, false multiculturalism and cultural Marxism? You can answer this question, yourself.

The Andrej Plenkovic government is advocating for EU enlargement to the Western Balkans, ie Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). How do you look upon this plan for further expansion?

We are far from EU enlargement! When it comes to Serbia, we must first resolve border issues, war compensation and above all the return of our missing. True catharsis also requires the protection of the Croatian minority in Vojvodina and Serbia. Today, we pay tens of thousands of pensions to those who had occupied Croatia and committed aggression against the Croatian people. Has anyone asked what is the pension of an average Croat in Subotica? How many Croats are there in the Belgrade Assembly? It is necessary to seek reciprocity (equalisation) when it comes to minority rights. Croatia must be fully engaged to protect the constitutional rights of the Croatian people in BiH. I have repeatedly said that without the four HVO (Croatian Defence Council) operational zones there would be neither Federation of BIH nor Croatian state within the present borders, as we know them today. Croatia is today in a plus 100m euros when it comes to trading of goods between Croats of Herceg Bosna and the Croatian homeland – as the song by Mark Perkovic Thompson says “One soul, and two of us”. All is said in that sentence.

The Croatian people in BiH are constituent, but we see Bosniaks electing political representatives of the Croatian people. How to solve this problem?

After all that our brothers in BiH went through, it is shameful that they are still victims of political engineering supported by the international community. (Zeljko)Komsic is a personification of political perversion. He was and remains mentally – a Yugoslav. A mere amendment to the electoral law will not ensure the survival of Croats in BiH. A layered plan and program that involves lobbying on a geostrategic level, the development of macroeconomic policies and the stimulation of Croatian cultural institutions is needed. All of the above is hampered by political instability, corruption and lack of functional institutions at all levels. We cannot predict what will happen in the near future, but it is important that Croats do not sell their land and resolve property-legal relations. Over the next 10 years, water and fertile land will become the most important strategic resource. We need to understand that BiH is on the windy side of geopolitical interests that often diverge from the Croatian ones. To solve the problem of BiH, Solomon’s wisdom and unlimited financial resources are needed.

Do you think that Croatia should have stronger ties to the Visegrad group?

From the cultural perspective our place is in Central Europe with Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia etc. and even Italy is trying to join the Visegrad group and even if it is geographically far away from Central Europa, our place is definitely not on the Balkan gorges with the Cincaric tribes where renaissance lights never broke through. We have another trump card in this group; in comparison to other countries in the Visegrad group our geostrategic position is more favourable when it comes to energy and trade policy. We have to use it as a sovereign state. I would also emphasise that the peoples of Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland share common values about the family, God, sovereignty and opposition to immigration, and that they can interpret Europe from a “common dictionary”. There is a great potential for cooperation between the Visegrad Group countries, particularly in the traffic sector. Visegrad group countries represent a market that brings together 64 million people. They represent a great potential for the Croatian economy. Croatia’s geopolitical position, as a link between South East Europe and the Adriatic, makes Croatia attractive to these countries and I stress out that even three European corridors pass through Croatia. The total trade of Croatia and the Visegrad group countries last year amounted to 3.6 billion euros or 12 percent of Croatia’s total foreign trade. Croatia exported to Visegrad group countries – Hungary, Slovakia, Czech and Poland, 917 million euros worth of goods and services and imported 2.7 billion euros worth of goods from these countries. From 1993 to the end of 2015, investors from these countries invested EUR 2.7 billion in Croatia, which is 9 percent of total foreign direct investment in Croatia, while at the same time Croatia invested EUR 204 million in those countries. As a significant link to the V4 group, tourism was highlighted, pointing out that 17% of the total number of tourists visiting Croatia came from Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. Croatia as the most recent member of the EU can learn much from the states of the Visegrad Group on the use of money from EU funds and that, apart from large infrastructure projects, there is a great interest of small and medium-sized entrepreneurs for cooperation. We must not ignore all the above, but we must strengthen cooperation at all levels.

Do you think our tourism this year will be more successful than last year’s?

We do not have a crystal ball to predict the future, but all the indications point to the fact that the competitive countries have been doing much more in the field of marketing, promotion and different deals than Croatia. The tourist season this year will not be as successful as in a couple of previous seasons. In fact, the past season has already shown a decline when Turkey initiated its state intervention measures for tourism by subsidising whole arrangements by up to 50%, which caused the prices to fall. Given that this information was fairly accessible, the Minister for tourism and his associates must have known it and should have responded adequately to it. This year the situation is even worse since Turkey, panicking for inflation, has decided upon an ambitious move to subsidise flights to Antalya, which will affect a range of tourists visiting their most famous seaside resort. Croatians in the diaspora (mostly in Germany) watch television spots from Turkey, Greece, Spain and other tourist communities on all television, cinema and video platforms in the break between movie blockbusters, starting with New Year’s Eve. Why? These countries analysed the German market and found that German tourists with school age children had to decide upon their annual leave days in advance and so they adjusted their marketing campaigns to this target group. Croatia has opted for a shorter promotional period, but even in that narrower manoeuvring space it is in a subordinate position – the ambitious video ‘Croatia Full Of Life’ is broadcast after promotional videos of its direct competition, with less frequency. It is as if someone wants one of the last Croatian economic branches that brings fresh capital into the economic system to be brought to its knees for the long haul? Such an outdated system is threatened with a collapse. Croatia has in such a way lost even the little amount of global competitiveness it had, and the systems fall like card towers – in the end, not even fifty tiers will help our pension system, and every worker will find happiness in some other more stable and less corrupt surroundings. Another important question is how such investments are worthwhile for the Turks? The city of Antalya consists of greenhouses that in over 40% of the city’s surface are used for growing all types of food, thus finding the shortest path to the end consumer – in this case a satisfied guest sunbathing on its beaches. There is no imported garbage from the EU, no customs duty, and the Turkish peasant lives and prospers from his own job – employs his fellow countrymen who are no longer dependent upon the state, and the state in turn invests a huge freed-up budget for the promotion of Turkish tourism. Another reason why, in a wider economic calculation, it pays off for Turkey to subsidise entire arrangements and flights. The German Croat engages in tourism in Croatia and is struggling with the mystery why a large part of the market with 85 million people in Germany rushes to Turkey. He finds the answer in the aforementioned subsidies and now he is interested in where the profitability of Erdogan’s (non) profitable move is. He decides upon the best option to choose – a personally checked out, and a two-week luxury package with the All Inclusive tag for 1800 euros. The route includes – a train from Stuttgart to Düsseldorf, a return flight from Düsseldorf to Turkey, day-long possibility for consumption of local domestic food, beverages including freshly squeezed juices, unlimited alcohol consumption, exclusive daily events in the festival crowd with accompanying content, sports offer (gym, sauna, horseback riding, spinning, Aqua-Gym, aerobics at various locations, archery, yoga, boxing, tennis, beach volleyball, soccer…) etc. and all that in one tourist resort . The luggage was a handheld handbag for hygiene – everything else including a large bag for his return was purchased in Turkey at a cheaper price and superior product quality. In the end he spent an additional 1900 euros. Maybe it looks a lot for Croatian opportunities, but for the German, for the above amount, he got three suits, a leather and season jacket, several pairs of jeans, shorts and t-shirts, underwear, socks, suitcase… Practically the attire for all the seasons. With a “Made In Turkey” label. These are only two reasons why and how Erdogan can give out such subsidies. Long-term thinking, smart state intervention and strategic closure of the economic circle within our own economic system to our “experts” seem like unthinkable science fiction.

How do you look upon the situation when a part of the Croatian youth listens to the so-called Turbofolk?

All our evils came from the east, from Mongolia to the Turbofolk. This noise pollution throws us back to the gorges of the Balkans. Turbofolk is the music of what Trabant Warburg was to the car industry. I personally, and many others, when hearing that nasty screaming, would rather pull on an AK-47. If you want to interrogate prisoners of war, just play a Mile Kitic, and all the secrets of their armed forces will immediately pour out. I do not know why young people in puberty subject themselves to this masochism but the combination of Turbofolk and alcohol leads to a state of active psychosis. You do not need cocaine or ecstasy to become a living legend in your own mind and to your own self. The young drunken fool becomes an old drunken fool.

Can you describe to us your arrival in ‘91 from the diaspora to defend the Croatian Homeland, it will be interesting for everyone and especially young people to hear something privately personal about one of our heroes.

My brother and I were born in Zagreb, our family has been in Zagreb since 1928. My grandfather had finished classical grammar school and was always politically engaged. After WWII all our property was taken away for political reasons. Our grandfather got 10 years in prison in Zenica and after leaving the prison he was given 5 years of civil rights denial, which meant he could not work or build, with him, the whole family was excluded from social life. My father fled in 1954 because the authorities wanted to conscript him into the Yugoslav Army, which was definitely not his army and that was when my twin brother and I were 6 months old. He graduated from the Music Academy in Rome. Grandfather managed to flee in his third attempt in 1958 and after two years in a refugee camp in Italy he arrived in Canada. He brought us over in 1962. I worked with the Court Justice in Canada. After a trip, I and my friend, who was with me in the Canadian Army, joined the Foreign Legion for a bet. Having completed the training and after the return of our unit from the Gulf War in April 1991 the war in Slovenia began. I knew what would happen because the tyrannies do not improve but, unfortunately, are torn down with the force of arms. I came to Croatia in the second month after returning to France and joined the ZNG (Bojna Zrinski) (Croatian National Guard/Zrinski battalion). I was on the Lika battlefield and the southern battlefield until the international recognition of the Republic of Croatia, I spent the rest of my military career in BiH, literally from the first to the last bullet. In our family there was a very pronounced affiliation to Croatian identity and the Croatian people. In Canada, a cross, the verses of the Croatian hymn and the image of a consistent charge by Nikola Zrinski against the enemy conqueror hung on the walls. After our mother’s death, we found her letter addressed to my brother and me in which she emphasised that she was proud of us for continuing in the tradition of our family in defending Croatia’s Homeland and for participating in the centuries-old dream of the Croatian people, which is the creation of the Croatian Homeland. People live in the world of false perception in which porn pessimists prevail in mainstream media; they hold people in political and historical darkness so that we get a distorted picture of the present. Living has never been better or longer in human history, but sadly, man is now reduced to the level of an animal in which everything is evaluated on the basis of materialism. The West has lost the moral compass and today it is in a spiritual and moral crisis. If I have learned anything in life, it is to never give up on life’s struggle no matter how hard that struggle may be. Unfortunately, children suffering from terminal illness have more moral courage and spirituality than most people who go through life complaining about their destiny, like not having the newest intelligent cell phone that intelligently captures and binds them. I would like to leave a message for the young people to keep to their family and to the Homeland if they are in a position to do so, because they will always find strength in them in moments of sadness and suffering.

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