Minister – Get Lost In Your Communist Filth

Nina Obuljen Korzinek (L) Ina Vukic (R)
Click picture to enlarge


“Whose politics is this woman pursuing!?” Read, weekly series on factual events that took place in WWII Jasenovac.“



„POVIJEST JE REKLA SVE O JASENOVCU I TKO TO DOVODI U PITANJE TREBAO BI OSTATI NA MARGINI (DRUŠTVA).”/ Nina Obuljen Korzinek / ministrica kulture i medija u Hrvatskoj 2020. „Čiju politiku ova žena provodi!?“ Čitajte www., tjedne nastavice o činjeničnim događajima koji su se dogodili tijekom Drugom svjetskog rata u Jasenovcu.


Croatia: Double Standards Officialdom And Hotchpotch Government

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Miro KOvac former foreign minister Photo: Pixsell

Miro Kovac
former foreign minister
Photo: Pixsell

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

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

Jean Claude JUncker
EC president
Andrej Plenkovic, Croatian PM


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

Croatia – New Government Appointments Disappoint Masses

From left: Nina Obuljen, Andrej Plenkovic and Zlatko Hasanbegovic Photo: Hanza Media

From left:
Nina Obuljen, Andrej Plenkovic and Zlatko Hasanbegovic
Photo: Hanza Media

We live in times when more often than not we find ourselves among the ever increasing number of people that are dissatisfied with the make-up of their government cabinet or choice of ministers. More often than not there is a huge gap or shortfall between peoples’ expectations of government and what government delivers. Trust in government has been declining fast and certainly gives no room for a new Prime Minister to make steps that are bound to stir up a whole new round of public disappointment and outcries that in many ways make the work of the government more difficult than what it should be.


I stand deeply disappointed and sad in fact, that Croatia’s Prime Minister designate Andrej Plenkovic has in the evening of Tuesday 18 October 2016 announced that Dr Zlatko Hasanbegovic will not serve as minister in his new government but instead, the culture portfolio is given to woman who has been the subject of alarming scandals over past weeks – Nina Obuljen Korzinek – who as member of the Croatian Audiovisual Centre’s management board is said to have been instrumental during the recent past in permitting and supporting the production and the distribution of anti-Croatian films that, according to many, muddy the name and the reputation of the Croatian Homeland War.

From Left: Zeljko Glasnovic and Zorica Greguric Protesting new government appointments Photo: Robert Anic/ Pixsell

From Left: Zeljko Glasnovic and Zorica Greguric
Protesting new government appointments
Photo: Robert Anic/ Pixsell

General Zeljko Glasnovic, member of parliament, has along with Croatian volunteer war veteran Zorica Greguric already protested against this choice for minister Plenkovic has made. “Croatia is morally and economically on its knees, especially culturally on its knees because a ‘cultural Leninist’ is leading her,” stated Glasnovic in Zagreb Croatia.


Governments have traditionally been organised to administer, not to foster and enable. But if increasingly complex challenges call for the government to become an enabler, then it needs to be able to push forward with policy, not just deal with pushback. When it comes to Plenkovic it would seem he has missed the heeding of the former New York mayor, Michael Bloomberg’s famous words “In God we trust, everyone else, bring data“, who reiterated through his work those famous words initially attributed to W. Edwards Deming, the father of modern quality management. Bloomberg’s data-driven rationalism reduced crime and allocated resources more efficiently to those who needed them. But data can also be used to rationalise decisions and get public on side. Evidently, even if Plenkovic had data regarding the public’s opinion about Hasanbegovic and about Obuljen, and if Plenkovic had respect and acknowledgement of the data regarding the ceaseless public outcries regarding the lack of adequate attention towards victims of communist crimes, that is a burning divisive issue needing resolution so that Croatia can move on into a better future, then he would not have named a person as minister of culture whose nomination automatically creates bad blood across the very society he says his government will unify or work for towards betterment.

Perhaps Hasanbegovic’s widespread popularity was becoming personally threatening for Plenkovic? Whatever it was that helped him make this decision regarding his new culture minister must be removed from his mindset for it does not appear right. If he was intent on nominating another person instead of Hasanbegovic then, knowing that false allegations against Hasanbegovic to do with alleged neo-fascism or revisionism resurfacing in Croatia, he had the duty to install such a person into that ministry whose very nomination would assist the government in quashing the complex reputation challenges these allegations have brought to the Croatian nation as a whole. But then again, Andrej Plenkovic is no Michael Bloomberg or W. Edwards Deming – sadly. But, there is always time to put ones pride aside and change ones decision even if one is a Prime Minister.


Not a good start for Andrej Plenkovic as Prime Minister even if he may insist on justifying or explaining his decision with the enthusiasm new, fresh faces bring – he would fail miserably in showing that any new, fresh faces must bring novelty and freshness with them – not create bigger wounds of old ones. “When we talk about the new people (in his government), it’s a combination of experience. A notable contribution of people who are in the prime of strength in their energy and experience and some younger people...” Plenkovic said describing his new team.  Oh dear, what new Prime Minister has ever said anything different about his/her chosen government team.


He is not the only minister who worked within a delicate context…Hasanbegovic was the culture minister, he is elected into the Croatian parliament, he will be a member of our parliamentary team, we will find him the most competent position,” said Plenkovic commenting his decision not to appoint Hasanbegovic a minister.

Zlatko Hasanbegovic Photo: Robert Anic/ Pixsell

Zlatko Hasanbegovic
Photo: Robert Anic/ Pixsell

Well frankly, whether Plenkovic or HDZ find anything “most competent” to do for Hasanbegovic or not, the fact remains that Hasanbegovic already has a most competent position on his own merit, without Plenkovic’s “handouts” – Hasanbegovic was elected into parliament at September elections with an overwhelming number of votes from the electorate. Andrej Plenkovic, whose father is said to have been an active communist party of Yugoslavia operative,  has not even been sworn in as the PM yet and prognoses for shaken stability of his new government are already beckoning: watch this space. The fact that Plenkovic has named Davor Ivo Stier, whose grandfather is said to have been a colonel in the WWII Ustashe forces in Croatia, as his foreign minister, will not help a single bit with the public’s anger against Obuljen’s appointment as minister of culture. The issue of Nina Obuljen as utterly unsuitable as culture minister at this time of unrelenting pressure to unite the Croatian society by reconciling its post-WWII history to the full will not go away any time soon for society at large. It will most likely give rise to a serious split in HDZ party ranks as well. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)


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