Croatian government: suffering from Alice in Wonderland syndrome

A portrait, Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic (left); First bDeputy Prime Minister Radomir Cacic (Right) and Mihael Zmajlovic, new Croatian minister for environment (Middle)

The plot around the resignation of Croatian minister for environment and nature resources Mirela Holy  has gathered diversity and steam that lead one to believe Croatia’s government is suffering from the Alice in Wonderland Syndrome (AWS). When one suffers from AWS one’s perceptual reality is distorted; one doesn’t know what’s real and what’s not.

Croatia’s centre-left government is still (almost seven months after being elected) looking for its identity, hiding its failures and inabilities to deal with real problems in economy, behind some weird and bizarre shrubs or parading as “Mad Hatters” – stuck on stalling with real issues.

A couple of “Mad Hatters” are ex-minister Holy and first deputy prime minister Radomir Cacic.

Reading the Croatian press about the Holy affair – now dubbed Holygate – must be what Alice in Wonderland experienced when she first crawled through the rabbit hole. She entered a world of crazy where up is down and down is up and not much made sense unless you were flying high on magic mushrooms or crystal meth. Nothing wrong with a little crazy now and then until you reach the point where crazy becomes the norm.

  • Holy’s morally corrupt email goes public;
  • Holy resigns as minister and prime minister Zoran Milanovic accepts the resignation saying such behavior cannot be tolerated;
  • Milanovic publicizes his statement regarding Holy’s resignation from Emil Tedeschi (one of the leading Croatian tycoons) holiday luxury villa, far from the capital, thus diverting public attention away from critical current issues being addressed in the capital (negotiations with labour syndicates on workers rights that are being diminished at this time of 19.1% unemployment);
  • Minister of internal affairs Ranko Ostojic advises Holy to mount criminal charges against whoever leaked the email;
  • Holy says she was threatened by “garbage mafia”: “We will recycle you, throw you in a furnace and incinerate you”;
  • The letter with these threats has reportedly been handed to the police but the faces within this “garbage mafia” are faceless – perfectly fitting into Alice’s Wonderland;
  • Holy files charges with state prosecutor for breach of privacy against unknown person/s;
  • Holy suspects Cacic’s PR adviser Ankica Mamic is involved in email leaking (Mamic had coffee with Croatian television station HTV editor the day before he ran the email scandal as an exclusive);
  • Cacic, in the company of prime minister Zoran Milanovic, jumps with statement that Mamic was his longtime friend, his PR adviser and that he knew nothing of the email;
  • Cacic announces the Ombla and Plomin multibillion Euro projects will go ahead despite negative feasibility ecological studies (these projects are in the field of electricity generating plants);
  • One of the feasibility studies (done without costs to the government) that gave a negative assessment was done by Goran Mazija, an expert for geology, hydrogeology, ecology and protection of waters; Mazija is the husband of the woman for whose job Holy intervened with her morally corrupt email;
  • Daily t-portal blogger Zoran Sprajc (demoted HTV news anchor who had been linked to the disgraceful doctoring of phone conversations about Vukovar  that prime minister Milanovic had forced Holy to resign as minister and yet he supports Cacic who continues to make hollow promises of a better future and new investments that will improve the state of the economy.
  • June 12, Cacic says: “Whenever something is free of charge (referring to feasibility study), I find it very suspicious. There cannot be ‘a green study’, free of charge, for an HRK 900 million, it indicates that either nothing is well done or someone’s interest is at stake.”                                                                                                                                                      The president of Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and Leader of Opposition Tomislav Karamarko, said June 12 that “the case was now entering the phase of scheming, when it is trying to be established who read emails and why. By doing so, (the government) is trying to avoid addressing the merit of the problem, namely the issue of jockeying for positions”, adding that “this was the main characteristic of this government”.

I totally agree with Karamarko, and as Lewis Carroll (the author of Alice in Wonderland) would understand only too well: “Reeling and Writhing, of course, to begin with, and then the different branches of arithmetic — Ambition, Distraction, Uglification, and Derision,” (The Mock Turtle, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland) is what the Cock-a-doodle-doo (Kukuriku) Social Democrat led Croatian government is doing. It thinks that it has led the Croatian public though the rabbit hole where in the land of wonder Holy’s corruption isn’t important, perhaps because there’s so much of it that a single case becomes invisible, hard and professional volunteers’ (“free of charge”) work (so often depended on in many areas of life in the civilised world) is only for idiots, while projects intended for the boosting of the ailing economy end up as fodder for a Mad Tea Party.

The Cock-a-doodle-doo government should climb out of the rabbit hole and deal with reality of corruption, unemployment and struggling economy without distorting it with fairytales. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps.(Syd)

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