Stunning New Airport In Croatia Gets Proud Nametag: Franjo Tudjman

Zagreb International Airport Terminal Franjo Tudjman Photo: Josip Skof/MZLZ

Zagreb International Airport Terminal
Franjo Tudjman
Photo: Josip Skof/MZLZ

What a fantastic day Monday 30 January in Zagreb. The new Zagreb International Airport has in the lead up to its official opening in the second half of March 2017 finally received its new name in big proud writing: AIRPORT FRANJO TUDJMAN!

 

This is the place where the world greets Croatia and Croatia greets the world. As far as I’m concerned there could not be a better and a more fitting public place in Croatia to be named after the man whose courage, determination and superior political prowess saw him lead the way to the creation of modern independent Croatia, away from the darkness and oppression of communist Yugoslavia. While the repugnant communist die-hard Stjepan Mesic, in his attempts to blacken Croatian efforts towards independence and democracy, began his persistent, underhanded, dishonest, depraved attack against Tudjman as early as 1993 on a worldwide scale that would see Tudjman’s name and his vision for a free Croatia vilified in most painful of ways, this week is a blessing of a proud moment for all who fought for Croatian freedom alongside Tudjman because of that bright writing above the entry to Zagreb’s airport. It was in June 2015 when Tomislav Karamarko as Leader of HDZ (Croatian Democratic Union) put forward to the then Social Democrat led government the proposal that the new airport with its new terminal in Zagreb be named Franjo Tudjman, and now here we are: the “nametag” is firmly up above the entrance!

New Airport Franjo Tudjman in Zagreb Croatia Photo: Screenshot

New Airport Franjo Tudjman
in Zagreb Croatia
Photo: Screenshot

The design of the new airport terminal by Branko Kincl, Velimir Neidhardt and Jure Radic was awarded a first prize following an international competition organised by the City of Zagreb in 2008. The airport design comprises a multidimensional approach integrating construction, form, urbanism, ecology and functionality. An important part of the terminal’s architectural design is the fluid form of its roof and the tubular passenger piers sprouting out on each side. This recognisable form will define the new terminal’s identity and its surrounding area. In achieving this form, a new innovative solution was used for the roof structure, comprising a triangular steel grid space truss for the main building and truss arch vault for the piers. The concrete construction of the interior comprises three dilatations of mixed precast TT beam floor slabs, reinforced concrete beams and monolithic floor slabs. Horizontal forces are supported by 4 concrete cores and shear walls. With a gross building area of 65.800 m2 and a starting capacity for 5 million passengers per year, Zagreb airport is to become a major air traffic regional centre.”

Franjo Tudjman among people Photo: www.tudjman.hr

Franjo Tudjman among people
Photo: http://www.tudjman.hr

What a great thing for Croatia and its Homeland War, its independence. To appreciate the even greater than obvious enormity of the importance in the new name of the Zagreb airport we need to remind ourselves of the grave injustice and vilification that have been deliberately caused to the late Franjo Tudjman, the first president of Croatia and the memory of him.

Airport Franjo TUdjman Zagreb Croatia

Airport Franjo TUdjman
Zagreb Croatia

A depraved path to “de-Tudjmanise” Croatia led by Stjepan Mesic had terrible effects and consequences for Croatia as a nation. Tudjman was maliciously branded a radical ultra nationalist who was in the business of reviving Croatia’s WWII Ustashe (called by some as Fascist) nationalist regime. Yugoslavia (whose last president was Stjepan Mesic) consistently portrayed Tudjman as a dangerous nationalist when he emerged with his ideas for an independent Croatia and Mesic later, even as a highly-positioned politician within the independent Croatia itself- persisted in such a portrayal, using lies and political manipulation in order to blacken Tudjman, criminalise Croatia’s defensive Homeland War and strip Croatia of all pride in its bloody battles for freedom and independence. As a result of Mesic’s filthy work even Tudjman’s magnum opus was generally ridiculed or condemned in the West and this is felt still today, despite the many truths about him that command respect and awe towards Croatian history matters he prolifically wrote about.

Franjo Tudjman kisses the Croatian flag in liberated Knin August 6, 1995

Franjo Tudjman kisses the Croatian flag
in liberated Knin
August 6, 1995

 

Often dismissed by Western and some politically left-leaning domestic academics as a loquacious amateur historian and depicted by the Western mainstream as well as pro-Mesic (pro-communist) domestic media as a nationalist and neo-fascist, Tudjman’s past as a dissident was too readily forgotten and his utter and utmost respect for formal, procedural democracy ignored. His almost prescriptive speeches in the Croatian Parliament and everywhere during the early 1990’s, when Croatia was transitioning out of the communist regime and when such speeches were needed, contained a detailed recipe as to how to bring in democracy into the Croatian society. He enumerated things and processes that needed to be done and how they are to be done if democracy was to succeed and communist processes be left to history. But all that increasingly fell on deaf ears as Mesic intensified his attacks against Tudjman, even providing questionable testimonies to the International Criminal Tribunal in The Hague in the pursuits to criminalise Tudjman and Croatia’s Homeland War even if that war was defensive.

Franjo TUdjman Airport Zagreb Croatia

Franjo TUdjman Airport
Zagreb Croatia

 

Propaganda was a staple of the media in all and about all former Yugoslav states, and Mesic seemed to find more “friends” to believe his lies than what Tudjman managed with the truth. After Tudjman’s death in 1999 and Mesic becoming Croatia’s president – there was no stopping Mesic in his continued ugly campaign against Tudjman and the Croatian Homeland War or war of Independence. The combination of malicious and false information and faulty but disastrously biased analyses did their work across the world. World’s noted journalists picked up on the efforts to de-Tudjmanise Croatia from within and led the external pursuits of doing harm to Tudjman’s name (and therefore to the name of Croatia). The effort to discredit Tudjman was indeed part of a larger campaign to maliciously portray Croatia as a neo-fascist state and its Croatian citizens as chauvinists who posed a threat to minorities within Croatia. And all they wanted was freedom from communism and independence and for that desire paid in rivers of blood in defending their own lives and country.

Croatia is liberated from Serb occupation August 1995, dr Franjo Tudjman congratulates the forces

Croatia is liberated from Serb occupation August 1995, dr Franjo Tudjman congratulates the forces

It will take almost forever to clear the mud off Tudjman’s name, of Croatia’s name, plastered so cruelly against them but I feel, and I know, that the name of Zagreb’s new airport will create miracles of justice and recovery from darkness and suffering imposed by others. Croatia may, after all, live to see Stjepan Mesic fall into the disgrace and shame he deserves to fall into – and finally free itself completely of its greatest enemy in its pursuits to rid itself of the Yugoslav communist mindset and habits that stifle its progress in democracy and in growing into a thoroughly modern nation. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A. Ps.(Syd)

Croatia: Morals Of Lizards And Other Communist Depravities

Cover Page "Hrvatski Tjednik"/ Croatian Weekly featuring article on leading communists in Croatia still terrorising the nation daily Photo courtesy: Ivica Marijacic, Hrvatski Tjednik

Cover Page
“Hrvatski Tjednik”/ Croatian Weekly
featuring article on
leading communists in Croatia still
terrorising the nation daily
Photo courtesy: Ivica Marijacic, Hrvatski Tjednik

 

It is axiomatic that politics is the art of the possible, and moral considerations in government will reflect the ideology harboured by those who govern and those who wield power. As profusely as Croatia had bled in its Homeland War during 1990’s as it sought to secede from communist Yugoslavia and build freedom and democracy modeled on the developed democracies of the “Western” world, 25 years on the morals of lizards and other communist depravities are still adversely present in almost every pore of public administration, practices and governance at state and local levels, holding thorough progress to a fully functioning democracy hostage. Momentum to face and deal with this “moral-ethical and state administration crisis” General Zeljko Glasnovic, member of Croatian parliament for the diaspora, has been warning about for some time now, is gaining notable force in Croatia as well as in the diaspora.

 

General Zeljko Glasnovic Member of Croatian Parliament for th diaspora Photo: dnevno.hr

General Zeljko Glasnovic
Member of Croatian Parliament for th diaspora
Photo: dnevno.hr

From whatever vantage point one looks, it is unmistakable that there is a moral crisis on the public level in Croatia, which percolates there from personal moral deficiencies in communist resistance to progression away from communist regime and its ideals.  There has been a palpable breakdown of the traditional Christian morality across the society that rests on human dignity, freedom and justice modern independent Croatia started its journey with at the beginning of 1990’s and held that morality close to heart all throughout the bloody war. Undoubtedly, the communist heritage that pervades the public administration and all its avenues and mainstream media is the culprit for this crisis. Ugly faces of this crisis can be encountered every day, whether through persisting corruption or new discoveries of it, through tangled red tapes for almost anything one needs done via a public office, through utterly inadequate actions and reactions of government to critical events or through media lynches of anyone and everyone not seen to belong in one way or another to the communist, antifascist, liberal echelons.

 

With so much focus on government, political figures and people in high positions, journalists following the path of communist resistance to freedom and democracy in Croatia the next obvious question is which ones should be targeted for the removal from position part of lustration process, if politicians championing the cause for it gather enough support and ability to start clearing out the crisis, that is. As it happens, the Croatian Weekly (Hrvatski Tjednik) has last week published a rather good list to aim at, for starters. To aim at either lustrating people from positions of power and if not possible, to neutralise or at least significantly diminish their impact on society.

The article refers to the people on the list as “50 stateless (apatrides) people who terrorise 4.3 million Croats on a daily basis as they mourn the loss of Yugoslavia”.

 

As if in a surreal historical story they shed their tears over their dead Yugoslav past, trying to revive her. They do not base on facts or evidence their convictions that are expressly hostile towards Croatia, but on that which attracts them, on hereditary hatreds or, simply, on the deviations of their own political minds. Their Yugo-nostalgia is a legitimate thing, but the problem starts when they align themselves on the side of good, and the rest of us on the side of evil ramming into us a guilt complex because of their overrun ideals and failed lives.”

 

The list of those that, as Croatian Weekly writes, terrorise Croatia on a daily basis includes:

Stjepan Mesic – former President of Croatia, “die-hard communist led the pack in trying to rehabilitate the criminal communist Yugoslavia, calling all Croats who were against communism – fascists.  He idolised the Yugoslav satrap Josip Broz Tito, kept justifying countless and massive communist crimes against Croats, he praised the Serbian myths regarding Croats as genocidal people, he regularly vilifies Croatia for fascism, Ustashe, he attacks the Church, the veterans…”

 

Ivo Josipovic, former President of Croatia, “a member of the communist caste that attained all its social privileges on the back of the tragedy of the Croatian people. He will be remembered by his vilification of Croatia in Israeli parliament, by the lies he told about Croatia in Bosnia and Herzegovina parliament, by his betrayal in providing Croatia’s secret and classified documents to Serbian ambassador, by his equating of Serb war crimes in Vukovar to individual crimes in Croatia …” the list goes on for him also.

 

Milorad Pupovac, member of Croatian parliament representing Serb minority and president of NGO Serb National Council in Croatia. To this day Pupovac has not gotten over the failure of the politics he advocated for the Serb ethnic minority in Croatia to achieve the status of a constitution ethnic group in Croatia as opposed to being a minority, which it really is. “He advocates amnesty for Serbia’s Slobodan Milosevic and Serbia for the aggression against Croatia, systematically tries to keep Croatia sitting on the bench of the accused by imposing and imputing fascism against her while, at the same time, organises Chetnik gatherings at Srb, advocates for political and cultural Yugoslavianism, goes to Serbia visiting notorious Chetniks for instructions, ignores Croatian laws and holidays, imposes himself as an arbiter who decides between good and evil, fascism and democracy, does not even try to hide his hatred for Croatia and her symbols...”

 

Vesna Pusic, former foreign minister of Croatia who “more often than not left the impression she was acting as minister of Yugoslavia and not Croatia. Misspent taxpayers money including giving significant funds to her brother’s NGO and this in particular evidences how low morals have fell in Croatia for the parliamentary committee on the matter did not assess this action as conflict of interest…”

 

Zoran Pusic (Vesna Pusic’s brother). ” Seeks and receives significant funds from state budget for his work via NGO in which he openly promotes Yugo-communist ideology, rehabilitates Josip Broz Tito, justifies his mass murders, does not hesitate in demonising lies and contempt towards Croatians…”

 

Dragan Markovina, president of New Left party (active member of which is Zoran Pusic), “whose key goal is battle against clericalisation of the Croatian society and against Ustashism. So far his expressed hatred for Croatia has been stronger than that coming out of any Yugonostalgics. It’s unlikely that any other country in the world would tolerate such an enemy to itself…”

 

Tvrtko Jakovina, history professor at university in Zagreb – loud “apologist for Yugoslavia, its historiography, its crimes and Josip Broz Tito…he is an embarrassment to Croatian people and to the history profession, which he has reduced to defending a failed totalitarian and bloody ideology...”

 

Hrvoje Hribar, mediocre film director of Yugo-communist genre, who was instrumental in the scandal last year where significant funds from Croatia were channeled to Danish film directors for the making of “15 minutes – the massacre in Dvor” film, which attributed to the Croatian Army the crimes committed by others.

 

Slavko Goldstein, a publicist who tries to pass himself off as a historian. “Does not shy away from supporting and spreading the worst of lies against Croatia including the number of people killed in Jasenovac camp during WWII, without any evidence to support the bulk of his claims. Goldstein is a Yugoslav pamphlet designer who has not identified himself with the Croatian state and who defends the lies proliferated by Greater Serbia to the last drop of his blood…

Drago Pilsel, journalist and the crudest, rudest anti-Croatian and pro-communist activist one could probably imagine. Intolerant and crude and insulting to unspeakable lows.

The list goes on – Vesna Terselic from Documenta NGO and New Left party, whose Documenta received government funds with view to researching facts of crimes against Croatian people but she undertook to take the direction of trying to equate the aggressor (Serbia) with the victim (Croatia) in the 1990’s war, and, of course, has not done a thing about communist crimes except perhaps trying to justify them. There’s also in mention on the list of communists terrorising Croats every day people like Social Democrat Nenad Stazic, actor Rade Serbedzija, theatre director Oliver Frljic, Nada Rauker – a most extreme leftist keeping the fires burning for lies that fascism is being revived in Croatia, Tvrtko Jakovina and Hrvoje Klasic, Yugo-nostalgic historians that demonise every step and every expression of independent Croatian state, Mate Kapovic, linguist.

 

The depraved work in justifying communist crimes, to the extreme of fabricating lies and insulting the very essence of Croatian independence earned through a bloody war demonstrates the apparent depletion of human morality in these and other Yugo-communists terrorizing a nation that wants to get ahead, finally away from communist claws. In this breath I would not categorise the morality of these people into human morality, it’s a morality of lizards and lizards don’t have much of that at all; the morality they do possess always tries to ensure their own survival even if they need to camouflage themselves, sting, or run to come back behind ones back…  Even when they slightly change their political stance, even when they try to adapt to the independent Croatia without communism, the morality of lizards in these Yugo-communists always goes against the grain of decency towards what Croatia should stand for as a modern nation: a nation that has dealt justly with its criminal communist past and its victims of communist crimes and a modern nation whose everyday life is weaved with gratitude to those who defended her from the Serb aggressor. There can never be adequate words to describe the reverence held for those that will succeed in chasing these lizards into their dark holes without a return ticket. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

 

Croatia: Minority Government, More Of The Same (?)

Map of Croatia With Election 2016 Results by majority seats per electorate Photo: Screenshot HRT news 12.09.2016

Map of Croatia
With Election 2016 Results
by majority seats per electorate
Photo: Screenshot HRT news 12.09.2016

 

The conservative Croatian Democratic Union, or HDZ, scored a relative victory in the early parliamentary vote on Sunday 11 September and now faces the task of forming a coalition government after voters again failed to produce a clear majority winner. Complete results reported Monday by Croatia’s state electoral commission showed that Andrej Plenkovic’s HDZ won 61 seats in the 151-member parliament, while Zoran Milanovic’s left-leaning Peoples’ Coalition won 54.  Bozo Petrov’s  Most party, or Bridge of Independent lists won 13 seats and it appears Most will again be a kingmaker as was the case in the last government. Zivi Zid, or Human Shield/Live Wall, a populist left alliance led by Ivan Vilibor Sincic, presented as the biggest surprise of these elections as it surged from 1 seat in last elections to 8 in these ones as it promised to be tough on banks and on the demand to seek prosecution of unnamed corrupt officials. General Zeljko Glasnovic, an independent who left HDZ just prior to elections, won a seat representing the diaspora and his strong card is that of lustration (getting rid of former communists in high positions in Yugoslavia from high position in democratic Croatia). Istrian Democratic Party and partners won 3 seats, Milan Bandic’s (current Mayor of Zagreb) Premier party won 2 seats and HDSSB (Croatian Democratic Alliance of Slavonia and Baranja) andHKS (Croatian Conservative Party) 1 seat.

Croatian Democratic Union/HDZ Headquarters on election night 11 September 2016 with president Andrej Plenkovic in centre Photo: Connor Vlakancic

Croatian Democratic Union/HDZ
Headquarters on election night
11 September 2016 with president
Andrej Plenkovic in centre
Photo: Connor Vlakancic

 

Various types of mainly lingering communist ethos in Croatia have rushed to form an orchestra chanting that the new, like the last government, will not last long; that the voters are disappointed and disenchanted. One assumes they could say no different given that their like-minded exit polls agencies had failed miserably when they predicted the centre-left headed by Zoran Milanovic would win an easy victory over the centre-right HDZ. One assumes the Social Democrat led opposition will not cease creating scandals in order to destabilise the new government.

 

 

 

Wrong exit polls, dashed the hopes of many who were “certain” the “Reds” will win a comfortable victory over the conservative lot all contributed to Zoran Milanovic’s announcement he will retire from leader of Social Democrats position after such bad election results for the party. Yes, Zoran Milanovic was quite involved and loud in toppling the previous HDZ leader Tomislav Karamarko and consequently the government in June of this year. Zoran Milanovic’s SDP loss at the snap elections last Sunday could well be karma at play for his leadership was instrumental and loud in framing Karamarko to a corner where there was no alternative but to resign to save HDZ from ongoing scandals, that were often unfounded and concocted.  Although Milanovic managed to get elected into the parliament this time on basis of preferences his clout is bound to be weaker although his stubborn and often stupid communist rhetoric may persist. At least he won’t be joined in parliament by the former president of Croatia, Stjepan Mesic, whom SDP resurrected from retirement and placed on its electoral list of candidates. Not even preferential votes managed to get Mesic across the parliament’s threshold. All Mesic got was some miserable 5,000 votes. This though may not deter Mesic from playing a role in helping SDP maintain political divisiveness in Croatia, which surely seems as main culprit for the election results environment still deadlocked between two large parties without producing a clear preference or majority.

 

 

The turnout at elections on Sunday was 52.6% some 8% lower than in November 2015 although in the countries abroad, in the diaspora, the turnout was significantly higher in many polling stations, suggesting the diaspora is gradually becoming more alert in making sure people register to vote as required in advance. The lower voter turnout and the relatively high number of votes cast for relatively newly-established minor parties/or coalitions has been a recurring phenomenon in recent years and these elections provided no exception. This would suggest that either many Croatian voters are looking for an alternative to the two-party option or HDZ and SDP have both failed miserably at convincing a majority to vote for them. Whatever the reason for the rather thin spread of votes across parties that precludes a majority win, the outcome does present major challenges for the formation of a homogeneous government. Forming a government in this mix of electoral wins would suggest deals and compromises will need to be made and this, in turn, may mean a weakened capacity of government to deliver on needed reforms.

 

SDP president Zoran Milanovic announces resignation from leader of opposition Photo: Nova TV news 11.09.2016/Connor Vlakancic

SDP president Zoran Milanovic
announces resignation from leader of opposition
Photo: Nova TV news 11.09.2016/Connor Vlakancic

So, many types will say that the reality is that even though HDZ got 2 more seats than last November and SDP got 2 less, this won’t make much difference. Croatia is still going to get pretty much more of the same; the same bickering that led to the previous government’s downfall (?).

 

 

However, more of the same in Croatia’s circumstances may mean the economy has started moving and it will keep growing slightly but without a clear, confident and competent course for enhancing and securing that growth or meaningfully pegging back the budget deficit, foreign debts, unemployment… Perhaps I will be proven wrong and I hope I am – but it does take exceptional strength to hold the rudder straight and firm amidst such a intricate variety of political egos and gaggle of groups HDZ will need to work with in its new government.

 

 

But perhaps the new government will prove both the skeptics and its would-be gravediggers wrong! If firmness or resolve to lead is anything to go by then HDZ’s Andrej Plenkovic’s determination to be Croatia’s Prime Minister, as his party was the relative winner, may hold the key for a stable government in spite of its diverse make-up.  This was something that formerly Tomislav Karamarko did not pursue as firmly as Plenkovic is doiung right from the start; before the government is formed. Plenkovic is already setting the tone of a new government that will have a clear leadership and that is positive. It could well be that appointing a technocratic Prime Minister (Tihomir Oreskovic) who was not an elected party’s member was the element that rocked the previous government the most and contributed to its gradual instability.

Andrej Plenkovic President HDZ/Croatian Democratic Union grateful for election victory 11.09.2016 Photo: Connor Vlakancic

Andrej Plenkovic
President HDZ/Croatian Democratic Union
grateful for election victory 11.09.2016
Photo: Connor Vlakancic

Having said that Plenkovic’s strength could well prove to be an asset for HDZ’s stabilising influence upon the new government, without a doubt, forming the new government will prove tricky and difficult for Andrej Plenkovic/HDZ. A prime minister needs a majority of like-minded members (at least on issues tabled for voting within the parliament) to govern. In the house of representatives almost 25% (or more if we count smaller parties such as HNS/Croatian Peoples’ Party who were in coalition with SDP, won some seats, etc., and may entertain the notion of entering into government with HDZ – God forbid) filled with smaller parties and single-seat independent, this is hard to do. Forming a government, and then keeping it together, depends on the co-operation of a flock of groups, often with diverging interests as well as reluctant collaborators. If a small party falls out with its coalition partners, it can bring down the government – similar was the case last time.

 

A political “risk” factor needs to be added to these structures of a minority government with HDZ as relative majority: Croatia continues to be a divided country.  Zoran Milanovic’s SDP and coalition partners have been very active in labeling HDZ as a criminally corrupt party that’s sinking into extreme nationalism, neo-fascism and reviving the WWII Ustashe regime while HDZ supporters have denounced Zoran Milanovic and his SDP as Communists bent on seizing power through resisting prosecution of and reckoning with communist crimes committed during former Yugoslavia as well as through incompetence to govern and uplift the country’s desperate state of the economy and slow-down the brain-drain with droves of young talented people leaving the country in search of jobs abroad. On the sidelines stand Most/Bridge of Independent lists and Live Wall, each reluctant to go into coalition with anyone but each lampooning on how their political agenda will save Croatia and nothing else, as well as the several ethnic minority seats that tend to serve cackling political cocktails and rub wrongly against the perceived Croatian national interests among the general population. The coming weeks will certainly prove challenging for Plenkovic and HDZ as they go about the business of forming a new government and I, for one, do not tend to judge that future government on the performance of the last one, particularly so because there will be a mix of personalities and skills in the new one that were not a contributing factor in the last one. So: good luck HDZ! Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

 

 

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