Croatian Patriots Celebrate 100th Anniversary of Franjo Tudjman’s Birth And Kevin Spacey as Tudjman In New Historical Documentary Film

Franjo Tudjman the First President of Independent Croatia (L), Kevin Spacey as Tudjman in “Once Upon a Time in Croatia” historical documentary film 2022 (R)

The meaning of life for Croats today, on the hundredth anniversary of the birth of Franjo Tudjman, we look and see his idea for us, and that is the sovereignty of the Croatian state and the sovereignty of the Croatian people. The Croatian people have until 1990 lived in communities with other nations for over 800 years, not by their own choice but by the violence of foreigners, but there has always in those centuries been a desire to establish a nation state. It was Dr. Franjo Tudjman who, like no other leader before him, succeeded in making this desire a reality as the bipolar political world of communist Yugoslavia collapsed. He succeeded largely because he knew how strongly Croatian emigration breathed with the idea of Croatian freedom, that he turned to us for help in the diaspora, that he believed in our pure love for a free homeland and for a free Croatian people, that he unconditionally gained our trust in him and in his work for Croatia and the Croats! 

For the sovereignty of the Croatian state and the Croatian people, the Croatian diaspora was in crucial times (late 1980’s and 1990’s) inseparable from Franjo Tudjman.

Villains and venomous people often say that Croatia’s freedom and independence would have come by itself, because they must in some way try to justify their own non-commitment to the fight for independence. However, all important research on this topic, all the facts and the whole truth show how very much Tudjman’s political considerations have led to the Republic of Croatia today being a country with its own territorial integrity and a respected member of the international community. Everything that happened in the 1990s under the leadership of the first Croatian President Franjo Tudjman was the basis for everything that the Croatian people proudly inherited wherever they lived and for achieving Croatia’s national strategic goals, i.e., independence and partnership membership in Euro-Atlantic integration.

Today, 14 May 2022, it is very appropriate to look at Franjo Tudjman and his scientific works, his activities, his behaviour, his political development throughout his life and we see that he has always consistently and constantly dealt with key issues in the Croatian people. His solidarity with the idea of ​​a sovereign Croatian people has been present since his youth in the 1950s. In the 1990s, he turned his idea into a reality of happiness and joy and the merits for and of all of us, except the communists or operatives of the former communist Yugoslavia.

His speech on May 30, 1990, at the inaugural session of the Croatian Parliament was a recipe and instruction on what should be done to achieve an independent and sovereign Croatian state in every sense and get rid of communism and communist achievements rooted in the people and authorities under the coercion of the totalitarian regime of the former Yugoslavia. Unfortunately, as soon as Tudjman passed away in 1999, the former communists muscled themselves into the Croatian government and political leadership, again, belittling the Homeland War and the 1990’s fight against communist Yugoslavia and the aggressor Serbs. In these moves, Croatian emigrants became forcibly pushed away from their homeland just as they were during communist Yugoslavia, forcibly, and Croatian diplomacy largely ignored and belittled key Croatians in the diaspora who, together with homeland Croatia, built and created an independent Croatia.

The latter communist weaving in the leadership of Croatia continues to this day. When it comes to democratic elections and voting it seems that the muscle of former communists in Croatia is stronger than that of those who fought for it and lost blood for it! To change this in future more patriots must turn up for voting at general elections. The truth is that the make-up and mask the Croatian authorities wear is to try to show that they are cooperating with the diaspora and thus maintain a false impression of cooperation with the emigrants and the diaspora. When it comes to all the Croatian governments since year 2000 there is no relationship of real cooperation or reciprocal respect because the Croatian governments have not wanted that in the fullest meaning of the word and concept. After all the diaspora was and is overwhelmingly anti-communist and those in government are overwhelmingly descendants of communist stock – born and bred communist one might say.

Former communists and their squadrons know very well that if lustration happened many of them from the Croatian authorities would have been booted out from their powerful positions had Tudjman lived longer, so even today those who criticize them and want them out of power are suppressed and oppressed and intimidated. I know that personally and I’m sure of it. Late one night in June 1995, when Dr. Franjo Tudjman was visiting Australia, we met and talked about the transition to democracy from communism. Tudjman told me these words: “Ina, we have a lot to clean up from the ranks of the authorities once this war is over and the whole territory of Croatia is liberated, then lustration will follow …” He passed away in 1999, unfortunately, from serious illness about a year after the complete liberation of Croatia from the Serbian occupation in 1998! And after Tudjman’s death, nothing could be expected from Stjepan Mesic and Ivica Racan except the anti-Croatian equating of the victim with the aggressor, the false criminalisation of the Homeland War and slanderous propaganda against Croats wanting nothing to do with communist Yugoslavia!

Historian Josip Mihaljevic, a participant in the recent academic conference in Zagreb on May 5, 2022, in honour of the 100th anniversary of Tudjman’s birth, pointed out that the Croatian reform movement began to develop in the 1960s and culminated in 1971 with the Croatian Spring and the lobby to redefine Croatia’s and Croats’ position within Yugoslavia.

“Recently available sources of the Yugoslav security intelligence services, primarily Josip Broz Tito’s chief intelligence officer Ivan Miskovic,” Mihaljević said, “show that Franjo Tudjman and Veceslav Holjevac are the founders of the entire Croatian national movement (of 20th century).”

Croatian patriotic emigrants, the Croatian diaspora was the dominant element of victory in the Homeland War and in the creation of an independent Republic of Croatia because Franjo Tudjman wanted so, knowing that without us from the diaspora nothing would come out of the desire for an independent Croatia. And that is why we are eternally grateful to him, and the thanks comes from all of us living in someone else’s world in which we can proudly keep our heads up high because of Tudjman!

Tudjman was very interested in Croats from exile and emigration and considered Croatia’s attitude towards Croats abroad an important political issue, key to the success of Croatia’s millennial dream. The ties between Franjo Tudjman and the Croats who fled communist Yugoslavia after World War Two began in 1966 with his sabbatical visit to the United States. There, as a member of the Executive Board of the Croatian Heritage Foundation, he met with some of the most prominent Croatian emigrants, intellectuals, who lived and worked in the United States. These meetings were of an official nature related to the maintenance of Croatian culture in the diaspora and the like and had no political character, but later served the communist regime to prosecute Tudjman for allegedly plotting to overthrow communist Yugoslavia along with Croatian political emigrants (as mentioned in the book “Tudjman’s First Political Biography” James Sadkovich, 2010 on page 192). Tudjman’s further ties and contacts with Croats in exile and patriotic émigrés continued in the 1970s, when Tudjman, as a political dissident, was prevented from public activities and publishing in communist Yugoslavia.

With the help of a circle of intellectuals gathered around the Croatian emigrant newspaper Poruka slobodne Hrvatske (Free Croatia’s Message), Tudjman illegally (because his passport was confiscated immediately after the Croatian Spring of 1971) visited Sweden and Germany in 1977, where he met with Croatian politicians and activists in exile. After his passport was returned to him in 1987, Tudjman travelled to Canada the same year, where he lectured to emigrated Croats and met with representatives of emigrant organisations. Tudjman visited North America again in 1988 and held a series of lectures and meetings with Croatian emigrants in Canada and the United States. In Autumn of 1988, Tudjman visited Germany, where he also gave a series of lectures to expatriate Croats. A number of patriotic Croats living in South America and Australia in those years also joined Tudjman’s lectures and talks while in Canada and the United States, and the weekly newspapers “Hrvatski vjesnik” (Croatian Herald) from Melbourne Australia and “Spremnost” (Readiness) from Sydney stood out in those times of communist bans and censorship as media sources of information and thoughts of Franjo Tudjman and his associates who announced a new hope and a new possibility and the final liberation of Croatia from communist Yugoslavia.

At the beginning of 1989, a group of Croatian dissidents decided to launch an initiative to establish a democratic political party, a people’s movement that would later be called the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ). This gathering, like all meetings regarding the creation of an independent Croatia at the time, was held in secret, usually in private cottages, away from the communist police. The support and share of Croat emigrants were fiercely and crucially present in this initiative. At the end of January and the beginning of February 1989, Tudjman wrote the Preliminary Draft of the Program Basis of the Croatian Democratic Union, in which he presented his views on the attitude towards Croatian emigrants. The HDZ’s program framework states that the Croatian people have special reasons for concern, but also because their historical misfortunes have scattered about a third of their national identity on all continents of the world. The continuation of this document emphasises that further disintegration should be prevented, and the return and connection with the homeland of such many emigrants that only a few nations have should be encouraged.

In June 1989, at the Jarun, Zagreb, the founding assembly of the Croatian Democratic Party (HDZ) elected Franjo Tudjman as the party’s first president. Tudjman’s proposal for the HDZ Program Declaration was also accepted, which included the issue of attitudes towards Croatian emigrants. The founding assembly was attended by many prominent emigrants who personally witnessed this huge step towards Croatian independence and on their return to the countries in which they lived began a movement of unprecedented masses of Croats and expatriates rushing to help in every sense and need to realise Tudjman’s or Croatian dream. So, soon after the founding of the HDZ, party branches began to form among Croatian emigrants. The first organisation of the HDZ in the diaspora was founded on July 9, 1989 in Zurich, Switzerland. On the occasion of Tudjman’s arrival at the Slavic Congress in Chicago in November 1989, HDZ branches were established in 16 cities on the North American continent. In the autumn of 1989, the first branches of HDZ were established in Germany, Sweden, Norway, and at the same time a significant number of party branches were formed in Australia. By establishing branches in all countries of the world inhabited by Croatian emigrants, HDZ had formed itself as a kind of global or planetary Croatian national movement to which most of us have contributed by voluntary work, sacrifice and/or financial generosity. Here, in Australia, we have dozens of Croats who outstandingly advocated for an independent and sovereign Croatia, a sovereign Croatian people, almost superhumanly advocated for a free homeland, and we have thousands and thousands of Croats who personally helped and contributed to the creation of an independent Croatian state and firm encouragement of Franjo Tudjman to proceed.

And for that reason, thousands upon thousands of us Croatian patriots in Australia say loudly today: happy 100th birthday, Franjo Tudjman! You still live in our hearts. Thank you!

Personally, I am glad that today we are among the first people living outside Croatia to see a new film by director Jakov Sedlar “Once Upon a Time in Croatia” in which the role of Franjo Tudjman is played by world-famous and award-winning actor Kevin Spacey. The world premiere of this film took place in Zagreb on Wednesday, May 11, 2022. This film is an amazing display and portrayal of Franjo Tudjman’s thinking and aspirations, vision, and circumstances of creating an independent Croatia and was successfully made despite the boycott and lack of funding by Croatian state institutions. This latter fact is added to the list of destructive efforts and moves of former communists and / or their children and grandchildren to trample and belittle everything we all fought for together, without them, in the 1990s. They know in their grumpiness and perversion that no one before Franjo Tudjman has done more than him for the lasting and world-recognised independence of Croatia! And that is why they are boycotting this film about him. And the rest of us? We shout eternal glory to Franjo Tudjman and thank him! Ina Vukic

Croatia, Corruption, and Serb Ethnic Minority Terror

Prime Minister of Croatia Andrej Plenkovic (Front); Back row from Left to Right: Deputy Prime Minister Boris MIlosevic, Minister for Pension System, Family and Social Policy Josip Alardovic, (former) Minister for Construction and Public Property Darko Horvat (arrested), former minister for Agriculture Tomislav Tolusic

Identifying and processing corruption in Croatia that defined Croatia under communist Yugoslavia as well as all these past thirty years since the secession from communism still yields the impression of governments playing peekaboo or hide and seek game. Whether it be the HDZ (Croatian Democratic Union) or SDP (Social Democratic Party) led government, fighting corruption had not been consistent nor determined. Undoubtedly, the reason for this lies in the fact that many former communists and their family members had indulged in corruption and theft of public goods or the practice of either hiding the crimes of corruption and theft or being heavily involved in it continued. And so, every once in a while, the Croatian government had seemingly gladly permitted the processing by public prosecutor, government attorney, or anti-corruption authority of crimes perpetrated by some current or ex-high-government functionary so as to leave the (false) impression how the government is serious about fighting corruption. However, the office of public prosecutor has evidently never in the past thirty years been independent of government in its activities of pursuing processing of crimes and suspected crimes just as this was the case under the communist party regime in former Yugoslavia.

Everyone will agree that to successfully transition from communism into democracy (or any totalitarian regime for that matter) it is essential to shed habits and behaviours practiced especially by authorities and their collaborators at all levels – local, regional, and national – that were shaped and condoned under the communist regime. Croatia has failed miserably at this, and the failure appears purposeful. Too many people in important or powerful positions or their family members have had, and still have, their fingers stuck in the proverbial cookie jar. Corruption exists in all countries, however, in the developed democracies it does not define a nation and its governments like it does Croatia – still.

On Saturday 19 February, another case of corruption probes surfaced in Croatia when the police began searching the apartment of the government minister for Construction and Public Property Darko Horvat in Donja Dubrava, Zagreb. Furthermore, and at the same time, the police broke into his house in Medjimurje County (North of Zagreb) due to suspicions of his connection with the abuse of power by his former assistant, and now the suspect in crimes of corruption – Ana Mandac. According to Croatian media Horvat is suspected of 2.6 million kuna in illegal incentives. Reportedly Horvat requested funds (non-refundable) from the program ‘Development of small and medium enterprises and crafts in areas inhabited by persons belonging to national minorities’, i.e., to benefit some companies and people who were not entitled to those funds, this time of Serb ethnicity.

Soon after the search of Minister Darko Horvat’s house he was arrested and taken away by the police for further questioning. Almost immediately, Horvat reportedly requested from the Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic that he be removed from his duties as government minister and Plenkovic did relieve Horvat of his ministerial duties late Saturday afternoon 19th February.

“If someone is arrested, he cannot be a minister, it is clear as day. Especially if he stays there,” Plenkovic said at a press conference in Banski dvori Government Offices convened over Horvat’s arrest and an investigation into several other current and former state officials. Officials, including some ministers…Someone had a motive for this timing to be right now. To me, that timing doesn’t seem neutral. Neither the State Attorney’s Office nor anyone else will overthrow the Government, but this is interesting,” Plenkovic said.

Well, it is evident that the current government in Croatia is all about timing and control of corruption revelation and processing of those crimes. Why else would Prime Minister question the timing of these arrests!? Did he, himself, in fact know of possible corrupt practices but did nothing about them because “it was not the right time”!? Or is Plenkovic so odiously arrogant that he dares to question the timing of arrests for suspected crimes or is he sinking further into a political mudslide that will see him disappear into oblivion of power-hold.

Shady and unsavoury business of politics indeed.

In addition to Horvat, the Croatian mainstream media reports that the police and USKOK (Office for the Prevention of Corruption and Organised Crime) also hold suspicions against the current Minister of Pension System, Family and Social Policy Josip Aladrovic, Deputy Prime Minister Boris Milosevic and former Minister of Agriculture Tomislav Tolusic. Aladrovic is suspected of suspicious employment in the period from 2017 to 2019, when he was the director of the Croatian Pension Insurance Institute. Milosevic and Tolusic are suspected of awarding grants to small and medium-sized enterprises in 2017 and 2018, while Ana Mandac was Horvat’s assistant, and they both allegedly lobbied for Serbian entrepreneurs who had no right of access to these funds.

Whether Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic reaction to his minister Horvat’s arrest and suspicions of corruption being aired against two of his other ministers and a former one is associated with his fear that his HDZ-led government is experiencing fatal crumbling is not clear. There are strong indications that his, HDZ’s, coalition as minority government with the SDSS (Independent Democratic Serb Party in Croatia) is experiencing continued heavy blows from the public or voter body, including within HDZ party itself. A coalition with Serb minority party would most likely never have been a problem had that Serb party in Croatia been made up of Serbs living in Croatia who fought with Croatians (not against) to defend it from Serb aggression in the 1990’s Homeland War but SDSS is closely and personally associated with the 1990’s rebel Serbs and those Serbs who committed horrendous crimes against Croatia and its people. The fact that, say, a brother or sister or niece of a rebel and murderous Serbs are part of current government coalition in Croatia is simply unthinkable and unacceptable to most people. Besides heavily damaging and thwarting the implementation of Homeland War values such a coalition increases the chances of successful equating of victim with the aggressor. This simply cannot be permitted for a nation that lost rivers of blood in defending itself from Serb and communist Yugoslavia aggression.

Having the above bitter reality in mind, minister Horvat’s arrest pending further investigation into corruption is a heavy blow to both the government and HDZ Party; it may rattle and shatter both to the core. Reported suspicions of influencing government subsidy funding to companies owned by members of Serb minority population in Croatia who had no right even to apply for such funding, the fact that Boris Milosevic. Deputy Prime Minister of Serb minority extraction in parliament, is suspected of favouring certain persons during the awarding of grants from the program “Development of small and medium enterprises and crafts in areas inhabited by members of national minorities” – corruption and nepotism favouring Serbs associated with rebel Serb politics during Serb aggression against Croatia in the 1990’s is enough to make one both ill and angry, as well as bitter. Such outpours of corrupt politics have been known in history to ignite people to (political) arms.

Obviously HDZ as the leading political party in government will need to reinvent its governing strategies and its coalition choices very quickly if it intends on surviving this time. Post minister Horvat’s arrest some opposition parties are calling upon Prime Minister Plenkovic to disband his government and call for new general elections. It is close to mid-term in its government mandate and HDZ constantly continues to experience and/or generate scandals that have the capacity of paralysing the nation into political crises, one after another. These scandals and crises bring about not only possible new elections, shakedown of government coalitions and loyalties but also the likelihood of causing more voter fatigue, which always brings about further reduction of voters turning up at next elections. Of course, the electoral legislation in Croatia needs changes but its current and past panorama has seen an ever-decreasing number of voters turning up to cast their vote. In such a climate some party has and will always win a relative majority, but such lack of voter number strength creates significant illegitimacy of representation within the nation and deeper insecurities for livelihood and living within it. Minorities, including the Serb one in Croatia, simply do not have strong potential of contributing to increasing decisively voter numbers in Croatia. On the other hand, other “right wing” or conservative political milieu has those potential numbers which could strengthen HDZ chances at winning minority government in the next elections. I say this because it is, to the regret of many, still not possible to even imagine the “right wing” or conservative political milieu to win the next government without HDZ being a part in that winning formula, however seemingly leftward HDZ may have drifted. Relatively narrow spans and directions of political activities engaged in by these smaller patriotic political parties on the right are the reason why perhaps they scrape into the parliament with a limited number of seats that, even if joined, could not form a government, not even a minority one. If things will shift away from the current HDZ politics in government, it is essential for HDZ party itself to shift its internal politics towards working with patriotic right-wing parties and not parties that condone Serb aggression and actively engage in any form of equating victim with the aggressor.

Obviously, the Serb minority leadership in Croatia, in coalition with HDZ government is heavily compromised with these new revelations of possible corrupt and criminal activities syphoning government funds to benefit Serbs in Croatia that have no right of access to such government funds. It is a form of sheer and intolerable corruption. One would see it logical for HDZ at this time to recalibrate its weapons of ideological political values and rid itself of the coalition with the SDSS, that is so directly associated with politics against independent Croatia in recent past.

There is no doubt in my mind that HDZ would do well to consider “changing horses midstream” at this time – extinguish its coalition with SDSS and enter a new one from the pool of patriotic political parties represented in the parliament. Otherwise, all that Croatians have to look forward to, for the remainder of this government’s mandate, is more poison being fed into the values of Croatian Homeland War and standard of living generally. The imminent entry into the Eurozone in January 2023 when Croatia plans to swap its kuna currency with the euro will dawn with distressing political crises and thousands more living below the poverty line.

Certainly, the terror over the Croatian nation caused by ethnic minorities having parliamentary representation seats, needs to stop. It is unnatural, it is damaging. Instead of allocating seats in the parliament (where a seat can be earned at elections with merely a few dozen of votes) government departments/offices ensuring ethnic minority rights and services as is the practice in fully functioning democracies should be opened to cater for minority needs. Ina Vukic

Croatia – Time Coming To Outvote Communist Chameleons  

While the fact that the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg had in its ruling on 21 December 2021 a declaration that states have a right to dissolve or refuse to register parties that do not distance themselves from former Communist Parties  that may surely work to the advantage for a further democratised European Union, one huge problem exists that will, regretfully, see the communist mindset flourish for some time to come. This is because the chameleonic nature of both communist parties and communists that saw strictly communist parties, such as Croatian SDP/ Socialist Democratic Party, simply change its name to reflect political changes that ensued after the fall of the Berlin Wall, or the saturation of the ruling HDZ/Croatian Democratic Union Party with former communists and their mindset subscribers. It is easy for them not to put in writing any support for former communist parties. They are adapted to lying and changing their visible characteristics without notice, without regard to anyone bar themselves.

Also, former communist Yugoslavia dignitaries and their children, like chameleons, have adapted to the efforts in transitioning from communism into democracy by acting as if they genuinely wish for full and functional democracy but, in fact, they hold their backs propped up supporting corruption and nepotism that defined communist Yugoslavia. It would be fair to say that no functional democracy can evolve while the same cadre in power that existed in communist Yugoslavia exists in Croatia. Lustration was and still is the answer however late some say it is for it in Croatia. Furthermore, the mere existence in writing in the Historical Foundations of today’s Croatian Constitution of the communist Croatia i.e. Antifascist National Council/AVNOH as a legitimate foundation of independent Croatia in effect legitimises all communist mindsets and beliefs in today’s Croatia. The irony is one most cruel: communists/antifascists fought against and independent Croatia in World War Two and did also in the 1990’s Homeland War!

Ultimately, there can be no smooth transition from communism into democracy in Croatia without a clear and decisive cut from of the former communist party and/or its sympathisers’ repressive political grip. 

Perhaps this line of consideration lies in the lining of the reported European Court of Human Rights thinking that communist parties should not exist? Undoubtedly, this line of thinking would seem grossly debilitating and misleading without recognising that the power and might of the EU has been the exact backing the former and current communist sympathisers or operatives needed to maintain their political grip. Croatia has no official Communist party, but it surely has too many communist chameleons for any democratic and lasting comfort.

November 1989 the fall of Berlin Wall. Photo: Getty Images

The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 laid the groundwork for new institutions, new states, and, in some cases like former Yugoslavia, new conflicts. In the more than three decades since Germany’s reunification and the European Union (EU) has taken a big growth in territorial shape along the way, with pains that persist, still. Some of those deep pains include corruption and theft prevalent still in many former communist countries that have become member states of the EU. Hence the rather recent move by the EU to install an office of audit and control over expenditure of the generous EU development funds that have seen gross misappropriation and theft. Croatia is one of those.

With the U.S.A. also extending its arms to keep an eye on corruption in Croatia by having its corruption watchdog present there, things may look up in a better light in years to come.

 Like the continent Croatia also has had to grapple with economic and political crises, demographic decline, illegal migration pressures, as well as the ongoing repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic during the past thirty or so years.

Functional democracy, the natural complement to Croatia’s emerging post-communist market economy, is disturbingly complex with its underlying corruption and fraud scandals that emerge to the surface too often. Croatia’s economy is small but at the same time very important for the political and economic stability of Southeast Europe, regardless of its Central Europe physical pull and orientation. The communist mindset and corruption that still define Croatia’s political elitism has made a genuine and thorough political liberalisation almost an unachievable goal. Too many people, it would seem, about 30% of voters who always turn up at the polls for the ideals of communism, are incapacitated to see beyond the personal perks and gains they enjoy from Yugoslavia times, such as high-end public housing, descendant Yugoslav Partisan pensions to dare to vote away from former communists … and the majority are simply too disappointed in communism still weaved into the country’s fabric that they simply have no energy to vote at elections or have abandoned all hope for a better tomorrow for which rivers of blood were spilled in the 1990’s. . 

Unfortunately, Croatia has not fully completed the transition to a market economy. A socialist/communist mindset still prevails in large parts of Croatian society. The income of most Croatians still comes from the government budget, social insurance, or public monopolies, not from revenues of truly competitive companies that operate strictly on market-based principles. So, any reforms that address public overspending, corruption, or bureaucratic and judicial inefficiency usually face strong resistance from the privileged majority and can take a long time to implement.

Fortunately, there are also a growing number of vibrant, innovative entrepreneurs leading small-and-medium-sized and internationally competitive companies across many industry sectors in Croatia. These companies have strong potential to grow and could become the locomotive of the Croatian economy and catalyst in the transformation of Croatian society. A problem does arise for Croatia with its alarming demographic picture though. The 2021 census results reveal that the total population of Croatia has fallen below 4 million to 3.88 million, or close to 10% in last ten years. A relatively huge number of working age Croats have emigrated from Croatia in search of employment and a more orderly and predictable future for their families; 400,000 in the past ten years in fact! The governing HDZ government attributes much of this to expected people movement because of Croatia becoming a member state of the EU some nine years ago. Others though insist that this fall in population, especially the young working people, has occurred as Croatia in its supposed transition from communism to democracy has held to the former political habits firmly. Corruption and nepotism meant and means that all young people, or older ones, simply do not and did not have equal opportunities in employment. And the increasing number of innovative entrepreneurial small to medium companies are largely formed by expats returning to live in Croatia because they love the people and country as homeland. Relatively very few of the returnees have to my information and knowledge succeeded in obtaining employment in the public owned and run companies that form the strongest of infrastructure of Croatian economy.    

Majority of people in Croatia cannot remain excluded from discussions of their future by abstaining from voting at general elections as they do now and in doing so, they help communist mindset and habits (e.g., corruption, theft, nepotism) thrive as acceptable standards of living in a democracy. The low turnout at general election has become an alarming trend in Croatia, as also in neighbouring countries of Former Yugoslavia. Widespread bitterness in governments of past two decades especially seeps through, almost paralysing many voters to turn up at the polls.

The question now is how far the political communist chameleons in Croatia – will go, and whether their evidently waning electoral popularity will remain adequate to form a government, whether their seeming popularity among voters will diminish markedly or grow as more and more dormant voters assemble the courage to step into the voting stations at next elections.

Croatia’s imminent stepping into the Eurozone in January 2023 will surely result in political fallout or gain by the time parliamentary elections are due in 2024, unless they are rushed forward should the government fall ahead of regular four-year parliamentary mandates. Certainly, Croatian government has fallen before, e.g. 2016 and new elections ensured. The scandals whose foundations lie in government officials or high functionaries embroiled in corruption and theft, insider trading or misappropriation of public or EU funds appear a very threatening force to the government. And when we add to this unsavoury formula of scandals the ongoing bickering and bitching between the Prime Minster Andrej Plenkovic and Croatia’ President Zoran Milanovic we may be witness to another political crisis in Croatia which no alternative other than early general elections could alleviate. The introduction of the Euro currency may prove a fertile ground for many radical changes such as hurried general elections with a highest turnout of voters since May 1991 referendum for Croatia’s secession from communist Yugoslavia!  

I would like to think that the thirty years since that referendum have shown the Croatian people ample evidence that communist chameleons truly exist – to the detriment of the values of the Croatian Homeland War. Not to mention that majority of those who fought for Croatian independence and democracy, who earned their stripes and medals for their significant contributions in the creation of that wonderful and beautiful independent state as a democratic one are hardly ever acknowledged in Croatia and its diaspora. If one is looking for the evidence that communist chameleons exist – look no further! Ina Vukic

Disclaimer, Terms and Conditions:

All content on “Croatia, the War, and the Future” blog is for informational purposes only. “Croatia, the War, and the Future” blog is not responsible for and expressly disclaims all liability for the interpretations and subsequent reactions of visitors or commenters either to this site or its associate Twitter account, @IVukic or its Facebook account. Comments on this website are the sole responsibility of their writers and the writer will take full responsibility, liability, and blame for any libel or litigation that results from something written in or as a direct result of something written in a comment. The nature of information provided on this website may be transitional and, therefore, accuracy, completeness, veracity, honesty, exactitude, factuality and politeness of comments are not guaranteed. This blog may contain hypertext links to other websites or webpages. “Croatia, the War, and the Future” does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness or completeness of information on any other website or webpage. We do not endorse or accept any responsibility for any views expressed or products or services offered on outside sites, or the organisations sponsoring those sites, or the safety of linking to those sites. Comment Policy: Everyone is welcome and encouraged to voice their opinion regardless of identity, politics, ideology, religion or agreement with the subject in posts or other commentators. Personal or other criticism is acceptable as long as it is justified by facts, arguments or discussions of key issues. Comments that include profanity, offensive language and insults will be moderated.
%d bloggers like this: