Croatia: Will The Door To New Government Be Kicked Open Or …

 

New Croatian Parliament inaugural meeting 14 October 2016 (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)

New Croatian Parliament
inaugural meeting 14 October 2016
(AP Photo/Darko Bandic)

I’m bursting with anticipation and curiosity waiting to hear whether Dr Zlatko Hasanbegovic will continue as minister for culture in the new Andrej Plenkovic led government of Croatia. Smaller parties and independents had huddled around HDZ (Croatian Democratic Union) and its leader Andrej Plenkovic with relative ease and a rather miraculous speed to support HDZ minority government receive the needed parliamentary majority goodwill for forming a government. But that government, i.e. the make-up of the government Cabinet (Ministers) is still a big enigma. It has remained an enigma even though the new Croatian Parliament had been convened and officially constituted on Friday 14 October 2014, with Bozo Petrov (leader of MOST/Bridge of independent lists as Speaker and HDZ/Croatian Democratic Union’s Miljan Brkic, Gordan Jandrokovic and outgoing Speaker Zeljko Reiner as deputy Speakers of the new parliament). Not even an inkling, yet, as to which of the elected members will be filling the all-important roles of government ministers. We are reassured, however, that the persons to serve as ministers in the new government will be announced during the coming week.

“They” do say that good things come to those who wait. I shall hold destiny responsible to deliver on this.

Andrej Plenkovic Croatia's Prime Minister designate Announces restructure of new government in parliament Friday 14 October 2016 Photo: screenshot HRT news

Andrej Plenkovic Croatia’s Prime Minister designate
Announces restructure of new government
in parliament Friday 14 October 2016
Photo: screenshot HRT news

 

Prime Minister designate, Andrej Plenkovic, has – amidst copious amounts of media speculation regarding who will and who will not get to serve as minister in his government – made it publicly clear last week that “I am the PM designate and nobody will determine the appointment of ministers,” (but me). Of course, it’s a given that a PM must choose those people to serve as members of his/her government executive team he or she can best work with in order to achieve outcomes from the government’s set goals or program. The top goal for any government is to serve and promote national interests and Croatian national interests at this stage are significantly marked by the need to rid the country of the remnants of the unproductive and undemocratic practices still present due to habits instilled by the former communist regime of Yugoslavia.

Things appear to be looking up in this sense as we learn that the delay in naming future government ministers may well be associated with the restructure of public administration and government being decided upon and announced. I.e., as announced by Plenkovic last Friday night Croatia is to have 19 out of 20 current ministries but a new ministry for demographics, family, the youth and social politics to be created from existing set ups with view to thrust into the front lines the solving of the falling birth rate and increasing emigration. To achieve a lesser number of ministries functions of some previous ones have been merged into new ones (merger into one ministry of economic, business and trade portfolios; the return to ministry of Croatia Veterans as opposed to the current veterans affairs, etc.) There will also be six instead of four Central government offices. State Secretaries will replace the current deputy-minister positions and the role of Assistant to the minister will in time transition into Head of Administration and will be filled via public advertising and competition, which in essence represents a very significant positive step in securing incumbents of important public administration position on the basis of merit (not political affiliation); the Heads of Administration will have the status of Servants (public servants), which means that after ceasing to work in that position the incumbent would not enjoy extended remuneration as assistants to ministers receive now.

After Social Democrats’ representative suggested that the new structure will mean increased number of central bodies, thus suggesting increased government spending, Andrej Plenkovic replied: “There’s no intention to increase administration or expenses but the key intention is in increased rationalisation, increased outputs and de-politicisation and professionalisation of public administration,” reports HRT news.

During this time of delay in naming the ministers of the new government HDZ and its leaders would do well in heeding the words and warnings regarding Croatian priority national interests contained in the statement released Saturday 15 October 2015 by the Croatian Bishops’ Conference. Croatian Bishops have called for the Croatian people and society to unity and maturity so that it would have the strength to endure the newly staged attempts in creating myths and in the spreading of lies. That is not a call to “return to the past”, but a motivation and a wish to free ourselves from the burden and the weights from the past that place a burden upon our today and blur our vision for the future, emphasised the Bishops’ statement.

Croatian Bishops' Conference 15 October 2016 Photo: Hrvatska biskupska konferencija

Croatian Bishops’ Conference
15 October 2016
Photo: Hrvatska biskupska konferencija

The Bishops consider the current regard towards the victims of the communist regime, especially when it comes to mass graves and the remains of those that perished, in Croatia and in other places, especially in Slovenia, expressed by the relevant Croatian organisations and by the Croatian state generally as unacceptable and damaging,” says the Bishops’ statement in which Croatian Bishops emphasise that the upgrading of Greater Serbia myths neglects the suffering of the Croatian population during the Homeland War, the destruction of property…and the inadequate acknowledgement of Croatian veterans in the creation of freedom and independence. The Bishops call upon the appropriate Croatian government bodies to engage the necessary effort in order to place a light upon the truth of Jasenovac camps as well as upon the post-WWII sufferings. With this, the victims would receive due respect and the truth will usher in more peace into the families whose members have suffered…Bishops say.

 

Bozo Patrov Speaker of Croatian Parliament Photo: N1

Bozo Patrov
Speaker of Croatian Parliament
Photo: N1

It is a fact that Yugoslav communists who call themselves “the liberators” had from 1945 destroyed the Croatian civil society and committed the crime of murdering the country’s intelligence (the part that was not pro-communist). Hence, hundreds of priests, writers, journalists, publicists, cultural and social and political elites, engineers, lawyers, teachers etc. were liquidated, while others fled the country in order to escape sure death. The communists knew well that their success in ruling the people  depended heavily on getting rid of the part of the country’s intelligentsia that was against communism. In modern Croatia, stripping Croatia of its most deserving son for its independence and democracy – Franjo Tudjman – had been a purposefully vilifying agenda for several years before Tudjmans death and after his death from 2000 when former communists’ win of government as well as Stjepan Mesic’s win of the country’s presidency followed. The official cultural pursuits or the ministry of culture under the left and centre-left leadership had played a large part in making sure that the condemnation of communist crimes does not pick up ground in any significant measure within the Croatian society. Ministry of culture has been and is a government body through which all publications, books, films, cultural associations etc must go in order to see the light of day. Thankfully, in his short role as culture minister of Croatia’s short-lived previous government Zlatko Hasanbegovic had commenced the process of bringing balance into the ministry’s (the society’s) pursuits of Croatian truth, which of course meant that communist crimes needed to become an agenda to be openly and without reservations dealt with on the basis of facts and truth. This move of course earned him terrible blows and branded him as ultra-nationalist, Ustashe, fascist, revisionist …

 

In other words, within six months of being Croatia’s minister for culture Hasanbegovic had declared his resistance to the cultural hegemony, or upon the dominant influence the communist Yugoslav left side of Croatia’s political playing field had wielded since late 1990’s when the so-called “detudjmanisation” commenced. Because of this, Hasanbegovic had been a target of terrible attacks within Croatia and beyond – staged and implemented by former communists and their mates, including the head of Istrael’s branch of Simon Wiesenthal Centre – filled with hateful lies.

From left: Miljan Brkic, Gordan Jandrokovic, Zeljko Reiner HDZ's deputies of Croatian Parliament Will these men manage to keep in check the small-town-mayor- turned-speaker-of-parliament Bozo Petrov if once again he goes rogue against government leadership? Photo: Patrik Macek/Pixsell

From left: Miljan Brkic, Gordan Jandrokovic, Zeljko Reiner
HDZ’s deputies of Croatian Parliament
Will these men manage to keep in check
the small-town-mayor-
turned-speaker-of-parliament
Bozo Petrov if once again he goes rogue against government leadership?
Photo: Patrik Macek/Pixsell

Although Andrej Plenkovic as designated PM has made it abundantly clear that he will not be influenced by anyone’s pressure in naming the ministers of his government and that the ministers will be those persons he himself chooses one can only pray and hope that his choice for culture minister is Zlatko Hasanbegovic. Having demonstrated some good insight and analysis skills so far one can only trust that Plenkovic has come to a realisation that by not naming Hasanbegovic as minister also means that he is joining the posse of liars against Hasanbegovic and also means joining the posse of anti-Croatian propaganda. Plenkovic’s move in the next couple of days will be interesting to watch because all eyes in Croatia and beyond seem fixed upon this very issue of whether Hasanbegovic is to continue as culture minister. If he does appoint Hasanbegovic then Croatia has a new lease of life for positive moves towards ridding Croatian public administration and associated processes of communist regime’s progress-stifling remnants. If he does not appoint Hasanbegovic then Croatia’s reputation and daily reality are at a terrible loss and suffer a damaging setback in moving forward from the burdens of history that must be cleared – not swept under the carpet. Not naming Hasanbegovic as minister will also mean that Plenkovic either directly or vicariously agrees with the false allegations of neo-fascism/revisionism made against Hasanbegovic and Croatia. And so I wonder if the imminent announcement of new government ministers will feel like the door has just been kicked open (with unexpected and niggling surprises) or that it has just been opened – with the right mix of people eloquently showing through. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

Croatia: Holocaust Memorial At Jasenovac Joined By Wreaths For Victims of Communist Crimes

 

Croatian government leadership and members of parliament officially hold memorial service at Jasenovac for victims of the Holocaust Friday 22 April 2016 Photo: Slavko Midzor/Pixsell

Croatian government leadership
and members of parliament
officially hold memorial service
at Jasenovac for victims of the Holocaust
Friday 22 April 2016
Photo: Slavko Midzor/Pixsell

Some politically inclined Jews and Serbs in Croatia and outside will understandably keep telling you that Jasenovac camp was a death camp where Croatian WWII Ustashi regime exterminated many thousands of Jews, Serbs, Roma and anti-regime Croats. That has been the official history so far, written by WWII victors and communists of Yugoslavia. The same people will tell you that anyone pointing to and attempting to get justice for the victims of communist crimes at the same place after WWII ended is acting badly, is attempting to relativise the crime of Holocaust, water it down, unacceptably revise history…

 

On the other hand, a number of historians, witnesses and researchers of post-WWII Jasenovac camp will keep telling you that Jasenovac camp was also a camp of communist purges and exterminations, which was kept open as such until 1951, well beyond the end of WWII in 1945 and well hidden from “world’s eyes” as such, behind the closed borders of Tito’s Yugoslavia for several years after the war had ended.

 

These historians, witnesses and researchers stand for the truth for all victims but sadly, with politically motivated agendas, are often labeled as neo-fascists, historical revisionists…I have become tired from repeating this sad fact over and over again, but, it must be done if truth and justice are to eventually win the adoration of most.

Jasenovac 22 April 2016 President of Croatian Parliament Zeljko Reiner lays a wreath to honour te memory of victims of the Holocaust Those perished in the camp betweek 1941-1945 Photo: Slavko Midzor/Pixsell

Jasenovac 22 April 2016
President of Croatian Parliament
Zeljko Reiner
lays a wreath to honour the memory
of victims of the Holocaust
Those perished in the camp betweek 1941-1945
Photo: Slavko Midzor/Pixsell

Most, if not all, major world media outlets will tell you that on Friday 22 April 2016 Croatia has held the official memorial service, sponsored by the Croatian parliament, at WWII Jasenovac death camp for tens of thousands of people murdered by Nazi Germany’s allies. That, officials laid wreaths to victims of the Ustashe regime, which incarcerated Jews, Serbs and others in brutal conditions. That the official memorial service was boycotted by Jewish and Serb groups because, they say, the Croatian government has not acted against use of Ustashe salutes by individual nationalists etc.

 

However, these leading world media outlets will not tell you that there were, nevertheless, representatives of the Croatian Jewish community at the memorial in Jasenovac on Friday 22 April, e,g. Jewish Community Zagreb, Vladimir Bogdanic and that Branko Lustig, the renowned Hollywood film Director (Schindler’s List), an Auschwitz camp survivor, was there representing the president of Croatia who was abroad at the time of the memorial. These leading media outlets will not tell you that the Roma organisations representatives attended the official memorial of 22 April in numbers. Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic led a silent column of officials who laid wreaths at the memorial to the victims on the 71st anniversary of a mass break-out from the camp at the end of the war, among the attendees were a large number of parliamentarians of Croatia and therefore any boycott of this official memorial can only serve as an embarrassment for the boycotters.

Representatives of Croatian National Platform lay a wreath at Jasenovac for victims of communist crimes as well on Friday22 April 2016 for the first time ever in this place of piety. Photo: Maxportal

Representatives of
Croatian National Platform
lay a wreath at Jasenovac
for victims of communist crimes as well
on Friday22 April 2016
for the first time ever in this
place of piety.
Photo: Maxportal

More telling of the bias of these main world media outlets is that they will not tell you that for the first time since its existence this year’s memorial at Jasenovac did not mark piety just for the victims of the Holocaust – it marked the victims that are said are there mixed up with Holocsaust victims but are victims of Yugoslav communist crimes. Murdered there, buried there and counted as victims of the Holocaust! So claim historians and researchers. On Friday 22 April 2016, representatives of the Croatian National Platform (HNP) organisation laid a wreath at Jasenovac for the victims of “1941 – 1951” at Jasenovac. This was a bold and courageous move and its consequences, if any, will be interesting to follow. World history records that Jasenovac camp closed in 1945 but this strongly claims it did not!

For all those that perished here at Jasenovac between 1941 and 1951 Ribbon on wreath laid 22 April 2016 Photo: Maxportal

For all those that perished
here at Jasenovac
between 1941 and 1951
Ribbon on wreath laid
22 April 2016
Photo: Maxportal

 

According to sources, between 1945 and 1951 communist Partisans brought some 50,000 mostly Croatian soldiers POW’s, to Jasenovac, many of whom were murdered there. This truth was forbidden during communist Yugoslav regime and it has only been since 1990’s that serious research has been undertaken on the matter. The HNP representatives bearing the said wreath at Jasenovac on Friday 22 April did not get a warm reception – in a resistance to their wreath they were sent to seek permission from the director of Jasenovac Memorial Centre, Natasa Jovicic, who responded by asking them not to worry about Curator Pejakovic’s attempt to ban the wreath, to just lay the wreath as everyone has the right to lay wreaths for the dead. When her attention was drawn to what was written on the wreath – “For all those that perished here between 1941 and 1951” she shrugged her shoulders and indicated to the direction where wreaths were being laid.
Jasenovac is a place of great pain and sadness, of remembering and warning,” wrote the eldest Jasenovac Holocaust survivor, Peta Molnar, and emphasised “it must not be a place of hatred!” How potent will these words be for some of the evidently pro-communist Jewish and Serb lobby in Croatia, who had chosen to boycott this year’s official memorial at Jasenovac, is anyone’s guess. Whether they or others will interpret the wreath for the victims of communist crimes at Jasenovac as relativisation of the crime of Holocaust seems no longer important for the truth as, it, the truth of communist crimes is breaking through for us. Restless times on these issues are ahead and no doubt much resistance towards further unraveling of communist crimes. Keeping my ears to the ground on this one – as always, for the victims. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

Croatia’s Minister Hasanbegovic Must Stay Put For Justice For Victims Of Communist Crimes

 

Zlatko Hasanbegovic Minister for Culture Croatia Photo: Grgo Jelavic/Pixsell

Zlatko Hasanbegovic
Minister for Culture
Croatia
Photo: Grgo Jelavic/Pixsell

There’s not much as repugnant and as unacceptable in today’s democracies and freedoms than when an official or employee of a non-government organisation or a government official takes the liberty of seeking that an another country’s government dismisses one of its government ministers, elected into the parliament of his/her country by the people.

 

 

Well, I thought I had heard it all that was inappropriate, distasteful and simply wrong that could come out of the mouth of that politically odious, meddling Israel Based person called Efraim Zuroff. But obviously I thought wrong. Having probably by now, justly and rightfully, caught all the WWII war criminals considered and/or proven to have committed crimes against the Jewish people, Holocaust, Zuroff perhaps has a lot of time on his hands and enters into meddling in other countries’ governments in his efforts to stall and obstruct justice against communist crimes and criminals. The Israel-based Simon Wiesenthal Center urged Croatia’s government on Friday 5 February 2016 to dismiss its culture minister, saying he took a disdainful attitude towards Croatian resistance to fascism during World War Two, reports The Jerusalem Post.

 

 

Incredulous!

 

 

What the Croatian minister Zlatko Hasanbegovic is doing in this “field” is working towards justice for the hundreds of thousands of innocent Croats murdered or buried alive by the communist partisans during and after WWII! Of course his actions are noted and attract particular attention at this time because the issues of communist mass murders of innocent people were put back and neglected by the former Social Democrat, pro-communist government of Croatia and all those years Efraim Zuroff kept as quiet as a mouse – innocent victims of communist crimes are not worth the respect, it seems. Repulsive.

 

Efraim Zuroff Photo: Jorg Carstensen/DPA

Efraim Zuroff
Photo: Jorg Carstensen/DPA

The Jewish human rights group expressed “shock and indignation at several actions taken and comments made” by minister Zlatko Hasanbegovic.
We urge the Croatian government to replace Hasanbegovic with a person suitable for the post of minister of culture who will bring honour and prestige to the post, rather than embarrass his country before the entire world,” the director of Wiesenthal Center, Efraim Zuroff, said in a statement on its website, writes the Jerusalem Post.

In a statement issued on Friday, Zuroff expressed the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s outrage over Hasanbegovic’s publication of the “notorious book about Holocaust commemoration by the universally-discredited American author Norman Finkelstein and his baseless and totally inaccurate comments regarding the history of Croatia during World War II and the Holocaust,” the Center reported.
Zuroff goes even deeper in his attempts to salvage WWII and post-WWII communists many of whom were nothing more than cold-blooded murderers just like many fascists were. “Even worse in the Croatian context, is the minister’s blind refusal to recognize the genocidal nature of the Ustasha regime, and his disdain for the brave Croatian anti-fascists who fought against it. This absolutely baseless revision of the history of World War II and the Holocaust is totally outrageous and absolutely unacceptable,” he added.

 

Huda Pit Hundreds of innocent victims of post-WWII Communist Crimes against innocent Croats This is just a relatively small sample of the "other" WWII truth Efraim Zuroff and communist sypmathisers are seemingly attempting to belittle and turn justice for victims into politics

Huda Pit
Hundreds of innocent victims
of post-WWII
Communist Crimes
against innocent Croats
This is just a relatively
small sample of the “other”
WWII truth Efraim Zuroff and communist sypmathisers
are seemingly attempting to belittle
and turn justice for victims into politics

For your benefit Mr Zuroff, and for the benefit of those that appear as warped when it comes to the WWII and post-WWII complete truth – many of the “brave Croatian anti-fascists” of WWII were nothing more than communist thugs and mass murderers and the sooner you settle that truth into your head the better the world will be; or more peaceful, anyway. Minister Hasanbegovic does not nor has he denied the truth of the Holocaust but surely he has the right – as we all do – to help assert the truth and has a right of opinion and thought. Seems Zuroff might think only a select crowd has those rights (?).

 

Revision of written WWII and Post-WWII  history is essential for justice and truth – surely the future generations of a free world cannot thrive on lies and political deceptions we’ve had to choke on for decades!

 

Of course, Efraim Zuroff is not the only one calling for Hasanbegovic’s dismissal as minister of culture. Zuroff appears to be the only one in the world that is not a voter in Croatia nor is he a citizen of it. Pro-communist groups in Croatia or simply some artists or online journalists, whose “secure” tenure had been guaranteed through government subsidies is in jeopardy due to Hasanbegovic’s measures to cut out state funding for some not-for-profit online media outlets, are also out in some streets and town squares, expressing their displeasure at Hasanbegovic’s courage to cut out the taxpayer funding for apparently superfluous entities and telling them to find alternative ways of doing business or finding money to operate rather than depending on taxpayers and his courage to fight for the rights of hundreds of thousands of innocent victims of communist crimes. As to cutting state funding for some nonprofitable entities I say good for you minister – people need to learn to stand on their own two feet, compete for survival in the business and other bread-winning world just like people in world democracies have been for centuries. Shrug off every single useless, dependency-feeding link to former Yugoslavia systems. Hasanbegovic and the new Croatian government rightly insist that WWII communist partisans were NOT anti-fascists as they supported the communist regime, which committed atrocities and mass murders against innocent people.

 

 

These are tense times in Croatia, politically speaking, as pro-Communists or pro-antifascists as they call themselves, gather momentum and attack minister Hasanbegovic and Croatia’s new government with foul lies, branding them all as Fascists, and act with utterly ugly disrespect for innocent victims who perished in multitudes under the communist brutal hand. These tense times were expected for communists at heart and communist sympathisers are not about to give up easily, without a fight, the glory and kudos, albeit on false pretenses and false history writings, they enjoyed for seven decades. They may enjoy Zuroff’s loyalty and perhaps the loyalty of other influential Jewish organisations throughout the world in whose political interest it might be to thwart justice for WWII and post-WWII communist crimes, but it is high time that communist crimes were treated separately to the Holocaust crimes – both politically and judicially. If innocent victims of Nazism and Fascism received their justice as victims of Holocaust crimes so too must the innocent victims of communist crimes. No ifs or buts about it. I join multitudes across the world and wish minister Zlatko Hasanbegovic and the new government of Croatia all the strength to endure the attacks by these largely false “emissaries of justice” who point a finger at the minister and the government as they recognise the strength needed to finally defeat their/communist foul attempts to deny justice to victims of communist crimes. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zhb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

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