Croatia: Sovereignty Should Equal Decommunisation


“Croatian sovereignists” press conference
9 February 2019
Photo: Screenshot

It’s been several years since Croatian politics had entered largely uncharted waters of political survival and political assertion in a democratic system, which fundamentally promotes freedom of political and other association. The struggle for political survival and assertion in Croatia among the voting population, which has until 1990 lived for five decades under a one-party (communist) system, has shown the full plethora of rewards and backlashes that Western democracies have been seeing for much longer. But, for Croatia, assertion of this democracy has meant for political parties and citizens’ political initiatives swimming or sinking in unchartered waters, particularly when the need for political coalition or union is seen by some (or many) as rather imperative for political survival.

Croatia, as most countries of democratic tenure, has particularly in the last two decades seen minority governments elected where coalition with other parties was essential in order to form a government. The thorn in the eye over recent years has, it seems, been the coalition with ethnic minority political parties to form a government, which left and leaves among the population the uncomfortable notion that ethnic minorities are dictating the direction and reality of the Croatian state that is increasingly seen as “anti-Croatian”, “anti-sovereignist”. A particular discomfort and voter-irritation is associated with the government coalition with the Independent Serb Democratic Party/Milorad Pupovac. Indeed, such a coalition had also meant that much of kudos and deserved recognition and practice of Croatian Homeland War values had slowly and unacceptably fallen to the wayside. In all the desperation and hopelessness that has ensued, dozens of new political parties, dozens of new political citizens’ initiatives – “to save Croatia from utter ruin” – have emerged.

A new political culture is emerging in Croatia.

In this new political culture, attitudes that the right-wing/conservative politicians are the true sovereignists, true saviours of Croatia, and that the others (including current government) are globalists who want to destroy the Croatian national being, are emerging daily through some public media outlets as well as through social media. Moral judgments, political myths and realities, beliefs, and ideas about what makes for a good Croatian society appear to be dished out almost incessantly these days. When there are little or no practical solutions offered or visibly worked on for a better, “an ideal”, Croatian society, a state of political culture of confusion and wandering in unchartered waters emerges.

There is an increasingly present expression from the conservative, right wing political plethora in the community that all conservative political parties and leaders should unite and form a political force that would topple the current HDZ-led (Croatian Democratic Union) government at elections as well as drown the chances for SDP (Social Democratic Party), the other historically major political party, at coming elections. Even some of the media in Croatia is addressing this issue of late. At times they appear to suggest to the public that if a party or some political figure of note, from the conservative political orientation, does not join such a union then – well – then they “don’t want” to be a part of this “union of saviours”! That these are not sovereignists, is what’s suggested!

Nothing could be further from the truth, though!

There have been and there are numerous political parties, individuals and citizens’ initiatives that are and have carefully and specifically tended to the preservation and assertion of Croatian national interests and national being. If we accept that in a democracy, and we should accept it, a political party is created in order to benefit the people, either generally or on specific issues, then the concept of uniting with others for greater election results beckons the question what or who will need to compromise their vision for a better country.

And, is that compromise worth the union?

International experience of coalition politics shows that instability is never far away. Indeed, the Croatian experience also shows this. However, that doesn’t mean that tightly and clearly founded coalition cannot work – at least for the achievement of particular and specific goals the country must achieve to move ahead.

The relatively recent shenanigans in frequent changes of Croatian government, in fallings out between government coalition partners, are testimony of what can go wrong in coalitions that are set up badly or in a rush of electoral win euphoria. What began as a rift over the Agrokor, for example, between HDZ and MOST (Bridge), spilled over, threatened and demolished the then existing coalition in government and a new one had be devised.

Like a Formula One car, if something small fails, the whole complex machine can fall apart and come off the road.

Worldwide experience shows that there is a clear danger for coalition partners surrendering the uniqueness of their identity. They are forced to compromise to accommodate the policies of others indispensable to the numerical ability of the coalition to govern.

Coalitions can result in significant electoral gains. But involvement in coalition, or union into a political force for that matter, does have electoral backlashes, particularly if siding with some traditional enemies is present. Coalitions are also inherently adversarial. It’s a necessary condition that parties work together. But empirical evidence from across the world shows that the primary rationale for coalition formation is the acquisition of political power.

There is nothing inherently objectionable to this. The best intentions for positive change are of little consequence unless coupled with the power to implement them. The acquisition of power through legal means is therefore a legitimate and fundamental objective of any political party that has the best intentions for the people that it seeks to serve.

But this inevitably generates conflict as coalition partners continuously manoeuvre themselves to ensure that they get the best return for their investment in political compromise. While each must work together, the end goal for each party or citizens’ initiative is its own success. And sometimes fights among friends can lead to more destructive and enduring fallouts than fights among foes.

Lessons from Germany are that successful coalitions have been founded on written agreements that create formal structures for engagement among partners (e.g. allocating responsibilities for specific tasks/matters/issues to specific individual members of the union) but also, that great coalitions stand, after all, on wobbly legs. The recent emergence of the right wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) from a marginal party to the game-changer in federal and state politics shows that great coalitions do not necessarily cater for all significant needs, emerging needs and aspirations among the people.

When a political coalition or union is assembled among several strong, and capable, political leaders the inevitable result is that only one can be seen as “The” leader and the others fall behind. This, in a strong sense, means that the country loses on active individual political leadership pool and, consequently, the diminution of that pool of needed publicly active innovation.

International experience shows a clear and direct relationship between well written coalition agreements and the stability of the coalition/union. But they’re not easily enforceable. That’s because they’re political agreements rather than legal agreements.

Therefore, the only way to ensure that coalition partners stick to a deal is to offer each partner enough benefits to ensure that it derives more political advantage by staying in the coalition, than if it were to ‘go it alone’ or offer its allegiances elsewhere.

On Saturday 9 February 2019, in Croatia’s capital Zagreb, a union of some right wing/conservative political parties, some citizens’ initiatives and associations was announced at a press conference. This political union calls itself “Croatian Sovereignists” and members say sovereignism is their platform for political engagement. Leading personalities from the small Hrast party (Ladislav Ilcic, Hrvoje Zkanovic MP, retired general Zeljko Sacic) Ruza Tomasic MEP from small Croatian Party of Rights Dr Ante Starcevic, Marijan Pavlicek of small Croatian Conservative Party, heads of a couple of critizens’ initiative including of Truth About the Istanbul Convention and Croatian Bedem (Bulwark) and associations spoke at the press conference.

President of Hrast Ladislav Ilcic said that the Croatian people seek the unity of all those who see Croatia as a sovereign state. He believes that the new political platform will achieve excellent results in the upcoming European and later Croatian parliamentary elections. “Plenkovic’s HDZ has turned sharply to the left and Croatia under that leadership has become one of the most open countries that follow globalist ideas that are very often in contradiction with Croatian national interests, Croatian pride and values that Croatian people have fundamentally determined over the centuries,” Ilcic said.

So we need people who will represent us with an open mind, who don’t hesitate saying what they think and what is best for Croatia and that we don’t go to Brussels for our opinion but with our opinion. If the voters decide to continue supporting those who are for a big Europe, when we become marginalised, no one will be to blame but ourselves,” Ruza Tomasic said.

Hrast representative at Croatian Parliament, Hrvoje Zekanovic, said that the Croatian sovereignist means to be against the Istanbul Convention imposed by the EU, against the Marrakech Agreement as it is bad for Croatia, for the blocking of Serbia on its way to the EU so that aggression against Croatia could finally be recgonised and acknowledged and war damages paid/compensated as well as for defending the rights to life and defending the Croatian people in Bosnia and Herzegovina and on question of the diaspora.

When asked by journalists whether they have approached other political parties and citizens’ initiatives to join this union Ilcic said that they were “…open for collaboration with all those who think like we do, who have similar opinions regarding Croatia as we do …they say that they are going to elections independently, the future will show if that is good…”.

One would prefer to have heard at the press announcement some more concrete, practical ways this political union intends to strengthen the sovereignty of the Republic of Croatia. To list the blocking Serbia on its path to the EU, or getting Serb aggression against Croatia finally recognised or ensuring compensation for war damages just isn’t enough, nor most important – by a long shot. This way the press conference felt more like the springboard to an election campaign than an organised body o forces that is clear on all paramount tasks for the future of Croatia.

The most important platform for real sovereignty of Croatia are decommunisation and lustration.

It goes without saying that were Croatia to rid itself from largely ineffective public administration riddled with corruption it would inject new trust, new optimism for the much needed foreign investment in the country that would stabilise if not improve the much ailing economy. Clearing of former communists and their like-minded people from public administration either physically or through new and tightened regulations and laws is the only and natural step to full sovereignty. I say this because the Homeland War was fought and won in order to establish full democracy and you cannot have a full democracy with so much of the communist Yugoslavia practices, conducive to corrupt practices, in public administration continuing practically unimpeded. Ina Vukic

Croatia, Migrant Crisis And Marrakesh Agreement

2nd from Left: Hrvoje Zekanovic, MP
Center: Zeljko Sacic
PHOTO: Screenshot


The recently increased Croatian border control/protection activities and the mainstream media’s focus on scuffles and clashes between migrants and Bosnian police draw the attention to a much bigger problem and issue hovering over the world, not just Croatia. That issue appears to be laced with the fact that the focus on illegal migration remains but the original goal of stopping African, Syrian, Iraqi, Afghanistan … citizens from migrating into Europe appears to have been lost entirely. The so-called Marrakesh Declaration on migration collaboration, signed by 31 European and 26 African countries on 2 May 2018 as part of what is known as the Rabat Process of Euro-African Dialogue on Migration and Development, pronounces African (Syrian, Iraqi, Afghan…) legal migration to be a positive thing, even stressing the beneficial idea of migration of certain groups, such as researchers and business people (to create jobs!). Formal adoption of the Marrakesh agreement is expected in December 2018 during a conference in Marrakesh, Morocco.

Many people who oppose mass immigration into Europe are suspicious that the Marrakesh Declaration heralds a new sustained wave of immigration into Europe. And, judging by the real implications of the Declaration, Croatia is likely to become a migration hot spot.

The Hungarian government appears to be the only government that considers whether the citizens it was elected to serve would support the declaration. Croatian government as well as the President appear to think that asking their electorates what they think about the Marrakesh Declaration and African migration into Europe/Croatia is irrelevant. Hungary was the only EU country that refused signing the declaration, citing threats to security and saying the agreement was “in conflict with common sense and also with the intent to restore European security.” Hungary joined the United States as one of two United Nations members that are not committing to the worldwide migration collaboration agreement, the first of its kind to lay out international standards for countries to address migration.

This Global Compact for Migration (of which the so-called Marrakesh declaration is a part of) is the first-ever UN global agreement on a common approach to international migration in all its dimensions. The global compact is currently non-legally binding, however, once agreements are signed by the participating countries it is more than likely to become legally binding. It is grounded in values of state sovereignty, responsibility-sharing, non-discrimination, and human rights, and recognises that a cooperative approach is needed to optimise the overall benefits of migration, while addressing its risks and challenges for individuals and communities in countries of origin, transit and destination.

The global compact comprises 23 objectives for better managing migration at local, national, regional and global levels. The UN maintains that the compact:
• aims to mitigate the adverse drivers and structural factors that hinder people from building and maintaining sustainable livelihoods in their countries of origin;
• intends to reduce the risks and vulnerabilities migrants face at different stages of migration by respecting, protecting and fulfilling their human rights and providing them with care and assistance;
• seeks to address the legitimate concerns of states and communities, while recognising that societies are undergoing demographic, economic, social and environmental changes at different scales that may have implications for and result from migration;
• strives to create conducive conditions that enable all migrants to enrich our societies through their human, economic and social capacities, and thus facilitate their contributions to sustainable development at the local, national, regional and global levels”.

While the United Nations says the accord is intended to preserve the human rights of all migrants by offering a framework for national governments devising their own policies on migration, the Hungarian government representatives maintain that the accord does not address the fundamental human rights of people who want nothing else than to be able to live in peace and security in their own homelands.

Caution is being felt even from leaders of some participating countries who are currently espousing views and implementing policies that go against the Declaration’s spirit. In Denmark, for instance, the government has decided to single out children in ghettos, in neighbourhoods with high proportion of immigrants by requiring them to learn about Danish culture and Christmas, religious traditions. In Italy, foreign minister Enzo Moavero had threatened to close off his country’s ports to EU ships carrying rescued migrants while anti-immigrant mood in Italy continually escalates. Austria’s coalition government has unveiled plans to cut benefit payments for immigrants, including refugees, in a move aimed at deterring new arrivals as well as proposing a ban on headscarves for girls aged under 10 in schools.

With escalating tension from illegal migrants attempting to cross the Croatian border from Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina during the past several weeks especially, where hundreds of refugees that had been involved in the clashes with border police did not pull back and instead decided to spend the night in the open air, camped out in tents and makeshift shelters. The situation is reminiscent – albeit currently on a lower scale – of one seen a few years ago on the border between Serbia and Hungary, at the apex of the migration crisis along the ‘Balkan route’.

On Wednesday 24 October 2018 evening, Croatian president Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic met in Zagreb with Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic, with whom she discussed the tense situation along the border. The minister ensured her that the police had the situation under complete control and that they were prepared to intervene to stop acts of violence and attempts to illegally enter Croatia. Thousands of migrants, including families, have been staying in north-western Bosnia and Herzegovina — many camping out in the open — while trying, often with force and aggression, to cross into Croatia and journey onward to other EU countries.

Member of Croatian Parliament Hrvoje Zekanovic, Zeljko Sacic (Action for a better Croatia party) and representatives from Associations that emerged after the Homeland War have held a press conference this week at the Croatian border crossing Miljavec, expressing concerns regarding the apparently imminent signing of the Marrakesh agreement in December by the president of Croatia Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic .

Zekanovic said:

“…the key problem here, as General Zeljko Sacic said, is that our president intends to sign on 10 December, in Morocco, in Marrakesh, international agreement which has to do with agreement on the liberalisation of migrant movements across the world. I’m sorry to see that the Croatian media has not devoted its attention to this subject while the UN representatives have clearly said that the main reason for the signing of that agreement is the need for workers. In other words, we will soon receive a new call, similar to the one we received a few years ago from Mrs Merkel, Germany: come, you are welcome… President Grabar Kitarovic has stated she will sign the agreement and that is impermissible to us here…This is not just a drop in the ocean, that is, we fear that in the coming period of time we will have increasingly larger waves of migrants …the UN itself has recently said that there are about 250 million migrants waiting to head for Europe …I want to accentuate here that both Slovenia and Hungary are in the Schengen Zone and Croatia is not. Someone has permitted Slovenia and Hungary to raise barbed-wire fences, to be impermeable, Croatia is permeable and today we have an absurd situation where we are member of the EU but not the Schengen Zone and tomorrow we will be exactly in the place, the furthest place migrants can come to because Slovenia’s and Hungary’s borders are impermeable. I fear Croatia will turn into a hot spot and we see no serious decisions from the Croatian institutions, we see only silence, and I fear that the signature in Morocco will escalate this situation.”

Zeljko Sacic has called in for the Croatian army to defend its borders. “All the politicians in Croatia cannot allow that that there is only five or six thousand border police force members at the borders. Situations like these are beyond their capabilities. The border must be protected using all legally available resources, and one of these is the army,” Sacic said. He also confirmed that they came to the border crossing at the invitation of people living there.

The liberally biased mainstream media in Croatia has mainly ignored the concerns expressed at this press conference and it is unacceptable in a democracy that people are in effect denied information about the implications for their own lives and living the Marrakesh agreement brings. The wording of the Rabat Process documents focuses on sustainability and collaboration but the result has been mass African migration into Europe particularly through Italy. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the war in Syria and fall of Libya have resulted in more migrants that enter via Greece, and these in particular find themselves moving through Croatia or being stopped at the borders. These have been called refugees seeking asylum but have more often been economic migrants seeking a higher standard of living.

Whether the Marrakesh agreement, once signed and adopted in December, will actually legitimise efforts of multiculturalism as tool for peaceful existence or become the engineered, steered machine of a new invasion of Europe, which, by the way, is a widely spread grave concern that prevails in many European circles, is at this point anyone’s guess. One thing seems certain, though: mass immigration is incompatible with even the most generous of social programmes and Croatia is far from having a generated sustainable income for its social welfare and pension program. And this has the capacity of creating unrest and intolerance. Ina Vukic

Displacement of Croats – again?

Over 3 million displaced in wars that raged in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina  1991 - 1995

Over 3 million displaced in wars that raged in Croatia and
Bosnia and Herzegovina 1991 – 1995

To start this, let me just quote the start of Nenad Piskac’s article – Croats are dying out in Slovenia, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina – on Croatian Cultural Committee portal .

It’s bad for Croats in Croatia, so how would it not be worse for them in Slovenia, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina? Croats here and there in the “region” are not even political subjects. In some places they’re not even an object. They officially do not exist. Croats in Slovenia, for example, are not even an ethnic minority, in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina they are third-class “constitutional people” modified by Muslims and the only constitutional people without its own “entity” (living territory), in the Serbian Republic they were thoroughly ethnically cleansed without any prospect for return, and in Serbia, Croats can be anything they want except Croats”.
I wonder if anyone in the international community that “counts” has noticed this sad state of affairs while they bang on about the rights of ethnic minorities in Croatia? I wonder, if they’re going to do anything about it!

But, thankfully, there a many people that live and breathe for Croats’ rights. And when it comes to those within Croatia I’m quite glad that I have come across the “Action for a better Croatia” party and this is what it’s website says on the issue of Croats in Croatia:

“Lately, there have been frequent calls for youth to leave Croatia and seek their livelihood in some other countries, because there is no future for them where they were born and grew up. Besides showing present day tragedies such messages are extremely dangerous for the future of the Croatian people. Not even the biggest and richest countries in the world give up easily on their young people, so why are leaders of Croatia doing it and, for whose interests? Whom does it benefit that there are fewer Croats from generation to generation?  Can a small nation such as the Croatia afford such an attitude toward the future?

The recent census showed us the alarming demographic picture of Croatia, but the ruling political elite, and this government, the one that is currently governing as well as the one that governed the past decade, does not seem worried, in the least. Given that, over the past few years, we have witnessed a general neglect of national interests by these politicians, we can rightly conclude that the demographic collapse of Croatia is only one part of the plan for the destruction of an independent Croatian state and Croats as a nation.

But so that it would not appear that they are doing nothing, the ruling minds came up with a strategy to improve the demographic picture of Croatia and presented it to the National forum entitled “Demographics – conditions of Croatian future ” at which the sponsor of the Forum, President Josipovic, enthusiastically declares: ” There are two great tasks in front of us, and they are: to work on a pro-birthrate policy and to devise policies that will attract foreign citizens. The time of hideboundness has passed, Croatia has enough power and capacity to accept the young intellectuals who will certainly contribute to the development of Croatian pro-birthrate policies.”

So, that’s the plan, Mr. President? ‘Young Croats to be sent into the world to seek a better future, and Croatia to be populated by foreign citizens, because Croatia is not hidebound but filled with capacity to accept anyone who puts his/her mind to living in it. Has it ever crossed your mind and the minds of your wise counsel how to make use of this capacity and retain Croatian youth in the Homeland and make use of their intellect and zeal for the betterment of Croatia and not for the benefit of another country, which has not invested a cent in their development?  Your Kukuriku (Cock-a-doodle-doo) colleagues have not thought of providing expectant mothers with financial and other support that would allow them to give birth to and raise a larger number of children, so that immigration would be unnecessary. But, they have thought to push through an ideology that leads to an even greater decrease in birth rates through health (sex) education.

Croatia has, throughout its history, always been broadminded and provided a home and a refuge for all that needed it, and in return these same settlers eventually in time took control of the government, persecuting their hosts and claiming the land as their own. After each such generosity we were left without one part of our territory, and we will not even speak of the disappearance of the population over the ages from Croatian territories.

The most obvious example of this is the time after the Second World War when your ideological role models expelled Croats and ethnic Germans from their ancestral lands and then settled immigrants from the whole of the former Yugoslavia. The nationality of settlers was “accidentally” mainly that of those who claimed that it is their country and “accidentally” these newcomers were given the best land and the best jobs, while the indigenous Croatian people were either politically and economic exiled or sentenced to mere survival.

After fifty years, the newcomers have concluded that “that” part of Croatia is theirs and that only they have the right to live there, and they argued their conclusions with a rifle and a knife. The truth is that their plan did not succeed, but regardless of the fact that they lost the war, broadminded Croats forgave them the slaughter and destruction they committed and let them to continue living peacefully on the stolen land, but again after twenty years, they claim that this is their country and seek within it some rights of their own, rights that are not recognized anywhere in the world and which are, in addition, based on earlier expulsions of the Croatian population.  Do we need to once again repeat this to prove (to whom?) that we are not hidebound or, have we learned something from history?

Croatia truly has the strength and the capacity for young people, but it is necessary to know how to mobilize and make available that strength and capacity to those who were born and educated in Croatia, and only if there are not enough of them invite foreigners to enrich Croatia to with their knowledge and skills.

Promising young people that they will soon be able to work in the EU, is of course a fraud because those who wanted to could have worked there already, and there have been limits on employment established through employment quotas and the cost of labor, which is the same as in the country from which the worker is coming. But, that is not the main problem, the main problem is the question for which previous political elites have no answer: WHY should our young people have to go to work and wander around in foreign countries, separated from their families, friends and the land where they grew up. We know the answer. They promise employment in other countries, because they are incompetent, unable to secure jobs for them in Croatia.

Neither the HDZ nor the Kukuriku Coalition have so far shown neither the knowledge nor the will to create out of the Croatia a country in which one can live from his/her work and create new values for future generations. All we have seen from them is the selling off of everything that was for sale, and a life on credit. It is high time for us to thank the one and the other for everything, and that finally Croatia is governed by those who created it and dreamed of it as a country of happy people who will not seek their fortune under other people’s skies.

It is high time for those that were exiled a long time ago to return to Croatia, and not for daily exoduses of Croats to occur due to the incompetence and neglect of the anti-national politicians.

Action for a Better Croatia, mr. Zeljko Cvrtila, acting president

Translated into English by Zeljko Zidaric and Ina Vukic

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