Croatia: Jazovka Pit – The Grit For Positive Change

Jazovka Pit Croatia
Mass grave of victims of communist crimes

 

Modern, independent, democracy desirous Croatia was created in the early 1990’s on the determination to secede from communist (?antifascist) Yugoslavia and the Croatian Homeland War secured its success. This is particularly a pertinent issue and fact to keep in mind and uphold strongly, especially because Croatia’s antifascists in their overwhelming majority did not want an independent Croatia, did not enlist to defend it against the Serbian and Yugoslav Army aggression and yet today and ever since the Homeland War ended in 1990’s they seized much of the power within the country, wrongfully pinning credit for Croatia’s independence to their own political agenda rather than those who did fight. The Homeland War and its veterans are consistently denied the rightful credit, political and social status. The significance of the Homeland War for today’s Croatia is consistently undermined and undervalued by those in power,especially since year 2000 when former Communist League and their political camp began coming to power.

The result is a bitterly divided, confused and disappointed nation that has lost the heart of the goal of freedom and democracy for which it paid in rivers of blood and devastation. The values fought for in Homeland War are usurped and pocketed by former communists (who generally rallied against Croatian independence from Yugoslavia), symbols of communist Yugoslavia celebrated on a large scale while those who fought for and wanted an independent Croatia are branded as fascists or ultra-right, visibly often vilified and socially degraded. Controlled mainstream media played a leading role in the latter and widely continues to do so in perverse disregard for victims of communist crimes.

Instead of finishing off the job it started, full democracy fully (optimally) separated from communist heritage, Croatia had after the Homeland War ended in late 1990’s stepped from conflict (with Yugoslav, Serb and Montenegrin forces) to co-existence between staunch communists/Yugoslavia nostalgics and anti-communists/pro-democracy and independence Croats, and after almost thirty years it is nowhere near the third stage or phase of development – reconciliation.

It is generally held worldwide that reconciliation is impossible until the truth is known. It is important for people to know what really happened and that truth be acknowledged and accepted on a national level. Croatia is very far from achieving that human, social and political standard that would open the doors and windows to a better future, the future it fought for during the Homeland War. While communist crimes are widely treated with justification instead of abhor, while Croatians keep wrongfully equating communism with antifascism, ignoring its depraved criminal past, pretending to have fought for Croatian people’s liberty or freedom during WWII when in fact it fought to keep them enslaved within Yugoslavia, spreading terror and purges of innocent people, especially against those who fought or wanted real Croatian freedom and liberty through NDH, there will be no reconciliation; the truth remains imprisoned even if it is visible to every eye.

Jazovka is a pit in the Zumberak area (some 90 km from Zagreb) where bodies of hundreds of fighters for an independent state of Croatia captured by the Partisans (communists fighting to retain Yugoslavia and Croatia within it) were dumped from January 1943 and, after WWII ended in 1945, hundreds dead (as well as many still alive) prisoners of war, medical staff, nuns, civilians were also dumped there. The pilgrimage to Jazovka occurs every year on 22 June and the dark hole in the ground, the pit’s opening with humble memorial stones, tell a horrific story. Not only the story of Jazovka but the story of horrendous communist crimes committed against Croatians who were the enemies of the communist regime.

General Zeljko Glasnovic, MP for Croatian Diaspora (L)
Dr Zlatko Hasanbegovic,MP, Independents for Croatia (R)
Laying wreath at Jazovka Pit 22 June 2019

June 22 also marks the date from 1941 when, communists say the first communist Partizan unit was formed. Due to lack of historical documentary evidence this has been disputed by several notable historians in Croatia. Whether it was formed then or not it and all Yugoslav Partisan units were communist despite the former communists’ and their sympathisers persistence in calling themselves antifascists. The truth is that Yugoslav communists were a far cry from antifascist movement of the then Europe. It is also the date when the so-called antifascists of Croatia gather at Brezovica forest, closer to Zagreb than what Zumberak is, to celebrate the formation of the first Partizan unit in 1941.

Despite declaring the federal nature of Yugoslavia’s organisation, the principles of republican statehood and national rights, the truth is that the communist powers systematically denied Croatian state individuality, persecuted and imprisoned hundreds of thousands of communist opponents, assassinated scores and murdered hundreds of thousands of Croatians after WWII (some 1000 mass graves with communist crimes victims lay scattered throughout Croatia alone, not to mention those throughout Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina) … all this led the bloody breaking away from Yugoslavia in 1990’s. Brezovica forest symbolises and represents all this and is celebrated as victory for people’s liberation! All this, they, the antifascists, pin onto the “glory” of liberating Europe in WWII! How deranged a political streak can get is demonstrated by this appalling and twisted perseverance.

Croatia’s Prime Minister Andrej Plenković Friday 21 June 2019 sent a congratulatory message on the occasion of the Anti-Fascist Struggle Day stating:

“Remembering the 22nd of June we remember the day when in 1941, in Croatia, in the Brezovica forest near Sisak, the first anti-fascist unit was founded in the occupied Europe at the time.

Contribution to the victory over Nazism and fascism in World War II, which was a prerequisite for the building of today’s democratic and united Europe, had been given by numerous Croatian anti-fascists, of whom we are reminded today.

With the establishment of independent, free and democratic Croatia, victory in the Homeland War and full membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the European Union, we have become an equal participant in building a common European future as well as preserving the universal values of peace, freedom and human rights.

On behalf of the Croatian Government and personally, all Croatian citizens, I congratulate the Anti-Fascist Fight Day.”

President Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic’s message came in the same tone as Prime Minister Plenkovic’s! 

What good is the President’s reported patronage of the Zumberak memorial event on June 22 when she fails miserably to mention in her address to the nation on this day the innocent victims of communist Partisans buried in the Zumberak Jazovka Pit! This is utterly devastating for anyone looking the truth in the face.

Jazovka Pit mass grave, Croatia

The universal values of peace, freedom and human rights were not the values afforded to Croatians by the communists and therefore, I, for one, reject the blanket congratulations expressed by Plenkovic and Grabar-Kitarovic to all Croatians. They are only too aware that Zumberak gathering is occurring at the same time as the Brezovica forest one and have the duty as Prime Minister and President to acknowledge that fact and not ignore it. They are, after all, the Prime Minister and President for the country that is suffering enormously because of the persistent justification and relative ignoration of communist crimes and denial of human rights to Croats who truly fought for Croatia’s independence.

Jazovka Pit and what it represents is the grit for change Croatia needs to embrace so desperately. The word grit in psychological terms represents the passion and the perseverance for meaningful goals and the most important goal in anyones life is to know the truth. For Croatia this goal is particularly critical and the perseverance with events such as the one at Jazovka Pit on 22 June, tell that true grit is alive and on course. Without such events, truth has no chance, reconciliation has no chance, justice for all victims has no chance. Ina Vukic

Independents For Croatia – Impress

It’s often been said that if the law won’t do it, the people will! This goes particularly so with matters that dig painfully deep into national pride that comes with victory for independence and installing democracy. After a ten-year determined rallying battles organised by “Circle for City Square” (“Krug za trg”) association from Zagreb, whose main aim is to rid Croatia of all totalitarian regime symbolism in public places the ongoing focus on removing former communist Yugoslavia’s leader’s (Josip Broz Tito/Marshal Tito) name from the most beautiful Zagreb city square gained stronger than ever political impetus during the May 2017 local elections in Croatia, when an “Independents for Croatia” political party and movement (steered by Bruna Esih, Zlatko Hasanbegovic and Zeljko Glasnovic) made it their electoral promise, if the Bruna Esih list won seats for the Zagreb city assembly.

Having won seats at the local elections, Bruna Esih and Zlatko Hasanbegovic offered support to the beleaguered Zagreb mayor Milan Bandic, who needed partners in order to form a majority in Zagreb Assembly, on condition that the Josip Broz Tito square’s name be changed. The populist mayor was re-elected for a sixth term but he struggled to form a majority in the new city assembly. For several years, Bandic refused to change the square’s name and said the issue would be decided at a referendum.

At its long meeting through the night between 31st August and 1st September 2017 the Zagreb City Assembly voted to strip the name of late Yugoslav leader Josip Broz Tito from the prominent opera-house square in the city. An historic vote that has delighted multitudes even though opinions coming from the left wing politics continue to raise protests against the vote. One wouldn’t expect anything else from the die-hard communist-loving lot. Given that 29 deputies voted for, 20 against and 1 abstained from voting it is to be expected that a wielding of red axes will last for some time in the camp of the disgruntled communist lot, hence the political unrest and polarisation within Croatia is set to continue.

But the removal of “Marshal Tito” name from that city square is a mighty lever for the pursuit of lustration in Croatia regardless of divisions and polarisation.

That city square will now be called the Republic of Croatia Square. A symbolism in that new name to the city square carries the very potent trait of freedom from oppression, from communism, that Croatian Homeland War victoriously ushered in 1990’s, having defended and liberated Croatia from the brutal Serb and communist Yugoslav army forces’ aggression.

No street or square in Croatia should bear Josip Broz Tito’s name,” said Zlatko Hasanbegovic before the Zagreb assembly vote.

It’s a small and belated satisfaction to all victims … of Yugoslav communist Titoist terror”, Hasanbegovic said after the voting was done.

Without a doubt, with several hundreds of thousands of innocent people murdered under the communist regime in WWII and post-WWII times Josip Broz Tito rates as one of the worst criminals in Croatia’s history and removing his name from the city square also serves as recognition that the era of communist Yugoslavia was a dark and oppressive age in Croatia’s history. Piles of human bones mark more than 800 communist crimes mass graves in Croatia and Tito and his communist regime organised and oversaw the murders.

To underpin Tito’s legitimacy, Croatia’s communists who wrongfully call themselves antifascists fostered and foster an image of Marshal Tito and the Partisans as humane, heroic liberators of all of Yugoslavia’s people from fascism and nationalism. But when one is confronted with the facts of communist crimes of mass murder, torture and oppression this painting of the communist regime makes the head spin with abhor. With the removal of Tito’s name from the Zagreb city square the political system that’s laden with former communist operatives will no longer be able to hide uninterrupted or justify the horrid truth behind the communist regime. Whether this will lead to a new political instability in Croatia is yet to be seen, but no objective reality-check in the circumstances of a relatively thriving communist mindset still present in Croatia would tell us that lustration will be an easy task to achieve, anyway. Cornering a dog always requires vigilant defences as the dog will attack and bite. And so it is of no wonder that the road to ridding Croatia of the communist mindset and exposing communist crimes has seen an increased labelling of it as neo-fascism or fascist moves.

The above labeling of any lustration attempts in Croatia (which still has not passed a lustration law that would have been a government obligation after Homeland War victory that ushered in democracy and rejected communism) would appear to evidence the fact that the procedural and legal-institutional issues occupy a marginal place in any “official” debate about lustration, and that main sources of discord are more ideological and political than legal. The two main strains within the lustration discourse could well be identified as:

(1) dystopian discourses that paint a frightful picture of a lustrated society and imply that the upheaval of lustration would ruin the chance for democratic evolution, and

(2) affirmative discourses that assert the need for lustration and portray the refusal to implement it as a barrier to successful transition to democracy.

The dystopian opposition to lustration is linked with the left-wing political affiliation or self-identification and the affirmative discourse with the right-wing orientation. The taking down of Josip Broz Tito from the Zagreb city square may serve as to open up a new era in Croatia where pursuits to lustration will take a formal and official shape and see all relevant communist Yugoslavia archives open and lustration law finally delivered by the parliament. Having in mind that the prevailing ideological and political resistance by the left to lustration is seeing increased pressure against the ruling centre-right HDZ/Croatian Democratic Union party as well as the centre-left SDP/Social Democratic Party opposition resulting in popularity polls plummet, as they’re both seen as resisting lustration, real progress towards actual lustration may indeed be on the horizon. It is of no wonder that with rather frequent changes of government Croatia has been in a serious and continuous political crisis for over three years in particular and this aura of political unrest yields itself to fresh political forces paving the ground for lustration. That fresh political force could well prove to be in the hands of the emerging “Independents for Croatia” party and political movement. A significant sway of voters to its side would be a prerequisite to success and as the past two decades have shown new political parties and movements are not news to Croatia. However, a new political movement that centres around completing the task Croatian people had set for themselves in 1991 referendum – to rid the country of communism – has the silver lining required to finally bring Croatia out of its dark communist age. Ina Vukic

Croatia: Last Bastion For Political Third Way Emerging (?)

 

Andrej Plenkovic
Croatian Prime Minister
Photo: screenshot

Generally, political pragmatism holds in highest esteem and values reality over ideology. It’s recognition that while a politician’s first job is to get elected, the second job is to do what is right, to the extent that the politician can convince the people to support it. It is the recognition that half a loaf is better than no loaf at all. It is the willingness to strike a compromise whereby as many people as possible get as much of what they want as possible. It is the willingness to work with others on common goals, regardless of differences on other goals. It is the recognition by political leadership and by voters that in a democracy no one ever gets their way on everything. Each parliamentary representative is an ingredient in the mix of government. Each may do their utmost to bend outcomes in their direction, but ultimately each has to recognise that the rest of the nation also has their representatives and has just as much claim as they have.

And it would seem that in Croatia this is not recognised for what it is (determination to carry on with governing the country, which should be seen as a normal and desirous pursuit of all politicians) by many people even though facets of political pragmatism have been unfolding before our eyes for quite a few months with the political crises that threatened yet another fall of government and yet another snap election within a mere six-month period.

Political pragmatism appears to have been the driving and determined force behind HDZ/Croatian Democratic Union (led by Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic) fight for survival at the top, in power and in government. For a democracy this is nothing abnormal and nothing unexpected where power at the top means the artery through which election platforms for governing the country flow and are solidified or attempted to be solidified through goals.

On Friday 9 June 2017 HDZ/Croatian Democratic Union made its final moves to secure its minority government and it has saved its bacon. By forming coalition with its ideological opponent HNS (Croatian People’s Party) and the staunchly divisive Italian and Serb minority representatives – it averted a government fall and second snap elections. In essence, snap elections would most likely do more damage than good simply because new elections also mean inability to realise the promises made at elections. Interruptions.

Right or conservatively oriented HDZ’s securing of its tenure as senior partner in a minority government with left oriented HNS has been dubbed an unnatural alliance especially by other right oriented political players and political parties as well as the deteriorating left oriented Social Democrats/SDP. Ideology, or rather its alleged flimsiness, it seems, has been the major bone around which criticism against HDZ’s moves have been directed. This ideology behind HDZ’s right-oriented critics is the one that places “Croatianness” at the pinnacle where all practical ties with former communist regime are rejected and abhorred.

The political reality (and, therefore, the path to achieving needed reforms that would set Croatia on a path to economic stability in particular) over the past year or so in Croatia has been that of living in a political era fraught with unprecedented gridlock and an inability to reach and/or live-out compromises within minority government coalitions. Politics in Croatia has through the last two decades devolved into ideological warfare as politicians butt heads over their drastically different but equally dogmatic philosophies on how to govern this country. The camps of ideology on how to govern in Croatia while numerous, hence the existence of some 150 political parties, have essentially been of two different kinds: the one (the right oriented one) that seeks sovereignty built on national democracy away from any former communist regime ties and the one that upholds as the most holy of governance practices and habits inherited from former communist regime (the left oriented one that likes to refer to itself – wrongly – as antifascist). While ideological warfare is no stranger to other and more developed democracies in Croatia it is more accentuated largely due to the fact that lustration and systematic shedding of inherited communist mindset and practices has not occurred in public administration, cultural, political parties and other avenues.

Ideology is a systematically coordinated and cognitively salient set of politically focused beliefs and a question is put here as to what role it should play in politics. In an ideal world (yes, I understand the irony), all lawmakers would be rational, pragmatic decision-makers capable of divorcing themselves from their personal opinions in favour of working to produce the best possible policies that provide the greatest net benefit to society. Instead of working within a narrow worldview that prescribes a set of one-size-fits-all policies regardless of their overall societal utility, these solons would craft unique solutions on a case-by-case basis in order to maximise benefits and minimise costs.

Ideological purism encourages dogmatism by reinforcing the idea that one’s principles are incontrovertibly true, and any view deviating from those principles is invariably false. This sort of absolutism has drastically negative implications on the multiparty/democratic political system. First, it polarises parliament to the point where its members fall victim to ingroup and outgroup biases, causing them to demonise any position that conflicts with their ideologies, and by association, any fellow members who hold such positions. Debates over legislation often devolve into a set of ad hominem attacks that can often work antithetically to the creation of sound policy. Second, it mitigates any ability for lawmakers to reach compromises because neither side will concede. Compromise becomes a sign of weakness because it creates the impression that those involved are not firm in their convictions and would rather betray their principles by selling themselves out for short-term political gain. This leads to obstructionism and gridlock, which complicates a government’s ability to act swiftly and decisively in times of crisis, all while dissolving the political middle ground.

Politics should be about working in the best interests of society, and that generally necessitates compromise. Political parties with differing ideologies will always exist and disagree with one another, but they should be competing in a race to the middle, not a race to the fringes. Borne out of this conception of politics is “syncretic politics” (a union of opposing principles), the idea that legislators should break from the traditional confines of the left-right political spectrum in favour of aggregating a set of solutions from both sides that work most advantageously for society.

This would be THE foundation for a “Third Way” or “Third political force” Croatia, like all two-party political climates, has been searching for, for more than a decade. Over the years the emergence of political parties and/or political movements such as Democratic Centre, HRAST, various splits and re-assemblies of Croatian parties of Right, Croatian Dawn, ORAH, MOST/Bridge – to name but a few – testifies to the fact that a “Third Way” has been an almost constant subject in the search for the right/needed political solution in Croatia.

So far there have been no champions of the Third Way in Croatia. All attempts have been relatively insignificant, short-lived or suffocated to political oblivion or insignificance brokered by one of the two major political parties. The major parties in their quest for power had, as a rule, created a “space for deletion” of the Third Way. The success of Third Way suffocation so far could well be ascribed to the ideologically narrow platform embraced by the failed Third Way political protagonists whose short-lived lives in essence fed on politically like-minded bands of cheer-squads that made little or no room to infiltrate or convince opponents or the undecided about the righteousness for Croatia of their platforms in order to expand on popularity. And so a certain hunger for a Third Way continues vigorously in various sectors of Croatian society – many questions of ideological nature and the place ideology should play in addressing and bettering society’s daily living reality remain unrequited.

Recent Western world political history has demonstrated that perceived champions of the Third Way can exist and can be successful. E.g., Tony Blair in the UK and Bill Clinton in the USA had skilfully managed to combine ideas from both the left and the right to achieve reconciliation between opposing worldviews and formulate good policies. These political ThirdWays did good things but they neglected social solidarity and national cohesion. Obviously, disagreements are inevitable, but whenever they arise in parliament, lawmakers should work them out through horse-trading, smart concessions, and deal making in order to assuage both sides and solve societal problems. Admittedly, Croatia is a harder ideological nut to crack than what UK or USA might be because of its relatively recent communist past but it needs to be kept in mind that nothing is impossible when it comes to politics propped up by measures that make-up daily living reality that is in essence somewhat divorced from political ideology.

National cohesion is essential for Croatia otherwise the busiest route onwards is downwards when it comes to Croatian national interests, which by the way everyone talks about but rare are those who can name and point them out specifically – even though they are existent in one form or another contained within the Constitution.

I’m not saying that having a set political ideology is a bad thing when it comes to decision-making and passing legislation. In fact, it can be a very good, and sometimes necessary, thing. An overarching ideology can help standardise the way one calculates benefits to society by providing a targeted lens through which to view the world rather than an arbitrary method of assigning values to costs and benefits as one may see fit. For example, in economics, different schools of thought assign different values to efficiency and equity. Capitalists would argue that efficiency is a much greater benefit to society whereas Marxists would argue that equity should be society’s chief economic goal. Each side has a standardised worldview under which it operates, even if both sides have different interpretations of what is most important.

But don’t take this to mean that lawmakers (parliamentarians) should always work to promote whatever they view as most important regardless of other considerations. Ideology alone most rarely trumps rational decision-making; politicians’ worldviews should still operate within the framework of cost-benefit analysis, and in situations where adhering to an ideology would result in incurring a greater opportunity cost than deviating from it would, politicians should compromise their principles in favour of benefit maximisation.

Last week’s outcome favourable to HDZ’s continued lead in Croatia’s government is a case that may well serve as proof that staunch ideological purism (had HDZ stuck to those guns instead of striking alliances with political opposites or those that disagree with its ideology) is unfavourable politics and, had it worked towards the unknown of any new general elections it could have ceded control of government to other political camps that in essence hold no promise at this stage that reforms needed in the country would be achieved.

It is a blatant and often cruel reality that when one backs oneself into an ideological corner without room to maneuvre, it makes it more difficult to compromise and achieve ones goals for the betterment of society based on ideological premises. And as evil a word as “compromise” has become in the last several years, good government is about compromise. It is about people of different beliefs coming together. Whether HDZ will achieve this togetherness with its partners is yet to be seen even if both government partners – HDZ and HNS – promise a determined future solidarity with each other.

One could say that it’s the unrequited ideological stance that promotes full democracy and Croatian sovereignty, achieved through Homeland War sufferings and sacrifices, away from communist remnants, that have driven most past attempts at Third Way in politics and government.

 

Currently there is a political tide in Croatia channeling the creation of a new right-wing movement and a new political party that fits in various degrees this unrequited ideological stance. This political tide has become convincingly synonymous with three active politicians’ and members of parliament names: Bruna Esih, Zlatko Hasanbegovic and Zeljko Glasnovic. All three right wing, patriotically, conservative politics oriented.

From Left:
Zlatko Hasanbegovic, Bruna Esih, Zeljko Glasnovic
Photo: screenshot

 

Evidenced by various media coverages and social media outpours of support this new political movement or new political party in progress is seen by many supporters as that which will save Croatia from total obscurity and alienation of its original national goals in the creation of the modern and independent state of Croatia, thoroughly cleansed of communist mindsets and practices. This, of course, is not a new political reality nor sentiment; it is ingrained in the rather widespread quest for national Croatian democratic sovereignty. It is, though, amidst political crises in Croatia, seen by many as the last bastion for a Third Way that may have a chance of defending and solidifying the goals set in the beginning of Croatia’s secession from communist Yugoslavia. Whether the protagonists of this new Third Way will achieve the goals will, without doubt, depend on political pragmatism, on reaching out to the everyday reality that is multi-faceted and padded with a “garden variety” of ideological stepping stones.

The Third Way has almost become the subject of pamphlets – everywhere. As a political idea Third Way is at least as old as Eduard Bernstein’s bid in the last decade of the 19th century to detach the German Social Democrats from marxian communism by taking the parliamentary road. In 1959 the postwar German SPD did it again by ‘accepting’ capitalism.

Does the Third Way help relieve us of our present discontents? Or, to put that more concretely, are controls on international investment justified when, as the New York Times said way back on Sunday 20 September 1998, experts prepare to re-think systems as free flowing capital sinks nations? The Third Way is meant to be expunging from the domestic body politic. It is at this point that the intellectual weaknesses of the Third Way become obvious and hence, sinkage into oblivion or political insignificance experienced by previous Third Way attempts in Croatia.

I have always believed that politics is first and foremost about ideas. Without a powerful commitment to goals and values, governments are rudderless and ineffective, however large their majorities or small their minorities are. Furthermore, ideas need labels if they are to become popular and widely understood. The “Third Way” is, to my mind, the best label for the new politics which the progressive centre that embraces facets of both the right and the left.

The Third Way stands for a modernised social democracy, passionate in its commitment to social justice and the goals of a nation, but flexible, innovative and forward-looking in the means to achieve them. It is founded on the values which have guided progressive politics for more than a century – democracy, liberty, justice, mutual obligation as well as internationalism without which today’s economy would lose its legs. But it is a third way because it moves decisively beyond an old left preoccupied by state control, high taxation and producer interests.

My vision for Croatia is of a popular politics reconciling themes which in the past have wrongly been regarded as antagonistic – patriotism in particular; rights and responsibilities; the promotion of enterprise and the attack on poverty and discrimination. Croatia still has far to go to build the open, fair and prosperous society to which people aspire.

A successful Third Way is not an attempt to split the difference between right and left. It is about traditional values in a changed world. And it draws vitality from uniting the two streams to the levels that give it enough people-based validity to keep its goals running and in achievement mode. My political beliefs are rooted in a belief that we can only realise ourselves as individuals in a thriving civil society, comprising strong families and civic institutions buttressed by intelligent government. For most individuals to succeed, society must be strong. When society is weak, power and rewards go to the few not the many. Values are not absolute, and even the best can conflict. A Third Way’s mission should be to promote and reconcile the four values which are essential to a just society which maximises the freedom and potential of all our people – equal worth, opportunity for all, responsibility and community. After all, Croatia did fiercely fight its defensive Homeland War to achieve a democracy within which these four essential and core values would become the ingredients of the brand of democracy and freedom from communism it set its eyes ad determination upon. Equal opportunity in Croatia especially when it comes to employment is a far cry from the one effervescent in Western democracies and that fact alone, is an alarm bell that should be ringing in all ears as, for sure, it is the culprit of alarming injustice driven by communist era nepotism.

The question hovers in Croatia: can a Third Way, a Third political force succeed or not? Succeed in either capturing governmental rights or in remaining a political force that keeps a government on alert. Some, particularly guided by past experiences, will say no – it cannot succeed. Others, though, guided by possibilities and the reality of society’s needs on a national basis and possibilities that implementing the constitution means taking advantage and of the potential they offer to shape policy – will say yes. Presenting the latter in packages that appeal to people’s needs, that reverberate true is the key to any success, even a Third Way’s. Ina Vukic

 

 

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