Croatia

The last parliamentary election victory enabled the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ)  to form a government independently of the far-right Homeland Movement (DP). This enabled the creation of the center-right government, in which a representative of the Serbian minority is the deputy prime minister, who covers social affairs and human and minority rights. The government was trying to heal the wounds of the war, which ended in 1995. Croatian and Serbian representatives went together to commemorations on the occasion of the fall of Vukovar and Operation Storm, but also for the first time to mark the anniversary of the massacres of Serb civilians after Operation Storm.

Current Situation 

Introduction

Introduction

The last parliamentary election victory enabled the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ)  to form a government independently of the far-right Homeland Movement (DP). This enabled the creation of the center-right government, in which a representative of the Serbian minority is the deputy prime minister, who covers social affairs and human and minority rights. The government was trying to heal the wounds of the war, which ended in 1995. Croatian and Serbian representatives went together to commemorations on the occasion of the fall of Vukovar and Operation Storm, but also for the first time to mark the anniversary of the massacres of Serb civilians after Operation Storm.

The far-right, which thrives on hatred against Serbs, took control of most of the most important commemorations, such as those in Škabrnja and Vukovar, and banned with threats the arrival of Serbian representatives. In Vukovar, where the mayor is also the leader of the DP, the last anniversary of the fall of the city was marked with a big parade led by fascist paramilitaries. That was a great victory for DP, the President, the Government, and representatives of the left parties walked behind the Ustasha symbols. At the march, Hitler was saluted, and songs were sung to Ustasha commanders Jure Francetić and Rafael Boban.

Croatia entered the eurozone in 2023 at the worst possible time. Inflation in Europe was then in full swing. Energy prices skyrocketed after the start of the war in Ukraine. And merchants took advantage of the opportunity and drastically raised the prices of groceries. Eurostat has noted that Croatian February 2024 inflation is the highest in the entire Eurozone, reaching 4.8 percent. Inflation reached 10.8% in 2022 and 8.4% in 2023. The government halted energy and fuel price growth by limiting maximum prices. The prices of 30 basic groceries are also limited.  

Croatia entered the Schengen borders of the EU, and Croatian border police are using violence to repel migrants trying to cross the external border of the European Union from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia. The far-right uses the issue of migrants to create an atmosphere of fear even though the migrants have not harmed anyone. They demand the deployment of the army at the border, while the bodies of unknown migrants are regularly found in the border rivers.

In 2023, 160,000 foreigners were living and working in Croatia. That is twice as many as in 2021. The foreign workers are mistreated and are often exploited by their employers. The far-right immediately found in them a new scapegoat to blame for all the problems. They actively encouraged hatred, legitimizing the space for mockery, humiliation, and even violence against, which resulted in a series of attacks against migrant workers.

 

In recent years, foreign policy has been marked by conflict between the Government and the President of the Republic, the co-creator of foreign policy, and the army’s supreme commander. The Prime minister and the President began their political careers as Ministry of Foreign Affairs diplomats in the 90s. But when it comes to the hottest topics at the moment, they constantly come into conflict. The President opposed the training of Ukrainian soldiers in Croatia, and the Prime Minister wanted to offer the departure of the Croatian army to Ukraine. The Croatian ambassador to the UN voted against the cease-fire in Gaza without consulting the President, who also criticized the raising of the Israeli flag at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and entered into a conflict with the Israeli ambassador. While the government is doing everything according to the instructions from the EU and NATO, the President criticizes calls for Ukraine to join the NATO pact and attacks Ursula von der Leyen’s overstepping of authority during her visit to Israel.

Racist and intolerant hate speech in public discourse is escalating, with the main targets being Serbs, LGBT persons, Roma, foreign workers, and migrants. Politicians use inflammatory speech to fuel conflicts between different sections of the population, and this not only applies to extreme parties but the entire political spectrum.

Status of the far-right in the country

Status of the far-right in the country


Political periods in Croatia can be observed in two periods: when the HDZ is in power and when the HDZ wants to be in power. When the HDZ is not in power, attempts are made to destabilize the government’s true radicalization of the political scene through the “veto players,” who are, in the Croatian case, war veterans’ organizations and the Catholic Church.

When the HDZ came to power, it regularly renounced the burden of extremists, whose leaders were silenced by positions and grants. After Andrej Plenković took over the HDZ, he vowed to turn it into a modern conservative party, free from chauvinist rhetoric. Also, his last eight years in power would not have been possible without the parliamentary support of the Independent Democratic Serb Party, SDSS, a party that represents the Serb community in Croatia.

At the 2020 parliamentary elections, most of the far-right opposition to Plenković and the HDZ is united in the newly-formed Homeland Movement party, led by nationalist singer and former HDZ MP Miroslav Škoro.

Although they achieved a very good result for the new party, which had almost 11% of the vote and 16 members of parliament, they did not gain power and position. Therefore, immediately after the election, there was a division into two parliamentary clubs, the Sovereignists and the Homeland Movement. A few months later, two more MPs left the Homeland Movement. After a heated argument, its founder, Miroslav Škoro, left the party along with his sister.

In October 2021, Croatian Sovereignists (HS) held a party congress at which the far-right parties merged: Hrast, the Croatian Conservative Party, the alt-right Generation of Renewal, many members of the Independents for Croatia, and some from the Homeland Movement.

But soon, there was also a conflict, this time over the vaccination, when the most notable Sovereignists MP Hrvoje Zekanović publicly called on people to get vaccinated and criticized the far-right for being guilty of the small number of vaccinated. So he was kicked out of the party.

For the parliamentary elections in 2024, the far-right split into several coalitions, two of which are sure to enter Parliament. The strongest coalition is the Homeland Movement and the newly founded “Pravo i Pravda” party of two MEPs Vilibor Sinčić and Mislav Kolakušič. The second coalition is that of the once conservative Most and Croatian Sovereignists.

Status of antifascists in the country

Status of antifascists in the country

The activity of anti-fascists is at a very low level—their reduced activities surround occasional commemorations and press releases. Anti-fascist organizations are usually only heard after some of the remaining monuments to the victims of fascism and fallen fighters are destroyed and vandalized, or the local government simply removes them with the help of EU funds.

Anti-fascist activists and organizations are usually co-organizers of protests against ultra-conservative organizations and their marches and performances.

The new ultraconservative campaign “Catholic men kneeling with rosaries” on main city squares in Croatia has begun at the end of 2022 and continues every first Saturday of the month. Numerous counter-protests were organized by several feminist associations, the Workers’ Front, SDP, and youth associations in Zagreb, Šibenik and Rijeka. In Zagreb, MEP Predrag Fred Matić, who actively advocates for gender equality, also gave his support. 

As a response to the “Walk for Life,” a march against abortion organized by the right in an increasing number of Croatian cities, the “Walk for Freedom,” which promotes gender equality and freedom of choice, was organized on the same day in Rijeka.

The 22nd Pride Parade of the LGBTIQ community, individuals, and rainbow families was held in Zagreb under the slogan “Together for trans rights!”. The central theme of the procession was the response to the increasing transphobia, hate speech, discrimination, and violence directed towards trans people.

There are several groups of anti-fascists. Traditional associations of anti-fascists under the SABH, the successor of the SUBNOR (Partisan Veterans Association). They are less and less active, and their membership is old. There are new anti-fascist associations of Homeland War veterans trying to reconcile anti-fascist principles and the War of Independence. The Anti-Fascist League, which was on the line of liberal anti-fascism, is less and less active. Some informal antifascist organizations are publicly presented as feminist, anarchist, and some as eco-socialist.

The biggest risk for anti-fascists is poor work with young people and not passing on knowledge and experience to new generations.

Historic Developments

Historic developments

The far-right in Croatia is most often associated with the historical Ustashe movement; hence they have connections to Neo-Nazism and neo-fascism. The World War II political movement was an extremist organization at the time supported by the German Nazis and the Italian Fascists. The association with the Ustaše has been called “Neo-Ustashism.”

The central historical event for the extreme right is the establishment of the so-called NDH (World War II-era puppet state Independent State of Croatia), which is celebrated every year in various ways, for example, with the destruction of anti-fascist monuments.

The Ustasha genocide against Serbs, Roma, and Jews in the NDH is also a critical event. The denial of Ustasha’s crimes and the memorization of the Jasenovac death camp, which is constantly called the “Jasenovac myth” or “Jasenovac work camp,” regardless of the list of over 80,000 victims, is a constant obsession of the far right.

The surrender of the Ustashas to the Allies and the Yugoslav Army near Bleiburg (Austria) is also a critical victimological historical event. Due to the vengeful mass murders of captured fascist gangs after the surrender, the Ustashe presented themselves as fighters for independent Croatia and victims, and the Yugoslav partisans were demonized. Ustasha mythomania exaggerated the number of killed Ustashas to as many as half a million.

The Croatian War of Independence was fought from 1991 to 1995 between Croat forces loyal to the Government of Croatia—which had declared independence from the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia —and the Serb-controlled Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA) and local Serb forces, with the JNA ending its combat operations in Croatia by 1992. In Croatia, the war is primarily referred to as the “Homeland War”.

Key events from this war are the Battle of Vukovar, during which the JNA completely destroyed the city and committed many mass crimes against prisoners and civilians, and Operation Storm, which liberated most of Croatia and expelled most Serbs from Croatia.

The Croatian Defence Forces (HOS) were the paramilitary arm of the Croatian Party of Rights (HSP) from 1991 to 1992. They fought in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. With its name, iconography, and war goals, HOS relied on the regime of the Independent State of Croatia and explicitly stated as its goal the effort to establish a Greater Croatia state, which should include Bosnia and Herzegovina and parts of today’s Serbia (Sandžak, Srijem i Bačka) and Montenegro (Boka Kotorska). The iconography of HOS and the Ustasha salute “Za dom – spremni!” (For homeland – ready!), also used by HOS, are favorite symbols of the far-right in Croatia.

International relationships

International telationships

The Homeland Movement and the Croatian sovereignists in Croatia predominantly demonize the Serbian minority and flirt with the Ustasha movement. Abroad, their members have been working on much more refined work for a decade. Armed with inexhaustible sources of money, their comrades – fascists, neo-Nazis, and religious zealots – have metastasized into a serious political bloc. 

Several Croatian politicians and activists were for years members of the Agenda Europe group, a lobbying network composed of several hundred of the most powerful ultra-conservative organizations and political movements, linked to the American far-right and Russian propagandists, who from 2013 to 2019 jointly worked to undermine women’s and gay rights. Rights. One of the strategists and coordinators of the entire network was Željka Markić from the Croatian anti-LGBT association “In the Name of the Family.” After some media and organizations started writing about Agenda Europe in 2018, Željka Markić coordinated the rebranding and transfer of activities to the new Vision Network group. Three still active politicians were in the group: Ladislav Ilčić, MEP from the Croatian sovereignists, and parliamentarians Stjepo Bartulica and Marijana Petir.

In September 2023, one of the largest gatherings of the extreme right in Europe was held in Dubrovnik. At the three-day event, speeches were made by members of the Italian government from the ranks of Brothers of Italy, MEPs from the Spanish party Vox, Poles from Law and Justice, and numerous other representatives of the civil and political wing of ultra-right movements. Croatia was represented by Most’s current prime ministerial candidate, Nikola Grmoja, and their MP, Nino Raspudić. The host of the whole gathering was MEP Ladislav Ilčić from the Croatian sovereignists, Most’s coalition partners. The conference called “European Congress of the Family” was organized by the political club European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR), which gathers all the parties mentioned above in Brussels. Their partner in realizing the Dubrovnik event was the International Organization for the Family, one of the most influential global networks in the field of ultraconservative activism, which, until the Russian aggression against Ukraine, was an important propaganda tool of the Putin regime in the West.

The organizers of the summit in Dubrovnik – the parties under the ECR umbrella and the International Organization for the Family – were directly or indirectly members of the Agenda Europe lobby network.

ECR is directly connected to the New Direction political foundation, which has become one of the key promoters of yesterday’s members of Agenda Europe events and goals. Marko Milanović Litre, MP of the Croatian Sovereignists, also sits in New Direction’s governing body. Last year alone, ECR and New Direction organized at least four conferences in Croatia.

Stjepo Bartulica, MP of the Homeland Movement, organized in Zagreb an international conference of ultra-conservatives, opponents of women’s and minority rights, and neoliberal extremists, and among his guests was Anna Lakó, international coordinator of the Hungarian Center for Fundamental Rights, an organization that systematically promotes Great Hungarian claims to the territory of Hungary’s neighbors and even to Croatia.

Representatives of the Acton Institute, a far-right American organization financed by oil corporations and the Koch brothers, ultraconservative billionaires, also spoke about the challenges of conservatism in Zagreb. In recent years, deniers of climate change, opponents of abortion, the welfare state, and similar topics have diverted millions to the initiatives of like-minded Europeans. They are part of the network of the Economic Research Foundation Atlas, an American libertarian organization that cooperates with more than 500 associations of the same ideological conviction.

Bartulica boasted on Twitter that he also hosted Eva Vlaardingerbroek, a Dutch far-right activist who has appeared on the Tucker Carlson Tonight program several times. She became known as an opponent of feminism, globalism, and immigration. In Croatia, she emphasized the need for “militant Christian conservatives.”

Ultraconservative campaign imported from Poland, “Catholic men kneeling with rosaries” on main city squares in Croatia, began at the end of 2022. Individuals associated with the Ordo Iuris Foundation, whose Polish version of the same name lobbied for an almost complete ban on abortion in that country, participate in the project. The organizers announced that they would pray “for the conversion of the Croatian people,” “for a life of premarital chastity, for chastity in dress and behavior, for the renewal of Catholic marriages,” “for the end of abortion,” and for “men,” with the desire to “become spiritual authorities in the family who will bravely witness and transmit the Catholic Church.” They announced, again following the example of Poland, that they would hold kneeling events in Croatia every first Saturday of the month.

Since 2015, the Despa memorial has been held on the Croatian coast in the summer, organized by Blood and Honor Croatia. Dozens of neo-Nazis from Slovenia, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Italy, Bulgaria, Austria, and Germany came to the RAC (Rock Against Communism) concerts.

Political Landscape

Political landscape

The far-right is most openly represented in the Croatian Parliament through the Croatian Sovereignists’ Club, which has six members. In that club, we have singers of Ustasha songs, former commanders of special police units that took part in crimes against Serbian civilians, promoters of alt-right propaganda that equates belonging to the LGBT community with pedophilia, and those who want to dig up the Jasenovac death camp.

The Homeland Movement Club had eight members, four of whom can easily be described as far-right. The most famous among them is Zlatko Hasabegović, who became famous while he was the Minister of Culture for shutting down non-profit media and removing the name of Marshal Tito Square in Zagreb. In the 1990s, he participated in a violent anti-anti-fascist protest, wore a Ustasha hat worn by HOS members at NDH Day celebrations, and wrote for NDH magazine celebrating Ustashas as heroes and martyrs.

MP Ante Prkačin left the Homeland Movement at the end of 2023. and went to the newly founded party, Hrvatsko Bilo. He was the war chief of the HOS General Staff, whose unit in BiH was mentioned in the context of war crimes against civilians. He regularly uses the parliamentary rostrum to rehabilitate the Ustasha movement and spread Ustasha mythomania. Ivan Penava and Stipo Mlinaric are MPs from Vukovar, whose entire political program is reduced to spreading hatred towards Serbs.

Most project was conceived in ultra-conservative organizations such as HRAST, which fought against abortion and gay rights. They then continued to fight NGOs, non-profit media, and liberal cultural workers. Today, they also have occasional pro-Ustasha outbursts. Their MP Miro Bulj stood up to defend the Ustasha in the Parliament, where he shouted the Ustasha salute “Za dom spremni” (For homeland – ready!). Most MP Nino Raspudić suggested on public television, if necessary, the option of shooting unarmed people because they cross the border illegally. Miro Bulj then gave the idea a practical framework, proposing the establishment of armed village guards. Most MP Marin Miletić said that “Zagreb is no longer the same because thousands of Nepalese, Indian, Afghan, Pakistani, Filipino migrants flooded the city,” warning that “our Croatia will be a land of insecurity and fear full of migrant ghettos where we won’t be able to walk normally, and our women will be wrapped as if they live among the Taliban.” He added, “We are in the process of replacing the population.”

Media Landscape

Media landscape

The Croatian weekly (Hrvatski Tjednik) systematically denies the crime of genocide committed against Jews, Roma, and Serbs in the Independent State of Croatia and the Ustasha system of the Jasenovac camp. It promotes the deniers of the Jasenovac genocide and the Holocaust. It calls for the financing of their activities, while in various ways, it affirms the Ustasha movement and the character and work of Chief Ante Pavelić.

The media have repeatedly reported on the disgusting writing of Hrvatski Tjednik. For example, they are claiming that the Social Democratic Party of Croatia is “full of potential terrorists and murderers.” Ombudsman Lora Vidovic, historian Hrvoje Klasic, IDS President Boris Miletic, and Zagreb Jewish Community president Ognjen He called Kraus and Milorad Pupovac “riders of the Greater Serbia apocalypse in Croatia”. They called the rape of a girl in Zadar a fabrication. They called former Presidents Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic “shameless,” Stjepan Mesic an “asshole,” and Pope Francis himself an “antichrist,” spreading hatred and the most obscure conspiracy theories, such as that the coronavirus is a “planetary satanic operation of biological warfare” aimed at “chipping” a vaccine to control humanity.

Since 2014, the TV show “Bujica” hosted by Velimir Bujanac has been spreading the most extreme ideas of the Croatian far-right three times a week. In the 1990s, Bujanec established himself as a fascist bully who beat people in the stands, smashed memorial plaques to NOB fighters, worshiped Hitler, burned left-wing newspapers, demolished Tito’s bust, threatened death to Serb minority and activists, expelled “niggers” from UNPROFOR (UN peacekeeping force in Croatia) and ‘dirty Jews,’ calling himself Croatian Ustasha all the time.

Thanks to the right-wing political mainstream, Bujanec will be promoted to a star of the Croatian right and an unofficial channel for most of their incitements, from war veterans protests, pro-Ustasha revisionism, attacks on Serb minorities, and anti-fascist.

Due to hate speech in the talk show Bujica on November 5, 2018, the Council for Electronic Media decided, for 24 hours, to revoke the concession of the broadcasters who broadcast the disputed show. The show called for violence against migrants. Migrants were called sick people, infected with severe and infectious diseases (AIDS, hepatitis, tuberculosis), which, according to the guest of the show, migrants deliberately spread.

Velimir Bujanec incited hate on leftists, liberals, and representatives of the Serbian minority on Facebook and in his show “Bujica” because they allegedly support Putin. But the Russian president has been praised for years as the “great gentleman,” “true Russian patriot,” and bearer of “traditional values” by the host and guests of “Bujica.” After the Russian invasion, Bujanec began to intensively promote the Ukrainian unit Azov and attack everyone who wrote critically about Azov.

In addition to Bujica and Hrvatski Tjednik, many Internet portals of the far right are constantly emerging and disappearing, which mainly spread texts, transcripts, and video clips from these two media but also produce their content full of hate speech and harassment.

Financial Landscape

Financial landscape

The Supreme Court confirmed the conviction of the Croatian Democratic Union for the Fimi-media affair, named for the private company used to channel public funds into the HDZ’s coffers. The verdict indirectly exposed the back of the far right of Croats. It has been unequivocally established that Hrvatski’s list, which is now called Hrvatski Tjednik and delivers most of the media fascism in Croatia, was also bought with looted money. Another far-right symbol, singer Marko Perkovic Thompson, received money not to sing in the far-right opposition election campaign.

The Ministry of Culture has donated 1.3 million kunas from the European Social Fund to the portal Priznajem, which openly promotes pro-Ustasha revisionism, calls Serbian returnees ‘abolished Chetniks’, NGOs ‘inhumane haters of Croatia,’ and LGBT behavior “a sign of serious illness.” The head of the association and editor-in-chief of the Priznajem portal, Hrvoje Macan, and the head of marketing and his brother Mario were also members of the pro-fascist organization Croatian National Front, which in its founding message in 2010 called for violent methods.

The World Youth Association of Croatia, which received 941 thousand kuna from the same Fund, operates per the goals and mission of the American organization World Youth Alliance. Globally, they are fighting sex education, abortion, premarital sex, and condoms. Their political sponsors claim that HIV is ‘God’s punishment for homosexuality and drug use.’ They also fiercely lobbied for the expulsion of gays from anti-discrimination documents.

Documents published on WikiLeaks show that at the end of 2013, Croatia was among the countries with the highest priority for which the CitizenGO platform decided to expand its influence and funds. That year, a referendum was held in Croatia on the constitutional definition of marriage initiated by the association of Željka Markić, In the Name of the Family.

The documents show several financial transactions with the association In the Name of the Family. Besides Željka Markić, other well-known political names in Croatia are mentioned, such as MEP Karlo Resler or Nikolina Čorak from the Ministry of Veterans and Vice Batarelo, who attended their conferences and summits.

Many associations, forums, and publications are financed by Croats outside their homeland, descendants of the Ustasha. Money for denying Ustasha crimes and demonizing anti-fascists usually comes from Australia, Germany, and Canada. The book, which denies the Jasenovac death camp and the name-by-name list of victims, “Jasenovac List – False Victims,” was financed by Ivan Hrvojić, a Croatian emigrant from Canada. Marko Franović from Sydney boasted that he finances well-known right-wing journalists and publishers Igor Vukić and Tihomir Dujmović, pseudo-historian Roman Leljak, and many other far-right deniers of Ustasha crimes and fans of nazi puppet states and Ustasha death camp commanders such as Josip Jurčević, Stjepan Lozo and Blanka Matkovic.

Reports

Quarterly Reports

Quarterly reports gives in-depth insights into the most pressing recent developments in each country.

Croatia - February 2022
Croatia - February 2022

*Dinamo football fans in Seville waved the Ustasha flag *
Hooligans of Dinamo football club fans, known as BBB, went to the away match in Seville. There, they smashed shop windows in the city center and got into fights. The Spanish newspaper El Desmarque published a video in which Dinamo fans are clearly visible, and in one shot you can see the Ustasha flag with the first white field and the “U” sign in the upper left corner.
https://net.hr/sport/nogomet/procurila-snimka-nereda-navijaci-dinama-mahali-ustaskom-zastavom-8c6558e0-8fe3-11ec-97e7-ae64a5eda47a
*Croatian volunteers from Azov in the mainstream media *
Commenting on Russia’s attack on Ukraine, several former warriors from the Ukrainian battlefield it has been a guest on extreme right-wing shows such as Bujica or medium-stream television and dailies. Denis Šeler, Ivo Dumančić and Bruno Zorica aka Zulu have employed quite a few pieces of ether in the function of Croatian patriots and former fighters against Russian separatists. The trio, as well as the journalists who hosted them, did not deny their former affiliation with Azov, but simply kept silent about what lies behind the name of the Ukrainian unit.
Emboldened by media fame and support for Ukraine, one of Azov’s veterans, Damir Filipović, Denis Scheler’s best man, publicly brags on his Twitter profile that he equipped Azov and the Right Sector with weapons. He threatens with a “list of separatist pigs on which some names are bolded with a felt-tip pen.”
*Croatian mercenaries in Ukraine *
Russian news agency reported that in: “The past week alone, about 200 mercenaries from Croatia arrived through Poland and joined one of the battalions of nationalists in southeastern Ukraine.” The military attache of the Croatian embassy in Moscow was summoned to Russia’s Defense Ministry and told, in particular, that the Russian side was aware of the mercenaries’ arrival, he said. “The military attache was told about the illegal activity of Croatian citizen Denis Seler who had participated in combat operations in southeastern Ukraine in 2015 and was now setting up groups of Croatian mercenaries for sending them to Ukraine.”
Advertisements for joining the Ukrainian Legion appear on social networks in Croatia. The website https://ukrforeignlegion.com states that these units also include soldiers from Croatia, one of the eight countries listed.
https://tass.com/politics/1416137

Croatia - January 2022
Croatia - January 2022

Fans at the match of the Croatian national handball team
January 15th. At the match of the Croatian national handball team against Serbia at the European Handball Championship in Hungary, hooligans in T-shirts with Ustasha symbols and greetings praised convicted war criminal Mihajlo Hrastov who killed 13 disarmed reservists and shouted: “Kill the Serb”.
https://www.index.hr/sport/clanak/hrvatski-navijaci-u-szegedu-pjevali-ubij-srbina/2332162.aspx
Nazi graffiti in Pula
January 27th. Nazi graffiti appeared in Pula on the day of remembrance of the Holocaust victims near the Arena: Swastika, Ustasha’s salute, Celtic cross and the symbol of the Ustasha crusaders.
https://www.jutarnji.hr/vijesti/hrvatska/na-dan-sjecanja-na-zrtve-holokausta-kod-arene-osvanuli-nacisticki-grafiti-15150679
Tram 11 released an album full of hate verses
Hip hop duo Tram 11 have released a long-awaited album after 22 years. Music critics of the mainstream newspaper called it the “album of the year” and “a better manifesto of the enraged ‘right’ than all the Bridges and Homeland Movements combined.” but it is a “soundtrack of Croatian neo-fascism” cocktail of homophobia and misogyny, chauvinistic Yugoslav and Serbophobia, anti-communism, hatred of the media and liberal civil society, corona scepticism, calling out “traitors”, calling for militarism and violence, with standard brutal sexism.
After people listened to the album that sang all the fascist hatred that we can read on social networks, watch on Bujica and read in “Hrvatski tjednik” and when negative criticism started, the publisher Menart stopped working with Tram 11 and withdrew the album from sale.
After the album was banned, the right and liberals called them victims of cancel culture. During the guest appearances in the media that followed, they explained their verses in detail, reproducing all Ustasha mythology and denying the genocide perpetrated by the Ustashas. The new favourites of the extreme right boasted on social media that they were friends with Velimir Bujanec from Bujica and Zlatko Hasanbegović from the Homeland Movement.
https://ravnododna.com/tram-11-jedan-i-jedan-za-bujicu-spremni/
https://www.portalnovosti.com/tramvaj-zvan-mznja
https://www.antifasisticki-vjesnik.org/hr/komentari/4/Drzavanemajajazaprogon_tru/462/
https://www.jutarnji.hr/kultura/glazba/doznajemo-menart-prekida-suradnju-s-tram-11-njihov-kontroverzni-album-povlace-iz-prodaje-15149012

Croatia - December 2021
Croatia - December 2021

Key Developments

 
Bleiburg ban in Austria
A group of experts working for the Austrian Interior Ministry presented a report to government officials in Vienna proposing a complete ban on an annual gathering of Croats near Bleiburg in southern Austria which commemorates surrender of Ustasa troops to the Allies and the Yugoslav Army.
This commemoration is often called the largest fascist gathering in Europe because it was visited by thousands of Ustashophiles and is sponsored by the Parliament of the Republic of Croatia.
The annual event at Loibacher Field near Bleiburg has been accused of being a gathering point for Croat nationalist extremists because some participants display symbols of the Nazi-allied Ustasa movement, which killed Jews, Serbs, Roma people and others during World War II under the rule of the Independent State of Croatia, a Nazi-backed puppet state.
The Austrian Interior Ministry expert group’s report said that the Bleiburg commemorations violate the country’s obligations under the treaty that re-established its independence in 1955. The treaty prohibits Nazi and fascist organisations.
https://balkaninsight.com/2021/11/24/austrian-interior-ministry-advised-to-ban-croats-wwii-bleiburg-event/
HOS ban in Austria
At the beginning of December, the Austrian government also banned the display of the insignia of the Croatian Defence Forces, HOS, which contains the slogan of the fascist Ustasa movement.
https://www.index.hr/vijesti/clanak/austrija-sluzbeno-zabranila-grb-hosa-smatraju-ih-sljedbenicima-ustasa/2322433.aspx
Ustasha memorial graveyard in Zagreb
Parliamentary committee for war veterans’ affairs endorsed a proposal to establish a military graveyard in Zagreb for soldiers who fought for the 1941-45 Independent State of Croatia.
The soldiers of the World War II fascist Ustasa and Home Guard forces should be described in the new memorial graveyard as members of “the Croatian army”, the committee suggested – a proposal that drew strong criticism from anti-fascist associations.
https://balkaninsight.com/2021/11/25/croatian-anti-fascists-criticise-memorial-graveyard-for-nazi-allied-troops/
Marko Francisković sent to prison
Marko Francisković, who was given a suspended prison sentence in January 2017 for the unauthorised possession of firearms, ammunition and explosive substances, addressed at COVID protests in Zagreb and Šibenik, telling the crowd that this protest are “a large gathering of Croatian warriors ready for the liberation of Croatia”.
Marko Francisković and Natko Kovačević were taken into the police custody on December 3rd on suspicion that during recent COVID protests they incited demonstrators to commit acts of terrorism. They are suspected by the police of having disseminated the plans via social networks to incite people to physically assault other citizens, including office-holders in the government and the parliament. The suspects are also charged with the plans to occupy the compounds of the national broadcasting service (HRT) in Zagreb and to use violent methods to fight against Croatia’s institutions and forcibly change the country’s constitutional order and democratically-elected authorities.
https://hr.n1info.com/english/news/two-taken-into-custody-on-suspicion-of-incitement-to-terrorism/
https://www.index.hr/vijesti/clanak/tko-su-privedeni-za-poticanje-na-terorizam-spominjali-drzavni-udar-kalasnjikove/2323019.aspx
Croatian police ill-treatment of migrants
The Council of Europe’s anti-torture committee has called on EU external border state Croatia to stop police ill-treatment of migrants and asylum seekers in its borders. The alleged ill-treatment consisted of slaps, kicks, blows with truncheons and other hard objects (for example, butts/barrels of firearms, wooden sticks or tree branches) to various parts of the body
https://balkaninsight.com/2021/12/03/coe-torture-watchdog-accuses-croatia-of-abusing-migrants-at-borders/

Croatia - November 2021
Croatia - November 2021

Key Developments

 
November 18th
At the Savski Gaj Elementary School in Zagreb, graphite messages full of Ustasha and Nazi symbols appeared, as well as messages of hatred towards Serbs. Member of Parliament Milorad Pupovac is also mentioned. “The day is slowly dawning, this night, a Serbian mother must go to the cemetery,” he wrote on one side of the wall next to “Kill a Serb”. The second one has Ustasha salute “Ready for homeland” and a cross in a circle next to the letters WPWW, which is a symbol of white nationalism. “Kill the Serb” with the Ustasha “u” and “chase Pupovac”, as well as “Pupovac, Chetnik, Krepaj” and “Savski Gaj hates Chetniks!”. And on the outer wall there is a willow tree under which it says “Serbian family tree”, as well as “Zagreb hates Serbs” and “Serbs on willows”.
https://www.index.hr/vijesti/clanak/kod-skole-u-zagrebu-isarano-zagreb-mrzi-srbe-ubi-srbina-pupovac-cetnik/2319405.aspx
November 20th
During the largest protest held in Zagreb for the abolition of covid passports, the 1st Volunteer Battalion, a paramilitary formation, was presented. Hundreds of men between the ages of 18 and 40 lined up in Zagreb’s main square under the black flag with ustasha salute, dressed in black. A video of their line-up appeared on a Youtube channel that shares its name with the HOS (Croatian Defense Forces) paramilitary unit.
HOS were the paramilitary arm of the Croatian Party of Rights (HSP), who subsequently published on their facebook page: “As part of the big protest, the 1st Volunteer Battalion self-organized and lined up, which is made available to army and police officers who want to put an end to this madness carried out by blind neo-globalist servants! Well done guys! ”
https://www.portalnovosti.com/puzajuci-drzavni-udar

Croatia - October 2021
Croatia - October 2021

Key Developments

 
October 2nd
Croatian Sovereignists held a party congress on which the far-right parties merged. Hrast, the Croatian Conservative Party and the Generation of Renewal, many members of the Independents for Croatia, and some from the Homeland Movement
https://suverenisti.hr/2021/10/02/ujediniteljski-sabor-hrvatskih-suverenista/
October 19th
Dubrovnik Mayor Mato Franković (HDZ) called members of the People’s Liberation Struggle, those who liberated Dubrovnik from fascist occupiers in April 1944, “so-called liberators”. The mayor also said that “we must remember all those who died innocently for the freedom of the independent homeland of Croatia”, but he did not meant on partisans but the servants of the occupiers. He also concluded that these quisling soldiers were killed only because they were Croats. The mayor did not come to the anniversary of the liberation of Dubrovnik, which took place the day before.
https://www.index.hr/vijesti/clanak/na-slici-je-partizan-tudjman-hdzovac-je-danas-partizane-nazvao-tzv-osloboditeljima/2312029.aspx
October 28th
Lika-Senj County Prefect Ernest Petry (HDZ) announced last week that the exhumation of the remains of people killed in 1945 had begun in Gospić. In that announcement, he called the partisans, the liberators of Gospić, “criminals with a star at their head” who, in his opinion, “in the name of some so-called liberation anti-fascism, publicly and secretly hanged, slaughtered and shot according to a pre-planned plan”.
https://www.portalnovosti.com/zupanov-anti-antifasizam

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