Tuesday, July 15, 2003

You Can Get Croatia Out of Balkans…

If it isn’t a front or breaking page news, article from foreign media usually needs couple of days or weeks before appearing in Croatian daily newspapers. This article/comment from Julie Pascal in Guardian is exception. Small segments from it appeared in Slobodna Dalmacija and Jutarnji list only a day after being originally published. And it isn’t hard to imagine why, since Ms. Pascal doesn’t paint particularly nice picture of Croatia.

The articles in Croatian newspapers weren’t on front page, so the reactions won’t be as savage as it could have been otherwise. However, it is easy to predict them. Minority would wonder how Julie Pascal could have drawn such conclusions on the state of affairs in enlightened, pro-Western and soon-to-become-part-of-EU Croatia. Many would argue that Pascal is misinformed and that she simply “got it all wrong”.

Majority would, of course, explain her article simply through her British nationality. “Of course, she is British, and all British are Protestant Masonic Serb-loving scum who had sold our Croatian heroes at Bleiburg and who are oppressing our Catholic brethren in Northern Ireland.”

This article illustrates somewhat ambivalent feelings I have towards Croatian entry into EU. While most of my compatriots believe that Croatia within EU would mean introduction of European values (and living standard) into our country, I’m getting more and more convinced that it would result in something quite opposite – Balkanisation of Western Europe. EU that contains countries of Southeastern Europe might very well start looking like Roman Empire during times when the emperors allowed Germanic tribes to settle on Roman soil.


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