Friday, September 19, 2003

Polls That Didn't Exist

On Monday morning average Croatian newspaper reader had to look very hard in order to find any information about Swedish EMU referendum or its results. This is in sharp contrast to the extensive coverage in previous days, when the news was all over the murder of Anna Lindh and its (presumed) influence on referendum outcome.

This isn't hard to explain. For the past two decades (Communist Yugoslavia included), entry to EU was foundation of each and every Croatian political party program – dogma that should never be questioned. In past decade entry EU is presented to Croatian people as the panacea – simple and brilliant solution for all Croatian problems. NATO would take care of Croatian security, while EU would take care of Croatian economy and Croatians, by merely being citizens of EU country, would enjoy living standards of Western Europeans.

Thought that some citizens of EU countries would have different ideas is something that should be suppressed, so Croatian media establishment – which still has some lessons to learn about its independence from politicians – made sure that Croatian people learn as little of Swedish referendum as possible.

I guess the same thing would happen with Brent East by-election in UK. Ivica Račan (Ivica Racan), who often likes to present himself as Croatian Tony Blair, probably wouldn't like the way Blairite voters booted Labour candidates. Nor would Sanaderite part of Croatian media establishment appreciate the alternative to Blairism – Liberal Democrats, centre party which has its own Croatian equivalent in the form of HNS.


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