Sunday, August 15, 2004

Croatia's Liberal Thugs

Arena, Croatian tabloid weekly, has been recently pulled out of Croatian newsstands. Reason was apparently unconfirmed story about Dragan Primorac, Croatian science & education minister, having a violent past. According to the story, one decade ago Primorac used to beat his girlfriend Sanja Pavela (currently HRT reporter). Primorac later denied the charges while Pavela declined any comment.

The reason why Arena was pulled out of stands quickly became subject of intense political speculations. Many think that Ninoslav Pavić (Ninoslav Pavic), head of Europapress Holding, didn't want to antagonise Sanader's government at the eve of his takeover of government-owned Slobodna Dalmacija.

Primorac is also known as the only member of Sanader's cabinet without party affiliation. He also gained reputation of the most liberal Sanader's minister.

But his liberalism wasn't liberal enough for ultra-left Feral Tribune. The latest issue, although not making any mention of Pavela affair, tries to portray Primorac as thug by making mockery of his "Dragan vs. Drogan" videoclips. The clips were part of campaign to reduce drug ("droga" in Croatian) use in Croatian schools by offering sports, including martial arts, as much healthier alternative. Primorac appeared in clips himself and displayed some of his martial arts skills.

The article attacked Primorac for using martial arts, because in Feral mindset, sticking needles into your own veins is morally and socially more acceptable that any skill that could be used against other human beings.


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