Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Black Day in Zadar

These aren't the happiest days for HDZ, and December 5th wasn't exception.

It all started in Zadar where the group of elderly gentlemen – WW2 veterans who go by the name of Hrvatski Domobran – paraded on the streets in the memory of Croatian Home Guards whose demonstrations against new government in Zagreb were bloodily crushed on December 5th 1918. The event is often viewed as the first expression of Croatian displeasure with Yugoslav state, and therefore, its anniversary is always marked by hard-line Croatian nationalists.

This time they chose to mark it by appearing with Ustasha insignia and carrying pictures of Ante Pavelić (Ante Pavelic) and General Ante Gotovina.

This could be seen just like another expression of Croatian rightwingers' displeasure with Sanader's pro-European "liberal" policies if not for the presence of Davor Aras, local HDZ leader.

Sanader reacted swiftly. The parade was more than an embarrassment for his government – it was clear violation of the law banning "celebration of totalitarian ideologies". Despite Aras' protestations that he hadn't got a clue about any problematic insignia, HDZ quickly expelled him from the party.

This deprives HDZ of a majority in Zadar City Council, but they probably don't have to worry much. Aras is most likely to remain in the Council as independent and vote with his old party comrades.

Whether HDZ can keep majority after next year's local elections is another issue.


Post a Comment

<< Home