99.3%: Croatia, the Most Racially Pure Caucasian Country in the World

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July 22, 2018 – As a French anti-racism organisation bashes the Croatian football team for being ‘too white’, there is a simple explanation – Croatia is the whitest country of  them all. 

My mother was born and grew up on the west coast of Ireland. It was a happy childhood, and a sheltered one. She will never forget the day in 1959 when she saw her first black man on the streets of Dublin. She stared. The whole street stared. It was something you simply didn’t see, coming from rural Ireland. 

Sixty years later, Dublin is a very multi-cultural, multi-ethnic place, and I remember one time when I used to follow football seriously, the Irish team had five coloured players in it. 

I remembered in 2004, when I was selling real estate on Hvar, I took an Indian buyer with a VERY dark complexion for a coffee on the main square in Jelsa. I couldn’t believe the stares we got, and while I initially thought the reactions were somewhat racist, I soon realised that it was more a reaction akin to my mother in Dublin more than half a century earlier. 

You see, despite being a melting pot of cultures over the centuries, and despite being located in central Europe, Croatia is incredibly white. That is not meant as a positive statement, or a negative one, merely a fact. Come outside the tourist season, and people of different skin colour are in very short supply. 

So when French anti-racism organisation LICRA (International League Against Racism and Antisemitism) tweeted that the Croatian team was too white ahead of the World Cup Final, I had to laugh. Apart from wondering if they also complained about the Nigerians being too black or the Japanese too Asian, just as the Nigerians would probably struggle to get a couple of white Nigerians of international footballing class into their World Cup team, so to the colour problem in reverse for Croatia. That said, in the past, there have been exceptions – Brazilian-born Eduardo da Silva and Sammir both got Croatian passports and played for the national team and, according to Wikipedia, a certain Leon Balogun is a white Nigerian footballer who has represented his country. 

But Croatia, and its football team, is essentially white. There are some coloured Croatians – through granted passports and mixed births – but they are very rare. 

Even rarer than foreigners living full-time in this beautiful country. I have always wondered how many foreigners live in this beautiful country, and a few months ago, I decided to do the research, using the website of our friends, the Ministry of the Interior. My findings were interesting – the number of foreigners with permits living in Croatia in 2016 – including Bosnians, Slovenians etc, but not those with dual citizenship – was under 30,000. You can see the breakdown of nationalities here

30,000 from a population of 4.2 million. 0.7% of the population was not Croatian. 

Croatia is 99.3 pure Croat.

I am not saying that is a good thing, and I am not saying that is it a bad thing. I am just saying it is a thing. 

Croatia is overwhelmingly Roman Catholic – 90% is usually the number bandied about. So here, in the heart of Europe, in a region renowned for its warfare and cultural melting pot, you have probably the most homogenous Caucasian country in the world, both in terms of colour and religion. 

I thought back to my mother on the streets of Dublin and then of the streets of Dublin today. I can see many parallels between the racially pure and overwhelmingly Catholic Republic of Ireland in 1960 and the Croatia of 2018. I look at Ireland today and I look at Croatia – it has been an extraordinary transformation. The abortion vote a few weeks ago would have been unheard of in Ireland 60 years ago, just as it would be in Croatia today. 

And, thinking about this parallel with Ireland 60 years ago, it helped me to understand a few things about my adopted home country. Change is always a journey into the unknown and not usually welcome in a conservative society. Croatia has had to battle for its identity over the centuries as others have sought to invade and occupy, and I can totally understand the reluctance to embrace foreign influences. But one thing which is a constant in my years writing about Croatia is the vehement opposition to any international influences on Croatia whatsoever. A Japanese restaurant opening in Split was met with huge disapproval in the comments when we announced it – why would people want to eat anything but Dalmatian food in Dalmatia? It is an argument I struggle with, but it is one which I encounter every time we report a new international restaurant opening. By that logic, you would have to travel to Japan to try sushi, India for a curry and Italy for a pizza. 

A hotel has received a halal certificate. Far from being a positive thing which caters for the high-spending Muslim tourist, this is the beginning of the end for Croatia, with the full force of radical Islam to follow. 

I used to think it was some form of racism, but the more I think about it, the more I think Croatia today is like Ireland in the 1960s. 

But this racial purity will change. Out of economic necessity. And it will be fascinating to see how Croatia reacts to that change. 

One of the many paradoxes about this beautiful country is that the young people are emigrating en masse because there is no work. And then there are jobs, but nobody to do them. There is, for example, a shortage of construction workers on the coast (and waiters, cleaners…), as much of Croatia’s skilled workforce has gone to Germany and elsewhere. Totally understandable, as the wages are so much higher there. But then who is left to do the work in Croatia?

A very small story, but one which potentially shows the future direction of the diluting of this racially pure state was reported on TCN a few weeks ago. A construction company in Opatija could not find enough workers to build their projects, and so they went through the lengthy and innovative process of importing labour from India – Indians who were thrilled to be working for Croatian wages. Just as Croats go to Germany for higher wages, so too the Indians came to Croatia for Croatian wages. By all accounts, the new arrangement is working well, and you can read about it here

With so many young Croats leaving the country and taking advantage of EU freedom of movement, it is inevitable that Croatia will have to start importing labour. Importing labour means the arrival of international influences, which will necessarily dilute the racial purity of Croatia today. 

That is not necessarily a bad thing. Just ask the thousands of Croats currently diluting one of the most economically thriving and desirable countries in Europe – Ireland in 2018. 






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