Associated Press Warns about Far-Right Views Becoming Mainstream in Croatia

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Croatia is listed as one of three countries in which far-right views are becoming mainstream.

International media outlets, such as the Daily Mail, The New York Times and Washington Post, have published a comprehensive article by renowned news agency Associated Press (AP) on the rise of far-right views in Central Europe, which are increasingly becoming mainstream. They cited, as one of the examples, actions made by Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović and a protest against the ratification of the Istanbul Convention held recently in Zagreb, reports on April 4, 2018,

Grabar-Kitarović is described as “thanking Argentina for providing post-war refuge to Croats who had belonged to the Ustasha regime.” She is listed together with leading Bulgarian politicians who describe the Roma as “ferocious humanoids” and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban who believes that Hungarian “colour, traditions and national culture should not be mixed by others.”

“Ever since WWII, such views were taboo in Europe, confined to the far-right fringes. Today they are openly expressed by mainstream political leaders in parts of Central and Eastern Europe, part of a populist surge in the face of globalisation and mass migration,” the AP’s article states.

The article also quotes historian Thomas Junes, who says that “far-right ideas have managed to become mainstream, which includes rehabilitation of Nazi criminals.” It is noted that some analysts believe that Russia and President Vladimir Putin financially support such extreme movements in order to destabilise the European Union, with the leading champion of extremist policies being Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who is friendly with Putin and was the first European leader to support Donald Trump in his presidential campaign.

In Poland, the far-right government is abolishing the independence of the judiciary, while for Croatia the article says that “it has steadily drifted to the right since joining the EU in 2013. Some officials have denied the Holocaust or reappraised Croatia’s ultranationalist, pro-Nazi Ustasha regime, which killed tens of thousands of Jews, Serbs, Roma and anti-fascist Croats in wartime prison camps.”

At the end of the article, it is concluded that there are extremist far-right parties and movements in Western Europe as well, but that the younger democracies of Central and Eastern Europe are more vulnerable to their actions.
In Washington Post, the AP’s article is illustrated with a photo from the recent protest against the Istanbul Convention held in Zagreb, while the report published by the Daily Mail, the most widely read news website in the English language in the world, is illustrated by photos of Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović. The article titled “How once-far-right views became mainstream in Europe: Warning issued after Poland blames Jews for their own destruction, Hungary declares that Europeans should not ‘mix’ with Africans and Croatia thanks Argentina for welcoming Nazis” contains several photos of the Croatian President.

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