November the 10th, 2023 – This week in Croatian politics, we’ve seen Croatian cartoonist Nik Titanik sued by a former Dinamo top dog, the Foreign Affairs Minister has been flamed for clumsily kissing a German minister, and more.
Croatian cartoonist Nik Titanik is being sued by KREŠIMIR ANTOLIĆ
Nikola Plečko, better known as Nik Titanik, is a wildly popular Croatian cartoonist who regularly draws various figures from Croatian politics and public life in the media. His cartoons have become well known and easily recognisable, but with their often rather derogatory take on the figures they’re depicting, they’re not always so popular with everyone. One former Dinamo top dog is one of those who is less than thrilled about Nik Titanik’s art.
Nikola Plečko (Nik Titanik) has openly stated that what is currently facing him is ”an unprecedented case in the entire history of the Croatian state”. The Croatian artist’s trial began on Monday, November the 7th at the Municipal Criminal Court in Zagreb. What for, you might ask? For publishing caricatures. Ridiculous, you might be thinking. You’d be right.
The lawsuit against Nik Titanik was filed by Krešimir Antolić, the former head of GNK Dinamo, who quite clearly didn’t really like the fact that the famous cartoonist portrayed him on several occasions in a less than flattering light and with even less flattering connotations. One such connotation was of him being a henchman of the notorious Zdravko Mamić, currently enjoying holding BiH citizenship and avoiding the long arm of Croatian law in neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina. The caricatures Antolić has an issue with (to say the least) were published back at the end of March 2020 in the sports section of the 24sata newspaper, with Antolić also suing Nik Titanik’s employer for causing him “emotional pain” at the beginning of this year. It’s also important to note that that case actually ended in Antolić’s favour, believe it or not.
Greek media: An AEK fan was arrested for the murder of Michalis Katsouris
As Index vijesti reports, Greek media outlet Zougla has unofficially claimed that a Greek citizen has been arrested on suspicion of involvement in the murder of AEK fan Michalis Katsouris during a clash with members of the Bad Blue Boys of Dinamo Zagreb in Athens.
According to the information that Zougla allegedly learned from a source in the relevant ministry, this is the owner of the knife that was found at the scene of the tragic murder of Michalis Katsouris. This is also apparently an individual known to the Greek police, and there is allegedly also enough evidence to order him into pretrial detention.
Allegedly, the as yet unnamed hooligan, AD, has already been convicted for organising fan riots in the past. The Greek portal also states that on the recording of the incident, AD was seen next to Michalis Katsouris and he was armed with a knife.
This AEK hooligan was convicted of organising riots back in 2017 at the Panthessal Stadium in Volos. At least 15 people were injured in these clashes. He was sentenced to 12 months in prison as a result.
The footage from the security cameras reviewed by the Greek police clearly shows AD as he runs past Michalis Katsouris and at some point collides with him as they both try to escape. Still, the AEK hooligan has continuously stated: “I didn’t touch him with the knife”. The police found traces of blood on the knife, and another person’s DNA was also found on it. An analysis is now underway that will show whether or not the other DNA belongs to the arrested person.
AD previously stated that he isn’t a member of the AEK association, but that he can be considered a supporter of the team. AD said during the interrogation that he had been friends with Katsouris for at least a decade, and he described the fateful night in detail. AD claims he threw the knife before coming into contact with Michalis, but isn’t entirely sure of the timeline. However, he stated that even if he was holding the knife at the time of contact with Michalis, he certainly didn’t touch him with it.
After AEK fan Michalis Katsouris was killed on August the 7th in riots ahead of the Champions League qualifying match, 102 Dinamo Zagreb fans were arrested in Greece and remain in Greek prisons awaiting the end of the investigation.
Malenica: The government is doing everything it can to ease the situation of the arrested Croatian fans in Greece
The Minister of Justice and Administration, Ivan Malenica, stated that the government is doing everything in its power to ease the situation of the arrested Dinamo Zagreb fans stuck in Greek custody, and said that this latest news “is going in the direction of the release of these Croatian citizens from Greek prisons”.
Malenica replied to the families of detainees who, among other things, resent Prime Minister Andrej Plenković and others in Croatian politics for not answering their questions.
“The Prime Minister is talking continuously with the Greek Prime Minister, and I also wrote to the Minister of Justice of Greece on this issue. The government is doing absolutely everything in its power to ease the position of the detained Croatian citizens,” said Malenica on Thursday after the government session, assuring that the relevant individuals in Croatian politics are actively working on resolving this ongoing issue with Greece.
When asked if Greece could ask the Croatian judiciary to take over the case of the hundred or so arrested people in Athens in August after the murder of a Greek fan, the minister replied that earlier in a conversation with his Greek colleague he expressed his readiness for Croatia to take over the prosecution.
“However, this remains up to the Greek authorities. So far, we haven’t received any information about them being ready to hand over the initiation of criminal prosecution to Croatia,” he said.
Nikola Grmoja talks migrant issues, Ivica todorić and more
As Index vijesti writes, Nikola Grmoja, Member of Parliament for Most (Bridge) and one of the more outspoken figures in Croatian politics, was N1 Studio live‘s recent guest. He spoke about the worrying increasing influx of migrants in Croatia and how this situation should be regulated. Grmoja says that Sinj Mayor Miro Bulj is trying to remain responsible for his citizens, unlike the Croatian authorities, who he claims aren’t acting responsibly as far as this issue is concerned.
“Interior Minister Davor Božinović claims that Croatia isn’t being exposed to a wave of uncontrolled and wild migration. We have confirmation from Slovenia, which suspended its Schengen rules because of this and said that 40,000 illegal migrants had entered Slovenia via Croatia. Likewise, the Italians didn’t suspend Schengen rules because of the situation in Lampedusa, instead they claimed that illegal migrants were entering Trieste via the Balkan route. This is an utterly catastrophic situation.”
He added that the report shows that last year, there were as many as 13,000 requests made by migrants for asylum in Croatia. In stark contrast, there were allegedly only 45 such applications made in neighbouring Hungary, which has a well known strict policy and very different attitude to migrants under Viktor Orban’s leadership.
“When you say those two magic words in Croatia, ‘I’m seeking asylum’, you get better rights than pensioners or any other Croatian citizens. You’re protected by the state, you must be provided with accommodation, money and everything else that goes with that.”
Grmoja blames open border policies
Grmoja has always been an individual in Croatian politics to speak out about such issues, and he believes that the policy of open borders and high social benefits have all led to the strengthening of Islamic extremism and potential terrorism across Europe.
“We don’t want to see that in Croatia, and that’s why Most is the only political option, along with our coalition partners. We’ve clearly and firmly positioned ourselves on this issue. The army should be sent to critical points to help the Croatian police at the borders of this country. We have critical points, but we know which routes these swathes of migrants tend to take. The very deployment of the army to critical points will be a deterrent message to migrants, and I think that’s the only way.”
“it used to be safe to walk around in Croatian cities at night”
“Now all of that is coming into question. We don’t want that to change, the fact that the left-leaning parties and people in Croatian politics are struggling with it all is simply not our problem. We know how to position ourselves in this situation, we have clear proposals on what to do, regardless of what HDZ or Možemo! (We Can!) says about it,” Grmoja concluded regarding migrants, before turning to Agrokor and Todorić.
Sometimes it feels like people at the State Attorney’s Office (DORH) are working for Ivica Todorić
“I can’t know what’s going on behind the scenes here. Sometimes it seems to me that those in DORH are just working for Ivica Todorić. To order an expert report, but a foreign one made by Poles, and then for you not to state in the contract that Croatian auditors can’t do that expert report, and then for you to spend over a million euros and the expert report ends up failing anyway… well, that’s unimaginable.”
Grmoja commented that, even when it comes to text messages, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković’s inner circle allegedly doesn’t come under attack from DORH.
“This proves in Croatian politics, HDZ members can and do get burned, but someone who has something directly to do with Andrej Plenković, someone is in the close circle of his associates, can barely be touched by DORH,” he concluded.
Gordan Grlić Radman is in the news for all the wrong reasons again – this time because of appearing to kiss a German minister
The Foreign and European Affairs Minister Gordan Grlić Radman is one of those individuals in Croatian politics who just keeps on cropping up in the headlines, and not for the most ideal of reasons. He asserted recently in the Croatian Parliament that President Zoran Milanović must always have a policy opposite to that of the government, and explained that him kissing his German colleague was nothing deeper than a very clumsy attempt to say hello.
“The Croatian Government is pro-EU, pro-NATO and Pro-Allied, the President isn’t any of the above”
“The Croatian Government has a pro-European, pro-Allied, pro-NATO policy, and the president has a pro-Russian, anti-European policy, and this was evident at the UN General Assembly back in September,” said the minister in the parliamentary debate on the European Council meetings held from April to October, which MPs were informed about by Prime Minister Andrej Plenković. He also stated that Milanović, when the resolution on the humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza was discussed, said that he knew something was happening, but that he didn’t bother to react.
Anka Mrak Taritaš: What did you want to achieve by kissing a German minister?
In the debate, which often went beyond the scope and unsurprisingly ended with the throwing around of insults, another prominent figure in Croatian politics, Anka Mrak Taritaš (Glas/Voice), asked the minister what he was attempting to achieve by kissing German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock.
“It was a clumsy attempt to say hello to a colleague I’ve known for two years, we always say hello to each other,” he explained and added: “If it doesn’t bother the German minister, I don’t know why it bothers you, it was a polite greeting which yes, was a bit clumsy, but in Germany it’s unimportant.”
Grbin (SDP) then called him a peasant.
The Coca-Cola poisoning scandal will be discussed in depth in a separate article
Due to the complexities of the utterly strange poisoning saga and the positions on it taken by various individuals in Croatian politics, as well as Croatian stores, a separate article will be dedicated to it.