Former Croatian Diplomat Elizabeta Madjarevic Claims She Isn’t Xenophobic

Lauren Simmonds

As Index/Gordan Duhacek writes on the 3rd of September, 2019, former Croatian diplomat Elizabeta Madjarevic, who was pulled from her post at the Croatian Embassy in Berlin recently, got in touch with Index with a request for the publication of a correction of the information the newspaper initially published last month, in which it uncovered some questionable social media posts from Madjarevic.

To briefly recap, Index was the first to reveal that Elizabeta Madjarevic, as the first secretary of the Croatian Embassy in Berlin, had been spreading racist, homophobic and all in all unsavoury views, which prompted the Croatian Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs (MVEP) to react and suspend her, and it is now expected that it will carry out the prescribed disciplinary proceedings in line with dismissal.

The densely typed request for a correction is, in fact, the first more detailed public statement by Elizabeth Madjarevic about the affair that has tarred Croatia’s international reputation, the affair in which she played the main role. Previously, she first announced on her Facebook that she stood by her views, and the day after, she claimed via one diaspora-oriented portal that she had actually been hacked. Naturally, MVEP considered this claim to be a complete lie.

In Elizabeta Madjarevic’s letter to Index, she points out that her corrections refer to two articles. The first one, which first uncovered her eyebrow-raising posts on social media, and the second one, which speaks about what her views as a staff member of the MVEP says about, and indeed brings upon Croatia as a country.

“The text makes inaccurate, false, incomplete and abusive statements or information concerning me, that violate my rights and interests and harm my reputation and honour as well as that of my family. The text states that I’ve been: – spreading racist, xenophobic and homophobic views… That I spread racist beliefs, that I write about a “white Europe” and how only such a Europe is “pure”, that I spread anti-immigrant theories… That I attack migrants and refugees by presenting them as a threat to Christian Europe etc; – That I’m a person who is a prominent part of the Croatian diplomatic mission in the German capital and that this ia a huge scandal and a detriment to Croatia’s reputation in Berlin and in the European Union…”, writes Elizabeta Madjarevic in response to the first Index article.

Then she points out how she sees the problems with the second Index article.

“This text makes inaccurate, false, incomplete and offensive statements or information concerning me that violate my rights and interests and harm my reputation and honour as well as that of my family. The text states that: – I’m the voice of a racist movement that threatens Croatia as well; – My views are an expression of two different right-wing movements, which have been more closely linked recently; – That I’ve expressed racist, homophobic, xenophobic and anti-liberal views, which are a combination of what white nationalism advocates; – That white nationalists, to whom you’ve insinuated that I belong, are much more inclined to use violence than Christian ultraconservatives, and therefore you claim that I’m inclined to use violence, etc. Both of these texts were transmitted by almost all media in Croatia, both in print and in electronic form, as well as on many radio stations and television stations,” Madjarevic writes.

This, however, is only partly true – all media outlets have indeed transmitted Index’s story on the Croatian diplomat spreading racism, but not the story of Elizabeta Madjarevic as the ”messenger of a racist movement” that threatens Croatia as well.

“I firmly dispute that I’m a racist…”

This is followed by a denial in which Elizabeta Madjarevic actually admits to having racist views, which she simultaneously tries to deny, with the infamous “I’m not a racist, but …” defense.

“I most strongly dispute that I’m a racist, that I propagate racist, xenophobic or any other views that incite hatred and violence against any social group, including those about ”white Europe” as was alluded to in the text, as well as the idea that I’m attacking anyone. My private posts, like my professional ones, don’t contain such features, and only a malicious person can draw that conclusion from them, for the sake of cheap sensationalism and taking things out of context to increase media circulation, or to satisfy other incompatible tendencies with journalism,” claimed Madjarevic.

With that said, she explains a new definition of what she meant when she said her Facebook profile was hacked.

”My Facebook posts, which are the basis for the above text, have been tampered with from my private and publicly closed profile (and in that sense I stated that my profile was “hacked”), so it’s already clear here that I’m not spreading anything, not am I anyone’s ”voice”, especially since I don’t belong to any political party, nor am I active in politics,” complains MVEP’s now suspended diplomat.

My post does not contain racist or similar features, but it’s expressing my personal attitude, which is in accordance with the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia, in particular the provisions on the right to freedom of speech and expression, emphasises Elizabeta Madjarevic in her recent letter to Index.

“Migration and multiculturalism are harmful in the long run”

”In my posts, I present my personal reflections, impressions, and judgments on certain socio-political and other issues, to which I, as a person, have an absolute right. I have the right to think about and disagree with the issue of migration or a multicultural society differently from a journalist called [Gordan] Duhachek. I have the right to think that this is, in the long-term, an adverse event for the future of Europe, with unprecedented consequences, bearing in mind that in my posts I address the problem of unnatural and mass, and thus uncontrolled, migration, rather than individuals which have been quite common so far. I don’t consider myself to be a racist because in my position, there is no violence, it’s about presenting argumentative values ​​or facts, shared by renowned scientists, public figures and a large part of the population. In doing so, I didn’t endanger anyone’s human rights or incite anybody to violence – that simply cannot be concluded from my publications,” Madjarevic argues.

“It’s a scientific and biological fact that Croatia is a white country”

“The controversial post was written during a holiday in a foreign country in the Mediterranean, and not in Croatia, as the media concluded, and it was the same sort of impression from a holiday on an island in the Ionian sea that at the same time awakened in me the memory, but also the joy caused by a sense of authenticity from the place I was in.

My judgment of what authentic Europe is (like it was 30 years ago) may be liked by some, and not by others, but it cannot be called racism, nor was it intended to be. I didn’t call for hatred against someone, nor did I organise a lynch mob for a group of people, which implies racism, among other things. I don’t see anything wrong with someone preferring a more authentic and traditional society, versus a multicultural society, for example.

It’s a scientific, biological fact that Croatia is a white country, as is the rest of Europe, after all, it’s a continent which has been inhabited by a white population throughout its entire history.

It’s equally the same for Asia as the “yellow” continent and Africa, as the “black” continent. My judgment that Europe is a continent of whites is also based on the bare facts that I wrote in the second sentence (“only white Europeans, as it was 30 years ago”).  It’s a fact that not all countries are still like that and you cannot dispute the original biological fact on the origin of Europeans, nor the fact that this was the case 30 years ago in most European countries (major migrations to all of Europe began only in the late 1980s, although it also happened earlier in some colonial countries).

By loving Europe as it is, or has been, I don’t consider myself a criminal who can be labelled a “racist”. If the author had made an effort to contact me prior to publication in accordance with the rules of the profession, he would have realised that my professional interest was never related to racial issues, but to identity and migration, and thus indirectly to Germany as a key country in the resolving of the refugee crisis back in 2015.

By associating the word “pure” with racism, and with me, as well as with neo-Nazi groups, the author has disgraced me and distorted the meaning of my sentence, in which the most important part was to emphasise the authenticity of the tourist location I was in,” Elizabeta Madjarevic said.

And at the end comes a veiled threat to Index. It doesn’t seem like it will be an easy feat to forgive the portal for exposing these Facebook posts and other publications:

“I note that the publication of these texts has caused huge damage to my reputation and honour, both privately and professionaly, that a public lynch mob has been instituted against me and all this has had a detrimental effect on my family, too, and therefore I reserve the right to claim compensation for any damage that has been incurred to me, or that which, as a result of the publication of these texts, is yet to occur,” concludes Elizabeta Madjarevic at the end of her letter to Index.

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