From Citizen Buildings to Day After Yesterday – Tradition of Croatian Political Bloopers

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Here is our top ten list

Regardless of which political party they come from, Croatian politicians have a long history of blunders and gaffes when they have to use a foreign language or their native language when we come to think of it. The latest blunder by the noticeably excited new designate Prime Minister Tihomir Orešković on December 23, 2015, is just the tip of the iceberg.

Since everyone came down on him hard because of his far from perfect Croatian, we’ve decided to remind you of the now epic bloopers and hard to explain public appearances by other Croatian politicians over the years, both in English and Croatian. Here’s our top ten, in no particular order since they’re equally hilarious. And after the drama they’ve put us through over the last six weeks (and many years before that) I think we deserve a chuckle or two on their account.

Let us start with our former Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor. No matter how much she tried, she just couldn’t admit to herself or to others that English is not really her strong point. So instead of hiring an interpreter, she often tried to show off her language skills, with hilarious results. Who can forget the episode back in 2011 when, just like any proper host would, she decided to greet the tourists on Lučko toll booths, give them some pamphlets and tourist maps and of course wish them a pleasant stay in Croatia. After one of the tourists she ambushed told her he was from Hungary, Kosor happily answered “I was the day after yesterday in Hungary, to Hungary”


But, that wasn’t Ms Kosor’s first failed attempt to impress the masses with her English. In 2010, during one of the biggest economic events in Croatia, she took the central stage, greeted everyone, but when it came to actually spell out the name of the organiser of the conference EBRD (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development), this happened:


Moving on to Milan Bandić, Mayor of Zagreb and the man who keeps telling us he works 365 days a year 24 hours a day. The man who, when asked two years ago, which global star he would like to see perform in Zagreb, expressly answered – Freddie Mercury! We’ll just include two of his bloopers today because we want to leave room for others.

We all know there’s nothing politicians won’t do during an election campaign, but Mr. Bandić takes this to a whole new level to show us nothing can stop him, especially a bit of ice and snow


Bandić is a polyglot if we’ve ever seen one. If English doesn’t work, he’ll just throw in a word or two of Italian, a bit of Russian if necessary, and if all else fails he’ll just order you to speak Croatian:


Ah, we cannot forget former president Josipović. He did not have a problem with foreign languages, but he did provide us with a fair share of laughs. In this first clip, during his official visit to Serbia, you’ll see that no matter how much you prepare for a visit from a foreign dignitary and how many security guards you hire to watch him, there’s always a way he’ll end up seriously injured to no fault of your own:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hElL2rifBxw

And another one by former President Josipović, his legendary „anti-video“ for the Croatian elections 2015. It now has more parodies than George Bush’s famous statement „all out imports come from other countries“ and definitely goes into the What was he thinking category


Another member of SDP is next on our list, the „dressed to impress“ Ingrind Antičević Marinović. Her English, however, hardly impressed anyone, especially during this address before the EU parliament, the now legendary Pipl mast trast as speech. If you don’t require subtitles to figure out what she was screaming about, I’m buying you a coffee:


Next on the list is our freshly replaced Prime Minister Zoran Milanović. Remember his legendary attempt to come across as GI Joe? Even he later admitted: “I was showing off and I blew it”.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qomcIDJDPBc

His opponent Tomislav Karamarko had a bit of math trouble during the last election campaign when he couldn’t name the 5 main points of his programme. He got to four and for the life of him could not remember the 5th one, not to mention that reindustrialization was a word he just could not tackle twice in the same day (0:35 onwards)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wKbINVxdn8E

Media all over the world covered this particular blunder when the president of the Croatian Helsinki Committee Ivan Zvonimir Čičak decided to show his latest model of underwear in front of Croatia’s first female president Kolinda Grabar Kitarović

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSO6BrAL1Sk

And our added bonus, not in video format, but deserves an honourable mention. Of course we are talking about the one and only former Mayor of Split Željko Kerum, who was an endless source of blunders during his reign. After his four year mandate came to an end and it was time to run again, during the annual city awards he told us what is the greatest achievement of his entire mandate: I made two sons in four years, that’s my greatest achievement! And who can ever forget his epic „prosciutto“ episode where the wine, food and music made him forget he was in front of photographers so he just slapped a piece of prosciutto across his forehead to cool down.

I know there are dozens of other blunders and bloopers online and in case we missed your favourite one, just let us know and we will start compiling clips for the second article.

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