“Life Was Better in Yugoslavia,” Claims Leader of New Left Party

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However, president of New Left Party Markovina says there is no one advocating for a return of Yugoslavia in political terms.

New Left Party was founded over the weekend in Zagreb. It openly advocates some elements of social policy from the times of Tito’s Yugoslavia. They have also returned to Croatia’s political life a kind of “Yugo-nostalgia”, which has not been present in politics since Croatia achieved its independence 25 years ago. While participants of the inaugural meeting of the New Left Party clearly spoke about militant nationalism, clericalism and the threat of Ustasha revitalization, they were less clear when asked to comment on the nature of the Tito’s communist regime, reports Večernji List on December 21, 2016.

The leader of the New Left Party Dragan Markovina did not want to answer questions about Yugoslavia and Tito because, as he said, they did not want to give the impression that the party is all about the past. “We do not want to deal with such issues, but we are forced to answer such questions”, said Markovina, adding that it was pointless to answer such questions because the party wanted to deal with current issues in Croatian society.

He did say that it was impossible to put the Independent State of Croatia and Tito’s socialist Yugoslavia on the same level. Markovina declined to answer the question whether the Tito’s regime was criminal. “I have repeatedly and publicly said what I think about the events in 1945, so do I have to say it for the thousandth time?” said Markovina. Asked whether he was “Yugo-nostalgic”, Markovina said that his attitude was that the Yugoslav cultural space existed before Yugoslavia, it existed during Yugoslavia, and it also exists today since he considers the whole area as his own. Markovina added that, in political terms, no one was advocating for Yugoslavia since that would make no sense.

He was much more open when asked whether people used to live better in Yugoslavia or in today’s Croatia. Markovina believes that today’s society has realized fundamental political freedoms and democratic pluralism, and in that sense there is no doubt that today’s society is better than during the socialist Yugoslavia. However, when it comes to the standard of living for the majority of citizens, Markovina is convinced that life was better in Yugoslavia.

Conservative writer and former politician Ivan Aralica said he was glad that New Left Party had been established. “The party defines something which has not been defined in any of the current party structures, and in any ideology. New Left is a successor to the communist, anti-fascist, call it what you want, but it is always the Tito regime. We now have a party which is fighting against the memory of the establishment of the Croatian state and clearly says it resists what is national and religious”, said Aralica, adding that the stakeholders who founded the party and their supporters had so far been hiding behind human rights protection, globalization, Europeanism and other labels.

“Today we have a party and we know who are our opponents”, said Aralica, adding that the New Left is an opponent of the Croatian state, even if it were to pledge its allegiance to it.


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