ZAGREB – Left-wing extremism

Two days ago, the Croatian’s peasants party (HSS) leader, Kreso Beljak, justified the political killings of emigrants in Yugoslavia on his Twitter account, saying that notorious Yugoslav-era secret police ”Udba apparently didn’t kill enough people”.

But his apology on Monday wasn’t enough for his right-wing political opponent who accused the leftist of having extremist ideas.

Meanwhile, Davor Bernardić, president of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), a coalition partner with HSS, announced he was running to become the country’s next prime minister while calling for the early parliamentary elections in which his party will lead the fight against fascism and corruption.

In response to Beljak’s comments, MP Marko Sladoljev, from the party Most, reacted saying that if ”we lived in a normal country” he would no ”longer be the leader of a parliamentary party” and urged Beljak to resign saying that the apology ”wasn’t enough”. As the comments were deemed “unacceptable and inadmissible”, the Croatian Party of Right 1861 (HSP 1861) announced the filing of criminal charges against Beljak to the State Attorney’s Office.

HSS is a coalition partner of the SDP. But as the SDP won the presidential elections and appears to be heading towards winning the parliamentary election, political opponents urged the SDP to take responsibility for Beljak’s statement. Croatian Parliament Vice-President Željko Reiner (Croatian democratic party, HDZ) claimed that such statements are terrifying in a healthy democratic society. 

”Regardless of the unconvincing nature of his apology which relates only to part of the statement, it is worrying that it points the left-wing extremism (sic) is increasing in Croatia”, said the parliament’s vice-president. He accused the leftist of having similar “extremist ideas, even before”. 

Meanwhile, SDP’s MP Davor Bernardić announced his candidacy for the prime minister’s seat, while rejecting with disgust the possibility of a coalition with the HDZ. 

He announced that ”SDP will certainly lead the winning bloc in the parliamentary elections”, explaining that they will form an Anti-Corruption Alliance as a platform which will bring together the left-wing party, HSS, the Croatian party of pensioners (HSU), as well as the party of national and civic engagement (SNAGA). Negotiations with other parties which support values of anti-fascism and anti-corruption will continue, Bernardić said.

Bernardić also urged Prime Minister Andrej Plenković to call parliamentary elections as soon as possible, so that the SDP can work on improving salaries, living standards and restoring citizen’s confidence in institutions. (Karla Junicic | EURACTIV.hr)

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