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(E) Europe, Italy and Croatia
By Nenad N. Bach | Published  03/8/2002 | Business | Unrated
(E) Europe, Italy and Croatia
Translated by Marko Puljic 
Europe, Italy and Croatia 
What does the average Croatian think about Europe? What is the price that we 
are paying so we can be close to it? Looking at the past 10 years, we could 
come to the conclusion that Europe is not our friend, and that everything we 
are getting is being paid for at too high a price. 
In those difficult days of war, when the entire nation was screaming for 
help to defend their own lives and their property from the JNA’s aggression, 
and afterwards from ersatz volunteer groups, even officially by Serbia and 
Montenegro, and Europe found a way to above all, ban us from buying any kind 
of weapons, indispensable for defense, not realizing that our enemy, even by 
European standards was one of the most armed militaries in Europe. 
The war ended with the occupation of 1/3 of Croatia, which was ethnically 
swept clean of Croatians. Ersatz delegations began arriving (even from 
Italy) to the so-called Krajina, out of which was heard discussions about 
Istria and Dalmatia, and not taking into account the will of the Croatian 
people, whose land it was. Officially Italy visited various state 
functionaries in Belgrade, in a visit to the last remaining communist 
demagogue, who existed even before the fall of the Berlin Wall, Slobodan 
Milosevic, certainly not respecting the plebiscite wishes of our people and 
of a wounded Croatia. 
After patiently waiting, preparing, and organizing our own army, and after 
overfilled hotels of refugees, without anything of their own, after the 
bombing of our capital, which was ordered by the officers of the occupied 
territory (which we personally heard via television), Croatia in the span of 
three days successfully returned sovereignty to those areas, and as a 
response to those actions, wealthy and cultural Europe freezes several 
communal and economic programs already underway, better known as PHARE, not 
taking into account of over 400,000 refugees from neighboring Bosnia and 
Herzegovina, who found sanctuary in this bruised and wounded Croatia. 
As if illiterate people live inside our democratic neighbor, and who can’t 
seem to understand the content written articles in the most respected 
papers, and who, just like broadcasts from state television, have one aim: 
show how everyone in the Balkans is equally to blame, both the attackers and 
the attacked, and as though there are no important differences between 
Milosevic and Tudjman. 
Throughout this entire time, the European Union has not shown any benevolent 
signs toward the defenders. Ersatz European commissions bring “solutions” 
for this crisis, which for us means life or death, suggesting solutions that 
reek of rewarding the aggressor. 
Maastrict’s parameters do not apply to Croatia in joining the European 
Union. Some people have even made analysis of national democracy, and others 
of a return to Fascism to Croatia. In regards to the Stability Pact for this 
geographic region, it seems like it is in fact, a freezing of the existing 
status quo of the little that is left of greater Yugoslavia: the RS in 
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosova, Montenegro strongly tied to Serbia, which 
even today is administered by the political successors of the international 
war criminal Slobodan Milosevic. It seems as though the European Union is 
not looking for a magical formula through which would again, by force, if 
necessary tie several south Slavic entities into one state, which history 
has shown on several occasions is detrimental for everybody. 
Our closest neighbor – Italy – how have they been acting? 
In following the local press, it seems several political agendas are on the 
table: the current president has awarded former fascist administrations on 
our territory, even if it isn’t a blessing, it surely is a good will by the 
left and right wing press to not to comment on it. One only hears comments 
about it from Zagreb, but without any effect abroad. Does this mean that the 
die has been cast, or does this sound a signal for a new situation, under 
which, it seems that the EU is leaving Italy to order the Balkans? 
Italy is our first neighbor, not just geographically, with over 1,000 
kilometers of maritime borders, but also culturally, religiously, and way of 
life. For centuries, major parts of Croatia had been mixed under the same 
rulers. Today’s Italy, not the people, but rather the governing political 
circles, seem as if they are not taking all of this into account. 
Only a few remember that the former president of Italy, Francesco Cossiga, 
was the first high head of state to officially visit a newly independent 
Croatia. The recent official visit by the current president of Italy was 
barely covered in the press, and if he did not visit Istria or Rijeka would 
have been mentioned even less. It was a different story when he visited 
Belgrade and in the course of several days met officially with the 
“democratic” president of Serbia, Vojislav Kostunica 7 times. (Some 
evil-thinkers among us ask is this a number has any ties to the Bible) 
Nobody in the Italian press did not remember that this same Vojislav 
Kostunica, during the Serb-Communist barbarism throughout Croatia,  Bosnia 
and Herzegovina, and Kosova was pictured in the papers with a Chetnik 
uniform, with Kalashnikov in hand. 
One of the more important news to the new administrators of Croatia was the 
allowing of Italian capital into the Croatian banking system. The largest 
and most successful Croatian banks were thus partnered with several will 
known Italian banking houses, which are known in general in Europe as the 
least desirable for capital growth. 
A practical example is the success of our entrepreneurs in a post war 
Germany, who without their own capital, only with ideas and their own hands, 
received aid from German banks, and in that way were able to participate in 
work and profits, but at the risk of our entrepreneurs. Italian banks, 
meanwhile grant loans to those who have their own capital or have valuable 
properties, which are a condition in getting credit. 
Knowing the state of industry in Croatia and the lessening of growth in our 
own banking system, it begs the question: Have we done a good job with this? 
It is possible that in light of the HSS (Croatian Peasant Party) 
participating in the government, no important legislation has been written 
that would launch Croatian agriculture? Will Italian banks allow Croatian 
farmers acceptable loans for the acquisition of modern equipment, which 
would greatly increase and lessen the cost of food produced by Croatia, 
which is now being imported forcefully from abroad at a cost of over a 
Billion dollars a year, with the majority coming from Italy? 
Luka Krilic 
Croatian – Italian Society 
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