Sunday, January 22, 2012

Croatia Joins the EUSSR

Croatian flag: part of the EUSSR

Our Croatian correspondent Vortac sends this brief report about today’s referendum on accession the European Union. It seems that Croats took a look at their country’s dire circumstances and realized the EU had made them an offer they couldn’t refuse:

Here’s an interesting piece of news: my country decided to join the EU!

In today’s referendum, 67% voted in favor of Croatian membership in the European Union. Somewhat ironically, even I (a regular GoV reader) voted ‘yes’, although I am fully aware what the EU is and what it represents.

We simply have no alternative now — Croatia is heavily indebted. We owe $60+ billion (more than 100% of our GNP), mostly to Western European creditors. There were subtle hints that if Croatian voters decline the membership, our credit rating would suffer, which would be disastrous for our debt-ridden economy.

Also, Croatians are very disappointed in our domestic politicians. Croatia gained independence in 1992, so we have been outside EU for twenty years now, but the results have mostly been negative. Our external debt has increased twentyfold (from 3 billion dollars in 1992. to 60 billion dollars in 2011), and corruption has been rampant the whole time. We are now at 66th place in the world Corruption Perception Index, joining countries such as Georgia, South Africa, Italy, and Ghana.

As a result, many people voted for the EU as a sign of protest against such leadership, hoping that our future EU membership will help us in reducing those problems.

Below is an article from USA Today on the same topic:
Croatia says ‘yes’ to joining European Union

ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) — Croatia’s state referendum commission says a majority of Croats have voted in favor of joining the debt-stricken European Union.

Officials say that with about 30 percent of the ballot calculated, about 67 percent of those who took part in the referendum Sunday answered “yes” to the question: “Do you support the membership of the Republic of Croatia in the European Union?”

About 32 percent were against, while the rest of the ballots were invalid. About 42 percent of eligible voters took part in the referendum, illustrating voters’ apathy toward the 27-nation bloc.

Croatia signed an EU accession treaty last year and will become its 28th member in July 2013 after all the bloc’s states ratify the deal.


Henrik R Clausen said...

Have been following this a bit, and find a mere 28 % of the electorate voting for membership astonishing. A Danish referendum would be invalid with those numbers.

Was in the EU Parliament back in 2005, watching the parliamentarians as hungry wolves putting pressure on the Croatian Government to get Gotovina, disregarding all other points towards EU membership. The parliamentarians made it clear that it was an obligation of the Government to change the opinion of the citizens to no longer admiring him for winning the war and bringing lasting peace to Croatia. The foreign minister explained that they had undertaken extensive efforts to influence public opinion, but still drew the line at going into private homes to take down pictures of the national hero.

They got Gotovina later, he now sits in Hague accused of "Not preventing the death" of 150 people during Operation Storm. To my knowledge still not convicted, he is widely considered a "War criminal" in the press, who reports it as a fact, not as a charge.

Looks to me like a choice between national pride already heavily damaged and dysmal economy. I understand that most Croatians chose not to vote at all.

1389 said...

Croatia will be sorry, and so will the EU.

Anonymous said...

You should start a new sidebar here. The European Ethnic Group Extinction Timeline. There are 3.9 million ethnic Croats with a birthrate of 1.5 and significant out-migration. When does that schedule them for extinction?

Vortac said...

National pride can be a complex thing. Of course, most Croats are proud of their independent state, but most Croats are also proud because they consider themselves a part of European, Western civilization, opposed to some other Balkan states which have historically been more inclined towards Russia.

General Gotovina emphasised that fact better than anyone when he stated that, despite his personal setbacks, he will vote for EU, from his Hague prison cell:

"He said he would vote for Croatia's accession to the EU, where he said it belonged in terms of civilisation and history, which the referendum would formally confirm."

Henrik R Clausen said...

He said he would vote for Croatia's accession to the EU, where he said it belonged in terms of civilisation and history, which the referendum would formally confirm.

They made him speak nonsense :(

Croatia belongs in Europe - absolutely - but the European Union is not Europe!

That is a very common trick of EUSSR official to make that equation. It's deadly propaganda, too.

Anonymous said...

Non-member Norway, contributes with 89 EUR per person, to EU, more than largest EU members. France pays 86 EUR per person.

(Word verification 'doped' makes sense....!)

jeppo said...

If a mere 28% of the Croatian electorate voted for EU membership, that means only a paltry 14% voted against it. Now that's astonishing!

If the "EUSSR" was so bad, don't you think it would generate a bit more resistance than 14%? The Croatians and ten other Eastern European nations (plus East Germany) lived through decades of REAL totalitarian communist oppression, and all have since willingly and happily joined the EU. It cheapens the memory of the actual victims of communism when rich, soft and decadent Westerners, who have only ever known freedom and democracy, flippantly compare the EU with the USSR. It's an intellectually lazy comparison.

And does anyone really believe that any of the 27 nations would vote to leave the EU in a referendum? Nope, not even the UK would, and if you don't believe me, even Richard North at the EU Referendum blog has admitted as much. When such a referendum was held in 1975 the No side lost by 35 points, and the results of any new vote would probably not be much different. But just fantasize for a moment that the UK actually did vote to leave: It would almost certainly trigger the breakup of the UK as Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland would surely separate and apply to rejoin the EU. And the rump English state would still be subject to all sorts of EU rules and regulations, just like non-EU members Norway and Switzerland are, but now with no say in the governance of the EU.

Conservatives should just drop their futile opposition to the EU and focus on the truly existential issue of our time: immigration. Where the EU promotes Third World immigration, it should be attacked remorselessly. But really, who was responsible for the mass non-white immivasion of Britain from 1997-2010? Was it the Soviet-like apparatchiks of Brusselsgrad? Or was it the democratically elected Labour governments of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown? Be honest now...

The EU is often attacked as "profoundly undemocratic". This is pure baloney. There are three main governing bodies of the EU, two legislative and one executive. The European Parliament (US equivalent: House of Representatives) is democratically elected. The European Council (US equivalent: Senate) is the 27 democratically elected heads of government of the EU member states. The European Commission (US equivalent: Presidential Cabinet) is appointed by the Council and ratified by the Parliament. This is democracy, not totalitarianism.

What conservatives should be pushing for is DIRECT democracy for the EU, like in Switzerland. Let important issues be decided in Europe-wide referenda, with double majorities (of voters and nations) needed to pass or block legislation. In fact, the Swiss Confederation and its system of popular democracy should be the template of how the EU should look and function: the Parliament should more accurately reflect rep by pop, rather than favouring small nations at the expense of large ones as is the case now. The Council should be replaced by an elected Senate of 2 or 4 Senators per member state. The Commission should be shrunk to 15 or 20 members (from 27), and be elected by a joint sitting of the Parliament and Senate and have a rotating presidency, just like it's done in Switzerland.

Right now, one million signatures can trigger a debate in the EU Parliament. This is should be toughened up to trigger a mandatory debate. Added to this should be a law stating that, say, 10 million signatures would trigger an automatic Europe-wide referendum on any issue, like non-European immigration for example. This is the kind of thing that European conservatives should be pushing for, rather than opposing the entire EU project and letting our Leftist enemies continue to take the initiative on all things European. Swiss-style direct democracy is the way forward for the EU, and the best way to counter the knee-jerk liberalism of the politicians, bureaucrats and judges is with the inherent conservatism of the ordinary voters.

Vortac said...

I agree with jeppo. When I read this (generally excellent) blog, I sometimes get the feeling that the mantra "EU bad, non-EU good" is being projected onto the readers. But Croatia was non-EU until recently, yet we accomplished nothing and EU would, in fact, be a big improvement for us, compared to our present sorry state of affairs. That's the main reason why people voted for it. No conspiracy, no propaganda, no dark forces at work.

Anonymous said...

No conspiracy, no propaganda, eh?

. . . Fully aware that the Croatian People do not want to give up their hard earned independence, the ruling elites changed the Croatian Constitution prior to the EU referendum to eliminate the rule which invalidated any referendum unless 50 percent participation was achieved.

Prior to the EU referendum, the Croatian people were subjected to a massive North Korea-style pro–EU propaganda campaign, which relentlessly extolled the benefits and virtues of
membership, and denigrated any attempts to say otherwise.

The Government spent huge amounts of public funds to pay for a massive YES campaign, whilst denying any funding to the NO case. In addition, the European Commision ran its own very expensive YES campaign. State enterprises and corporations were also enlisted. State Television aired pro-EU adverts for free or at discounted rates, Croatia Post home delivered more than 2 million government leaflets for free, and the City of Zagreb provided free EU advertising on its trams. . . .

The real referendum campaign had actually started much much earlier and involved, not thousands, but tens of thousands, pro-EU advertisements on radio and Television.

The 'Vecernji List' daily reported on 10.8.2011 that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and EU Integrations had in the two preceeding months (June and July 2011) paid the broadcasting of more than 13 thousand radio adverts and more than 2300 TV adverts on 80 radio stations, 6 national and 15 local TV stations. This massive propaganda campaign continued and even increased in scope and intensity over the next six months leading up to the referendum. . . .

And the result of this massive propaganda campaign ? -A referendum turnout of only 43% of all voters and a vote of 66% in favour of EU membership and 33% against.

And even this vote is somewhat suspect because Croatia has more voters than citizens. According to the latest 2011 Population Census, Croatia has a total population of only 4.29 million, yet according to the Electoral Commission it has 4,504,765 voters over 18 years of age eligible to vote. . . .

(Read the whole thing.)


Vortac said...

Croatians would have voted yes even without that "propaganda". Why it's so hard to accept that many people still view EU as an improvement over their independent states? Do you really think EU can sway whole nations on its side by some leaflets and TV ads? The only important swaying factor here is the hope that EU can improve our financial situation, via better credit rating or via accession funds. Although EU is in deep financial crisis, it is still in better financial position than Croatia.

Vortac said...

Also, if we take into account the latest data from the 2011 census, low referendum turnout actually isn't so low:,_2012

The low turnout was attributed in part to poor maintenance of the voter register. The register allegedly contains up to 900,000 inexistent voters due to poor maintenance of the records, especially in terms of matching the register data to death certificates and change of residence records. The allegation was supported by 2011 census.[101][102] The poor voter records were subsequently cited as cause of the low turnout, which would otherwise exceed 50%.[103] It was later estimated that actual turnout in Croatia itself, without the diaspora, was 61%.

Unknown said...

Mass immigration is an essential fundamental of the EU system. The aims of the EU architects were, and are, to create, quote, "a eurasian-negroid race" to work as helots, ruled over by a hapsburg dynasty and its courtiers.

There is nothing separate between political, financial and racial motivations of the EU.

It isn't even difficult to find this out.

Personally I believe the decadence of continental europeans is at least as much to blame as any existential threat from oligarchs and conspirators. Simple spine and righteous aggression would end the threat of the EU (and mass immigration's negative consequences) in a fortnight. But people are compliant within a handout system.