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Quick Reads + Croatia

Media archive · 310 posts

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Latest stories from Quick Reads + Croatia

European Citizens Call for the Protection of Media Pluralism

For updates follow @MediaECI on Twitter and 'like' the Facebook page European Initiative for Media Pluralism.

Website: MediaInitiative.eu. For updates follow @MediaECI on Twitter and ‘like’ the Facebook page European Initiative for Media Pluralism.

“European institutions should safeguard the right to free, independent and pluralistic information”. The quote, from the Media Initiative website, summarizes the main idea behind a pan-European campaign that aims at urging the European Commission to draft a Directive to protect Media Pluralism and Press Freedom.

The Media Initiative is running a European Citizens’ Initiative - a tool of participatory democracy “which allows civil society coalitions to collect online and offline one million signatures in at least 7 EU member states to present directly to the European Commission a proposal forming the base of an EU Directive, initiating a legislative process”. The petition is available in 15 languages and can be signed online:

Protecting media pluralism through partial harmonization of national rules on media ownership and transparency, conflicts of interest with political office and independence of media supervisory bodies.

A short video presents the campaign:

Croatian Activists Protest Concert of Nationalist Rock Band in Zagreb

Actvists posted a banner on the venue of the bands upcoming concert that reads "Thompson is not Croatia" written in Serbian Cyrillic; image by the Occupy Croatia Movement, public domain.

Actvists posted a banner on the venue of the bands upcoming concert that reads “Thompson is not Croatia” written in Serbian Cyrillic; image by the Occupy Croatia Movement, public domain.

These signs were placed on the Hall of Sports in Zagreb by Croatian activists just days before Thompson, a Croatian rock band, held their concert there on Saturday, November 16. The band bears its name after the nickname of their lead singer, Marko Perković, received during service in the military during the Croatian War of Independence in the 1990s. The nickname derives from the Thompson submachine gun, also known as the “Tommy gun”.

The band and Perković are known for righ-wing nationalist attitudes, often included in their song lyrics and public statements. In 2003, Perković was banned from playing in the Netherlands under accusations of neo-nazi activities and has often been criticized by minority groups in Croatia and other countries.

Another banner placed by activists on the venue read "Fascist, not patriot" in Croatian; image by the Occupy Croatia Movement, public domain.

Another banner placed by activists on the venue read “Fascist, not patriot” in Croatian; image by the Occupy Croatia Movement, public domain.

In this latest instance of criticism, activist posted “Thompson is not Croatia” in Serbian Cyrillic script, referring to recent issues regarding decisions to place bilingual street signs and signs on government buildings in the Croatian city of Vukovar. The signs, in both Croatian Latin script and Serbian Cyrillic were taken down, destroyed several times by protesters, then replaced in Vukovar, until a decision was finally to take them down permanently and not allow bilingual signs. The debate of whether or not bilingual signs will be used in Vukovar is on-going.

The band's concert was held in the Croatian capital on Saturday, peacefully and without any incidents.

FIFA Fines Croatia and Greece for Fans’ Racist Behaviour

In November 2013, Croatia and Greece joined the growing list of national football teams that FIFA has fined for racist behavior of their fans or team members. In Maqy of 2013, FIFA began implementing stricter sanctions aganist racismand discrimination. FIFA President Sepp Blatter stated recentky that this global governing organization must introduce harsher punishments to battle these issues, adding that FIFA was now even willing to “eliminate teams from a competition or deduct points” to that effect. Al Jazeera reports more details regarding the fines issued to the Croatian and Greek national football associations:

FIFA fined the Croatia Football Federation 35,000 Swiss francs ($38,000) for incidents during its 2-1 loss against Belgium in Zagreb on October 11.

“Croatian supporters made far-right salutes which were used during World War II by the fascist Ustase movement,” fan monitoring group Fare reported to FIFA.

FIFA fined the Greek federation 30,000 Swiss francs ($32,500) following reports of far-right banners displayed when Greece beat Slovakia 1-0 in Athens on October 11.

Former Croatian President Mesic Says Tudjman and Milosevic Set Out to Divide Bosnia

Former Croatian President Stjepan Mesic, who was in this office as Croatia's second President from 2000 to 2010, recently gave an interview for Serbian weekly NIN, in which he claims to have found maps of a divided Bosnia in the presidential safe of Franjo Tudjman. BalkanInside.com quotes a portion of that interview:

“Slobodan Milosevic and Franjo Tudjman had been communicating with each other during the war 1991-1995. They wanted to divide Bosnia. Tudjman even thought that the greatest world powers want to divide Bosnia as well“, said Mesic.

Opposition MPs Suspect Foul Play as Croatia Airlines Prepares for Privatization

Some members of the Croatian parliament, all of different opposition parties, have voiced their concern in past days regarding safety issues that Croatia Airlines has had in recent weeks and, in particular, the unusual media attention these incidents have received. Croatia Airlines is currently being prepared for a long-awaited privatization process, but has had two emergency landings in just one week's time in September, as well as other minor safety issues. These kinds of safety issues are fairly standard cases in commercial aviation and often go unnoticed by media and the public. Some representatives in Croatia's parliament are calling the unusual media focus on these recent Croatia Airlines cases “an orchestrated attack” by the regime on the national airline, an attempt to lower the airlines value and price for a planned buyer in the privatization process. Balkans.com reports:

Members of both the HDSSB and Labour Party also suggested foul play is at hand and criticised the government for appointing party members as part of Croatia Airlines’ management team. Later this month the first of two tender rounds for the privatisation of the Croatian national carrier is expected to take place. The first, where potential buyers will express their interest, and the second, expected in February 2014, where specific takeover offers will be made. Recently, the Croatian Minister for Sea, Transport and Infrastructure said, “The price offered by a potential partner will not be paramount, rather, the focus will be on the quality of the strategic partner which could generate more traffic for Croatian airports”.

Beethoven to Mark Croatia's EU Entry

ArtsJournal.com was among the few to notice and post a video of Croatian President Ivo Josipović playing Beethoven to celebrate Croatia's official entry into the European Union on July 1st.
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Running 1,000 Miles for Europe's Trafficked Children

Run For Love 1000

This month, Rob Martineau, Tom Stancliffe, and Guy Hacking are running 1,000 miles from Odessa to Dubrovnik, via Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro, and Croatia, as part of the Run For Love 1000 campaign, whose aim is to raise funds for Love146, a UK charity that “gives care and hope to trafficked children, and to raise awareness of the scale of human trafficking across Europe.” Follow their run on the RFL1000 website, on Facebook, and on Twitter; support the runners by donating here (215 donations have been made so far, with nearly £12,500 raised).

‘Good Morning Earth!': Tweets from Space

splitChris Hadfield (@Cmdr_Hadfield), a Canadian astronaut “currently living in space aboard ISS as Commander of [Expedition 35],” has been tweeting his amazing photos of the Earth daily since Dec. 2012.

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E-Journal on Balkan History and Archaeology

Haemus-journal-1-2012-cover

Haemus journal Vol.1 (2012)
http://haemus.mk

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Protesting Cyrillic, “Collectivising Guilt” in Croatia

Balkan Anarchist weighs in on the protests against the use of the Cyrillic script in Vukovar‘s public spaces:

[...] I believe that we, decent and honest Serbs, should be ashamed of what was done in the name of Serbdom during the '90s and condemn it all unequivocally! And I also agree that it's wrong that most Serb war crimes suspects have yet to be apprehended; it should not stay like that any longer. However, it's one thing to seek justice for serious offences that were committed in wartime, and a completely different thing to deny every sign of another culture and language in peace time, just because some dispicable members of that community did something horrible to you or a loved one. [...]

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