Only Croatia Party backed by the eurosceptic Europe of Freedom and
Democracy Group in the European Parliament has called for a new
referendum instead of last Sunday’s ”sham”.
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.
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 Commission 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
official referendum campaign was restricted to a four week period at
the height of winter and favoured the official YES case which had
almost exclusive access to the electronic media. It also exploited
seasonal distractions provided by Christmas and New Year celebrations
as well as winter school holidays.
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
2,300 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.
Austrian, German and Government-owned electronic and print media
(i.e. all the media in Croatia) blatantly supported the YES case and
made sure that the YES campaign was the only campaign. Hundreds of
sponsored ’information programs’ were aired over many months and even
more ’informative’ newspaper articles were printed.
Catholic Church hierarchy, lavishly funded by the State, also openly
supported the YES case and seemed unconcerned that there was no
democratic public debate and no visible NO case.
the last few weeks, the population was carpet-bombed by
advertisements and appeals on TV, radio and the print media from the
President, Prime Minister, Opposition Leader, Ministers, Actors,
Singers and Sportsmen to choose EU prosperity and happiness over
isolation and poverty.
days before the referendum, Foreign minister Vesna Pusić shamelessly
threatened Croatia’s 1.2 million pensioners that they would lose
their pensions if they voted against EU membership. The Zvijezda
voting station in Zagreb, which covers several retirement homes with
about 1100 pensioners, reported an 80 per cent vote in favour of EU
the result of this massive propaganda campaign? – A referendum
turnout of only 43 per cent of all voters and a vote of 66 per cent
in favour of EU membership and 33 per cent against.
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.