Croatia Gets a New Government

( – Croatia’s parliament has chosen a new government and it reflects the swing to the right across much of the continent. European voters, under pressure from mass immigration promoted by mainstream parties, are turning to more radical alternatives. In Croatia’s case, that’s likely to lead to instability in the government.

On May 17, the Sabor, Croatia’s legislature, voted to approve a new coalition government following the country’s April 17 parliamentary election. The result of that election left the conservative Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) as the largest party with 61 of the parliament’s 151 seats but it didn’t have an overall majority and needed to form a coalition to stay in power. The second-largest party was Rivers of Justice, an alliance of center-left parties, while the HDZ’s former coalition partner, the Independent Serb Democratic Party (SDSS), only had three seats.

On May 8, the HDZ negotiated a coalition deal with the third-placed party, the hard-right Homeland Movement (DP). Between them, the two parties will have 75 seats, one short of an overall majority, but can count on enough support from up to eight lawmakers in seats reserved for the country’s ethnic minorities. That’s enough to form a government and means Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic can serve a third term.

Not everyone’s happy, though. The SDSS was excluded from the coalition because the DP objected to Serbs being in the Croatian government. There’s still a lot of tension between ethnic Croats and the country’s Serb minority after the Balkan wars of the 1990s, which saw Croats and Serbs fighting on different sides.

The DP has already demanded that the government cut off funding to a Serbian-language media outlet while journalists report that the channel has faced threats and intimidation from DP members. Former deputy prime minister Anja Šimpraga, an SDSS member, warned that “already we are witnessing radicalization.” In 1995, Šimpraga, who was eight at the time, was forced from her home by the Croatian army and spent ten years in Serbia as a refugee. Now, the same tensions are rising again.

Copyright 2024,