Balkan

Äänestys tämäkin

Suomen vaalipäivinä tapahtui toinenkin äänestys – nimittäin kroaatit saivat lausua mielipiteensä haluavatko EU:n jäseniksi vai eivät.  Paikalliset uusnatsit mutta myös toistatuhatta älymystöön luettavaa henkilöä olivat jäsenyyttä vastaan ja ovat ehkä vieläkin vaatiessaan uutta tällä kertaa “rehellistä” referendumia.  En malta olla lainaamatta sikäläisen nationalistipuolueen kuvausta äänestystä edeltävästä myllytyksestä, jonka mittasuhteet antaisivat aiheen olettaa kovan työn tehdyn uuden jäsenen tunkemiseksi EU-ihanuudesta nauttimaan.

Lukija vetäköön omat päätelmänsä ottaen huomioon tässä esitetyn vain yhden näkökulman. Ote Croatiantimes‘n sivuilta:

Nationalist 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”.

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 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 trams.

The 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.

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 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.

The 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.

The 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.

In 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.

Just 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 membership.

And 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.

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.

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