Is Zagreb's mayor flogging off Tito's memory?
The Social-Democratic mayor of Zagreb, Milan Bandić, lost his majority in the mayoral elections in mid-June and now relies on a coalition with right-wing extremists revolving around former culture minister Zlatko Hasanbegović. In exchange for this support Hasanbegović has insisted on the renaming of Marshal Tito Square in central Zagreb. Croatia's media are up in arms.
A social democrat and a fascist bury socialism
In renaming Marshal Tito Square Zagreb's mayor Bandić is betraying the anti-fascist movement, Jutarnji list rails:
“Zlatko Hasanbegović can't stand anti-fascism because his family suffered under communism. On the contrary, he holds fascism in great esteem and stands up for its values. ... The plaque marking Marshal Tito Square was sold to these people: a valuable trophy for a fan of the [fascist organisation] Ustaša. The mayor of Zagreb, who went into politics thanks to this very Tito and his system and who pledged loyalty to social democracy and convinced others of its merits, should hold a reception to celebrate what he has achieved. It is truly an irony of fate that two people who never protested against Tito's socialist and communist system when they were living under it have now become its symbolic gravediggers.”
Partisan tradition is being eradicated
The old Ustaša militia are seizing power once more, Autograf.hr concludes:
“In concrete terms the renaming means that in order to maintain his grip on power Milan Bandić has decided to humiliate the Croatian partisan tradition. In effect he is publicly admitting that the country is ruled by those who openly sympathise with the Ustaša regime and want to take control openly and in an authoritarian manner of the culture and the public space. Anyone who has any understanding of the situation will realise that this is not about the nature of Tito's government or of socialist Croatia but solely about erasing the past to create space for the rehabilitation of the Ustaša state.”