Croatia and totalitarian symbols

A debate about totalitarian symbols is raging in Croatia. A commission has proposed allowing the anti-constitutional Ustashi salute "For the home(land) - ready!" in exceptional cases, for instance on the badge of a certain brigade. The five-pointed star is to remain legal but be subject to criminal prosecution, for instance when used provocatively. Is this the right way to handle such symbols?

Open/close all quotes (HR) /

Unthinkable in Germany

Such a proposal would be unthinkable in other countries, rails:

“Does even one of the seventeen members of the commission think it would ever occur to anyone in Germany to engrave a swastika on a memorial plaque for an ex-Nazi at a commemorative ceremony? Or give the Nazi salute? Of course not. The German state refuses to tolerate fascist symbols disguised as commemorative gestures. ... In its findings the commission classifies the Ustashi salute as clearly anti-constitutional, yet it wants to make an exception allowing for its use at commemorative ceremonies. And our prime minister - who's a lawyer to boot - describes the report as a document that promotes dialogue. Something like this can only happen in Croatia.”

Večernji list (HR) /

A wise proposal

Večernji list, by contrast, sees the commission's proposal as a wise move:

“Those who were fixated on the Ustashi salute or the red star expected a definitive and comprehensive ruling, but the commission didn't fall into this trap. Nor could it, given the practice of the European Court of Justice in this area. Because that practice forbids notorious symbols, but not those that are ambiguous. This means that the five-pointed star can only be forbidden in exceptional cases - in a communist context or in the context of aggression against Croatia.”