European microphone. Croatia at the polls

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Zagreb with a view of Bana Jelacica square and the cathedral. & Nbsp;
Zagreb with a view of Bana Jelacica square and the cathedral. (BLOOMBERG / GETTY IMAGES)

The legislative elections in Croatia take place this Sunday, July 5 for the renewal of 151 deputies of Sabor, the Croatian parliament. The outcome of the election is, however, very uncertain for various reasons. As our guest clarified, former journalist Mirko Galic, the Croats, like many Europeans are emerging weak from the coronavirus crisis, but not only that, since the Croatian capital, Zagreb, was hit by an earthquake on March 22 , in the middle of a coronavirus crisis. Today, traces of the earthquake are still visible in the city. Moreover, according to numerous accounts, the earth continues to shake in Croatia.

If the coronavirus crisis was well managed by the government of Andrej Plenković, 2,831 cases of Covid-19 confirmed for a population of about 4 million, with 108 deaths, the fear of a return of the epidemic is emerging.

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So many factors that are big questions about the vote on Sunday, July 5. Will the Croats go to vote? Will they not go, for fear of the return of the coronavirus, and still in shock from the epidemic and the earthquake; or will they go to the polls to protest against the current team in power. All options are open.

The current Conservative government had high hopes for 2016 with the arrival of Andrej Plenković. This former diplomat, MEP, arrived in Zagreb as the man who was to change the old historic conservative party, the HDZ, that of the creator of modern Croatia, Franjo Tuđman. But nothing worked, Andrej Plenković put on the party a varnish which did not wait long to crack.

First, the formation of his cabinet astonished the “authorized” circles, then the affair of the agrifood giant Agrokor came to tarnish the image of the government by leaving a trace still palpable today in this historic scandal. As for the coronavirus crisis, it is today a flashback for the Prime Minister, as his management of the epidemic was appreciated, and as much a possible return of it leaves many Croats doubtful about the effectiveness health management of the country.

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If bars and restaurants opened on May 11, they may close in on the supposed approach of epidemic clusters. Despite the barrier gestures and the wearing of a mask, Croatia may well have a difficult summer. And a large part of the country’s economy is likely to suffer, tourism which represents 20% of the national economy. Because the Croatian economy suffers again and again, it is enough to see the state of transport, where the lack of development of the rail network gives way to a lobby of road transport which requires travel by coach throughout the country, or repulsive time-consuming trips.

Faced with the possible risk of an epidemic, the seaside sector risks suffering, despite the mobilization of Croatian tourism officials. If the Croatian summer is pampered by German and Austrian tourists, also by the Balkan close neighbors, the appearance of clusters could cause the desertion of tourists on the Croatian coast, as the Croatian medical sector leaves much and still to be desired.

As for the economy itself, the coming crisis is already seeing the specter of unemployment come true, when we know that the coronavirus epidemic and the earthquake have been determining factors for thousands of Croats. It is therefore a difficult future looming for this beautiful country, but a logical continuation of the departure of nearly 300,000 Croats who left the country last year, due to a lack of future prospects. All this does not bode well for the legislative elections.

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If Croatia finished its presidency of the European Union last June, the latter did not shine in the European sky. In the presidential elections, already marked by a low turnout, in December 2019, the social democratic candidate and former prime minister, Zoran Milanović had “dethroned” Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, who had made himself known during the last World Cup in soccer. Milanovic had won with 52.66% of the vote.

But this election saw the arrival of an “outsider”, the populist Miroslav Škoro. Miroslav Škoro is very popular among Croats. He was a recognized singer who had supported the morale of the people during the war against Serbia, in the 90s, with a song which remained the symbol of the resistance and the found freedom, “Ne dirajte mi ravnicu”, “Ne don’t touch my plain. ” Miroslav Škoro is now a businessman and an academic.

It is therefore in this very indecisive election of this Sunday, July 5, that Andrej Plenković, the conservative, will have to face the social democrat Davor Bernardić, and both will face Miroslav Škoro who, although sovereignist, may be the man to negotiate with for the creation of a stable government in Croatia. Because Miroslav Škoro has very important supporters, both in the ranks of the army, conservatives who no longer believe in the historic HDZ party, as well as in Croatian youth who strongly desire that the country become an adult and be a true partner of the member states. of the European Union.

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It will thus be a decisive election for the future of Croatia, which has recently made itself known on the European scene by the election of the former Minister for Foreign Affairs, Marija Pejčinović Burić, as Secretary General of the Council of Europe, one of the most promising women in the Croatian political world.

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