Croatian media outlets are calling on the Government to demand an explanation in the scandalous comments given by Gorjan Tozija, the head of the Macedonian Film Agency.
In numerous social media posts, Tozija declared Croatia to be a fascist country and likened its ruling HDZ party and its leader Andrej Plenkovic to the war time pro-Nazi Ustasa regime.
Tozija, who had worked in Croatia and left a string of scandals in the country, was apparently triggered by an article by Croatian journalist Ivan Brodic, who wrote a hard hitting report into the recent scandal when the Macedonian Post Office published a map of Greater Croatia on an official stamp. Brodic pointed to the dysfunctional nature of modern day Macedonia and wrote about the threat of nationalist Greater Albanian movement.
Ustasa bastards, those in HDZ are followers of Ante Pavelic. HDZ wants to cover up its embrace of the Ustasa movement and their Nazi slogans. The Ustasa are attacking the Government of RNM. Plenkovic and Orban, they’re part of the same crew, a club of criminals – these are just some of the comments Tozija used in his Facebook rants aimed at Croatia.
The Croatian Otvoreno news recently wrote about the incident and asked whether Tozija speaks for the Macedonian Government, given that he has not yet been removed from office. In his defense, Tozija insisted that one of the business deals he was involved in, with the Croatian Jadran Film company who he used to work for, is the reason for his outburst. Tozija broke off a contract with Jadran Film to produce a series about the history of the Macedonian nation building period. In his response, Tozija also doesn’t really apologize for his comments and insists that he has the right to speak his mind about the Croatian Government.
Who are those Macedonians in Croatia who say I don’t have my freedom of speech? I have my own positions toward a certain political ideology. I have the right to a democratic and critical approach toward anything I believe is anomalous in any country in the world, and that is not taken away from me with the fact that I run the Film Agency. On the contrary, I believe it is the obligation of every individual to speak out about any injustice, Tozija added.
Brodic replied that the “apology” is a non-apology and that it gaslights from the issue, changing the topic to Tozija’s feud with Vardar Film.
Mr. Tozija is an official of the Republic of (north) Macedonia and in such capacity he wrote that Ante Pavelic was the leader of HDZ, that Andrej Plenkovic, who is the legitimate and democratically elected Prime Minister of Croatia is a fascist and a criminal and that HDZ is a fascist party. I felt I had to inform the offices of the presidents of the two countries, the governments, the relevant political parties as well as the Foundation Open Society about this issue, Brodic writes, adding that he personally has no links with Jadran Film.
Brodic also notes that Tozija is being sought after by people in Zagreb who claim that he sold an apartment to several buyers, pocketing the money, which was the subject of media reports.
Following the storm in the Croatian media, Tozija claims that he has the right to go to war with Croatia and to say that Plenkovic and HDZ are fascists and criminals and that it is his opinion. Since he has not yet been removed from the state ran Film Agency of Macedonia, we can only conclude that Macedonian authorities agree with his positions. The insults were aimed at Plenkovic, who personally supported the opening of accession talks with (North) Macedonia and even has a friendly relationship with Zoran Zaev, despite their different ideologies, Brodic writes.