The Zagreb municipality has decided to launch a new name on a main square bearing the name of Marshal Tito, 37 years after the death of the former Yugoslav Communist leader.
The right-wing “Independents for Croatia” party made the decision to provide the support needed by the populist mayor, Milan Pandic.
Born in Croatia, the leader of the resistance against the Nazis and their local allies during the Second World War, Josip Broz Tito led Yugoslavia from its founding from the Union of Balkan Peoples until his death in 1980, during which period he strongly suppressed all the nationalist currents of the peoples that formed the Yugoslav federation.
These trends emerged strongly in the years following his death until Yugoslavia disintegrated after a series of wars in the 1990s. Tito still has supporters in the Balkans, but in the eyes of the Independents for Croatia, a despotic ruler. The party, Zlatko Hasan Begovic, “should not carry any street or yard Tito’s name in Croatia.”
Zagreb Square is the most important of the streets and squares named “Tito” in the Balkans, and will be renamed Republic Square following a decision adopted by the municipal council on Friday.
“This change will, to a certain extent, satisfy some of the victims, the Yugoslav Communist terror of Teto,” said Hassan Begovic. Several residents and the West opposed changing the name of the square and gathered in a demonstration that included thousands in the square.
And “Hasan Begovic,” known for his often controversial nationalist views and expelled from the ruling party by the Croatian Democratic Union (center-right).