Croatian high school students show homophobic and nationalist tendencies, survey finds

Croatian high students are politically uninformed and in large part harbour both nationalistic and homophobic tendencies, new research has found.

A survey of 999 high school students in their last year of study, carried out by non-partisan association GONG, reveals that some 45 per cent believe that homosexuality is an illness, while 64.3 would not allow public presentations by homosexuals as these could negatively affect the young.

More than 40 per cent is not familiar with their country’s government, and only 17.6 per cent was able to name all of the partners that currently make up the leading coalition (Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), Croatian Peasant Party (HSS), Independent Democratic Serbian Party (SDSS) and until recently, Croatian Social Libearal Party (HSLS)).

Croatian high school students are also Europhobes – almost half of them are against Croatian membership in the EU. More than 40 per cent also believes that Croatians should have more rights than other nationalities in Croatia.

A surprising number of the youths between 17 and 18 years of age are against strict punishments for wearing and promoting fascist symbols, the survey also finds.

Only 27.6 per cent believe that the Independent State of Croatia that collaborated with the Nazi’s during the World War II was indeed a fascist state, while 14 per cent would punish display of fascist symbols, the daily Jutarnji List writes.

Well, that last paragraph pretty much sums up what I’ve come across when dealing with the Croatian mentality. In one breath, they deny having been fascists, and in the next they defend fascist symbols. Paraphrase: “And to remove them is an assault on our culture and heritage — which by the way was never fascist.”