Just as the former Yugoslav countries have been shocked by the pro-Nazi chants by Croatian football player Josip Simunic, a new scandal flares up, involving a former Eurovision entrant!
Simunic, after Croatia won the qualifying game for the World Cup in 2014 against Iceland, walked onto the stadium field and chanted a pro-Nazi chant used in the Croatian puppet state during WW2. The chant, “ready for the homeland” (“za dom spremni”) has earned him international infamy, a 25,000 Euro fine, and the possibility of not playing at the World Cup. Just as the story was unfolding, a Eurovision entrant from Bosnia-Herzegovina got involved.
Mija Martina Barbaric, Bosnia-Herzegovina’s representative at Eurovision 2003, has voiced her support for Simunic’s statements via her Facebook page. She repeated the chant, and publicly called for the Croatian Minister of Science, Education and Sport to also punish her also if he dares, since he was responsible for the 25,000 Euro fine for Simunic. Despite her claiming that the chant does not represent anything more “than just the love and pride …[she] possess for… [her] homeland”, a storm of negative publicity followed. This has been furthered by the fact that Barbaric, since her debute at Eurovision, had become the Spokesperson for the Ministry of Environment and Tourism in one of Bosnia’s two provinces.
So far Barbaric has not apologised for her blunder, but the government body she works for has already distanced themselves from Barbaric’s statements and opinions, and are considering further sanctions towards her. What do you think about Barbaric’s situation and how do you think this may reflect upon Eurovision, if at all?
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Mija Martina representing Bosnia-Herzegovina in 2003, placing 16th.