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Leading British politician urges ‘beautiful nation’ of Croatia not to mock its own wartime sacrifices and ‘put its head in the Brussels noose’.
Boris Johnson | Photo by: Wikimedia Commons
Boris Johnson, colourful mayor of the British capital and a contender to become leader of the ruling Conservative Party, has used the party’s sounding board, the Daily Telegraph, to urge Croatia not “to shackle itself” to the euro after it joins the EU next July.
Writing in the centre pages of the newspaper on Monday, he said that if the country, which he had recently visited, accepted the single currency, it would demonstrate “a stunning refusal to learn the grim lessons of recent Balkan history”, as it would be “swapping one doomed federal structure for another”.
Johnson said that following recognition of its independence in 1992 and following the abolition of the Yugoslav dinar, Croatia had “what every country needs if it wants to be truly the master of its own destiny”… but was now in danger of throwing it away and courting its “greater or lesser humiliation at the hands of bureaucrats from Brussels”.
The euro makes “a mockery of independence, self determination - all the things so many Croats fought and died for”, the mayor added.
Johnson said he would feel bitterly disappointed if he had to return to Croatia in a few years’ time and pay for a bottle of Dingac wine in euro rather than the national currency, the kuna.
Johnson has seen his ratings soar in the UK this summer, partly as a result of his high profile role in the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations and the London Olympics. He is widely spoken of as a potential successor to David Cameron as Conservative Party leader. He is well known for his trenchant views on the European Union.
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