FEBRUARY 6 2009 19:59h

Mafia Kills, But So Do Desperate, Jobless People

Ivana Hodak




From parliament: Is the solved murder of Ivana Hodak a good sign that there is no mafia or a warning what a wave of unemployment brings?

ZAGREB, CROATIA – After the brutal murder of Ivana Hodak, two ministers and the police director were sacked. Prime Minister Ivo Sanader fired Interior Minister Berislav Roncevic, police director Marijan Benko and Justice Minister Ana Lovrin. Tomislav Karamarko was named new Interior Minister, Ivan Simonovic became new Justice Minister and Vladimir Faber became the new police director. 

We listened to the echo of this great political storm in the halls of parliament today. Members of the Ruling Party (HDZ) crowed over the good police work, while the opposition party warned that with this result Croatia got a real slap in the face because Ivana Hodak was killed by a man who lost his job and became homeless.

Hebrang: This Is not a warning of killing sprees by unemployed people 

HDZ’s Andrija Hebrang does not think that this is a warning of killing sprees after a wave of unemployment that is expected this year.Goran Rusmir-.--.-Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) member Andrija Hebrang

- This was evidently a reaction that stepped out of the framework of the expected when one loses one’s job, especially because it caused such a tragedy. This is something that no preventive action by the police can prevent and it takes away responsibility from everybody because it was caused by a pathological condition of an individual, not by the society. Of course, this does not diminish the tragedy that happened – Hebrang said.

His party colleague, Krunoslav Markovinovic, said he was not surprised that the police found Ivan Hodak’s killer “because most murders are solved sooner or later”.

- Also, the father of the deceased young woman led the police on the wrong trail and the police were working under pressure to connect the murder with organised crime. The solving of this case makes it evident that Croatia is not a country in which the mafia kills people in the streets. Regarding the fact that the killer had lost his job, all I can say is that very close to my home in Sveta Nedjelja, craftsmen are complaining that they cannot find workers. If somebody loses a job, they will find another – Markovinovic said.

Borzan: This result is even worse than mafia killing the girl 

The SDP’s Biljana Borzan is of belief that this solution to the murder is even worse than if there was a connection with organised crime.

Ivana Magdić-.--.-- Tomorrow we will have 300,000 unemployed people who could become potentially desperate just like this man whose life situation forced him to do something as terrible as this. I see no reason for satisfaction from the ruling party. I am glad the police did something. But had we from the opposition not exerted pressure after the murder of Ivana Hodak, there would be no dismissals in the police and interior and justice ministries. We are also now pressurising for a set of anti-recession bills to be adopted so the recession would affect citizens as little as possible. But all out propositions are being rejected, not because they are not good, but exclusively because they are coming from the opposition – Borzan is convinced.

The opposition’s Davorko Vidovic, a former social welfare minister, regrets that the transitional Croatia does not have a different type of social relations in which this man would have adapted more easily.

- I think that he gave this crime a social context. I was really surprised with such a result of the case because the general opinion was that it was a mafia killing or a crime of passion. It is horrible and truly frightening exacting revenge on parents in such a way. In the end, the police have to be congratulated for being able to solve the crime. This, however, does not negate that we have mafia in the streets, just one case less – Vidovic said.