Tudjman, Franjo

Tudjman, Franjo

Tudjman, Franjo, 1922-99, Croatian nationalist leader, first president of independent Croatia (1991-99). He joined Tito's Partisans in 1941 and after World War II rose to the rank of major general (1960) in the Yugoslav army. A history professor at Zagreb Univ. from 1963, he lost his post and his Communist party membership in 1967 because of his Croatian nationalism, which also led to his imprisonment in 1972-74 and 1981-84. Founding the Croatian Democrat Union in 1990 as Yugoslavia began to disintegrate, he became president of Croatia in 1990 and led the constituent republic to independence in 1991. He was reelected president in 1992 and 1997. His rule became increasingly autocratic over time, and his second reelection was criticized as not fair because of government control of the media. He died in office, having been declared incapacitated several weeks before his death and replaced by Acting President Vlatko Pavletic.

Franjo Gregurić (born October 12, 1939 in Lobor, Kingdom of Yugoslavia) is a Croatian politician who served as prime minister of Croatia from July 1991 to September 1992.

Before the first democratic elections of 1990 Franjo Gregurić used to be high ranking official of Astra, large state-owned company from Zagreb.

On July 17th 1991, as member of Croatian Democratic Union, he was appointed to the post of prime minister by President Franjo Tuđman.

When he took his post, Croatia was in very difficult situation - its independence was not recognised by international community and Croatia, unlike Slovenia, lacked proper military infrastructure to resist Krajina rebels backed by Yugoslav People's Army. Only few weeks later, following couple of disastrous setbacks for nascent and inexperienced Croatian military, his cabinet was reshuffled by introducing of members of other political parties represented in Croatian Parliament (with exception of Croatian Party of Rights).

This cabinet, later dubbed as "Government of National Unity", was in charge when major combat operations in Croatia ceased on January 3rd 1992, following UN-sponsored armistice. On January 15th 1992 Croatian independence was recognised by major European countries.

This is hailed as the greatest achievement of Gregurić's cabinet, while Greguric himself enjoyed favourable reputation because of his mild manners and managerial skills. His cabinet was often taken as a great example of national unity under difficult situation.

Those achievements, however, must be taken into proper context. Foreign policy was in hands of Franjo Tuđman, while defence was in hands of Gojko Šušak and military officials responsible only to President. That left Greguric with more mundane tasks like issuing first Croatian currency and setting up Croatian air traffic control and other institution previously in Yugoslav federal jurisdiction.

With war generally perceived to be over and with prospects of new elections, "Government of National Unity" began to fall apart. In February 1992 his government proposed the laws offering territorial autonomy to ethnic Serbs in Krajina in exchange for their formal recognition of Croatian sovereignty. Dražen Budiša, one of government's ministers and leader of Croatian Social Liberal Party, left the government in protest. This was followed by representative of other parties who gradually left the government.

By the end of his term, cabinet of Franjo Gregurić again had members of only one party.

At parliamentary elections of 1992, Gregurić was elected as representative of HDZ and remained in that party.

Gregurić was later the president of the Croatian Firefighting Association.

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