Croatia has steadily drifted to the right since joining the EU in 2013.
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Hungary's prime minister declares that the "color" of Europeans should not mix with that of Africans and Arabs.The Croatian president has thanked Argentina for welcoming notorious pro-Nazi war criminals after World War II.Ever since World War II, such views were taboo in Europe, confined to the far-right fringes. Today they are openly expressed by mainstream political leaders in parts of Central and Eastern Europe, part of a global populist surge in the face of globalization and mass migration.Orban, who is friendly with Russian President Vladimir Putin, was also the first European leader to endorse Donald Trump in the 2016 U.S. presidential race.Orban has also been obsessed with demonizing the financier and philanthropist George Soros, falsely portraying the Hungarian-born Holocaust survivor as an advocate of uncontrolled immigration into Europe.Some officials there have denied the Holocaust or reappraised Croatia's ultranationalist, pro-Nazi Ustasha regime, which killed tens of thousands of Jews, Serbs, Roma and anti-fascist Croats in wartime prison camps.Grabar-Kitarovic later said she had not meant to glorify a totalitarian regime.While populist and far-right groups are also growing in parts of Western Europe, countries like Poland and Hungary are proving more vulnerable to the same challenges, said Peter Kreko, director of Political Capital Institute, a Budapest-based think tank.
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