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Croatia Turns its Back to Tito | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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AFP file photo. Protesters have in recent years gathered in support of stripping the name of late Yugoslav communist leader Josip Broz Tito from a prominent square in Croatia’s capital

Zagreb- Zagreb on Friday stripped the name of late Yugoslav leader Josip Broz Tito from a prominent square in the Croatian capital, a move that has sparked controversy.

The vote in the city assembly to change the name of Marshal Tito Square took place on the initiative of the right-wing party Independent for Croatia, which labeled the communist leader a dictator, Agence France Presse said.

It will now be named the Republic of Croatia Square.

“No street or square in Croatia should bear Josip Broz Tito’s name,” said party leader Zlatko Hasanbegovic ahead of the vote.

The issue has drawn thousand-strong crowds in support of the name change in the square in recent years, prompting counter-rallies by Tito supporters.

Tito, born in 1892 to a Croat father and Slovene mother, ruled the former Yugoslavia for 35 years until his death in 1980 and made it one of the most prosperous communist countries.

After Tito’s death, Yugoslavia collapsed in a series of bloody wars.