With less than 3 months of membership, the Republic of Croatia is on the brink of sanctions from the EU for failure to apply EU extradition laws and of its refusal to ammend its judicial laws. Such sanctions would be of great embarassment to Croatia who is in the early stages of being the 28th star of the European Union. The EU legislation breach was highlighted by the case of “Lex” Perković.
Josip Perković is a former agent of the Yugoslav secret police (SDS) or better known as UDBA (Uprava državne bezbednosti armije). Perković and his Yugo henchmen
allegedly orchestrated Operation Dunav – the 1983 assasination of Stjepan Đureković, a Croatian entrepeneur and dissident, who fled Yugoslavia, and became involved in a Croat nationalist organization in West Germany. In 2009, Germany issued a warrant for the arrest of Perković for his involvement in the Đureković murder. The current government claims that the law was originally implemented (3 days before accession in the EU) for the protection of war veterans from the Croatian Independance War from 1991-95. However, the opposition claims that this law was only intended to protect the UDBA ghosts, such as Perković.
The EU’s Justice Commissioner, Viviane Reding (pictured above with Croatia’s premier Zoran Milanović) warned of stringent punishments earlier this week. This could include suspending monetary aid for Croatia’s border control improvements, more specifically the bloc passport-free Schengen zone. This recent diplomatic dispute between Brussels and Zagreb, has strained the relations of an already fragile relationship. On July 1st 2013, Croatia’s official entry into the European Union, celebrations were held in Zagreb, which marked a recovery from the recent war. The conspicous absence of German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the festivities in Zagreb caused a stir, and many were already questioning the relationship between the two European countries.
Croatia’s history has been a turbulent one, so it should come as no surprise that once again, we are the sacrificial lamb, this time at the mercy of the European Union. Only this time it will not be because of our enemy, but rather because of the communist off-spring who are leading this country into complete destruction. Croatia’s citizens will suffer all because of the protection of a few men, criminals, former UDBA agents and Yugoslav comrades.
How arrogant of Zoran Milanović to think he was going to join the EU, only to act like a bully by deviating from EU laws and then underestimating the serious warnings of the European Justice Commissioner? Croatia is on the brink of having close to no friends in the European Union and foreign investors are already intimidated by the red tape and bureaucracy that is rampant in Croatia. One of the most important parts of being and effective leader is building trust, and I don’t see Mr. Milanović doing that. He was deceitful to the justice commissioner, his EU colleagues and to the Croat population in regards to lex Perković.
I personally was against Croatia joining the EU for many reasons (I will not get into those reasons now) as was almost 50% of the country. But as the months go by, I have high hopes that the EU will bring anti-democrats to justice, rid them of omnipresent corruption and bring more investors to Croatia, helping the unemployment rate of 20% decline. But in order for this to happen, everyone needs to be on board (that includes you Mr. Milanović) and they need to start building trusting relationships with the other 27 stars of the European Union.