Books on Croatia
Update No: 123 - (31/08/07)
Coming elections to parliament
The political situation in Croatia is dominated by its forthcoming elections to
parliament in the autumn, which will decide who governs the country into 2008
and beyond. The struggle for power is in essence between two men, the incumbent
premier, Ivo Sanader, head of the Christian Democrats (HDZ), and Zoran Milanovic,
the main opposition leader as head of the Social Democrats.
Milanovic has the advantage of any opposition figure in a post-communist nation
in transition; he has not been contaminated by being in power. He is a
youngster, new to the game.
Sanader is the older and more experienced man. He has three months to prove to
the electorate that he is the better one. A deal with Slovenia would suit him
down to the ground.
The Slovenian card
He has had a close and beneficial relationship with his opposite number in
Slovenia. The Slovenian premier Janez Jansa has "an ideal opportunity"
to move towards solving the open issues with Croatia, but he does not have a lot
of time left for that, and the current initiative of the Slovenian government is
linked to Slovenian chairmanship, as of January 1st, of the European Union,
which wants to keep a neutral stance in the dispute.
So says the commentary of August 18th's issue of the Ljubljana newspaper "Dnevnik",
mentioning the dialogue between Slovenia and Croatia, and Jansa's request of a
consensus with Slovenian political parties. "Jansa has a unique opportunity
to move Slovenian-Croatian relations from a standstill, but must hurry in order
to preserve their credibility and reputation. The meeting with political parties
at which he received the declarative support as far as synchronising their
approach is concerned, would not mean added problems in seeking a agree upon
arbitration, a court solution to the dispute, or an agreement about the
problem", it says in the commentary by Franco Juri, in the newspaper "Dnevnik".
"Jansa knows that synergy and a positive mood is required for a neutral
European Union, so that the Slovenian chairmanship of the European Union would
be as successful as possible. Jansa knows that Sanader must at least partially
dismiss the awkward consequences of the doubt that Ropov's allegations about
pre-election incidents in 2004 were founded", said Juri.
He added that the presidents of the Slovenian Social Democrats (SD) Borut Pahur,
and the president of the Croatian SDP (Social Democratic Party) Zoran Milanovic,
made a "great move" by holding a meeting in Mokrice, at which,
according to Juri, in-between the lines, they announced that they will not use
bilateral issues in their pre-election campaigns (SDP and SD next year) to raise
their party ratings, and that they will avoid incidents.
"Jansa's Cabinet will have one year to place the conditions for further
solving the disputes in the dialogue with the Croatian premier Ivo Sanader, who
is probably leaving, and Zoran Milanovic is probably coming. This is a long term
operation which requires mature and realistic behaviour. Good relations with an
important neighbouring country, Croatia, can only be a national project, and not
the domain of any party or coalition", said Juri. He added that this is
probably clear to Jansa as the president of the Cabinet, as well as to the
president of SD, Borut Pahor, who is expecting a win in the parliamentary
elections next year.
"We should hope that the new spirit of the times have been perceived by the
other parties, and of course, that Croatian politics also realises this. The
described chances are not only Jansa's, but Sanader's as well, with the only
difference being that Sanader has only three months", said Juri in his
comment in the Ljubljana newspaper "Dnevnik".