In-depth Business Intelligence
of US $
is given out of 208 nations - (data from the World Bank)
Books on Croatia
Update No: 128 - (28/01/08)
Resolution of the crisis
Croatia held crucial parliamentary elections at the end of last year, which
were inconclusive. Parliament, however, has finally approved the nomination of
the cabinet led by Ivo Sanader two months after a close electoral contest, that
had failed to identify a clear winner.
The president, Stjepan Mesic, authorised Mr Sanader on December 15 to form a new
governing coalition based on the final count from closely contested November 25
parliamentary elections. The prime minister – whose centre-right Croatian
Democratic Union (HDZ) edged ahead of its main rival, the centre-left Social
Democratic Party (SDP) – has promised to muster a stable majority in the
153-seat chamber. Support from ethnic Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina, who voted in
a diaspora electoral unit, boosted the HDZ’s narrow lead.
A statesman in the making
Sanader has done something remarkable. He has steered his party away from
its hard-line nationalist origins under Franjo Tudjman, the autocratic president
who led Croatia to independence from the former Yugoslavia in 1991 and
decisively defeated the ethnic Serb rebels who had seized around a third of the
new state’s territory. He is being inclusive, rather than the traditionally
Balkan proclivity of being exclusive.
Sanader, the centre- right Prime Minister, has managed to build a coalition by
making concessions to the social liberals, the Serb party and the farmers’
political representation. He also has the support of smaller parties giving his
coalition a sizeable majority. He has shown considerable imagination and daring.
For the first time a Serb reaches the position of Deputy Prime Minister and the
cabinet includes a member of the Roma minority, which is unprecedented.
The EU lies ahead
It might be quite a challenge for this cabinet to deliver on the promise of
Croatia to become the 28th member of the EU before the end of the decade. There
is no doubt that Croatia is the next in line to join the EU. It is actually
better qualified to be an EU member than Bulgaria and Romania, the last two to
join, being less corrupt and more genuinely out-going and democratic.
The Peasant’s Party holds key positions and might obstruct talks in some of
the more difficult chapters of the accession negotiations. However, the
composition of this cabinet sends a positive signal, with the inclusion of
minorities which, to date, had not had an opportunity to weigh in on Croatian