In-depth Business Intelligence
of US $
is given out of 208 nations - (data from the World Bank)
Books on Croatia
No: 151 - (16/12/09)
Croatia was once the favoured republic in
Yugoslavia. The only rival for that role
would have been Slovenia.
President Tito, the wartime hero and
architect of post-war Yugoslavia, was half
Croat, half Slovene. He was lenient in his
treatment of the two republics of his
origin and allowed them to cultivate
market economies, after a socialist
fashion, and allowed them to invite
Croat-Slovene relations remain vital for
Croatia to this day. Slovenia has preceded
it into the EU. It will largely decide
when it goes in and on what terms.
Parliament ratifies Slovenia border
Hence the immense importance of a
breakthrough in the autumn. The Croatian
parliament ratified in November a deal
with Slovenia for international
arbitration to resolve a border row
between the two countries that blocked
Zagreb's bid to join the European Union
previously. It involves Slovenia acquiring
access to the Adriatic.
"Today we are concluding a major and
important task, I believe that history
will prove it," Prime Minister Jadranka
Kosor told the lawmakers before the vote.
The border dispute will be resolved
according to international law ... before
an international judicial body. If we do
not back this agreement no future
generation of politicians will be able to
negotiate something better and more
favourable for Croatia," she stressed.
A total of 129 deputies of those present
in the 153-seat assembly backed the
agreement. Six voted against it.
The deal was signed by Kosor and her
Slovenian counterpart Borut Pahor in
Sweden, holder of the EU rotating
presidency in the last half of 2009. The
Slovenian government plans to hold an
advisory referendum on the agreement
before sending it for ratification by
parliament, which is expected to take
place within the next few months.
The agreement will create an arbitration
tribunal tasked with finding a solution to
the dispute over a small piece of land and
sea. The row has been going on since 1991
when both countries proclaimed
independence from the then Yugoslavia. The
tribunal's ruling will be binding on both
Most opposition deputies backed the deal
after Kosor assured them that criteria to
appoint the tribunal's members would be
based on "professionalism, impartiality
and independence. Consultations (over
nomination of arbitrators) will be led
with both Croatia and Slovenia in a
transparent way," she emphasized.
Ljubljana hopes the deal will secure it
access to international shipping waters.
On the other hand, Slovenia, an EU member
since 2004, must refrain from blocking
Croatia's accession talks to join the bloc
and has agreed that arbitration will only
begin after Zagreb successfully concludes
Croatia resumed its EU membership talks in
October after Slovenia ended a 10-month
block of the negotiations because of the
border dispute. Croatia is hoping to
become EU's 28th member by 2011.
The populace approves
Croats have grown happier with the
government since the end of the summer,
new research has shown.
Figures released on December 1 from the "Puls"
research agency showed 49 per cent of
Croats did not approve of the government
and its work in October and November – an
improvement on the 69 per cent figure in
August and September.
The research also showed backing for Prime
Minister Kosor rose with 48 per cent
supporting her in November compared to
just 39 per cent in July.
And 74 per cent wanted a referendum on
Croatia's accession to the European Union.
Of those, 16 per cent said they would vote
against joining the EU.
South Stream ahoy!
Kosor is forging ahead with new links to
the outside world, eastwards as well as
westwards – and perhaps even southwards.
Croatia has intensified talks with Russia
to join the South Stream gas pipeline
project, a new transport link for Russian
gas to Europe, the economy ministry said
on November 30.
“Croatia is interested to join the South
Stream pipeline and is now holding
intensive talks with the Russian side. At
the moment, the talks are in a stage where
we cannot provide any detailed
information,” the ministry said in a
Gazprom and the Italian energy group Eni
are key partners in the project to build a
gas pipeline under the Black Sea to supply
gas to southern Europe. The project is
seen as strategically important by
European countries keen to ensure safety
of gas supplies by bypassing Ukraine,
which has had rough relations with Russia.
Russia has already signed an agreement on
the South Stream pipeline with five
countries — Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary,
Greece and Slovenia. The pipeline from
Russia to Italy will skirt Ukraine.
The row between Moscow and Kiev at the
start of 2009 disrupted gas supplies to a
number of European countries, including
Croatia. France’s power group EDF agreed
with Russia to take a stake in the
project, thus joining the push to build
the new pipeline.
Croatia’s Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor
tentatively expects to visit Russia in the
next two months. Her talks are likely to
focus primarily on improving economic
ties, in particular in the energy field.
The European Union candidate country
consumes some 3.2 billion cubic meters of
gas annually and covers some 60 percent
from its own resources. The remaining 40
percent is imported from Russia.
Zagreb is also planning to build a
liquefied natural gas terminal in the
northern Adriatic to extend its sources of
gas supply to northern Africa.