Croatia's EU Membership Held 'Hostage' by few EU states.
These are the titles of the articles that were published all over the world. In the title it says "WAR CRIMINAL", without trial, they decided who is guilty and who is not. That is UNACCEPTABLE ! What are the legal consequences of these titles, printed in bold. Dismiss the trial would be one and the best solution, plus apology to the whole nation. Is Croatian government protesting about all of this? That is the first point. The second point is that the Europe OWES Croatia more then apology for letting the hordes of barbaric Serbs destroy our land. This issue needs to be addressed, from the start. This same Europe is giving us conditions? Our WAR REPARATIONS check should be on the way or already in our banks. What's up with that? What is up with trying to equalize aggressor with the victim? Who attacked whom. On whose territory did genocide of Croatians happen?
Our priorities are, civil society, with the laws that are implemented into the funcional society, without overburdening legal obstacles. There, our sheer Croatian talent will fly as we see our individual amazing results, from sport, culture and science that are unparalleled to almost anyone in the world, considering the number of Croatians around the world.
General Gotovina, became hero in the eyes of an average Croatian because he symbolizes the independence that we long for so long. Let's not give it away. Premier Sanader doesn't have an easy time and even we who do not agree with joining the big massive administration like EU, should stand behind him at this moment. Just the fact that little court clerk can give us a lesson, is not acceptable. We can give blood, which we've proven that century after century, but not our pride. Ms. Ponti should be dismissed as she was from Rwanda trial.
We need time not to lose focus on who we are and where we want to be in 50 years. Croatia isn't easy. For monumental decisions and big problems we need great people with even better solutions.
Editor in Chief, CROWN
SAMPLE of what was written above:
Croatia's EU Membership Held 'Hostage' by War Criminal (op-ed ???)
By Douglas Bakshian
17 March 2005
Bakshain report - Download 1.8MB
General Ante Gotovina
The European Union has postponed the start of membership negotiations with Croatia after it failed to cooperate fully with the U.N. war crimes Tribunal in the Hague, which is seeking a fugitive Croatian general. The dispute has prompted a diplomatic struggle in the European Union and put enormous pressure on the small Balkan country.
Late last year the European Union agreed to start membership talks with Croatia on March 17. But chief U.N. prosecutor Carla del Ponte repeatedly called for Zagreb to track down accused war criminal General Ante Gotovina and said Croatia was not doing enough to hand him over.
"I am expecting Gotovina as soon as possible transferred to the Hague," he said. "And I must say that I am convinced that Croatia can do it. So, I invited, many times, the Croatian government to fulfill its international obligation to transfer Gotovina to the Hague."
Prosecutor Del Ponte has said that General Gotovina is likely hiding in Croatia, and that some people in government may be sheltering him. But Zagreb argues it is doing everything possible to find the general and Prime Minister Ivo Sanader says he is not in Croatia.
"Since we have no information, according to all work of services, intelligence services and police, that General Gotovina is in Croatia," he said. "We have no information at all which would confirm that he is in Croatia. I very much support the proposal to have Europol to also be active and to control whether General Gotovina is possibly in one of the member states of the European Union, or in Europe."
The general disappeared in July 2001 when he was indicted for killing Serbian civilians during an offensive against Serbian rebels in 1995. At the same time, he is seen by many Croatians as a hero of their 1991 to 1995 independence war.
Michael Emerson, of the Center for European Policy Studies in Brussels, says Croatian public opinion may be an obstacle to ending the dispute.
"He has also become politically a bit of a folk hero in Croatia," he noted. "And this is today's political problem that Croatian public opinion, it seems, has not made up its mind whether he is a criminal or a hero. And if Croatian public opinion and politicians are bending towards the view that he is a national hero that is precisely what the European Union does not want to hear."
Croatia hopes to be the second former Yugoslav republic to join the European Union. Slovenia became the first when it joined last May. Despite much hard work and sacrifice, things remain in jeopardy. Luxembourg holds the E.U. presidency and Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker says General Gotovina is holding a nation hostage.
"Mr. Gotovina is playing a dangerous game," said Mr. Juncker. "And if he is in Croatia he should be ready to be arrested and transferred to the Hague. Because he does not have the right to take millions of Croatians as hostages. This is not patriotic behavior. And if Mr. Gotovina is the patriot he claims to be he has to do everything possible in order to enable the European Union to start the enlargement negotiations without any doubt in our minds."
Luxembourg has reassured Croatia that membership talks will open promptly, once the condition of full cooperation with the war crimes tribunal is met. Foreign minister Jean Asselborn says the situation is clear. He is heard through an interpreter.
"It is Croatia which has the key. It is not the Hague, it is not ICTY [International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia], it is not Brussels, Luxembourg, England, Austria or any other member state which has the key. The key is in the hands of Croatia," he said.
E.U. officials stress that Croatia's future is in the European family, and they hope this stumbling block can be cleared away soon.