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(E) When Croatia wins, no-one thinks of the 'Balkans'
By Nenad N. Bach | Published  02/15/2003 | Politics | Unrated
(E) When Croatia wins, no-one thinks of the 'Balkans'
Distributed by CroatianWorld


When Croatia wins,no-one thinks of the 'Balkans'

By: Brian Gallagher 

Croatia's image remains mixed. 

It may come as a surprise to know that the US Military
considers Croatia a "Qualified hazardous-duty area".
US Military personnel are entitled to tax breaks if
they serve in Croatia. One shouldn't be alarmed by
this; Croatia has been listed as such an area by the
United States since 1995. However, it does not help
Croatia's image. In confirms that in the eyes of many,
Croatia is seen as being somewhere unstable, prone to
war, crime, corruption etc. 

Europe is certainly no better. On 2 February, the
European satellite news service Euronews screened an
item on the 'Balkans' which emphasized crime and
corruption, stating that it could take decades to root
out. Croatia figured in this item, including shots of
Dubrovnik. Anyone watching this with little knowledge
of the subject would automatically assume Croatia to
be as rotten and corrupt as any other 'Balkan' state.
This is where 'regional co-operation' gets Croatia. 

Croatia's leaders have yet to get to grips with the
image problem in the US and EU. 

Croatia's winning of the Handball World Championship
is much better news, and this sporting success is
symbolic; it shows that Croatia can succeed as an
independent nation. One wonders whether Croatia's
sportsmen would have had such success if they had
limited themselves to 'regional' sporting events
rather than taking on the world. When Croatia wins,
no-one thinks of the 'Balkans'.

Croatia's leaders should take note.

© Brian Gallagher 3 February 2003

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