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(E) Contact Your Congressman!
By Nenad N. Bach | Published  03/19/2002 | Politics | Unrated
(E) Contact Your Congressman!
1329 Connecticut Avenue, N.W. 
Washington, DC 20036 
Phone: (202) 331-2830 Fax: (202)331-0050 
(Washington, D.C., March 18, 2002). The National Federation of Croatian 
Americans calls on all Croatian Americans to urgently contact their Congressmen 
concerning proposed United States assistance to Croatia for Fiscal Year 2003. 
The budget proposal allocates only $30 million to Croatia and $50 million to 
Bosnia and Herzegovina. This compares with proposed allocations of $110 
million for Serbia, $25 million for Montenegro and $85 million for Kosovo. 
Of interest is the comparison with aid proposed to be given to other states that 
were not formerly part of Yugoslavia. Albania and Bulgaria will each get 
$28 million and Romania $29 million under the proposal, a minor difference in 
comparison to the amount proposed for Croatia. 
John Kraljic, President of the NFCA, notes that Croatia has consistently fulfilled its 
international obligations, including those concerning the International War Crimes 
Tribunal in the Hague. "Despite the fact that the indictments brought against a number of 
Croatian military officers contain numerous questionable charges, the Croatian 
government has nevertheless been committed to complying with demands to turn over 
indictees and evidence. This has certainly not been the case with Serbia." 
The Republic of Croatia remains in dire need of additional assistance from the 
United States. "The Republic of Croatia appears to have stabilized is financial and 
monetary system, but the economy still has a long way to go. The Croatian government 
will likely have to cut additional costs to balance its budget at a time 
when more than 400,000 remain unemployed. Croatia continues to suffer from the effects of 
having its territory occupied for four years. Mines remain a problem, houses have not 
been rebuilt, fields remain fallow." 
Mr. Kraljic further noted that the present poor economic problems were 
exacerbated during NATO's 1999 war against Serbia. "Croatia supported the 
United States in its determination to stop Serbian aggression on Kosovo and freely 
allowed its air space to be used by NATO planes to accomplish their mission. This was all 
done at tremendous costs to Croatia's tourist industry, one of Croatia's most 
important. The 1999 tourist season turned into a disaster because of this." 
The need for assistance is clear. Croatia's road to democracy and full integration 
with the West depends completely on its ability to stand on its own two 
feet. Croatia may be headed that way but it's not there yet. "Croatia still needs its 
training wheels," Mr. Kraljic noted. "This proposal suggests to Croatia that the United States no 
longer cares about Croatia. Croatia, however, remains in need of this assistance." 
The NFCA is a national umbrella organization whose members have approximately 
130,000 members. 
Distributed by This message is intended for Croatian Associations/Institutions and their Friends in Croatia and in the World. The opinions/articles expressed on this list do not reflect personal opinions of the moderator. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, 
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