Dr Zijad Becirovic
'The visit was not really necessary. It does not have any value added, as the previous ones did not have. I think that Andrej Plenkovic, Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic and HDZ are about the become an issue for the European People's Party (EPP), says Dr. Zijad Becirovic, the Director of the International Institute for Middle East and Balkans Studies (IFIMES) from Ljubljana, commenting the visit of the Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic to Mostar. Plenkovic made his visit few days after ICTY had pronounced the final judgement in the case Prlic et al.
- By the first-instance verdict, HDZ was indicted as criminal organization for the case 'Fimi Media'. Just recently, the ICTY confirmed Joint Criminal Enterprise with involvement of HDZ officials. What is HDZ still doing the family of the European People's Parties (EPP) is a valid question to ask. Reputation of EPP has been already seriously damaged by the Sanader case, and Nikola Gruevski (VMRO-DPMNE) in Macedonia. And, of course, without consent of its sister party HDZ, Vucic's Serb Party of Progress (SNS) could never have become a member of the EPP. That is one closed circle. Hence I don't see any need for him to come even to Sarajevo. In this case, his words spoke more than his visit, Becirovic opined.
PATRIA: British Guardian referred to Plenkovic as the first head of government of an EU member which supports criminals. Does Croat politics as such could equally harm Croatia?
BECIROVIC: Plenkovic is jurist by vocation, so he should be mindful of dignity of his profession. Actually, it is good that he spoke out in that way, showing his true colors. He managed to discredit himself for any future position in the EU, NATO or the UN, as what he said will become a history record. The same self-disqualification was done by the Croatian president Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic. They might as well say goodbye to international career. Plenkovic subsequently corrected his statement to the effect that he accepts the ICTY ruling although he disagrees with some parts of it. However, nothing can mend his original statement.
PATRIA: In the past few years, Croatia has shown that it does not respect European values, most specifically in the cases of Piran bay and the Peljesac bridge, last but not the least, Croatia showed lack of respect for the Hague Tribunal founded by the UN. Should we expect Brussels to tell off Croatia for its behavior?
BECIROVIC: The highest ranking officials of Republic of Croatia have shown that they lack dignity and sense of responsibility for these highest public functions. They have caused a great deal of harm in the regional and international relations. That is yet to be seen with regard to its position at the international level. Selective approach to the international or bilateral obligations will return to Croatia as a boomerang.
Let us not forget, Croatia has never ratified the agreement Izetbegovic – Tudjman about the state border. Croatia has not adopted the arbitrary decision about its border with Slovenia. The fact that it did not admit the ICTY's ruling in the case Prlic et al. shows the misery of Croatian politics, particularly that of HDZ, which has been for long time a case of its own, which it has to become (the case) for the European People's Party, Becirovic said.
PATRIA: What do you have to say about the visit of Johannes Hahn to Sarajevo, who said he would not tolerate anything which did not have European values?
BECIROVIC: EPP has adopted a clear stance to their sister organization VMRO-DPMNE and Nikola Gruevski in Macedonia. It is expected to adopt a similar stance towards Croatia and HDZ, as it is unacceptable for a member-state of the EU, NATO and the UN to dismiss rulings of the UN court, which has become part of Croatian legal system on the basis of the law on cooperation with the ICTY. 'Essentially, it means dismissing yourself. Not to be seen very often but true! In the case like this, we can be only talking about antieuropean values', concludes Becirovic.
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