Friday, July 11, 2003

Croatia Gets Involved in Italo-German Feud

One man’s misery is another man’s opportunity. At least this is the view from this side of Adriatic. Rapid cooling of Italo-German relations and latest scandal would drive at least some of German tourists from Italy, including Gerhard Schroeder. Croatian authorities seem happy about it, because they hope that some of those would go to Croatia instead.

Ivan Jakovčić (Ivan Jakovcic), Istria County governor, has already called Schroeder to spend holidays in Istria. Račan (Racan) would also like to see Schroeder here, because his presence could be huge pre-election boost.

On the other hand, Croatia inviting German tourists could seriously dent Croatian relations with Italy, which were never on the same level as those with Germany. Each and every incident – referring to Croatian territory as “Yugoslav” by sloppy Italian news editors or the most recent altercation between Italian consul and Croatian policemen in Split – is always a good excuse for Croatian nationalists to accuse Italians of neo-irredentism or for esuli (Italians who were resettled from Croatia following WW2) to demand Italian blocking of Croatian entry into EU. Croatia taking part in this Italo-German feud uld hardly settle those issues.


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