Wednesday, June 30, 2004

June 30th Fiasco

June 30th was supposed to be great day for Croatia just as for Iraq. Highway connecting Zagreb and Split nicknamed "Dalmatina" – project that had been in the works for past three decades – was supposed to be open today. For Sanader's government this was occasion to show one of its achievements that would, unlike EU-related diplomatic victories, have some tangible and beneficial effects for Croatian citizens by reducing drive from two major Croatian cities to three to four hours.

Unfortunately for Sanader and despite opening ceremonies being scheduled, on the very last day it turned out that all sections of Dalmatina won't be finished on June 30th. Some of the opening ceremonies were held nevertheless but the highway in its entirety would be open only in 10-12 days, just about the start of tourist season.

Stanko Kovač (Stanko Kovac), chairman of HAC (Croatian Motorways) Administrative Board has been sacked by Sanader.

In the meantime, Radimir Čačić (Radimir Cacic), one of the leaders of opposition HNS party and former minister in charge of highway construction, demanded that his successor Božidar Kalmeta (Bozidar Kalmeta) resigns. He blamed the fiasco on government's reluctance to sign necessary contracts with Bechtel, American construction company in charge of project.


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