Friday, July 09, 2004

Kutle Going Down

Anto Nobilo, biggest celebrity among the ranks of Croatian lawyers, is having bad times. Not that long after having his criminal complaint in Severina Affair – directed against Matija Babić (Matija Babic) and other journalists who broke the news about Severina Vučković (Severina Vuckovic) sex video – rejected by Croatian authorities, Nobilo has just lost another high profile case.

Miroslav Kutle, one of the richest businessmen of 1990s Croatia, has been sentenced to six and half years in prison for "abuse of economic position" in privatisation of Tisak, Croatia's newspaper distribution company. Tisak is just one of many Croatian firms that became Kutle's in 1990s, often under rather fishy set of circumstances. Most notorious case – privatisation of Split daily newspaper Slobodna Dalmacija – show that many such privatisations occurred under the protection of Tudjman's regime. Once critical towards government and immensely successful, Split daily became mouthpiece of Croatian rabid right-wingers and financial wreck. This happened to most of firms taken over by Kutle during 1990s privatisations – once successful companies were struck by mass layoffs, financial ruin and bankruptcies with tens of thousands of people losing their jobs and entire communities being thrown into poverty.

Kutle was in many ways symbol of everything that was wrong with Croatian post-Communist privatisation. As such, he was among the most despised persons of Croatia. Račan's (Racan's) government brought him to trial almost immediately after seizing power, but court's apparent inability to finish proceeding was in many ways symptomatic of Račan's inability to fulfil his election promises. Just like in many other cases, Sanader was one to deliver what Račan and his government had promised.


Post a Comment

<< Home