Saturday, December 11, 2004

Brussels Rescues Sanader

Croatian media is reporting about EU foreign ministers meeting on Monday in order to announce, among other things, the date when the formal Croatian entry negotiations would begin. This came in the most opportune moment for prime minister Ivo Sanader, currently involved in incredibly nasty spy scandal which had been often described as "worse than Watergate". It is obvious that EU diplomats want to difuse the most unpleasant feud between Sanader and President Stipe Mesić (Stipe Mesic) and this announcement had some part in Mesić and Sanader reaching a compromise. Both men need the date announcement as a way to score some PR points before presidential and local elections.

Sanader is, therefore, likely to keep his thin majority in Sabor, but only after making some painful concessions to Mesić. It was agreed that Joško Podbevšek (Josko Podbevsek), chief of POA – security service whose agents have created a scandal – would step down. This is going a serious blow for Sanader because Podbevšek was his loyalist. He is going to be replaced by Tomislav Karamarko, former head of National Security Office, man very close to President Mesić.


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