Croatia’s Police Breakdown
State of public safety of
While those kinds of things used to happen before, Croatian police – institution which is supposed to prevent them - never had to face such levels of public scrutiny as it faces now. With rival TV stations, cell phones and omni-present Internet, every such event gets mythical proportions. Just like in
However, there are times when those things can nevertheless hurt establishment. In past few weeks Croatia saw at least three very spectacular examples of gross police incompetence – police dispatchers trying to wash their hands from the abducted and raped woman calling for help via her cell phone; handball “fans” riots in Zagreb and the apparent inability to prevent mass murderer in Petrinja.
While first two incidents resulted in couple of officials being suspended, the last one led to something which wasn’t a common practice in Croatian police. Marijan Balošević (Marijan Balosevic), chief of Sisak-Moslavina Police District – in whose jurisdiction Petrinja massacre took place - has resigned from his post.
And it doesn’t seem that the buck stop there. There are calls for interior minister Marijan Mlinarić (Marijan Mlinaric) to resign. Sanader, just as he sacrificed his close ally Miomir Žužul (Miomir Zuzul) for the sake of his favourite’s presidential bid, might to do the same with Mlinarić few weeks before the local elections – where HDZ might get even more embarrassing defeat. Mlinarić could also serve as a scapegoat for EU fiasco – his police failed to locate Gotovina or, as government would like EU diplomats to believe, failed to find sufficient proof that Gotovina wasn’t in