Thursday, March 17, 2005

E-Day Damage Limitation

Nothing important happened today. Heaven didn’t fall. Day was beautiful.

Yet Sanader didn’t leave anything to chance. He came to Sabor today and made as speech looking as confident as 48 hours ago when he had claimed the negotiations would start on March 17th. Of course, today claimed that EU actually didn’t postpone the negotiations and that what happened yesterday shouldn’t be treated as anything other than the absolute triumph of Croatian diplomacy and his statesmanship.

The only party that showed some sort of spine while reacting to this insult of every Croatian’s intelligence was HSP. Their representatives said that EU accession negotiations must start in July, otherwise new elections should be called.

Sanader confidently replied that no elections will be held.

And he is right. Of all parties in Sabor, HSP is currently the only one that can take part in election and expect to see increase of seats as a result. HDZ is going to be hurt very bad with many of its key supporters defecting to HSP and various far right and Eurosceptic parties. But their haemorrhaging is nothing compared with what awaits SDP and other left-of-centre parties, who can only dream about the turnout they enjoyed in 2000. This explains why Ivica Račan (Ivica Racan) already prepared ground for Grand Coalition of “Pro-European forces”.

However, those “Pro-European forces” must be mobilised, just in case. The best way to do it is by reminding public how nasty “anti-European” forces might be and with whom all those sceptical towards EU associate themselves with. Last issue of Globus reports that Račan recently asked and received 24 hour police protection after a meeting with Boro Gotovina, brother of Ante Gotovina, renegade general and ICTY war crimes suspect. The encounter, which was initially very courteous, degenerated into shouting match with Boro Gotovina blaming former prime minister for allowing his brother to be indicted. According to Globus, Boro Gotovina said that he would make sure that “Račan never gets opportunity to become prime minister again”. Račan who is, according to Globus, “not a man easily scared” took those words very seriously, and his future partner apparently shared the same opinion.


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