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Cablegate: Zagreb Weekly Activity Report - March 5, 2008

VZCZCXRO8360
PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLN
RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHVB #0229 0671139
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 071139Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY ZAGREB
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8734
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

UNCLAS ZAGREB 000229

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

FOR EUR/SCE, EUR/PPD, EUR/RPM AND EUR/ERA
OSD FOR WINTERNITZ

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV HR
SUBJECT: ZAGREB WEEKLY ACTIVITY REPORT - MARCH 5, 2008

1. (SBU) CROATIAN PEACEKEEPING TROOPS RECEIVE TRAFFICKING IN
PERSONS TRAINING PRIOR TO DEPLOYMENT:
In late February, the GOC Office of Human Rights organized
the first "train the trainers" program focusing solely on
trafficking in persons for ten Croatian Military officers.
These officers will now instruct Croatian and foreign troops
on "anti-trafficking in persons" issues during their regular
preparations for deployment abroad to participate in
international peacekeeping missions. The Government Office
of Human Rights, in response to USG urging, arranged these
special training programs with the Ministry of Defense as
part of the semi-annual preparations for deploying
peacekeepers, in addition to the basic information about TIP
that was already part of their UN approved curriculum.
(DFisk)

2. (U) GROWING POPULAR SUPPORT FOR NATO MEMBERSHIP:
Two leading polling agencies found at the end of February
that support for Croatia's NATO membership had increased,
although their findings differed significantly. Puls Agency
conducted a phone survey among 600 Croatian citizens and
found that as many as 67 percent of those polled supported
"accepting an invitation to join NATO;" 21.4 percent were
against, and 11.5 percent were undecided. The pollsters link
this high support to the recent developments surrounding the
independence of Kosovo. The other agency, Promocija Plus
(PP), polled 1300 citizens; 54.2 percent supported Croatia's
membership in NATO, 37 percent opposed and 8.8 percent were
undecided. While lower than the Puls numbers, the PP's
figures still represented a several point increase over
previous data, indicating a continued upward trend in
Croatian public support for NATO membership. (ZTomic)

3. (SBU) COMMITTEE FOR REFERENDUM ON NATO:
While public support for NATO continues to increase, at least
one initiative is underway to attempt to force the government
to hold a pubic referendum on NATO accession. The initiative
originally came from a group of bloggers (BORNA) close to the
non-parliamentary party Green List, an associate member of
the European Green Party. A Committee for Referendum on NATO
was founded in late February by this group and other
independent citizens and NGOs. Their goal is to collect
450,000 signatures (ten percent of registered voters) during
the first two weeks of April under the slogan "People decide
- a referendum on NATO!" The Committee invoked Article 86 of
the Croatian Constitution which stipulates that the "Croatian
Parliament shall call a referendum...when so demanded by ten
percent of all voters in the Republic of Croatia." No such
referendum has been held since Croatia's independence, and
unless the group shows remarkable organizational skills, we
think it is unlikely that they will succeed in collecting the
required number of signatures. (ZTomic)

Bradtke

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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