Cablegate: Zagreb Daily Report - December 22, 2009

DE RUEHVB #0754 3561419
P 221419Z DEC 09



E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: Zagreb Daily Report - December 22, 2009

1. (U) Croatia closes two more EU Chapters: Croatia closed two more
policy chapters in its accession negotiations with the European
Union in Brussels on Monday, December 21 and has now closed 17 out
of 33 chapters. Croatia closed negotiations on chapter 3 "Right of
Establishment and Freedom to Provide Services" and chapter 19
"Social Policy and Employment" at a ministerial accession
conference. There was further indication that three additional
chapters-chapter 9 "Financial Services", chapter 15 "Energy", and
chapter 28 "Consumer and Health Protection"-would be ready to be
closed by the next ministerial conference which is likely to be held
in February. Three chapters that have been technically ready for
opening for some time-"Foreign, Security and Defense Policy,"
"Environment" and "Fisheries"-were not closed at today's conference
due to lack of consent from Slovenia. Croatian Foreign Affairs and
European Integration Minister Gordan Jandrokovic voiced his belief
that Slovenia will provide its consent to the chapters it held up by
the next accession conference and that Croatia's accession
negotiations would be wrapped up in 2010.

2. (U) Kosor questions Kalmeta's responsibility after train crash:
After yesterday's passenger train crash, the third railway incident
in less than six months, press reported that Prime Minister Kosor
contacted Transport Minister Bozidar Kalmeta, who is in charge of
rail transport and is also the chairman of the HZ national railway
operator Supervisory Board, and allegedly raised the issue of his
responsibility. Speaking for HRT RADIO on Monday, Kosor hinted that
Kalmeta would be asked to resign, saying that, "When a string [of
problems] lines up within any minister's portfolio, it is normal to
talk about responsibility." She further stated that they "talked
about it and will probably reach a final decision today or tomorrow.
This is something that I feel should be brought in line with the
common practice everywhere in the world." Asked by the press about
his resignation, Kalmeta said he was "thinking about everything now,
including a resignation". Kalmeta also offered his resignation
after the railroad accident near Kastela last summer, when nine
people were killed, but Kosor refused it at the time.

3. (U) Croatia can continue searching for the missing artillery
logs: The panel of judges at the ICTY tribunal ruled in a written
decision that although Croatia can continue searching for missing
artillery logs, the investigation of seized documents and computers,
which may contain information covered by the attorney-client
privilege, belonging to Gotovina's team members must be suspended.
However, the court rejected the defense's request to ban any future
Croatian investigations into the defense team. The panel of judges
also ruled that the investigation of the defense's Marin Ivanovic
can continue albeit in a limited fashion.

4. (U) Delay in privatization of shipyards: The European Commission
has permitted a delay in publication of the second round of shipyard
privatization tenders. Originally scheduled to be released on
January 6, the EC has approved the second tender be published
sometime at the start of February. The EC Office for Market
Competition has also agreed to allow the second tender, which was
supposed to be only 30 days, to last for 60 days, the same as the
initial one last summer.

5. (U) Regional Security Office visits neighboring cities: Between
the dates of December 2 - 18, the Regional Security Officer (RSO)
and Assistant Regional Security Officer (ARSO) from Zagreb visited
Croatian Police Commanders in Zagreb, Sisak, and Varazdin. All
officials stated that the current economic situation has not
resulted in an increase in crime; however, there has been an
increase in domestic violence incidents, which they attribute to the
current economic challenges. RSO/ARSO expressed the desire to build
on the solid foundation of joint cooperation in law enforcement
matters. Concurrently, department officials expressed their
gratitude for the Embassy's support for police reform, and look
forward to continued cooperation and liaising.


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