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Cablegate: Zagreb Daily Activity Report: January 12, 2010

VZCZCXRO5861
PP RUEHIK
DE RUEHVB #0027 0121440
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 121440Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY ZAGREB
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9807
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY

UNCLAS ZAGREB 000027

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL ECON HR
SUBJECT: ZAGREB DAILY ACTIVITY REPORT: JANUARY 12, 2010

1. (U) AMBASSADOR FOLEY MEETS WITH PM KOSOR: Kosor said
strengthening the economy, completing EU accession
negotiations, establishing Croatia as a "model" NATO member,
and tackling corruption will be the GoC's top priority this
year. Ambassador Foley reaffirmed support for Kosor's
objectives and Croatia's EU accession. They discussed a
range of domestic and regional issues, including the
aftermath of former Prime Minister Sanader's recent failed
effort to stage a political comeback. More details septel.

2. (U) OSCE SAYS CROATIA'S PRESIDENTIAL RUNOFF MET
INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS: The Limited Election Observation
Mission (LEOM) to Croatia of the OSCE Office for Democratic
Institutions and Human Rights presented its preliminary
report and conclusions on the presidential runoff at a
January 12 press conference. "The positive developments we
noted during the first round were confirmed by what we
witnessed in the second round," said Ambassador Daan Everts,
Head of the Mission. The process of voting and ballot
counting was very professional and efficient both in and
outside the country. The Mission identified some problematic
areas which require immediate attention, concluding primarily
that there was a need for consolidation and harmonization of
the legal framework for elections. The LEOM will recommend
that this be done already in 2010 so that those laws could be
ready for the next elections, Everts said. He also stressed
the need for perfecting the complaints and appeals procedure
to provide a comprehensive mechanism that could respond to
all possible complaints and appeals. As for election
services, the make-up of the State Electoral Commission (DIP)
should be revised, its capacities strengthened and its
mandate defined in greater detail, added Everts. All of this
would make it possible for DIP to respond faster and more
efficiently in different areas, including informing voters.
Lastly, the mission's recommendations also emphasized the
poorly designed campaign financing laws, and noted that
Croatia currently does not have any mechanism to check the
authenticity of reports on campaign financing. Their
accuracy depends solely on the candidates' conscience, Everts
said.

3. (U) SLOVENIANS INCREASINGLY SUPPORT THE CROATIAN-SLOVENIAN
ARBITRATION DEAL: Croatian media reported the results of a
recent poll conducted in Slovenia that indicates nearly
two-thirds of Slovenians would support the Croatian-Slovenian
arbitration deal in a referendum. The poll showed that 63.8
percent supported the arbitration deal, while 28.1 percent
opposed it and 8.1 percent were undecided.

4. (U) UNEMPLOYMENT IN CROATIA GREATER THAN 2008: The
Croatian Employment Office (HZZ) reported January 11 that
there will be 300,000 unemployed Croatians in Spring 2010
because of the economic crisis and GDP decline in 2009. HZZ
Director Ankica Paun Jarallah said 270,557 Croatians filed
for unemployment benefits, which was 35% more than in 2008.
The manufacturing, construction, and retail sectors accounted
for 52% of unemployment claims in 2009.
FOLEY

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