Cablegate: Zagreb Daily Report - January 26, 2010

DE RUEHVB #0052 0261234
P 261234Z JAN 10



E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: Zagreb Daily Report - January 26, 2010

1. (U) SDP Announces Six Months of Cooperation on Economic Reforms:
Former Social Democratic Party (SDP) Finance Minister, Slavko Linic,
a close confidant to SDP chief, Zoran Milanovic, announced on Monday
that Croatia's main opposition party is prepared to cooperate with
the government to find bipartisan solutions to improve the ailing
Croatian economy. Linic indicated that for a period of six months
the SDP would refrain from criticizing the government's economic
policy or insisting on early elections. Linic emphasized that the
SDP would seek to work constructively with Prime Minister Jadranka
Kosor for the benefit of all Croatians. Local media have portrayed
Linic's announcement as a de-facto temporary truce between the SDP
and Kosor's Croatian Democratic Union. An early indication of how
this cooperation may take shape could come by the end of the month,
when Kosor plans to table a proposal for an economic recovery fund
to provide loans to struggling businesses.

(U) Afghan Visitors Provide Independent Perspective on Afghanistan:
The President of the Afghan Red Crescent Society, Fatima Gailani,
and the Project Manager of the Institute for War and Peace
Reporting, Abaceen Nasimi, visited Zagreb January 24-26, discussing
security, reconstruction and humanitarian assistance from an Afghan
viewpoint. The visitors had an intensive schedule, meeting with
journalists, Ministry of Defense officials, Croatian soldiers, the
Foreign Affairs Committee of the Parliament, Ministry of Foreign
Affairs officials, high school students, Muslim community leaders,
and university students. The Ambassador hosted a dinner in honor of
the visitors with representatives of leading NGO's. The visit
underscored the importance of the ISAF mission by providing Croatian
decision makers and the public with an independent and expert
perspective on conditions and events in Afghanistan. A more
detailed report on the substance of their discussions will be
provided septel.

(U) Croatia Continues Its Demining Efforts:
The Croatian Demining Center (CROMAC) reported on January 26 that in
2009 over 37 million square meters of mine suspected area was
searched, of which more than 15 million square meters was demined.
On average, 757 square meters was searched and demined on a weekly
basis. Over the course of the year 3395 anti-personnel mines, 5267
anti-tank mines and 1186 pieces of UXO were detected and destroyed.
CROMAC calcualtes that some 887 square kilometers of suspected area
remains to be searched and demined, with sites spread across 12 of
Croatia's 20 counties.


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