The owners of Croatia's best selling newspaper, Večernji list, finally revealed their long-hidden identity last weekend. A Croatian company and its foreign affiliate are the nominal owners of the daily. A special parliamentary commission was established to investigate the case after speculation that the former ruling party, Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), was the real owner of Večernji list, which was bought by a company from the Virgin Islands. Nacional weekly published on Wednesday the transcripts of tapes that were found in the President's Office that show that the late President Tuđman and his advisor, Ivić Pašalić, were organising the entire affair in order to put the Večernji list into the hands of the HDZ. Pašalić denied this, while President Mesić confirmed the existence of such a tape. Chairman of the parliamentary investigation committee Joško Kontić announced that the work of the commission would be temporarily interrupted until the criminal investigation was completed. At the same time, the board of Večernji list announced that the newspaper would soon be bought by the Austrian media company Styria AG.
The International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) welcomed the Declaration on Co-operation between Croatia and the ICTY passed in the House of Representatives last weekend. "This means that the circumstances in which Croatia was reported to the UN Security Council for lack of co-operation with the Tribunal do not exist any more, and that report will be withdrawn," stated ICTY spokesperson Paul Risley.
The Upper House of the Parliament (House of Counties) adopted the Declaration with an amendment which denies the ICTY the competencies over the military operations "Storm" and "Flesh." This fact, however, has no legal impact on the Declaration passed by the Lower House.
Protests by war veterans and the local population continue while ICTY teams work on their investigations of crimes in Gospić area committed during the war in 1991-1992. Two corps have been found so far, stated County State Attorney Pavao Rukavina.
Vesna Pusić was elected president of the Croatian People's Party (HNS) at the party meeting last weekend.
Slovak Foreign Minister Edvard Kukan visited Zagreb and talked with Croatian state officials on bilateral co-operation between the two countries and about Slovakia's experience with the EU integration process. Both President Mesić and Prime Minister Račan were invited to visit Bratislava.
Representatives of the Monitoring Committee of the Council of Europe (CoE) Maria Stojanovska and Jerzy Jaskiernia announced that the process of CoE's monitoring of Croatia will be finished by the end of this year, or even already in June, if Croatia adopts the Constitutional Law on National Minorities, and other laws related to freedom of media and return of refugees.
The Liberal Party (LS) and Action of Social-Democrats of Croatia (ASH) decided to run together at the 7 May local elections in Zagreb, while the HNS decided to include the representatives of the Green Party (ZS) to their lists.
Speaker of the Parliament Zlatko Tomčić was invited as special guest to Brdo kod Kranja in Slovenia for the meeting of parliament speakers from 13 EU applicant countries with EU Parliament President Nicole Fontaine. Tomčić announced the initiative for a meeting of parliament speakers of the countries of the Stability Pact that would take place in Zagreb in autumn.
The Lower House of the Parliament rejected the report on the situation in the banking system in 1998 and first semester of 1999 submitted by the Governor of the Croatian National Bank (HNB), Marko Škreb. Škreb refused to resign, however.
Head of the Croatian Intelligence Service (HIS) Ozren Žunec resigned, Prime Minister Račan confirmed. Račan said he had tried to convince Žunec to withdraw his resignation. He also said after his meeting with President Mesić and Speaker Tomčić that they had reached an agreement on the future organisation of the secret services and that a corresponding bill would be submitted to the Parliament soon.
Last weekend, some thousand visitors commemorated 55 years since the liberation of prisoners from the Jasenovac World War II concentration camp.
The Government established the Co-ordinating Body for the Fight against Economic Crime. It will be led by Deputy Prime Minister Slavko Linić.
Former Assistant Minister of Finance Marijan Erhatić was arrested and accused of abusing his authority and falsifying documents.
Saša Cvijetić, 21 April 2000
- Return to CER front page
- Archive of Saša Cvijetić's articles in CER
- Previous news reviews for Croatia
Links to further information on Croatia:
- HINA - Croatian Information and News Agency
- HRT - Croatian Radio and Television News
- News compiled by the HIC - Croatian Information Centre
- Croatia Weekly, published by the HIKZ - Croatian Institute for Culture and Information
- HIDRA - Croatian Information and Documentation Referral Agency
- Croatian Government Bulletin
- News released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- Vlast.net - E-zine on Croatian politics
- Vjesnik daily
- Večernji list daily
- Slobodna Dalmacija daily
- Feral Tribune weekly
- Nacional weekly
- Arkzin monthly
- Voice of America in Croatian
- Real Audio recording of the radio programme Weekreport