Archive for Croatia
Croatian President Ivo Josipovic, who arrived in Qatar for an official visit, opened Croatia’s embassy in Doha, which is Croatia’s first embassy in a Persian Gulf country. “This is an important day as we are opening a new page in our relations… there are all prerequisites for making our cooperation successful,” Josipovic said at the embassy inauguration ceremony in Doha. So far, Croatia has covered this Arab country from its embassy in Egypt. The first Croatian ambassador in Doha is Tomislav Bosnjak.
Croatian Ambassador to Korea and Japan Mira Martinec presented copies of her letter of credentials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Seoul. Martinec was also to discuss with officials possibly opening a chancery in Korea, solicit Korea investment for a port modernization project and bolster academic ties during her four-day visit from Croatia’s representative office in Tokyo, Japan. Martinec said Croatia looks to open a chancery here this year or in 2013. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations between Korea and Croatia. Korea recognized Croatia on April 15, 1992, and opened an embassy in Zagreb in 1994. The main reason Croatia had not yet opened an embassy was because of the debilitating war with Serbia, recovery and then EU membership negotiations which lasted for six years.
Croatia will receive seven properties including embassies inVienna and Lisbon under the succession agreement that divides former Yugoslavia’s consular and diplomatic properties amongst former states. The Joint Committee for the Succession of Diplomatic and Consular Property of the former Yugoslavia met in May to decide the schedule for handing over the properties currently owned in major parts by Serbia. The meeting was a resurrection of talks that had been stalled for some time. According to the plan, Croatiais supposed to receive seven properties by the end of the year (two apartments in Trieste, Italy, the embassy in Vienna, the embassy inLisbonand residencies in Madrid, Spain, in Oslo, Norway and in Helsinki, Finland). The remaining three properties (the embassy in Den Haague, the general consul’s offices in Toronto, Canada and the residency in Stockholm, Sweden) will be handed over by 31 August 2011.
The Swiss government reached a decision to terminate consulates in Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia from September 1. According to John T.C. McGough, member of the ASR for Switzerland and also as a member of the board of the Swiss Club of Hungary, the move is irrational and would place Swiss citizens living or working in the region in an unacceptable position. The cited motive behind the measure is the reduction of expenses. Swiss citizens are required to register with the nearest consulate when traveling abroad and these offices are also in charge of visas and the administration necessary for foreigners to travel to Switzerland. In the revised structure, taking care of whatever bureaucratic affair in the eastern part of Hungary would require traveling all the way to Vienna.
A grenade found in a parcel sent to the Croat embassy in Berlin was sent as a warning to the Croatian and Serbian presidents who advocate good ties between the former foes, local dailies reported on Tuesday. “This little grenade is a warning to (Croatian president) Ivo Josipovic and (Serbian president) Boris Tadic” the influential Vecernji List daily said, quoting a threatening letter that allegedly accompanied the grenade. The letter contained a series of insults directed at the two leaders, who have made reconciliation with their Balkans neighbours a priority, the paper said quoting German sources close to the investigation. The parcel with the grenade was recovered on Monday just two days before Josipovic’s was due to arrive for a three-day visit in Germany. The country has a large Croatian diaspora community and has always had good ties with Zagreb and was among the first countries to recognise its independence from Yugoslavia in 1991. An embassy spokesperson said on Monday that the letter, written in Croatian, had been handed over to German authorities and was received in a courier package sent from Germany. The authors of the letter, that had an insignia and was signed with initials HF, also vowed to “avenge” a Croatian policeman, whose killing 20 years ago by rebel Serbs, was an incident that heralded the 1991-1995 war. “Nothing can stop us” from getting revenge the letter said. Berlin police said they had no leads yet on possible suspects or motives for the incident.
Police say a suspicious package with an object resembling a hand grenade has been found at the Croatian embassy in Germany’s capital. Berlin police said that specialists are currently investigating whether the device could have exploded and whether an accompanying letter is authentic. Police said an employee of the Croatian embassy opened the package Monday afternoon and immediately alerted police after seeing what appeared to be a hand grenade. A spate of parcel bombings across Europe recently targeted embassies in Greece, Italy and one even reached the office of German Chancellor Angela Merkel last fall.
A former Croatian ambassador to France was sentenced to 20 months on probation over embezzling some 104,000 euros (150,000 dollars), which he must return. Marko Zaja was found guilty by a Zagreb court for paying some 43,000 euros for three paintings while the painter has received 2,000 euros only. The 72-year-old was also sentenced for claiming that he had paid some 61,000 euros to a Paris company for renovation of the embassy’s furniture. However, the renovation was done in Zagreb. The embezzlement took place in 1999 and 2000. The court said it decided on a sentence of probation due to Zaja’s age.