Diplomatic Briefing

Your exclusive news aggregator handpicked daily!

Archive for Croatia

Newsline: Croatian diplomat in Germany suspended for ‘white Europe’ comments

A senior Berlin-based Croatian diplomat has been accused of damaging her country’s reputation after she wrote inflammatory Facebook posts alongside idyllic images of the Adriatic coast. “Just white Europeans as it used to be only 30 years ago in the whole of Europe,” wrote Elizabeta Madjarevic. The foreign minister said she was being recalled. The Facebook account of Ms Madjarevic, who is first secretary at the Berlin embassy, has now been deleted. But the diplomat’s views were exposed by Croatia’s Index.hr website, which said that in an 8 August post, under sun-drenched images of Croatia, she referred to “white Europeans” and a “pure and authentic Europe”. The comments were characteristic of white nationalists and neo-Nazis, it said. Initially she defended her posts, arguing that she had a right to speak as a private individual. “I am neither an official nor a politician, but an ordinary person who has the right to privacy,” she was quoted as writing on Facebook. (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-49405099) She also suggested her Facebook page had been hacked. However, Index.hr reported that in earlier Facebook posts she had written about the “Islamisation agenda” of Muslims and espoused homophobic views. In one post she linked LGBTQ to paedophilia. Ms Madjarevic was also outspoken about German attempts to integrate migrants into society, it said. Foreign Minister Gordan Grlic Radman, who until recently was Croatia’s ambassador to Germany, rejected the diplomat’s claim that her account had been hacked and stressed that a diplomat was never a private individual. She was suspended pending a civil service tribunal, he said.

Newsline: Croatia to open embassy in Seoul next month

Croatia is preparing to open an embassy in Seoul next month, spurred by an increased number of South Korean tourists there, a diplomatic source said Thursday. “It’s to open in Myeongdong in late October,” the source said, referring to a bustling district in central Seoul. It’s expected to focus on handling consular affairs and expanding bilateral ties amid growing interest in the Eastern European country among South Koreans. The Croatian embassy in Japan has covered major diplomacy on South Korea, which has an embassy in Zagreb, the Croatian capital. The two sides established diplomatic relations in 1992. Croatia has a consulate in Seoul as diplomatic representation.


Newsline: Croatia opens its embassy in Qatar

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.


Newsline: Croatian top envoy shoots for new embassy in Seoul

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.


Newsline:Croatia to get seven ex-Yugoslavia’s diplomatic properties by end of year

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.


Consular affairs: Switzerland will terminate consulates in Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia Herzegovina

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.



Newsline: Grenade at Croatian embassy a ‘warning’

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.



Newsline: Suspect package at Croatian embassy in Germany

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.



Newsline: Croatia’s ex-ambassador to France sentenced over fraud

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.