By Natasa Radic – Zagreb
It has been a major scandal influencing the relations between Croatia and the EU since the day Croatia has become a full member. Because of the cold case of intelligence service related murders during the 80s and the fact that Croatia is not keen to extradite those responsible, European commissioner and vicepresident of the Commission Viviane Reding (photo) has given Croatia an ultimatum – either you comply with the European arrest warrant or there is a serious chance that there will be consequences including the ones that imply the withdrawal of EU financial funds. This is not a greeting card a new member would like to receive. Croatian authorities in the judiciary tried to find the way out, saying that the European arrest warrant applies only on the cases since 2002 onwards (the case Perkovic should talk about happened in the 80s) but even though the law has been passed, this was not something that could trick Bruxelles.
As a big and powerful member – Germany – is pressing on the case as the former intelligence chief Josip Perkovic should be the one talking to the prosecutors in Germany – and Croatia does not want to extradite him, this case caused some serious troubles within the ruling coalition.
To extradite and change the law or not extradite – that is the question now.
Croatian vice president of the Government and the foreign affairs minister Vesna Pusic says that the solution needs to be found. Croatia needs to function within the European framework – she said and this means that the obligations taken under the EU regulations need to be fulfilled. “We will solve this” foreign minister Vesna Pusic said to the Croatian media. She also added: “We are the Eu member, we should function within the EU framework and this is something that we will do in the future”, she said, saying also she expects the european arrest warrant to be changed within the next few weeks.