EU accession

Josipovic confident Croatia will wrap up EU entry talks in June

  • Autor:
  • Zadnja izmjena 08.05.2011 01:23
  • Objavljeno 08.05.2011 u 01:19
04 Ivo Josipović

04 Ivo Josipović

Izvor: / Autor: Dražen Breitenfeld

Croatia has met to the greatest extent all criteria for European Union accession and the completion of the negotiations, President Ivo Josipovic said on Saturday, once again voicing confidence that Croatia would complete the entry talks next month.

Speaking to Nova TV, Josipovic said there was no reason for monitoring but that it remained to be seen how the negotiations would proceed.

He said he was certain the ratification of the accession treaty would not be delayed owing to political calculations and that he had no doubts about the outcome of the accession referendum to which, he added, the political parties in favour of the EU and the government should contribute.

Josipovic believes the ratification of the accession treaty would be completed by the end of 2012 and that Croatia would join the EU in early 2013.

Commenting on the growing number of euro-sceptics in Croatia, he said there was disappointment with the duration of the accession negotiations. "We know that some new, better criteria were polished on Croatia. And there were political events that reinforced the euro-scepticism," he said, voicing confidence that when citizens went to the referendum, thinking about the future would prevail.

Josipovic agreed with central bank governor Zeljko Rohatinski's assessment that economic growth should be higher.

"I'd like it to be higher too. Estimates range from one to 1.5 per cent. That's not enough to turn over a new leaf. Our reform job won't be over with the completion of the negotiations and accession to the EU. Very serious economic and social restructuring processes are ahead of us, but I'm an optimist," he said.

Josipovic disagreed with claims that 2011 was a lost year, saying that some foundations had been laid, although not enough had been done.

Asked if Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor's optimism was warranted in light of the fact that Croatia has the slowest economic growth in Europe, he said optimism was warranted when one firmly sank one's teeth in reforms. "We are at the beginning of reforms. What has been done is only the beginning. I'm advocating faster and more resolute reforms."

Regarding the delivery of transcripts to the Hague war crimes tribunal, Josipovic said it should be established if someone had acted illegally, but added that Croatia had to cooperate and give the documents to the tribunal.

Asked if he was defending former President Stjepan Mesic, who was criticised after the tribunal's sentence against two Croatian generals last month, and if he would have acted as Mesic had done, Josipovic said he would have delivered all evidence from the President's Office, while honouring procedure.

Speaking of Bosnia and Herzegovina, he said it was imperative to create conditions for all three peoples to see Bosnia as their homeland, provided they had equal opportunities of participating in the political life.

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