Thursday, April 26, 2007

Croatian/Italian Relations

As Croatia is making moves to joining the EU, Italy has called for the Croatians to reimburse lands and to apologize for the "ethnic cleansing" of Italians in the Istria region following WWII as Italian President Giorgio Napolitano describes.

In 1943-45, up to 10,000 were tortured or killed by Yugoslav communists who occupied the Istrian peninsula, now part of Croatia and Slovenia.

The demands have been building recently. The "exiles", or esuli, and "optants", or optanti, of the region now in living in Italy have not been able to take legal action in Croatia. A post-war contract between SFR Yugoslavia and Italy prevented the restitution of their property since a deal was made that seized this property as it was treated as war reparation. With its new EU leverage, Italy will hope to repair these "damages".

A map of the borders following WWI and WWII.


West Balkan nations to cooperate on organised crime and migration

According to the UNODC (UN Office of Drugs and Crime), the
heroin route through Croatia and Slovenia into Italy and beyond has grown in
importance again. Ivica Kirin, interior minister for Croatia, the closest of
all the Balkan nations to EU accession, said that by working more closely to
stop cross-border crime, nations would not only be defending themselves but
the EU too.

Nearby Croatia seems to also have trouble controlling its 5835 km (3626 miles) of coastline and will be difficult to protect. This will be another issue that Italy will have to contend with with the approaching EU membership that would make international border crossing easier.

Additionally, Italy is now grappling with immigration legislation. If Croatia has difficulty controlling its coastline now, other issues such as immigration will be a factor and may mean a bigger in flux of migrants to Italy assuming Croatia reaches EU status.

In a more recent report of Croatian massacre, the Hague is indicting a number of Croatians for their attack and expulsion of ethnic Serbs from Croatia. Croatia's former and deceased President Franjo Tuđman has been reported saying on video, "blows that will make the Serbs all but disappear, in other words, those we don’t reach immediately, must capitulate in the next few days."

With newer and fresh reports of war crimes, the Italians efforts to win over land for the esuli for an event over 50 years ago will probably be easy considering the other transgressions that may give Croatia difficulty in its bid for EU membership.

1 comment:

vlach said...

let's not forget abut the asimilation of the istro-romanians(incl. morlach) nation fron istria and velebitsi regions. croats still regard the istro-romanians as fascist italians or something like that, even if, just like the istrian italians, the istrians are native to these regions.