EU vows to continue seeking Slovenian-Croatian compromise

BRUSSELS, Belgium/LJUBLJANA, Slovenia

EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn pledged on Friday (May 15th) the EU will continue seeking a compromise solution to the Slovenia-Croatia border dispute, despite Slovenia’s attempt to revise his latest proposal. “It makes no sense to give up since we have almost reached the goal,” Rehn told journalists in Brussels. Rehn said he has not received Ljubljana’s official response, but he and the European Commission’s (EC) experts will “study it carefully”.

Also on Friday, Slovenia’s President Danilo Turk said Ljubljana will send its proposed amendments to the EC by the end of the week. He explained the amendments focus on Slovenia’s territorial access to open sea. Foreign Minister Samuel Zbogar said all Slovenian political parties support the government’s decision to revise Rehn’s proposal. On Thursday, the government warned it would reject Rehn’s proposal to use international arbitration unless Brussels accepts Slovenia’s amendments.

In other news, a Zagreb court sentenced three Croatian Privatisation Fund (HFP) managers to prison on Friday on charges of graft and abuse of office, local media reported. Former HFP Vice-President Josip Matanovic was sentenced to 11 years in prison and ordered to pay 270,000 euros he had received in bribes in exchange of arranging improper sales of state-owned property. Two former HFP vice-presidents received two-year and one-year sentences respectively. Four others, including two lawyers, were also convicted in connection with the case. They were arrested in a major anti-corruption operation in 2007.

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