Air space

When Chinese president Hu Jintao left Croatia, his presidential plane was escorted by two Croatian fighter jets. These two jets seems to have violated Slovenian air space. Hardly surprising, I thought. You almost need a helicopter to take off from Zagreb airport if you don't want to enter Slovenian air space, as Zagreb is very close to the Slovenian border.
Some Slovenes are very angry about the violation. I am not going to dwell on it, as I have no idea how normal or exceptional such violations are. I just want to show you the language that was used by a Slovenian member of European Parliament. It is exemplary of the sour relations between Croatia and Slovenia.
"The theatrical incursion into our airspace that Croatia permitted itself, by abusing the military escort of a Chinese protocol state aircraft, is an abuse of that state and, at the same time, a display of arrogance that cannot be practice either in the EU or NATO," said Jelko Kacin.
I don't think Croatia will enter the EU in 2011, even if Slovenia lifted the blockade right now. I suspect the Sanader government uses the blockade to turn attention away from other pressing problems in Croatia: corruption, organized crime and lack of cooperation with the Yugoslavia Tribunal in The Hague. The EU, meanwhile, has given up on trying to find a solution for the border conflict, after its numerous proposals were blocked by either Zagreb or Ljubljana.
Sanader uses big words in complaining about the Slovenian attitude. He said that if the EU negotiations with Croatia fail, also the idea of Europe (that is: uniting nations) fails. I can understand Sanader's frustration over Slovenia, but his words show a chronic overestimation of Croatia's importance to the Europe. Even if Croatia never joins the EU, the EU is and will be a uniquely successful project. (Although I sincerely hope Croatia will join the EU). Secondly, Croatia's entry into the EU hinges upon many more things, as I mentioned above. As soon as Slovenia lifts it unfair blockade these things will come to the fore once again.

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