wikileaks ico  Home papers ico  Cables mirror and Afghan War Diary privacy policy Privacy
Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
03ZAGREB866
2003-04-18 14:13:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Zagreb
Cable title:  

CROATIA PROVIDING LIMITED SUPPORT TO CROATS IN BIH

Tags:   PREL  PREF  PGOV  ECON  MARR  MASS  HR  BK 
pdf how-to read a cable
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 ZAGREB 000866 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/18/2013
TAGS: PREL PREF PGOV ECON MARR MASS HR PREF PGOV ECON MARR MASS HR BK BKPREL
SUBJECT: CROATIA PROVIDING LIMITED SUPPORT TO CROATS IN BIH
REF: A. (A) SARAJEVO 790


B. (B) SARAJEVO 890

CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 ZAGREB 00866 01 OF 02 181415Z
CLASSIFIED BY: DARREN TAYLOR, POLITICAL OFFICER, FOR REASONS 1.5 (B) AN
D (D).

SUMMARY
-------

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 ZAGREB 000866

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/18/2013
TAGS: PREL PREF PGOV ECON MARR MASS HR PREF PGOV ECON MARR MASS HR BK BKPREL
SUBJECT: CROATIA PROVIDING LIMITED SUPPORT TO CROATS IN BIH
REF: A. (A) SARAJEVO 790


B. (B) SARAJEVO 890

CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 ZAGREB 00866 01 OF 02 181415Z
CLASSIFIED BY: DARREN TAYLOR, POLITICAL OFFICER, FOR REASONS 1.5 (B) AN
D (D).

SUMMARY
--------------


1. (C) BASED ON MEETINGS WITH KEY GOC AND GOBIH OFFICIALS IN
CROATIA IN RECENT WEEKS, WE HAVE BEEN ABLE TO DETERMINE WHAT
TYPES AND LEVELS OF FINANCIAL SUPPORT THE GOC IS PROVIDING TO
ETHNIC CROATS IN BOSNIA -- TARGETED LARGELY TO THREE AREAS:
PENSIONS FOR FORMER HVO SOLDIERS, REFUGEE RETURNS, AND
CULTURAL COOPERATION. MOST OF THE BENEFICIARIES ARE CROATIAN
CITIZENS. THE GOC IS SEEKING TO ENSURE THAT ALL AID IS
COORDINATED WITH THE RELEVANT GOBIH MINISTRIES AND IS
PROVIDED IN A TRANSPARENT WAY. THE GOC MAINTAINS CONTROL
OVER THE PROCESS BY WHICH THE ASSISTANCE IS CHANNELED TO BIH,
THUS ELIMINATING THE POSSIBILITY THAT EXTREMIST BOSNIAN CROAT
LEADERS WILL MISUSE THE FUNDING AS WAS THE CASE -- AND
PROBABLY THE INTENT -- WITH THE TUDJMAN GOVERNMENT.


2. (C) WE ARE REASONABLY CONFIDENT THAT THERE IS A
TRANSPARENT PROCESS AT WORK AND THAT THE GOC, UNLIKE ITS
PREDECESSOR, IS SEEKING TO PLAY A CONSTRUCTIVE ROLE IN BIH.
WHILE THERE MAY BE SOME CONCERNS OVER CONTINUED PENSION
PAYMENTS, THESE PAYMENTS WERE APPROVED AS PART OF THE DAYTON
PROCESS. THERE HAVE BEEN NO COMPLAINTS BY IC OFFICIALS IN
BOSNIA CONCERNING SUCH ASSISTANCE, WHICH IS RELATIVELY MODEST

COMPARED TO FIVE YEARS AGO. OFFICIALS WE MET TO DISCUSS THESE
MATTERS INCLUDE THE HEAD OF THE MFA,S NEIGHBORING RELATIONS
DEPARTMENT, FILIP VUCAK; ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR THE OFFICE OF
DISPLACED PERSONS AND REFUGEES, LOVRE PEJKOVIC; AND THE BIH
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 ZAGREB 00866 01 OF 02 181415Z
AMBASSADOR TO CROATIA, ZLATKO DIZDAREVIC. END SUMMARY.

PENSIONS/SOCIAL WELFARE PAYMENTS
--------------


3. (C) AT THE TOP OF THE GOC ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS TO CROATS IN
BOSNIA ARE PENSION PAYMENTS TO FORMER HVO SOLDIERS AND THEIR
BENEFICIARIES. THE SCOPE OF THE PROGRAM IS BETWEEN 3 AND 5
MILLION USD MONTHLY, WHICH COVERS A TOTAL OF ABOUT 10,000
BENEFICIARIES. THE DISTRIBUTION OF THE PAYMENTS IS OVERSEEN
BY THE MINISTRY OF LABOR AND SOCIAL WELFARE IN CROATIA IN
CONJUNCTION WITH ITS COUNTERPART IN BIH.


4. (C) THE GOC DOES NOT PROVIDE ANY ASSISTANCE FOR MILITARY
EQUIPMENT/TRAINING OR SALARIES FOR BOSNIAN CROATS SERVING IN
THE FEDERATION ARMY. UNDER THE STANDING COMMITTEE ON
MILITARY MATTERS (SCMM) ARRANGEMENT, AND PURSUANT TO A
BILATERAL AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE GOC AND GOBIH, SUCH DIRECT
SUPPORT WOULD BE CHANNELED THROUGH THE RELEVANT MINISTRIES IN
THE BIH GOVERNMENT IN A CLEAR AND TRANSPARENT WAY. ABOUT
THREE MONTHS AGO, THERE WAS A DEBATE WITHIN CROATIA BASED ON
COMPLAINTS THAT FORMER HVO SOLDIERS WERE BEING PAID PENSIONS
AT LOWER LEVELS THAN SOLDIERS IN CROATIA. THE GOC IS
REVIEWING THE ISSUE AND IS CONSIDERING INCREASING THE
PENSIONS PAID TO FORMERS HVO SOLDIERS TO BRING THEM ON PAR
WITH THEIR HV COUNTERPARTS. THIS WOULD MEAN ADDING TO THE
EXISTING BUDGET FOR THIS ITEM BETWEEN $200,000 AND $600,000 A
YEAR FOR THE INCREASED PAYMENTS.

REFUGEE ASSISTANCE
--------------
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 ZAGREB 00866 01 OF 02 181415Z


5. (C) SINCE 2001, THE GOC HAS BUDGETED ABOUT 3 MILLION USD
PER YEAR AS PART OF A PROGRAM DESIGNED TO HELP BOSNIAN CROATS
CURRENTLY LIVING IN CROATIA MOVE BACK TO BOSNIA. THE GOC
PROVIDES HOUSING MATERIALS TO BOSNIAN CROATS WHO, IN RETURN,
SIGN CONTRACTS STIPULATING THEY WILL VACATE THE HOUSES THEY
OCCUPY IN CROATIA ONCE THEIR HOMES IN BIH HAVE BEEN
RECONSTRUCTED. ASSISTANT MINISTER PEJKOVIC DIRECTLY OVERSEES
THIS PROGRAM AND WORKS WITH HIS BIH COUNTERPART TO ENSURE
THAT THE APPLICANTS HAVE NOT ALREADY RECEIVED ASSISTANCE FROM
THE IC OR GOBIH. IT IS A "SELF HELP" PROGRAM WHEREBY OWNERS
ARE ACTUALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CONSTRUCTION THEMSELVES.
THE PROGRAM HAS NOT BEEN WELL MANAGED. COMPLAINTS BY
BENEFICIARIES ARE RAMPANT OVER THE PROCESS IN WHICH THE
MATERIALS ARE DELIVERED (IN THREE STAGES), HIGH EXPENSES
PLACED ON THE OWNERS TO COMPLETE RECONSTRUCTION, AND LACK OF
GOC INVOLVEMENT IN THE PROCESS. WHILE FUNDS FOR MATERIALS
FOR OVER 300 HOUSES HAVE BEEN ALLOCATED, MANY OF THESE HOUSES
HAVE NOT BEEN COMPLETED (SEE REFTELS).

CULTURAL COOPERATION
--------------


6. (C) THE GOC ALSO ALLOCATES 3 MILLION USD PER YEAR TO
IMPROVE CULTURAL, RELIGIOUS, AND EDUCATIONAL TIES WITH CROATS
IN BOSNIA. THESE FUNDS ARE PROVIDED IN A TRANSPARENT WAY IN
COOPERATION WITH RELEVANT GOBIH MINISTRIES. THE GOC MFA

CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ1773

PAGE 01 ZAGREB 00866 02 OF 02 181416Z
ACTION EUR-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AF-00 AGRE-00 AID-00 ACQ-00 CEA-01
CIAE-00 COME-00 CTME-00 INL-00 C-00 DODE-00 DOTE-00
PERC-00 SRPP-00 DS-00 EB-00 EXIM-01 E-00 FAAE-00
FBIE-00 VC-00 FRB-00 H-01 TEDE-00 INR-00 IO-00
ITC-01 LAB-01 L-00 VCE-00 AC-01 NSAE-00 NSCE-00
OMB-01 OPIC-01 PA-00 PM-00 PRS-00 ACE-00 P-00
SCT-00 SP-00 SSO-00 STR-00 TRSE-00 USIE-00 DTC-00
PMB-00 DSCC-00 PRM-00 DRL-01 G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00
SWCI-00 /009W
-------------- 57F411 181416Z /38
O 181413Z APR 03
FM AMEMBASSY ZAGREB
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9989
INFO AMEMBASSY BELGRADE PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY LJUBLJANA PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY SARAJEVO PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY SKOPJE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 ZAGREB 000866

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/18/2013
TAGS: PREL PREF PGOV ECON MARR MASS HR PREF PGOV ECON MARR MASS HR BK BKPREL
SUBJECT: CROATIA PROVIDING LIMITED SUPPORT TO CROATS IN BIH

DETERMINES WHICH PROJECTS IT WILL SUPPORT IN BIH. THE MONEY
CAN BE USED TO REBUILD CHURCHES, HOSPITALS, LIBRARIES,
SCHOOLS OR TO PROVIDE MATERIALS AND EQUIPMENT TO THOSE
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 ZAGREB 00866 02 OF 02 181416Z
INSTITUTIONS. WHILE THE AIM IS TO DEEPEN TIES TO THE CROAT
COMMUNITY, THE MFA MAINTAINS THAT GOC DOES NOT DISCRIMINATE
BY SUPPORTING PROJECTS THAT ARE EXCLUSIVELY FOR CROATS. OUR
CONTACTS MAINTAIN THAT SERBS AND MUSLIMS HAVE ACCESS TO THE
PUBLIC FACILITIES THAT ARE LOCATED IN VARIOUS COMMUNITIES.


7. (C) THERE HAVE BEEN NO COMPLAINTS FROM OHR OR THE IC IN
BOSNIA CONCERNING THE USE OF THESE CULTURAL FUNDS. THE ONLY
COMPLAINTS HAVE COME FROM BOSNIAN CROAT LEADERS (HDZ) WHO
CLAIM THAT THE GOC IS PROVIDING ONLY "PEANUTS." (COMMENT:
THIS IS TRUE COMPARED TO THE $85 MILLION PER YEAR THE TUDJMAN
GOVERNMENT USED TO PROVIDE TO THE BOSNIAN CROATS DURING AND
AFTER THE WAR. THIS MONEY, WHICH WAS CHANNELED THROUGH THE
NOW DEFUNCT HERCEGOVACKA BANKA, WAS SUPPOSED TO BE USED TO
PURCHASE MILITARY EQUIPMENT, PAY SALARIES OF HVO SOLDIERS,
AND PROVIDE SOCIAL ASSISTANCE TO CROATS IN BOSNIA. MUCH OF
IT WAS STOLEN BY THE CRIMINAL BOSNIAN CROAT LEADERSHIP. END
COMMENT.)

HEALTH INSURANCE
--------------


8. (C) BIH AMBASSADOR TO CROATIA DIZDAREVIC TOLD US THAT THE
GOC DOES NOT PROVIDE DIRECT PAYMENTS TO THE GOBIH FOR HEALTH
INSURANCE FOR ETHNIC CROATS IN BOSNIA. RATHER, THE GOC
ALLOWS THEM TO RECEIVE HEALTH CARE IN CROATIA AT COSTS
SIMILAR TO WHAT CROATIAN CITIZENS PAY. THEY ARE NOT TREATED
AS FOREIGNERS, WHO PAY HIGHER COSTS. CROATS IN BOSNIA THAT
USE HEALTHCARE FACILITIES IN BOSNIA RECEIVE COVERAGE UNDER
BOSNIA,S HEALTHCARE SYSTEM. THE GOC IS SEEKING TO
DISCOURAGE CROATS IN BOSNIA FROM TRAVELING TO CROATIA BY
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 ZAGREB 00866 02 OF 02 181416Z
REBUILDING AND EXPANDING SERVICES PROVIDED BY THE MAIN
HOSPITAL IN MOSTAR.

COMMENT
--------------


9. (C) WE ARE CONFIDENT THAT GOC-PROVIDED ASSISTANCE TO
CROATS IN BOSNIA IS TRANSPARENT AND DONE IN COOPERATION WITH
GOBIH OFFICIALS. THE TYPES OF ASSISTANCE BEING PROVIDED
OUGHT TO HAVE A STABILIZING EFFECT IN BIH. IT ALSO ALLOWS
THE GOC TO CLAIM CREDIT FOR SEEKING TO MAINTAIN GOOD
RELATIONS WITH ITS NEIGHBOR. AMBASSADOR DIZDAREVIC TOLD US
THAT THE GOBIH DOES NOT HAVE ANY MISGIVINGS ABOUT GOC
INTENTIONS WITHIN BOSNIA AND IS PLEASED WITH THE ROLE THE GOC
IS PLAYING. THE GOC WOULD LIKE TO REDUCE THE AMOUNT OF
SUPPORT IT IS PROVIDING TO CROATS IN BOSNIA, PARTICULARLY
PENSION PAYMENTS AND ACCESS TO SUBSIDIZED HEALTH CARE.
RESOLVING THE ISSUE OF DUAL CITIZENSHIP WILL BE THE ONLY WAY
FOR THE GOC TO REMEDY THIS ISSUE.

ROSSIN
ROSSIN

CONFIDENTIAL

>