ZAGREB, Croatia -- Yielding to EU pressure, the government decided on Monday (March 10th) not to apply its protected environmental fishing zone (ZERP) in the Adriatic to EU members until Croatia enters the Union. In effect, this means that the ZERP is not going to be enacted for at least a couple of years. The only countries affected were neighbours Italy and Slovenia, both EU members.
The Croatian Peasant Party (HSS), kingmaker in the current ruling coalition, was one of the most outspoken supporters of the zone. HSS chairman Josip Friscic remains sceptical that giving up the ZERP is going to accelerate the course of accession talks. Prime Minister Ivo Sanader of the Croatian Democratic Union was adamant, however, about safeguarding progress towards EU accession. Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn says the decision to postpone the ZERP will definitely boost the process. (HRT, Vecernji List, Poslovni Dnevnik, Javno.com - 10/03/08)