Croatia. The question of how K. should deal with
allegations of Croatian war crimes during the 1991-95 civil
war caused deep division during the year and threatened
stability in the country. Nationalists and war veterans felt
that no Croats were guilty of war crimes, as they fought a
war of freedom and defended the homeland. That attitude was
also officially supported by former President Franjo
Tudjman. But in February, a court in Rijeka issued a warrant
for General Mirko Norać, who was suspected of assaulting
civilian Serbs. He was the highest ranking person so far
identified for war crimes during the war. Norać went
underground and 100,000 people demonstrated in Split against
the attempts to arrest him.
Countryaah, President Stipe Mesić warned that ultranationalists were
trying to overthrow the government. After a week Norać
surrendered to the authorities against the promise that the
trial would be held in K. and not at the UN Criminal
Tribunal in The Hague. The tribunal also stated that there
was no prosecution against him. The trial began in June but
was soon upgraded indefinitely due to technicalities.
In July, however, the government decided to extradite two
other Croatian generals to The Hague at the tribunal's
request. The decision caused a split in the government
coalition, and four ministers resigned in protest. They all
belonged to the coalition's second largest party, the Social
Liberal HSLS. One of the two generals surrendered himself to
the UN Court but denied all charges. The other general had
Several suspected war criminals were later arrested, and
protests against the reform-friendly government continued.
Prime Minister Ivica Račan was accused by the right-wing
opposition of treason for his cooperation with the Hague
In late January, Croatia nonetheless tried to recapture
the Krajina enclave, however unsuccessfully, but it led to
the cease-fire. The United Nations Security Council
unanimously agreed in February to extend the mandate for
"The Blue Berets" posted in Croatia.
In June 1994, Croatia reintroduced the "kuna", which had
been the coin foothold used by the puppet government during
the German occupation during World War II in the country.
The replaced "denar" that had been introduced after
It met opposition from the opposition, but Tudjman
emphasized that the Croatian word "kuna" means miserable,
and referred to the 11th century when furs and skins were
the means of payment.
The opposition also questioned the decision to change the
road, school and place names dedicated to the anti-fascist
Pope John Paul's 2nd visit to Croatia, 10th. and
September 11, helped give the country an international
"boost". The Serbian rebels and the Croatian government
agreed on a reopening of the Zagreb-Belgrade land link, the
opening of the Adria oil pipeline and the restoration of the
water and electricity supply to the Serbs in the occupied
Croats managed to gain control of inflation, although
industrial output was declining and unemployment remained at
20%. The number of university-educated and skilled craftsmen
who emigrated increased dramatically during the year.
In January 1995, Croatia warned the UN that it would not
extend the mandate of peacekeeping forces that expired on
March 31. According to Tudjman, the 12,000 "blue berets"
effectively protected the Serbs in Krajina, controlling 27%
of the total Croatian land area. The Serbian and Croatian
forces began preparations for a new war, while the UN
declared that a withdrawal of the peacekeeping force could
lead to the worst crisis in Europe so far since 1945.
On April 13, Serbian forces bombed the airport of
Dubrovnik, and ten days later they blocked the road between
Zagreb and Belgrade in western Slavonia. The Croatian side
regained control of the area following a swift military
action in May; Immediately after, Zagreb was exposed to