Daniel Hannan: Political Arrest in Croatia
Daniel Hannan speaking on behalf of Croatia 21st Century about a recent political arrest in Croatia. European Parliament, Brussels (December 1st, 2011).
Mr president, two weeks ago, on the day he announced his candidacy for the Croatian election, Saša Radović, a long standing veteran anticorruption campaigner was arrested. He had announced his candidacy in the name of Croatia 21st Century, an anticorruption party which stands for the dismantling of the crony state economy there. He's written several books, exposing malthusians in high places, and although of course I don't know the circumstances exactly around his arrest, it does seem highly suspicious. And it sends out a signal to all those who are challenging vested interests in Zagreb.
When I visited Croatia earlier this year, I was saddened by how many of the brave and patriotic people of that beautiful country came to me and said that they saw EU membership as an antidote to domestic corruption. It was heartbreaking to have to say that in fact their fraudsters would find a whole new field of operation at European level with far greater sums at their disposal.
This is now a judicial proces, but I have to say, the national parliament now being elected in Croatia is going to be the one from which we draw observer members to this house prior to the 2014 European elections. Surely there is a case for some international scrutiny in the face of what looks like crime associated political arrest.