Delo about Anticipated Association of Slovenia in EU

Ljubljana, 9 June - Daily Delo in its Friday commentary writes that besides technical obstacles on Slovenia's way to Europe, there are also some others which will be probably demonstrated at the next week's meeting of 15 EU ministers as a determined opposition of Italy to Slovenia's association in the EU. The grounds for rejection will be "unsettled bilateral relations, uncooperative attitude of Slovenia", and its "anti-European orientation". The commentator maintains that Slovenia itself enabled the emergence of some of these arguments with its internal policy clashes, lack of state forming attitude, and also by underestimating the significance of a continuous in-depth settlement of relations with Italy. On the other hand, the negotiation strategy of Italy according to the commentator permits to conclude that Italy is no longer interested in an agreement and has directed itself towards the changes of basis of relations. From the point of view of an equal relation between two physically unequal countries which is guaranteed by international agreements, Italy is perhaps pursuing an ideal of a protecting power over a smaller country. The commentator Mojca Drčar - Murko also writes that if her hypothesis is correct Italy will take advantage of its predominance. Moreover, Italy counts on Slovenia becoming a victim of its own inner political disputes. At the same time she also maintains that the issue is a double-edged sword since the present reputation of Italy in EU is not as good as to be taken for granted by everybody. However, Slovenia might not have any other choice but to internationalize these issues. According to the commentator there are quite a few undisputed facts: it is undisputable that Italy did not fulfill two parts of the Osim peace agreement (a protection law for Slovene minority, free zone), thus it cannot make use of the clause on annulment of the agreement, especially because according to the Rome agreement, Slovenia is as a successor of Yugoslavia depositing a lump sum indemnity to a current account of a foreign bank because Italy does not want to accept these lump sums. It is also undisputable that Italy never paid any indemnities for the damage which it caused during World War II in part of present Slovene territory (zone B of the Free Triest Territory). It is also a fact that Slovene minority in Italy has received no indemnity for sequestrated property on the basis of laws which can be from the point of view of the present development level of European law considered as racial. It should be established by some unbiased institutions who owes what to whom, writes the commentator. At the conclusion she asks how does Europe intend to justify the fact that there will emerge a new division of power on a strategically sensitive territory mainly because Italy is pushing for corrections of the outcomes of World War II and its property and legal consequences.

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