It would be a message of hope; the Croatian Prime Minister, Zoran Milanović is against drilling for oil in the Adriatic sea, as reported by Croatia Week. It would make us feel as if there was a path to avoiding the catastrophy. Except, he continues to say: ‘there was little he could do’. What?
Does the Prime Minister of Croatia really have no say in the direction of this country? Is he weak, powerless, a coward, or just pretending.
I’ve chosen address my public comment on the matter of the exploitation of the Adriatic sea to the Prime Minister himself. Perhaps he’ll answer.
Attn: Prime Minister of Croatia, Zoran Milanović
I am writing to express my disapproval of your current plans to auction off blocks of the Adriatic sea along the Dalmatian coast to for exploration and exploitation purposes. I believe your decisions in this matter are short-sighted, and you have failed to adequately present your plans to the Croatian public and give them a say in such an important matter.
It’s not necessary to enumerate all the hazards and inevitable damage associated with turning the Dalmatian coast into an industrialized oil production zone. Anyone can use google to read about Deep Water Horizon, Equador, Nigeria and even recent exploding production facilities in Italy.
What is necessary here, is to clarify that the Croatian government has embarked on this plan with complete disregard for the opinions of the residents of this country. Additionally it has not presented a factual risk assessment via a media that is accessible by the majority of the population. Why is this public comment period via email? Why have there been no notices of this action posted on the local message boards where people get their news?
Even holding this period of public comment is highly questionable when you, the Prime Minister of Croatia, Zoran Milanović, publically state that you are against it, but there is nothing you can do. (ref: http://www.croatiaweek.com/pm-if-the-adriatic-was-only-croatias-id-be-against-oil-drilling-too/).
I’m sorry, but just as the claims for new wealth like a ‘little Norway’ and ‘highest environmental standards’ we know that’s just not true. Under the Croatian constitution Article 87, the parliament has the right to call for a public referendum.
The Croatian Parliament may call a referendum on proposals to amend the Constitution, a bill or any such other issue as may fall within its purview.
The President of the Republic may, at the proposal of the Government and with the countersignature of the Prime Minister, call a referendum on a proposal to amend the Constitution or any such other issue as he/she may deem to be of importance to the independence, integrity and existence of the Republic of Croatia.
You, Mr. Milanović, could be a leader on this issue. You could demand a referendum and make sure that all the people of Croatia are provided with accurate risk and benefit assessments of the proposed drilling actions and let them decide.
You could do that.
You could work with your neighbors and within the EU to seek new legislation that would protect not just the Croatian Adriatic sea, but the entire Mediterranean region from the reckless exploitation of it’s natural resources.
You could push Croatia to be leader in clean technologies and to improve the education of the children and existing workforce so they are prepared to have a role in the future, a clean future.
Or, you could do nothing, pretend you are powerless, and let Croatia continue to play the role of a victim.