Surface area: 56,538 sq. km.
Language: Croatian (off.)
Type of State: unitary republic
Head of State: Stipe Mesic
Prime Minister: Ivica Racan
On 8 February 2001 the Croatian parliament voted for a draft law intended to remove the public audiovisual sector from influence by political parties. The composition of the Croatian radio and television board (HTR) was changed. Of the twenty-five members (instead of the previous twenty three) twenty two would now be named by unions, representatives of the cultural and sporting world and the religious communities. And the three remaining members, to be appointed by the head of state, the government and the parliamentary president, cannot belong to a political party. Previously ten parliamentarians sat on the board. On the same vote, parliament also approved the privatisation of one of the three public television networks. None of the commercial television networks until then had covered the whole country.
Two journalists attacked
On 1 March 2001 Rino Belan and Damir Pakostane, journalists for the satirical weekly, Feral Tribune, were attacked and beaten by unidentified assailants while investigating construction work being done on the house of a retired Croatian general in the town of Pakostane (southern Croatia).
A journalist threatened
In November 2001 Ivo Pukanic managing editor of the country’s main news magazine, Nacional, was threatened with death in the wake of the magazine’s publishing investigative articles establishing links between high officials in Montenegro and contraband cigarette dealers in the Balkans. On 4 November the Montenegrin Interior Ministry accused the South-eastern European Media Organisation (SEEMO) and its secretary general, Oliver Vujovic, of propaganda and manipulation after the latter had stated he had been informed that persons close to the Montenegrin secret services were preparing an attack on the managing editor of the Croatian weekly, Nacional, Ivo Pukanic.