OCTOBER 25 2012 21:04h
"We believe that Croatia has done its part of the job, reducing the number of conditions it has to meet from 50 to only 10. After this year, their number will be further reduced... What has been going on in the last few weeks is a storm in a teacup," Milanovic said after his meeting with the Social Democrat candidate for German Chancellor in the 2013 general elections, Peer Steinbrueck.
"I believe in Croatia and in what we have done," Milanovic said at the beginning of his two-day visit to Berlin. According to him, until the end of this year, 21 countries in the 27-strong EU block will have ratified Croatia's accession treaty with the European Union.
Steinbrueck said that "there is nothing new" in the position of the German Social Democrats regarding Croatia's EU membership bid.
"The German Social Democrats welcome Croatia's admission to the EU, as scheduled," he said, adding that the SPD believed that nothing would stand in Croatia's way to the EU when the country had fulfilled its remaining tasks.
"You know that the European Commission requests the fulfillment of a few more tasks, we expect them to be fulfilled. As for the SPD, when all those tasks, recommendations and obligations are met, there will be no obstacles on Croatia's road. You are welcome," said the German politician.
Steinbrueck said he himself had been surprised by the statement of Bundestag Speaker Norbert Lammert, who recently expressed his doubt about Croatia's readiness to join the European bloc.
Milanovic is scheduled to meet Lammert on Friday.
As for his meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel at a dinner later on Thursday evening, which would observe the 60th anniversary of the Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations, Milanovic said that it would be just a dinner while more occasions for talks would be in Brussels.
Attending the dinner will be about 250 guests, among them several heads of state or government. The Committee was established in 1952 to represent German business interests in Eastern Europe, covering over 20 countries. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Committee promotes reforms in the transition countries and their integration into European structures. (Hina)