“The Trump administration is blocking a $500 million arms deal between Israel and Croatia, for the sale of 12 U.S.-made F-16 fighter jets refurbished and upgraded by Israel, Israeli officials tell me.
Why it matters: The U.S. was also fighting for the Croatia tender, and U.S. officials claimed Israel was being dishonest and trying to profit off the back of the U.S., according to the Israeli officials. This is a very rare standoff after two years of incredibly close relations between Israel and the Trump administration, especially when it comes to military and defense cooperation.” (Axios)
“Defence Minister Damir Krsticevic said on Saturday that Croatia will not pay any additional costs for the purchase of 12 fighter jets from Israel after the U.S. insisted that Israel must comply with the technical criteria Washington set in order to greenlight Israel’s delivery of those F-16 fighter jets to Croatia.
The planes, which are the subject matter of the procurement deal and which were produced by the U.S. Lockheed Martin, were subsequently upgraded with sophisticated electronic systems by Israel and Washington now insists those to be taken out.” (N1)
“Three former high representatives to Bosnia and Herzegovina have sent a letter to Brussels in which they claim that Croatia is continuously meddling in that country’s internal affairs.
Prime Minister Andrej Plenković also commented on the issue, slamming all three former high representatives for directly contributing to reducing the rights of Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina and eroding the content of the Dayton Agreement.
‘The mere fact that these three retirees have raised their voices means that our engagement and our activities were so strong that they felt the need to say something. But they, through their own actions and decisions, contributed to the gradual reduction of the rights of the Croat people in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and to change what was agreed on in Dayton and Paris,’ the prime minister said.” (Voice of Croatia)
“Police in Croatia have detained 13 people suspected of smuggling migrants who are trying to reach Western Europe through the Balkans.
Police said Friday that they are searching for one more suspect accused of smuggling at least 119 migrants in and out of Croatia from late July until mid-October.
The statement says the suspects include one asylum seeker from Pakistan and two from Afghanistan, while the rest are Croatian citizens. Police say the group was charging 1,000 euros ($1,114) to transfer a migrant through Croatia, making at least 64,000 euros.” (STLNews)
“Croatia is suffering a severe labor shortage, most glaringly in its booming seaside tourist resorts, that is compounding obstacles to economic growth and dimming hopes of catching up to more developed European Union peers.
The problem reflects poor levels of pay, education and skills-training in a still mainly state-dominated economy that has driven many young Croats to find more lucrative, fulfilling work in affluent western EU countries, analysts say.” (Today)