After being released by the Hague Tribunal Ante Gotovina, instead of retiring or starting a political career as many thought would be the case, has rather turned to entrepreneurship and has been granted a one million Euro loan for the expansion of his tuna farming business. Are we pulling anyone’s leg? No…
After a turbulent youth and years spent as a French legionnaire and mercenary, after achieving the status of a hero in the Croatian War of Independence only to fall from grace with the change of regime and imprisonment in The Hague, after last year’s acquittal and rehabilitation – the fascinating story of Ante Gotovina has recently been enriched by yet another peculiar chapter.
In this latest episode the good general – for those who decide to view him as such – has decided to turn away from the spotlight and engage in an adventure of setting up a private business, an undertaking which can easily parallel his early exploits given the current nature of the entrepreneurial climate in his beloved country.
Gotovina, a native of the island of Pašman, Zadar Archipelago, has opted for the trade of his forefathers and has become a fisherman, or to be more specific, a tuna farmer. Gotovina’s company Pelagos Net Farma is already in business and has already hired twelve people, and has recently been granted a credit line from HBOR (Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development) in the amount of just over one million Euros with a repayment period of ten years and a two year grace period. The funds will be used to finance a concession allowing the company to fish 40 tonnes of tuna per year, and also to buy a fishing boat and other types of mariculture equipment. The company has also been granted a concession to use an area, 60 thousand square metres in size, off the islet of Gira, where a tuna farm will be set up with an output of 450 tonnes per year. We shall see very soon how it all goes, for we dare speculate that there will be no dearth of information about the undertaking in the ever Gotovina-hungry Croatian media.
But this is the moral of the story, at least so far as this media outfit sees it. Insisting yet again that this short article is not really about Gotovina but rather about something else, we shall point out that, instead of living off a state pension or running for political office, the General disappoints both the omnipresent political cronies and rent-seekers and decides to make (what is by all accounts) an honest living, assuming a level of risk not only entrepreneurial but also personal.
Personal, we say, for Gotovina, with the status that he has, is probably the last person in Croatia who can afford to embarrass himself…and, as we all know, it is awfully easy to embarrass oneself in the tumultuous waters (every pun intended) of Croatian (private) business. We wish him the best of luck, then, for whatever he was and has been, however one did or may now view him, he undoubtedly is the rare positive role model to many a Croatian youth. Need we say more? Certainly not about the specifics of any tuna output…