"Croatia is likely to ease a planned enforcement of a protected fishing zone in the Adriatic in January, which has angered neighbours and worried the European Commission, President Stjepan Mesic said on Tuesday.
'We want to join the European Union and it is difficult to imagine that the (zone) will be enforced in its current form,' Mesic, who visited Brussels last week, told state radio.
Croatia, which hopes to become an EU member around 2010, is due to apply the zone, which covers roughly 56,000 square km, from Jan. 1 to preserve fish stocks and limit pollution. The plan is opposed by EU members Italy and Slovenia.
'I expect a compromise, a temporary solution until we join the EU. It is now important that experts agree on how to protect the Adriatic and regulate fishing quotas,' Mesic said."