Tue, Jul 02, 2013 - Page 7 News List

Croatia celebrates joining EU

‘EUROPEAN AGE’:Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic dismissed fears that the country, with a population of 4.2 million, would be an economic burden on the EU

AFP, ZAGREB

“The moment of Croatia’s accession to the EU is a time of many doubts and questioning. In Croatia, also, there are similar dilemmas,” Josipovic added, in a reference to the eurozone debt crisis.

Zagreb has aspired to join the EU ever since it proclaimed independence from the former Yugoslavia, a move that sparked the bloody 1991-1995 war against rebel Serbs backed by Belgrade.

Croatia becomes only the second former Yugoslav republic to join the bloc, after Slovenia, following the bloody breakup of the former communist federation in the 1990s.

Heads of state from all six former Yugoslav republics were among the guests, but the leaders of many EU member states, including Britain, France and notably Germany, did not attend.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel cited a full workload to excuse herself from the event, but both Croatian media and the opposition labeled her decision a “diplomatic slap.”

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