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Key Economic Data 
  2003 2002 2001 Ranking(2003)
Millions of US $ 28,322 22,421 20,300 61
GNI per capita
 US $ 5,350 4,640 4,550 70
Ranking is given out of 208 nations - (data from the World Bank)

Books on Croatia


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Stipe Mesic

Private sector
% of GDP 

Update No: 106- (23/03/06)

Grim coincidence in early March
The death of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic on March 11th could not have come at a more poignant moment for the Croats. A wartime leader of Croatian Serbs had just committed suicide at the UN War Crimes Tribunal prison in The Hague. Milan Babic was serving a 13-year prison sentence for crimes committed against non-Serbs in the early war years.
Fifty-year-old Milan Babic was scheduled to be in court on March 7th, continuing his testimony against another former Croatian Serb leader, but tribunal officials say he had been found dead in his cell at 6:30 local time on the evening of the previous day, on a routine half-hour security check. Dutch authorities have ruled it a suicide, and the court's president has already ordered an internal inquiry into Babic's death.
Babic was president of the self-declared breakaway Krajina Serb republic, covering about one-third of Croatian territory, after Croatia declared independence from Yugoslavia in 1991. He was jailed in 2004 for crimes committed during Croatia's 1991-1995 war. 
In return for his guilty plea, prosecutors dropped four other charges of murder, cruelty and the wanton destruction of villages. 
Babic was transferred to serve his sentence abroad, after judges rejected an appeal against his lengthy sentence. He was brought back to The Hague in February to testify in the trial of Milan Martic, another Croatian Serb. 
The ultimate insider witness, Babic had also testified against Milosevic in 2002. They were allies in the early war years. 
A dentist by profession, Babic had expressed shame and remorse over his actions in Krajina. But tribunal officials say they had no indication that Babic was depressed. One tribunal observer, however, said Babic was solemn, quiet and only smiled once during his recent week of testimony. 
Babic is the second person to commit suicide at The Hague prison. Croatian Serb Slavko Dokmanovic killed himself in 1998.

Croats lament Milosevic's death
There cannot be many Croats who thought in the 1990s that there would ever come a time when they would lament the demise of Milosevic.
But, with his death in March, the question of Milosevic's legal culpability for the most brutal atrocities seen in Europe since World War Two will remain unanswered. "It's the end of the case, it's closed," said Avril MacDonald, an expert in international criminal law at the Hague-based Asser Institute. "He died an innocent man. Or, at least, we will never now know," which is rather to elevate legal proceedings above common sense.
Christian Chartier, a spokesperson for the tribunal, said, "This is tragic for the truth... This is tragic for the victims." 
In Bosnia and Croatia, officials spoke of Milosevic's terrible legacy and expressed anger and frustration that he'd escaped justice. "He'll be remembered because he managed to isolate Serbs and turn them against other peoples in the former Yugoslavia, and against the international community," the head of Bosnia's joint presidency, Sulejman Tihic, told the FENA news agency.
The Croatian president, Stjepan Mesic, told the Hina news agency that it was a shame Milosevic hadn't lived long enough to receive "a sentence which he deserved".

Croatia, Albania and Macedonia Start New Campaign on joining NATO
Croatia, Albania and Macedonia are strengthening their cooperation and are starting a new campaign to become NATO members, countries' Prime Ministers Ivo Sanader, Sali Berisha and Vlado Buckovski announced on February 28th in Drac at a joint press conference, cited by Montenegrin agency MINA.
"Today is an important day for the region. We will start a new campaign for joining NATO under the motto "An Invitation No Later Than 2008", Macedonian Prime Minister Buckovski stressed after their meeting in Drac.
Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader announced that the first thing the three Prime Ministers will do is send a joint letter to NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer just before the next NATO meeting, due in Riga.

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Croatia and Estonia pledge mutual cooperation 

Croatian President, Stjepan Mesic, and his Estonian counterpart in Zagreb pledged cooperation between the two countries, New Europe reported recently. 
"There are no bilateral issues between the two states, so Estonia and Croatia could and should deepen mutual cooperation on the European plane," Mesic said after meeting Estonian President, Arnold Ruuter. "We will strive to convey Estonia's experience in joining the European Union to Croatia, as a friendly country," Ruuter stated, adding that Estonia wishes to help Croatia. 
Mesic also used the opportunity to condemn the running of the disputed caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed, which has fuelled massive protests among Muslim believers worldwide, in Croatia's National weekly, a move already renounced by the Croatian government and Parliament. 
"The right compromise between freedom of expression and the need not to offend anyone's religious feelings must be found," said Mesic. Ruutel was accompanied to Croatia by an Estonian business delegation, which is to meet with representatives of the Croatian business community and discuss economic cooperation. 
A regular flight to and from Croatia's sea resort of Dubrovnik and the Estonian capital Tallinn will be established, it was announced after the meeting. Estonia was one of the first countries to recognise Croatia's independence in 1991. The two leaders met to discuss further ways of mutual cooperation on a range of issues between the two countries.

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Glaxosmithkline to buy Pliva's institute 

A leading Croatian pharmaceutical company, Pliva, has decided to sell its research institute in Zagreb to the GlaxoSmithKline, and the transaction could reach US$50 million, the Croatian company said, Hina News Agency reported. 
"GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK) today announces a deal in which it has reached agreement for the purchase of PLIVA Research - Institute Ltd, PLIVA's proprietary R&D arm in Zagreb, Croatia. The closing of the transaction is expected to occur during April 2006, subject to obtaining necessary regulatory approvals," GSK, a research-based pharmaceutical company with headquarters in the UK, announced on its web site. Under the terms of the agreement, PLIVA will receive an upfront payment of US$35 million and, conditional on the entry of certain early stage projects into clinical development, contingent payments totalling up to US$15 million. Thus the total potential cash consideration may be up to US$50 million. The Croatian company reported that after the sale of a majority of its proprietary brands in the United States and the sale of the research institute, it will now fully focus on its generics business.

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