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CROATIA





In-depth Business Intelligence 

Key Economic Data 
 
  2003 2002 2001 Ranking(2003)
GDP
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

REPUBLICAN REFERENCE

Area (sq.km)
56,542

Population
4,496,869

Capital 
Zagreb

Currency 
Kuna

President 
Stipe Mesic

Private sector
% of GDP 
55%


Update No: 105- (30/01/06)

Gotovina got
A great breakthrough has occurred for the Croatians. The Croatian general, Ante Gotovina, responsible for the worst war crimes in the terrible times of 1991-95, with the break-up of Yugoslavia, has been apprehended in the Canary Islands and sent to The Hague, where he will be in the same plight as Milosevic.
This was the prime requirement of the West for admitting Croatia to its inner counsels. It will now probably be made an EU member forthwith, probably next year. But there are still problems to clear.

Balkan war crimes raid roils Croatia again
The issue of war crimes committed as Yugoslavia fell apart during the Balkan wars of the 1990s continues to roil Croatian society. 
The latest episode involves an apparent attempt by the authorities to prevent the circulation of a video of Croatian President Stjepan Mesic's confidential testimony to the special international court. On January 9th, the Zagreb branch of the Croatian Disabled War Veterans Association slammed a raid on its offices by police looking for the video, urging that those involved should be identified and punished. 
According to the association, police raided their offices with a warrant to prevent journalist Domagoj Margetic from showing the video. The association's Zagreb branch head, Ivan Pandza, told HINA news agency that he did not know who summoned the police and that neither Interior Minister Dragan Jocic nor the chief of police answered his inquiries. Margetic and Pandza were arrested and subsequently released. 
An estimated 300,000 died in the 1991-2001 Balkan conflict as millions were forced from their homes in the bloodiest conflict in Europe since World War II. 
The killings and forcible displacement -- dubbed "ethnic cleansing" -- were the first conflicts since 1945 to have been formally judged genocide, leading to the creation in 1993 in The Hague of the International Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law Committed in the Territory of the Former Yugoslavia since 1991, or ICTY. 
Croatia's most important trading partner is now the European Union, which it hopes to join. As the government pursues its membership application it has attempted to quash potentially embarrassing political fallout in the media, such as the public showing of the videotape of the Mesic testimony. 
But at this time of year everybody is aware of the cold. Energy supplies are all-important.
In Astana, capital of Kazakstan, where President Nazarbayev was being re-inaugurated, Victor Yushchenko, president of Ukraine, met with Croatian President Stjepan Mesic on January 10th. They agreed to construct a transportation route via the Balkan countries, the President's press service said. 
The President also said Ukraine was going to hold talks with Croatia to jointly adapt to EU standards. Since Ukraine transits Russian gas for Croatia, Yushchenko said he was satisfied with successful Ukrainian-Russian gas talks on January 5th.
 

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BANKING

World Bank urges Croatia to maintain reform momentum 

The World Bank plans to extend the second 150 million Euro Programmatic Adjustment Loan (PAL) to Croatia by the middle of the year if the country moves fast enough in structural, institutional and cross-sectoring reforms, World Bank Country Director for Croatia, Bulgaria and Romania, Anand Seth, said in an interview with SeeNews (Bulgaria).
Seth said the primary concerns about Croatia remained the high levels of its fiscal deficit and foreign debt. He said that fiscal consolidation could be achieved by implementing structural reforms, such as decreasing the subsidies to large loss-making state-owned enterprises. Seth further said that in its path to the next phase of the reforms, the Adriatic country would have to focus on social and healthcare expenditures, which both tend to be much higher in Croatia than in other benchmark countries and which put a heavy burden on the private sector.
As part of its analytical and advisory services, the World Bank is currently preparing its public finance review and plans to evaluate Croatia's performance in March in order to decide whether to change its lending program to "high case" from "base case" one.
Seth said that besides policy changes, which the Bank supported through its PAL programs, the country needed investments in some major sectors, such as science, education and technology in order to promote itself as a knowledge economy. That is why the Bank would continue the support in its ongoing science and technology, education and welfare projects, worth some US$165 million, which it started last year. Currently, there are four more projects in an advanced stage of preparation, worth 84.5 million Euro, thus overall commitments for active projects total US$437 million. Under its four-year Country Assistance Strategy, approved in December 2004, the World Bank plans to double its assistance to Croatia to US$1.5 billion. Since 1993 the global lender has supported 29 projects in Croatia, worth US$1.67 billion and has provided over 40 grants, worth US$40.7 million.

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ENERGY

11.3% drop in gas supplies from Russia 

The gas delivery from Russia dropped to 11.3 per cent due to cold snap there New Europe reported.
Russia, which makes 40 per cent of Croatian supplies fell 6.5 per cent. Croatia gets the remaining gas from its own resources. The state-run INA-Naftaplin insisted, however, that the reduction hasn't caused any effect to gas users because of relatively high temperatures there.

Government floats 15% of Oil Co. INA 

The Croatian government plans to float a 15 per cent stake in oil company INA on the Zagreb Stock Exchange, stated Prime Minister, Ivo Sanader, New Europe reported.
Sanader didn't reveal anything with regards to the privatisation plans of the country's national oil company INA stating, however, that they await the financial adviser to give recommendations on the steps to be followed. The float isn't expected to prevent Hungarian oil-and-gas company MOL, which already has a 25 per cent stake in INA, from increasing its share in INA. MOL has expressed interest in increasing its stake in INA. Sanader said Croatia would discuss MOL's plans with the company's executives.

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