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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)

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Update No: 123 - (31/08/07)

Coming elections to parliament
The political situation in Croatia is dominated by its forthcoming elections to parliament in the autumn, which will decide who governs the country into 2008 and beyond. The struggle for power is in essence between two men, the incumbent premier, Ivo Sanader, head of the Christian Democrats (HDZ), and Zoran Milanovic, the main opposition leader as head of the Social Democrats. 

Milanovic has the advantage of any opposition figure in a post-communist nation in transition; he has not been contaminated by being in power. He is a youngster, new to the game. 

Sanader is the older and more experienced man. He has three months to prove to the electorate that he is the better one. A deal with Slovenia would suit him down to the ground.

The Slovenian card
He has had a close and beneficial relationship with his opposite number in Slovenia. The Slovenian premier Janez Jansa has "an ideal opportunity" to move towards solving the open issues with Croatia, but he does not have a lot of time left for that, and the current initiative of the Slovenian government is linked to Slovenian chairmanship, as of January 1st, of the European Union, which wants to keep a neutral stance in the dispute. 

So says the commentary of August 18th's issue of the Ljubljana newspaper "Dnevnik", mentioning the dialogue between Slovenia and Croatia, and Jansa's request of a consensus with Slovenian political parties. "Jansa has a unique opportunity to move Slovenian-Croatian relations from a standstill, but must hurry in order to preserve their credibility and reputation. The meeting with political parties at which he received the declarative support as far as synchronising their approach is concerned, would not mean added problems in seeking a agree upon arbitration, a court solution to the dispute, or an agreement about the problem", it says in the commentary by Franco Juri, in the newspaper "Dnevnik".

"Jansa knows that synergy and a positive mood is required for a neutral European Union, so that the Slovenian chairmanship of the European Union would be as successful as possible. Jansa knows that Sanader must at least partially dismiss the awkward consequences of the doubt that Ropov's allegations about pre-election incidents in 2004 were founded", said Juri.

He added that the presidents of the Slovenian Social Democrats (SD) Borut Pahur, and the president of the Croatian SDP (Social Democratic Party) Zoran Milanovic, made a "great move" by holding a meeting in Mokrice, at which, according to Juri, in-between the lines, they announced that they will not use bilateral issues in their pre-election campaigns (SDP and SD next year) to raise their party ratings, and that they will avoid incidents.

"Jansa's Cabinet will have one year to place the conditions for further solving the disputes in the dialogue with the Croatian premier Ivo Sanader, who is probably leaving, and Zoran Milanovic is probably coming. This is a long term operation which requires mature and realistic behaviour. Good relations with an important neighbouring country, Croatia, can only be a national project, and not the domain of any party or coalition", said Juri. He added that this is probably clear to Jansa as the president of the Cabinet, as well as to the president of SD, Borut Pahor, who is expecting a win in the parliamentary elections next year.

"We should hope that the new spirit of the times have been perceived by the other parties, and of course, that Croatian politics also realises this. The described chances are not only Jansa's, but Sanader's as well, with the only difference being that Sanader has only three months", said Juri in his comment in the Ljubljana newspaper "Dnevnik".

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