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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

Update No: 136 - (25/09/08)

Croatia in the maelstrom
The world is a troublesome place right now. In the Balkans there seems to be always trouble. The ‘big one’ currently is that Kosovo has declared independence from Serbia. 

Nevertheless, Croatia is comparatively free of ethnic minority problems. It has no recalcitrant minority, nor a secessionist province. 

Tourist paradise
It is actually a rather marvellous place, with superb mountainous scenery and a magnificent coastline on the Adriatic. It has the most wonderful ancient and medieval architecture. 

It is far less infested by gangsterism and the like than Bulgaria and Romania, which are already within the European Union (EU). 

There is no more deserving candidate for EU membership sometime soon. 

The EU perhaps beckons in November
The president of the European Commission (EC), Jose Manuel Barroso, has praised Croatia following a meeting with prime minister Ivo Sanader. He said the timing of reforms the country needs to carry out before EU talks can begin, is "mainly in the hands of Croatia". Mr Barroso continued by saying it cannot yet be confirmed that a "roadmap" for entry to the 27-nation body can be given in November. He added: "I congratulated the prime minister and his government for the good progress in the [EU] accession negotiations over the past months. Of course, there is still much work ahead."

In response, Mr Sanader stated the government has already moved towards finalising one of the reforms, privatising Croatia's shipbuilding industry.

He said he is "fully aware" of the work that still needs to be done and hopes negotiations can come to a close by the end of next year.

Meanwhile, Alexandr Vondra, the Czech Republic deputy prime minister, recently reassured Croatia it intends to move forward the country's EU membership talks during its presidency. According to “Forbes”, the EC has already declared it is hoping to give the Balkan state a roadmap for accession negotiations by November.

Zagreb needs to quicken reforms
A senior EU official says Croatia has not yet fulfilled the requirements needed to allow the bloc to set a timetable for the conclusion of membership talks. European Commission President20Jose Manuel Barroso made the comments after meeting Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader.

Barroso says Croatia needs to make faster progress in areas such as the reform of its judiciary, the fight against corruption, war crimes trials and human rights, and to ensure open competition in the privatization of its six state-owned Adriatic shipyards 

Croatia's early EU entry among Czech presidency goals-PM
Croatia has one big backer inside the EU, the Czech Republic. Croatia's quick entry into the EU will be one of the priorities of the Czech Republic's EU presidency; and the Czech Republic also wants to support Croatia's admission to NATO, Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek told journalists after a meeting with his Croatian counterpart Ivo Sanader on September 14. 

At the close of the talks at the Croatian government office the two countries' ambassadors signed an addendum to the ‘Czech-Croatian investment promotion and protection agreement’. Croatia could close a large majority of chapters within its accession talks with the European Union under the Czech EU presidency already in the first half of next year.

However, the condition for Zagreb is to start talks with Brussels on the remaining chapters by the end of this year, he said. At present, Croatia is still to open 12 chapters many of which concerning sensitive and complex issues, Topolanek said."

It is remained to open 12 more chapters and it can be expected that they will be opened by the end of France's EU presidency," Topolanek said.

Sanader confirmed that Croatia would do everything to meet this deadline.

Topolanek also told journalists that the Czech Republic could ratify the treaty on Croatia's entry to NATO by the end of his year.

The Czech Republic and Croatia are also interested in continuing economic cooperation and trade, he said, adding that was why he was accompanied on his visit by Industry and Trade Minister Martin Riman and representatives of Czech business circles.

A protocol was signed aimed at promoting further Czech-Croatian cooperation in the areas of energy industry, transport, the environment and tourism.

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