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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: 162 - (24/12/10)

Wikileaks encore
There is a significant outcrop of events from the Wikileaks scandal that is affecting country after country right across the globe. One such could determine Croatian politics for decades to come.

Recent US embassy cables published by Wikileaks portray Croatia's former PM, Ivo Sanader, as heading a chain of command of allegedly corrupt senior officials. Damir Polancec, the former deputy prime minister brought down by scandals at the Podravka processed food company, could not have made his alleged deals without Mr. Sanader’s knowledge, US cables allege. Mr Polancec has been convicted of abuse of office and still faces bigger corruption charges.

“The Podravka case is one of the major cases that the EU is watching to determine Croatia’s commitment to fighting corruption,” a Wikileaks cable says. “The willingness and ability of USKOK to investigate an incumbent Deputy Prime Minister, almost immediately after suspicions were raised, shows that, as Prime Minister Kosor has contended, there may no longer be ‘untouchables’ in Croatia.”

Arrest of former PM a turning - point in EU bid
Croatia’s former prime minister was arrested in Austria on December 10, the day after his country issued an international warrant for him. He was arrested while paying a highway toll and taken to court in Salzburg for the start of extradition procedures, Croatia’s interior ministry records.

Mr. Sanader, wanted in connection with an anti-corruption investigation, left Croatia on December 9 just ahead of the parliamentary session that unanimously lifted his immunity. The centre-right government, which he formerly headed, now aims to use his prosecution to show progress in fighting corruption, essential for the ex-Yugoslav country of 4.5m people to join the European Union.

Croatia’s Office for the Prevention of Corruption and Organised Crime (USKOK) has built a case against Mr Sanader over the year and a half since his abrupt resignation, which he never clearly explained. His chosen successor, Jadranka Kosor, pledged “zero tolerance” of corruption and used the house-cleaning campaign to marginalise her former political mentor.

Mr Sanader could face charges relating to bribery and to allegations that the state electricity gave cheaper electricity to favoured companies, state television said. USKOK’s investigators have also attempted to tie him to loan scandals at the Austrian bank, Hypo Alpe Adria.

His extradition to Croatia could take months if he is not cooperative, police said. If he holds an Austrian passport – as some local newspapers speculate – he could be released. He studied in Austria and worked there as a fund raiser for Croatian independence in the 1980s, before the former Yugoslavia began to splinter.

Austrian police confirmed that he was arrested rather than surrendering voluntarily.

But in communications with Croatian lawyers by text message, Mr. Sanader said he would return home and answer prosecutors’ questions.

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