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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: 097- (26/05/05)

1945 -60 years on
Henry Ford, the propagator of the motor industry and the modern world, made the characteristic comment: "History is bunk." He was a citizen of the New World. But, if there is one place where history does still count, it is the Balkans! 
The 60th anniversary of the end of World War II was marked in former Yugoslavia on or around 9th May with the customary laying of wreaths and holding of speeches, most of which centered on the role of the "antifascist" Partisan movement led by Josip Broz Tito, who was a Croat. Some ceremonies in Serbia honoured the Ravna Gora Chetnik movement led by royal Yugoslav General Draza Mihailovic, whom some still regard as a hero but others consider a collaborator. 
In Sarajevo, a protest took place against the presence of Borislav Paravac, who is the Serbian member of the Bosnian Presidency and its current chairman, at the head of Bosnia-Herzegovina's delegation at the Moscow festivities because his family supported Mihailovic rather than Tito. In Montenegro, the government and opposition traded charges as to who better preserves the antifascist legacy of the resistance, regardless of Henry Ford. 
Elsewhere, the Croatian survivors of the May 1945 Bleiburg tragedy held a commemoration on 14th May. Croatian historian Ivo Goldstein notes that up to 55,000 conscripts and civilians, as well as pro-Axis Ustashe troops, died after the war officially ended at the hands of the PartiZan forces at Bleiburg, Austria, or on subsequent death marches. Among those scheduled present at the commemoration were Vladimir Seks, who is speaker of the Croatian parliament, and Roman Catholic Cardinal Vinko Puljic, who is the first cardinal in Bosnian history. 
Croatian President Stipe Mesic said in Zagreb on 7th May, however, that Croatia stood on the Allied side, "the side on which every honest man at that time should have been. This won't be diminished by any attempt to rehabilitate the defeated side by portraying them as the real winners." He argued that the Ustashe's so-called Independent State of Croatia (NDH) "was founded on crime [and was] an unfortunate episode and a disgrace for the entire Croatian people."

Croatia, Serbia-Montenegro hold heated debate on "Vukovar Three" case
However, a more recent war is the pertinent issue now, that of course in Bosnia in 1992-95. The referral bench of the UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague held a hearing on 12th May on a prosecutor's motion to refer the trial of three Yugoslav Army officers charged in the Ovcara massacre to Croatia or Serbia-Montenegro. 
Both countries presented arguments for taking over the trial. Lawyers for Croatia focused on the legal aspects of the case and the readiness of the local judiciary to handle war crimes trials. Serbia-Montenegro lawyers in turn criticised the Croatian judiciary and insisted a fair and impartial trial could be guaranteed only in Belgrade. UN chief prosecutor Carla del Ponte raised the possibility of transferring the case in February. 

The new pope to visit Croatia
Croatia's hostility to Serbia is not a little to do with its allegiance to Rome, its Roman Catholicism, as distinct from Serbian Orthodoxy - a key element in the history of antagonism between two ethnically similar peoples which Tito slapped down, but with him gone, re-entered the Balkans scene and did much to fuel the Serbo-Croat war in the nineteen nineties.
Croatian parliamentary speaker, Vladimir Seks, invited Benedict XVI to visit Croatia in the near future on his attendance at the new pope's inauguration. Seks says that the pope said to him that: he " likes Croatia very much."
So did his predecessor, who visited three times.

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FOREIGN LOANS

Croatia, World Bank sign loan to revive underdeveloped areas

Representatives of the Croatian government and the World Bank have signed an agreement on a 35m Euro International Bank for Reconstruction and Development loan for a project of social and economic revival of Croatia's underdeveloped areas, HINA News Agency reported. 
The agreement was signed in Sisak on 2nd May by Finance Minister, Ivan Suker, and the World Bank's director for Croatia, Bulgaria and Romania, Anand K. Seth. 
The 60m Euro project will be implemented in 13 counties and financed with the 35m Euro loan and 25m Euro from the national budget. The money will be invested in the development of local communities, mine clearing, the development of social institutions and project management costs. The loan has been approved for a 15-year period, with five years' grace. 
With the project, the World Bank is supporting the Croatian government in its efforts to economically revive previously war-struck areas and integrate the local population into the society, which is part of the government's European Union integration programme, it was said at the signing ceremony. 
Minister Suker said investing in local communities and mine clearing was vital for Croatia because it enabled development, which he added was a condition for people to stay living in previously war-struck areas. 
Suker also said the government had set aside US$18m for Sisak's ironworks, which he added, had helped re-launch production. 

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FOREIGN RELATIONS

Zagreb, Delhi sign new cultural exchange pact

Under the cultural agreement signed in 1999 between India and Croatia, a new Cultural Exchange Programme (2005-2007) was forged by the two countries in New Delhi in April 27th, New Europe reported.
Indian Culture Ministry Secretary, Neena Ranhan, and Dino di Beljuh, the Croatian ambassador at New Delhi signed the CEP on behalf of their governments. The programme is for cooperation by the two countries in the exchange of exhibitions, dance, music, folklore, films and publications. It also provides for exhange of experts in archaeology, archives, protection and preservation of cultural heritage, museums and libraries on a reciprocal basis. The programme will remain in force up to December 31st 2007. The last CEP between the two countries was signed on July 25th 2001 for three years.

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