Croatia. According to
countryaah, two thirds of voters voted in January for
Croatia's EU membership, but voter turnout was only 43.5%.
Among the Naysayers were mainly right-wing nationalists, and
they suffered a setback when the war criminal convicted
former general Ante Gotovina expressed his support for
membership, saying that Croatia belongs in the EU.
Membership was expected to take effect in 2013.
In March, the Croatian Parliament approved the Accession
Treaty, which was concluded with the EU in December 2011.
Parliament in the EU's existing member states did the same
gradually over the year. One exception, however, was
Slovenia, which demanded that an unresolved banking conflict
with Croatia be resolved first. The two former Yugoslav
republics disputed savings, which a large number of Croats
claimed to have had in a Slovenian bank when Yugoslavia
began to collapse in 1991.
Teachers, nurses and other public servants demonstrated
in October, in protest of wage cuts and other cuts in the
public sector, in the first major protest against the
left-wing alliance that took place just under a year
In November, the war hero Gotovina and the co-accused
General Mladen Markac˘, both of whom were sentenced to long
prison sentences in 2011. According to the Supreme Court of
the War Criminal Tribunal in The Hague where the judges were
appealed, evidence was found that they were responsible for
war crimes against Serbs in Krajina in 1995. cheering crowds
as they returned to Croatia.
Former Prime Minister Ivo Sanader was sentenced in
November to ten years in prison and € 5 million in fines for
receiving millions in bribes from the Austrian bank Hypo in
1994 and from the Croatian oil company MOL 2009.
The economy was under severe pressure, and unemployment
was just over 17%. A glimmer of light was reports that the
tourist year seemed to be the best so far. Nearly 10 million
foreign tourists visited Croatia in just two summer months.