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Croatia

Yearbook 2011

Croatia. The War Criminal Tribunal in The Hague announced in April the convictions against three Croatian former generals, including Ante Gotovina, who was one of the most wanted on the UN Court's list before he was arrested in 2005. Gotovina was sentenced to 24 years in prison, while Mladen Markač received 18 years. According to Countryaah official site, the third general, Ivan Čermak, was acquitted of charges of war crimes against Serbs in connection with Croatia regaining control of the Krajina breakaway republic in 1995. Large protest demonstrations were held in the capital Zagreb and elsewhere. Many Croats have continued to regard the generals as national heroes.

2011 Croatia

The membership negotiations with the EU were completed in June. Croatia was found to have fulfilled all conditions, including: by adapting its legislation to EU requirements. At the EU summit in December, the Accession Treaty was signed. This left the approval of the individual member states and a referendum in Croatia. At the earliest, the country was expected to become a member at the turn of the year 2013.

Former Prime Minister Ivo Sanader was extradited from Austria in July, where he fled before the New Year away from corruption charges. Sanader, who was head of government in 2003–09, was charged with receiving bribes from an Austrian bank when he was Deputy Foreign Minister in the 1990s. The trial began in November.

In the December parliamentary elections, the Conservative government party HDZ lost power. The largest was the Social Democratic Party SDP, which was a member of the Left Alliance Kukuriku ('Kuckeliku') together with three small parties. SDP leader Zoran Milanović became new prime minister. There was no easy situation for a new government: government debt rose and interest rates on government bonds approached the level that has forced several EU countries to seek emergency loans. Unemployment approached 20% towards the end of the year.

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