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CROATIA

Places that I visited in Croatia:

Zagreb

Croatia is a southern Central European country at the crossroads with the Mediterranean, and Southeastern Europe. Its capital is Zagreb. Croatia borders with Slovenia and Hungary to the north, Serbia to the northeast, Bosnia and Herzegovina to the east, and Montenegro to the far southeast. Its southern and western flanks border the Adriatic Sea, and it also shares a sea border with Italy in the Gulf of Trieste.

Croatia is a member of United Nations, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, and the Council of Europe, and is a candidate for membership of the European Union and has received a NATO membership invitation on 3 April 2008. On October 17, 2007 Croatia became a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for the 2008-2009 term.

Croatia, officially the Republic of Croatia, is a unitary democratic parliamentary republic in Europe at the crossroads of Central Europe, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean. Its capital and largest city is Zagreb. The country is divided into 20 counties and the city of Zagreb. Croatia covers 56,594 square kilometres (21,851 square miles) and has diverse, mostly continental and Mediterranean climates. Croatia's Adriatic Sea coast contains more than a thousand islands. The country's population is 4.29 million, most of whom are Croats, with the most common religious denomination being Roman Catholicism.

In the early 7th century the Croats arrived in area of present-day Croatia. They organised the state into two dukedoms by the 9th century. Tomislav became the first king by 925 AD, elevating Croatia to the status of a kingdom. The Kingdom of Croatia retained its sovereignty for nearly two centuries, reaching its peak during the rule of Kings Peter Krešimir IV and Dmitar Zvonimir. Croatia entered a personal union with Hungary in 1102. In 1527, faced with Ottoman conquest the Croatian Parliament elected Ferdinand I of the House of Habsburg to the Croatian throne. In 1918, after World War I, Croatia was included in the short-lived State of Slovenes, Croats, and Serbs that declared independence from Austria–Hungary and co-founded the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. A Croatian state briefly existed during World War II as a fascist puppet state. After the war, Croatia became a founding member and a federal constituent of the Second Yugoslavia, a socialist state. In June 1991, Croatia declared independence, which came into effect on 8 October of the same year. The Croatian War of Independence was fought successfully during the four years following the declaration.

Croatia today has a comparatively very high life expectancy, literacy, education, standards of living and income equality, and it ranks high among Central European nations in terms of education, health, quality of life and economic dynamism. The International Monetary Fund classified Croatia as an emerging and developing economy, and the World Bank identified it as a high income economy. Croatia is a member of the United Nations, the Council of Europe, NATO, the World Trade Organization, CEFTA and a founding member of the Union for the Mediterranean. Croatia is an acceding state of the European Union, with full membership expected in July 2013. As an active participant in the UN peacekeeping forces, Croatia has contributed troops to the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan and took a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2008–2009 term.

The service sector dominates Croatia's economy, followed by the industrial sector and agriculture. Tourism is a significant source of revenue during the summer, with Croatia ranked the 18th most popular tourist destination in the world. The state controls a part of the economy, with substantial government expenditure. The European Union is Croatia's most important trading partner. Since 2000, the Croatian government has invested in infrastructure, especially transport routes and facilities along the Pan-European corridors. Internal sources produce a significant portion of energy in Croatia; the rest is imported. Croatia provides a universal health care system and free primary and secondary education, while supporting culture through numerous public institutions and through corporate investments in media and publishing. The nation prides itself in its cultural, artistic and scientific contributions to the world, as well as in its cuisine, wines and sporting achievements.
After the World War II, Croatia became a single-party Socialist federal unit of the SFR Yugoslavia, ruled by the Communists, but enjoying a degree of autonomy within the federation. In 1967, Croatian authors and linguists published a Declaration on the Status and Name of the Croatian Standard Language demanding greater autonomy for Croatian language. The declaration contributed to a national movement seeking greater civil rights and decentralization of the Yugoslav economy, culminating in the Croatian Spring of 1971, suppressed by Yugoslav leadership. Still, the 1974 Yugoslav Constitution gave increased autonomy to federal units, basically fulfilling a goal of the Croatian Spring, and providing a legal basis for independence of the federative constituents.

In the 1980s the political situation in Yugoslavia deteriorated with national tension fanned by the 1986 Serbian SANU Memorandum and the 1989 coups in Vojvodina, Kosovo and Montenegro. In January 1990, the Communist Party fragmented along national lines, with the Croatian faction demanding a looser federation. In the same year, the first multi-party elections were held in Croatia, with Franjo Tuđman's win raising nationalist tensions further. Serbs in Croatia left Sabor and declared the autonomy of areas that would soon become the unrecognized Republic of Serbian Krajina, intent on achieving independence from Croatia. As tensions rose, Croatia declared independence in June 1991, however the declaration came into effect on 8 October 1991.

The tensions escalated into the Croatian War of Independence when the Yugoslav National Army and various Serb paramilitaries attacked Croatia. By the end of 1991, a high intensity war fought along a wide front reduced Croatia to control of about two-thirds of its territory. On 15 January 1992, Croatia gained diplomatic recognition by the European Economic Community members, and subsequently the United Nations. The war effectively ended in 1995 with a decisive victory by Croatia in August 1995. The remaining occupied areas were restored to Croatia pursuant to the Erdut Agreement of November 1995, with the process concluded in January 1998.





Croatia political map:

Croatia Ubication map:




November 2007

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