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Croatia celebrates its EU membership

July 1, 2013 • Business


A window mannequin with EU flags is on display in a shop in downtown in Zagreb, Croatia, Sunday, June 30, 2013. Croatia is to join the European Union on July 1, 2013. Fireworks are ready and foreign leaders are arriving as Croatia celebrated on Sunday its entry into the European Union some 20 years after winning independence in a bloody civil war that shook the continent. Croatia will become the 28th EU member on Monday, the bloc’s first addition since Bulgaria and Romania joined in 2007. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)

ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) — Fireworks lit the sky and festive crowds gathered on the streets to mark Croatia’s entry Monday into the European Union, a major milestone some 20 years after the country won independence in a bloody civil war that shook the continent.

Croatia became the 28th EU member, the bloc’s first addition since Bulgaria and Romania joined in 2007. Though enthusiasm for the country’s achievement has been dampened by the EU’s financial turmoil, it is a historic turning point for the small Balkan nation of 4.2 million, which endured years of carnage after declaring independence from the former Yugoslavia in 1991.

“As midnight struck, your country crossed an important threshold,” European Council President Herman Van Rompuy told the cheering crowd in Croatia’s capital Zagreb. “It will change the life of Login to read more

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