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Croatia sets date for EU referendum

Published Dec 23, 2011


The Croatian parliament on Friday decided to hold a referendum on the country's entry into the European Union on January 22, a move enabling Zagreb to eventually join the bloc in mid-2013.

It was the first major decision by Croatia's new parliament, dominated by the centre-left coalition, a day after its inauguration following December 4 general elections.

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A total of 124 of 136 deputies present backed the decision “calling for a state referendum on a decision on Croatia's accession into the EU” to be held within a month. The remaining 12

voted against.

Earlier this month Croatia signed an EU-accession treaty, paving the way for it to become the bloc's full-fledged member on July 1, 2013.

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Apart from a referendum over the issue in Croatia, the treaty has to be ratified by all current 27 EU member states.

The decision was adopted just hours after the centre-left cabinet of Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic was sworn in.

The latest survey showed that some 60 percent Croatians would vote 'Yes' in the referendum.

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Croatia is the second of the six Balkan republics that formed the former socialist Yugoslavia, which collapsed in a series of bloody wars in the 1990s, to join the bloc.

Of the six - Bosnia, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia - only the latter is an EU member since 2004. - Sapa-AFP

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