Croatia

 

The lands that today comprise Croatia were part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until the close of World War I. In 1918, the Croats, Serbs, and Slovenes formed a kingdom known after 1929 as Yugoslavia. Following World War II, Yugoslavia became a federal independent Communist state under the strong hand of Marshal TITO. Although Croatia declared its independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, it took four years of sporadic, but often bitter, fighting before occupying Serb armies were mostly cleared from Croatian lands. Under UN supervision, the last Serb-held enclave in eastern Slavonia was returned to Croatia in 1998.

Geography:
Location: South-eastern Europe, bordering the Adriatic Sea, between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Slovenia
Geographic coordinates: 45 10 N, 15 30 E
People:
Population: 4,480,043 (July 2012 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 15.1% (male 346,553/female 328,677)

15-64 years: 68.1% (male 1,516,884/female 1,536,065)

65 years and over: 16.9% (male 296,268/female 459,357) (2011 est.)

Government:
Country name: conventional long form: Republic of Croatia

conventional short form: Croatia

local long form: Republika Hrvatska

local short form: Hrvatska

former: People’s Republic of Croatia, Socialist Republic of Croatia

Government type: presidential/parliamentary democracy
Capital: name: Zagreb

geographic coordinates: 45 48 N, 16 00 E

time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

Communications:

Telephones – main lines in use:

1.761 million (2011)

Telephones – mobile cellular:

5.115 million (2011)
Transportation:
Airports: 69 (2012)
Airports – with paved runways: total: 24

over 3,047 m: 2

2,438 to 3,047 m: 6

1,524 to 2,437 m: 3

914 to 1,523 m: 3

under 914 m: 10 (2012)

Military:
Military branches: Armed Forces of the Republic of Croatia (Oruzane Snage Republike Hrvatske, OSRH), consists of five major commands directly subordinate to a General Staff: Ground Forces (Hrvatska Kopnena Vojska, HKoV), Naval Forces (Hrvatska Ratna Mornarica, HRM), Air Force, Joint Education and Training Command, Logistics Command; Military Police Force supports each of the three Croatian military forces (2010)
Military service age and obligation: 18-27 years of age for voluntary military service; 16 years of age with parental consent; 6-month service obligation; conscription abolished 1 January 2008 (2010)

Economy:

Once one of the wealthiest of the Yugoslav republics, Croatia’s economy suffered badly during the 1991-95 war as output collapsed and the country missed the early waves of investment in Central and Eastern Europe that followed the fall of the Berlin Wall. Since 2000, however, Croatia’s economic fortunes have begun to improve slowly, with moderate but steady GDP growth between 4% and 6% led by a rebound in tourism and credit-driven consumer spending.

 

Inflation over the same period has remained tame and the currency, the kuna, stable. Nevertheless, difficult problems still remain, including a stubbornly high unemployment rate, a growing trade deficit and uneven regional development. The state retains a large role in the economy, as privatization efforts often meet stiff public and political resistance. While macroeconomic stabilization has largely been achieved, structural reforms lag because of deep resistance on the part of the public and lack of strong support from politicians. The EU accession process should accelerate fiscal and structural reform.

Transnational Issues:

Disputes – international: dispute remains with Bosnia and Herzegovina over several small disputed sections of the boundary related to maritime access that hinders ratification of the 1999 border agreement; the Croatia-Slovenia land and maritime boundary agreement, which would have ceded most of Pirin Bay and maritime access to Slovenia and several villages to Croatia, remains un-ratified and in dispute; Slovenia also protests Croatia’s 2003 claim to an exclusive economic zone in the Adriatic; as a European Union peripheral state, neighbouring Slovenia must conform to the strict Schengen border rules to curb illegal migration and commerce through south-eastern Europe while encouraging close cross-border ties with Croatia
Refugees and internally displaced persons: IDPs: 2,000 (Croats and Serbs displaced in 1992-95 war) (2007)