OFFICIAL NAME: Republic of Croatia
SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT: Multiparty Republic
AREA: 56,538 Sq Km (21,829 Sq Mi)
ESTIMATED 2000 POPULATION 4,835,700
LOCATION AND GEOGRAPHY: Croatia was a republic of the former
socialist Yugoslavia. It is bound by Slovenia to the northwest,
Hungary to the northeast, Serbia to the east, Bosnia-Herzegovina
and Montenegro to the southeast and the Adriatic Sea to
the west and southwest. Topographically, the country can
be divided into three regions (1.) The barren, rocky mountains
of Dalmatia which are part of the Dinaric Alps and extend
through the center of Croatia. (2.) The rolling hills of
the Zagorje region which is located north of Zagreb and
(3.) the Pannonian Plain which is flat and bordered by the
Drava, Danube and Sava Rivers to the east. The country's
principal rivers are the Drava and Sava. Major Cities (pop.
est.); Zagreb 706,700, Split 189,400, Rijeka 168,000, Osijel
104,800, Zadar 76,300 (1991). Land Use; forested 37%, pastures
19%, agricultural-cultivated 23%, other 21% (1993).
CLIMATE: Croatia has two distinct climatic regions with a Mediterranean
climate along the Adriatic coast which is characterized by short mild winters
and long warm summers while there is a continental climate on the Pannonian
Plain which is characterized by extreme heat in summer and subzero temperatures
in winter. Average annual precipitation is 870 mm (34 inches) while average
temperature ranges in Split are from 8.5 degrees Celsius (47 degrees Fahrenheit)
in January to 26 degrees Celsius (79 degrees Fahrenheit) in July.
PEOPLE: The principal ethnic majority are the Croats who account
for 78% of the population while 12.7% are Serbs. Other ethnic minorities
include Magyars (Hungarians), Czechs, Slovaks, Slovenes, Ukrainians and
DEMOGRAPHIC/VITAL STATISTICS: Density; 85 persons per sq km (221
persons per sq mi) (1993). Urban-Rural; 50.8% urban, 49.2% rural (1991).
Sex Distribution; 48.5% male, 41.5% female (1991). Life Expectancy at Birth;
67.0 years male, 74.0 years female (1981). Age Breakdown; 20% under 15,
21% 15 to 29, 23% 30 to 44, 18% 45 to 59, 13% 60 to 74, 5% 75 and over
(1991). Birth Rate; 10.8 per 1,000 (1991). Death Rate; 11.4 per 1,000 (1991).
Increase Rate; 0.6 per 1,000 (1991). Infant Mortality Rate; 11.1 per 1,000
live births (1991).
RELIGIONS: Mostly Christians of which 77% are Roman Catholic,
11% are Orthodox Christians and 1% are Muslims. Other religious minorities
include Protestants, Greek or Uniate Catholics and a small number of Jews.
LANGUAGES: The official language is Croatian with a Latin alphabet.
Serbo-Croatian is basically the same language with some minor differences
reflecting religious and cultural characteristics between the Croats and
Serbs. German is also widely understood.
EDUCATION: Aged 15 or over and having attained: less than primary
education 31.3%, of which 10.1% have no formal schooling, primary 23.4%,
secondary 35.9%, higher 9.4% (1991). Literacy; literate population aged
10 or over 3,734,000 or 97% (1991).
MODERN HISTORY - WWII TO 1993: Prior to independence Croatia's
history was closely tied with that of the Federative People's Republic
of Yugoslavia. On Nov. 19, 1945 the Anti-Fascist National Liberation Council
(AVNOJ), which was a provisional government with Josip Broz also known
as Marshal Tito as Prime Minister, abolished the monarchy and established
the Federative People's Republic of Yugoslavia which consisted of Slovenia,
Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia with its semiautonomous provinces.
In Jan. 1946 a new constitution modeled around the Soviet Union was established
and opposition parties abolished. The government then embarked on a nationalization
program of industry and collectivized agricultural farms. In 1948 Yugoslavia
was expelled from the Cominform or Communist International for refusing
to become subordinate to the Soviet parent party and economic embargoes
were imposed against Yugoslavia by the Soviet bloc countries. In 1953 Tito
inaugurated a new constitution in which he became President and a modified
version of socialism was implemented. In 1955 and 1956 Pres. Tito held
negotiations with the Soviet leader, Nikita Khrushchev over sovereignty
and the independence of the two nations socialist systems. In 1961 Yugoslavia
became a founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement. In 1963 a constitution
was established which made Tito president for life and in 1974 a new constitution
was adopted which gave the republics limited veto powers over federal decisions.
In the 1970's Croatian nationalism escalated which led to mass demonstrations
in Yugoslavia as well as terrorist attacks on overseas Yugoslav targets.
On May 4, 1980 Pres. Tito died and was succeeded by a collective leadership
system that Tito himself established prior to his death in the hope of
averting internal dissension. In May 1981 there were uprisings by the Albanian
ethnic population of Kosovo which again resurfaced in 1988 and 1989. In
1987 Slobodan Milosevic was elected President and in 1988 he began moves
to restrict the Serbian provinces' autonomy. In 1989 as democratic change
began to sweep through Eastern Europe, tensions between the major ethnic
groups combined with their individual nationalist aspirations began to
escalate. In Sept. 1989 legislation was approved which allowed Slovenia
the right to accede from the federation. In Jan. 1990 the communist party
surrendered its monopoly on power and announced the development of a multiparty
system of government for the federation. During the 1990 free elections
the communists only retained power in the republics of Serbia and Montenegro.
In early 1991 racial tensions, due to the country's complex ethnic patchwork,
began to escalate into violence between the Croat police and Serbs as the
country slowly drifted into civil war. In Mar. 1991 the leaders of the
six republics began negotiations on the country's future, although they
resulted in nothing more than a stalemate. On June 25, 1991 Slovenia and
Croatia declared their independence with Slovenia opting for complete secession.
On June 26, 1991 the Yugoslav People's Army which is predominantly Serbian
launched an offensive into Slovenia that met stiff resistance. Soon after
an EU mediated cease-fire was accepted which allowed for the suspension
of secession by both republics until Oct. 7, 1991, although it and many
further cease-fires were subsequently broken. In Sept. 1991 Macedonia declared
its independence which was later followed by Bosnia-Herzegovina. On Jan.
15, 1992 Croatia was officially recognized by the EU followed by the US
on Apr. 15, 1992 and Croatia was officially admitted to the UN on May 22,
1992. In Jan. 1992 a special agreement brokered by UN special envoy Cyrus
Vance resulted in the deployment of a 14,000-strong UN peace-keeping force.
On Aug. 2, 1992 Croatia held its first post-communist presidential and
parliamentary elections with Franjo Tudjman of the Croatian Democratic
Union (HDZ) reelected as President. On Oct. 17, 1992 the parliamentary
immunity on three Croatian Party of Rights deputies was revoked to allow
for legal proceedings against them. By the end of October under an agreement
signed by Pres. Tudjman and the president of Yugoslavia, Dobrica Cosic,
Serb forces withdrew from the region south of Dubrovnik and had ended their
siege of the city. In 1992 economic and social problems as a result of
the Yugosalv crisis were further strained by the influx of some 750,000
displaced refugees, of which some 500,000 were Bosnian. On Jan. 22, 1993
Croat forces regained control of the city port of Zadar while three days
later the UN condemned the action requesting Croat forces withdraw. On
Jan. 27, 1993 Croat forces recaptured the Peruca hydroelectric dam. In
Feb. 1993 parliamentary elections resulted in the HDZ winning 37 seats
in the upper house while throughout the year there were a number of challenges
from within the right-wing of Pres. Tudjman's party against his leadership.
In June 1993 a referendum held by the self-declared Serb Republic of Krajina
(Croat Serb-occupied areas) resulted in an overwhelming yes vote to joining
a union with the Serbs of Bosnia and Herzegovina and other Serb states,
however, an opponent to reintegration into Croatia, Milan Babic, won Krajina's
presidential elections. In Oct. 1993, Pres. Tudjman imposed a "centrist"
leadership on the party and was reelected as leader while on Oct. 4, 1993
the UN extended its Croatian peace-keeping mandate for the another 6 months.
By the end of 1993 further refugees from Bosnia and Herzegovina had arrived
while Serb forces still held nearly one-third of Croatia.
CURRENCY: The official currency is the Kuna (plural; Kune) (K)
divided into 100 Lipa.
ECONOMY: Gross National Product; USD $14,614,900,000 (1993).
Public Debt; N/A. Imports; HrD 4,221,000,000 (1993). Exports; HrD 3,782,000,000
(1993). Tourism Receipts; N/A. Balance of Trade; HrD -439,000,000 (1993).
Economically Active Population; 1,335,400 or 27.9% of total population
(1993). Unemployed; 18.8% (1991).
MAIN TRADING PARTNERS: Its traditional trading partners were
the former socialist Yugoslavia, the former USSR, Italy, Germany, Austria
MAIN PRIMARY PRODUCTS: Bauxite, Coal, Corn, Flax, Fruits, Grains,
Grape, Oats, Oil, Olives, Potatoes, Timber, Wheat.
MAJOR INDUSTRIES: Agriculture, Aluminum, Chemical Processing, Food
Processing, Hydroelectric Power, Iron and Steel, Lumber, Oil Refining,
Ship Building, Textiles, Tourism.
MAIN EXPORTS: Aluminum Products, Chemicals, Foodstuffs, Paper, Petroleum
and Petroleum Products, Steel Products, Textiles, Wine.
TRANSPORT: Railroads; route length 2,698 km (1,676 mi) (1992),
passenger-km 1,503,000,000 (934,000,000 passenger-mi) (1992), cargo ton-km
3,617,000,000 (2,477,000,000 short ton-mi) (1992). Roads; length 26,938
km (16,738 mi) (1992). Vehicles; cars 735,650 (1992), trucks and buses
72,043 (1992). Merchant Marine; vessels 315 (1992). Air Transport; N/A.
COMMUNICATIONS: Daily Newspapers; total of 9 with a total circulation
of 715,000 (1990). Radio; receivers 1,090,000 (1992). Television; receivers
1,045,000 (1992). Telephones; units 1,027,400 (1993).
MILITARY: 105,000 (1995) total active duty personnel with 97.9%
army, 1.1% navy and 1.0% air force while military expenditure accounts
for N/A. of the Gross National Product (GNP).
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