Croatia's EU membership comes at a price

Top-ranking Brussels bods are finalising conditions for Croatia joining the EU.

If all goes smoothly, Croatia will become a member on 1 July 2013. By so doing, the Balkan country would become the 28th state to become a part of the community, and the second from the former Yugoslavia (following Slovenia in 2004).

However, the threat of delays still hangs over the country.

Britain and France in particular have stressed that Croatia needs to be more forthright in dealing with war crimes committed in the 1995 conflict with Serbia.

Indeed, when Ante Gotovina, a popular Croatian general, was sentenced by a UN war crimes tribunal last month, the news was not greeted warmly by much of the nation. Gotovina was widely regarded as a hero by many of his countrymen.

Similarly, Croatia has not been able to dispel accusations of political corruption over the last few years, another impediment to the country joining in 2013.


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