Croatians cheer country's historic EU entry

Cheers and celebrations erupt as former Yugoslav republic becomes European Union's 28th member.

    Tens of thousands of Croatians cheered the country's entry into the European Union, almost two decades after the former Yugoslav republic's bloody independence war ended.

    "Welcome to the European Union," European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said in Croatian on Sunday to 20,000 people gathered in the Zagreb square hosting the main celebration.

    Moments later, the EU anthem, Beethoven's "Ode to Joy", marked Croatia's entry into the bloc as its 28th member and fireworks lit up the sky above the capital.

    Croatia is only the second former Yugoslav republic to join the bloc, after Slovenia.

    "July 1... opens up a completely new perspective, a new world for us," Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic told parliament on Saturday, denying Croatia would be a burden on the EU.

    Heads of state from all six ex-Yugoslav republics were among the guests, but the leaders of many EU member states including Britain, France and Germany were not be present.

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel cited a full workload to excuse herself from the event, but both Croatian media and the opposition labelled her decision a "diplomatic slap".

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Cricket World Cup 2019 Quiz: How many runs can you score?

    Cricket World Cup 2019 Quiz: How many runs can you score?

    Pick your team and answer as many correct questions in three minutes.

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia and a coalition of Arab states have launched more than 19,278 air raids across Yemen.

    Remembering Chernobyl

    Remembering Chernobyl

    The fallout from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant explosion remains as politicised as ever, 28 years on.