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Croatia becomes latest member of EU26th of July 2013
Croatia has become the 28th member of the European Union - just over two decades after declaring independence from federal Yugoslavia, the trigger for four years of war in which around 20,000 people died.
But few Croatians were in the mood to celebrate, as the country faces a fifth year of recession and record unemployment of 21 per cent. The country of 4.4 million people, is one of seven that emerged from the ashes of Yugoslavia during a decade of war in the 1990s. Slovenia was first to join the EU, in 2004, but Serbia, Bosnia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Kosovo are still years away.
To get to this point, Croatia has gone through seven years of tortuous and often unpopular EU-guided reform.