Fireworks and celebrations took place all over Croatia last night as the country celebrated becoming part of the European Union. The country has become the 28th member of the EU as of today and festivities are expected to continue today and tonight.
The joining of the European Union, which comes 20 years after the country won independence, is a major milestone for the country, and should boost the number of tourists flying to Croatia. The majority of Croatians support the accession to the EU and celebrations took place last night in the central square of Zagreb.
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso attended the festivities shouting “welcome to the European Union” to an elated crowd. Fireworks then followed, along with music including Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, the European anthem, being played at midnight. Officials also unveiled EU signs and removed customs posts at the borders with Slovenia and Hungary early this morning.
President Josipovic was also present saying it was “a great and joyful day for our homeland” and calling it a “new chapter in the thick book of our history.” Earlier in the day the happy president told a meeting of EU regional leaders that "the accession of Croatia to the European Union is confirmation that each one of us belongs to the European democratic and cultural set of values."
Croatia is the first addition to the EU since Bulgaria and Romania joined in 2001. However, although the spirits of the country are high today, the achievement has been somewhat spoiled by the Europeans Union's current financial crisis.
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