According to initial results, around two-thirds of eligible voters voted for their country to join the EU on 1 january. July 2013 the 28. Member of the union becomes. This was announced by the state election commission after the referendum on sunday in zagreb. However, less than 50 percent of the 4.5 million eligible voters took part in the vote, the media reported unanimously.
The referendum was "a historic day for croatia", said the country’s leading politicians unanimously after their vote. "The eu is an opportunity for progress and the development of all croatian talents," said head of government zoran milanovic. The newspaper "vecernji list" ran the headline: "decision day: europe or the balkans! Let’s vote for the future!". "I am happy that europe is becoming my home," said state president ivo josipovic.
Although practically all the media as well as the government and the opposition had unanimously campaigned for a yes to the EU, the opponents of the EU were obviously able to score points and keep the citizens away from the vote. "Croatia ignores referendum," headlined the newspaper "danas" in zagreb. Croatia is being sold to foreign countries and is losing its identity, the radical nationalist camp said in justification of its opposition.
In contrast, even the idol of the extremists campaigned for a yes to europe. "I will vote for the eu because that is where we belong in terms of civilization," announced general ante gotovina, indicted by the u.N. War crimes tribunal, from his prison cell on election day. Proponents, on the other hand, had warned that a no to brussel would inevitably lead to an "economic and political catastrophe" for small croatia.
Leaders of state and government celebrated the result of the EU vote in parliament in zagreb on sunday evening. The opponents of the EU demanded a repeat of the referendum, citing the low voter turnout. "The vote was not legitimate because the majority of the people did not participate", they justified their point of view.