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Croatia - Overview
Population: 4,495,904 (July 2005 est.)
Languages: Croatian 96.1%, Serbian 1%, other and undesignated 2.9% (including Italian, Hungarian, Czech, Slovak, and German) (2001 census)
Religions: Roman Catholic 87.8%, Orthodox 4.4%, other Christian 0.4%, Muslim 1.3%, other and unspecified 0.9%, none 5.2% (2001 census)
Currency: kuna (HRK)
Timezone: GMT+1 (Summer Time GMT+2)
Croatia is centrally located within Europe, and possesses a spectacular 3,566 mile-long coastline bordering the Adriatic Sea. It shares international borders with Slovenia to the north and northwest, Hungary to the northeast, Serbia-Montenegro to the east and southeast, and Bosnia and Herzegovina to the east and south.
Croatia declared independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, making it one of Europe's youngest nations. The capital, Zagreb, is an emerging, modern city combined with historic buildings and the flavor of centuries of culture.
Croatia has a diverse geography, with a rocky coastline, thickly forested mountains, level plains, numerous lakes, and rolling hills. There are more than 1100 islands and reefs scattered the length of the Dalmation Coast, all of which are increasingly popular as tourist and retirement destinations. Only 66 of those islands are inhabited full time.
Foreign interest in Croatian real estate has increased dramatically since the end of the Balkan war in 1995. The Croatian government recently sent a delegation to Spain to study coastal development there, and was appalled at the over-building the team encountered. As a result, the Croatian government has placed limits and restrictions on resort development, hoping to preserve the pristine natural beauty of the Adriatic shore and the nearby picturesque islands.
Croatia presented its application for EU membership in February of 2003. It anticipates acceptance in 2007 or shortly thereafter.
Read more about this country
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