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Croatia Information - Page 2
History
As early as the fourth century BC the Dalmatian coast was colonised by the Greeks. Roman rule of the area began in 100 BC. The first Croats migrated to the region around the year 600. In 925 Tomislav became the first Croatian king.

Over the centuries, parts of Croatia were controlled by Hungarians, Venetians, Turks and Hapsburgs. Following the First World War (1914-1918) Croatia became part of the Kingdom of Serbians, Croatians and Slovenes.

During the Second World War, Croatians (the Independent State of Croatia) backed by fascist Germany and Italy fought against the Croatian anti-fascist movement. Josip Broz "Tito" led the Partisan Resistance and the Yugoslav Communist Party.

After Germany's defeat Yugoslavia became the Federal Peoples' Republic of Yugoslavia (Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia). Josip Broz "Tito" (1892-1980) controlled Yugoslavia for thirty-five years.

In 1990 democratic elections in Croatia resulted in the victory of the Croatian Democratic Party and independence from Yugoslavia was declared in 1991.

Croatia's independence was followed by civil war. The Yugoslav army moved into Croatia and the United Nations sent in peace keeping troops. Eventually Serb armies left Croatia under UN supervision. Diplomatic relations were restored between Croatia and Yugoslavia in 1996.

Economy
During the war, following the break-up of the socialist Federation of the Yugoslav Republics, Croatia suffered considerable damage to its infrastructure. In addition to rebuilding bridges, factories and homes (and supporting large numbers of refugees), Croatia began the privatisation of state enterprises.

Croatian industries include petroleum, plastics, chemicals, machine tools, electronics, metal products, construction materials, shipbuilding, wood products, paper, textiles, food processing and beverages.

The agricultural sector produces corn, wheat, barley, alfalfa, soybeans, sugar beets, sunflower seeds, olives, citrus fruits, grapes and dairy products. Fishing and fish farming are important for the home market as well as export.

The Croatian tourist industry, established over a hundred years ago, is important to the economy. From the 1950s Croatia became an increasingly popular tourist destination until the break-up of Yugoslavia and the ensuing war. By 1996 the industry had recovered with millions of tourists a year. (2008)

Arts
Over the centuries, Croatia has nurtured many writers, musicians and artists.

The earliest example of the written Croatian language is the Baska Tablet that dates back to the eleventh century and was kept in the Church of St Lucia on the island of Krk.

Two of Croatia's most famous literary figures are the playwright Marin Drzic (1508-1567) and the poet, playwright and novelist Miroslav Krleza (1893-1981).

In the art world, the Croatian sculptor Ivan Mestrovic (1883-1962) is widely acclaimed.

Sport
There is no doubt that football is Croatia's most popular sport. Croatia is an important European team and has been a runner-up in the World Championship. Football stars include Zvonimir Boban, Alen Boksic and Davor Suker.

Baketball and tennis are also popular. In 2001 Goran Ivanisevic became the Wimbledon tennis champion.

Holidays
The religious holidays of Christmas , Easter, Our Lady of Assumption and All Saint's Day are celebrated. Other public holidays are New Year's Day, National Day and Anti-fascism Day.

News
News from Croatia is available from Newslink.

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