Croatia celebrates Statehood Day today, the 18th anniversary of its independence from Yugoslavia. President Stipe Mesic, Parliament Speaker Luka Bebic, and Prime Minister Ivo Sanader joined other officials, church dignitaries and people in laying wreaths and lightening candles at several locations in Zagreb dedicated to those who died in the Homeland War.
In his address to a government session, Prime Minister Ivo Sanader said that independent Croatia was celebrating its coming of age and that in the past 18 years it had demonstrated its ability to adapt, achieve its goals and ensure the best possible conditions for its citizens in changing conditions.
President Mesic stressed that a consensus between the government and the opposition is necessary to achieve the main priorities, noting this marks the first year Croatia celebrates Statehood Day as a NATO member.
He added that one of those goals was admission to the EU and reiterated that in its border dispute with Slovenia, Croatia was advocating a solution that would be in line with international law and international conventions and be achieved through international arbitration.