Photo Gallery EU Accession To Bring Little Change to Croatia

Croatia has become the latest member of the EU -- but in the short-term, accession is unlikely to bring much change to the economically troubled country.
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Tourists visit the St. Blasius church on the main promenade of Dubrovnik, one of Croatia's most popular Adriatic destinations. The country is now a member of the EU. But with Zagreb likely to need urgent subsidies from Brussels, is the small Eastern European country ready for accession?

Foto: ? Nikola Solic / Reuters/ REUTERS
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Croatia is unlikely to benefit from EU accession in the short term. Battered by a deep economic crisis for the last five years, government debt is growing rapidly, and two rating agencies have already downgraded Croatian bonds to junk status. As such, the country will probably have to be subsidized from EU coffers for the foreseeable future. Here, another view of Dubrovnik.

Foto: ? Nikola Solic / Reuters/ REUTERS
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"There won't be a miracle," Croatian President Ivo Josipovic, shown here, has warned about the accession.

Foto: Filip Horvat/ AP
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Croatia has been blessed with stunning natural beauty, as shown here along the coast of the country's island of Rab...

Foto: Corbis
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...and here, in the Paklenica canyon.

Foto: Kroatische Zentrale für Tourismus / Milan Babi¿
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Tourism and agriculture alone will not be enough to maintain a stable standard of living in Croatia, though.

Foto: ? Nikola Solic / Reuters/ REUTERS
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The Croatian capital of Zagreb: The EU negligently overlooked the country's structural problems during accession negotiations. Even a government representative says: "The economy urgently needs to be de-bureaucratized." But experience has shown that the desire to change quickly wanes after a country has joined the EU.

Foto: DPA
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Croatia's picturesque Hvar Island: Though the tourism industry is strong, corruption remains widespread, and parts of the political elite defend their old perks. A third of the workforce is still employed by the government sector. Entire stretches of countryside are also uncultivated, partly because of bribery among regional officials.

Foto: Corbis
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Here, Croatia's Kornati archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea, another major tourist destination.

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The seaside city of Split, Croatia. Money from EU funds will be needed once again to help out the country. This year the EU is already setting aside €655 million ($860 million), or about 1.5 percent of the country's gross domestic product, for Croatia. Some €13.7 billion has been earmarked for adjustment measures between 2014 and 2020.

Foto: Corbis
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