EU entry referendum

Josipovic: Today is a big day for Croatia

22.01.2012 u 12:22


President Ivo Josipovic, accompanied by his wife Tatjana, voted in Croatia's EU entry referendum in downtown Zagreb on Sunday morning, saying that today was a big day for Croatia and that he was looking forward to entire Europe becoming his home.

"I am happy that the whole of Europe will become my home," the president said, adding that Croatia would be his first home and Europe his bigger home.

"I will enjoy all rights that are enjoyed by European citizens," Josipovic said, adding that he believed in a positive outcome of the vote.

He expressed hope that other countries in the region would soon join the EU as well.

Asked what Croatia would be leaving behind if its citizens voted 'Yes' today, he said that over the past 20 years Croatia had been developing in the right direction, leaving behind a lot of bad things along the way.

"I advocate Eurorealism, I believe that we have a lot to learn and that EU entry alone will not result immediately in any drastic change," he said, adding that lasting reforms was what awaited Croatia.

He said that in the coming period he expected a closer regional cooperation in solving the remaining outstanding issues such as missing persons, borders, succession to the former Yugoslav federation and responsibility for war crimes.

Recalling the progress made in dealing with those issues in the last few years, Josipovic said that Croatia would help neighbouring countries join the EU.

Asked about the crisis in the EU and protests in some countries, he said that the economic crisis was caused by weaknesses of national economies, and not by the EU.