Croatia Recent History

By | June 23, 2021

Striving for independence

After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the beginning of the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990, the aspirations for independence grew stronger. At that time, Yugoslavia consisted of the republics of Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Then there were Kosovo and Vojvodina, two independent provinces in Serbia.

Both Croatia and Slovenia wanted to leave the entire state of Yugoslavia and form a loose union of the individual republics and develop increasingly towards democracy and a market economy. These aspirations grew stronger.

Independence and the Croatian War (1991-1995)

A referendum was held in 1991. Here the people of Croatia could vote on whether they wanted to become independent. 93 out of 100 Croatians voted for it. In June 1991 Croatia declared itself independent under Franjo Tudjman, a former companion of Tito. Germany and most of the EU states recognized Croatia as an independent state in December 1991.

In 1991 the Croatian war broke out and lasted four years. On one side stood the Croatians who fought to confirm their independence, and on the other the Yugoslav People’s Army, which supported the Serbs who opposed this independence. The result was a violent military conflict.

With the argument of wanting to defend the Serbs living in Croatia, parts of Croatia (especially the Krajina) were occupied. This part of the country went to Serbian soldiers. At that time, twelve out of 100 Croatia’s inhabitants were Serbs. The city of Dubrovnik was besieged by the military for seven months. Many people died and the rifts between Serbs and Croats grew deeper. The conflicts that had existed before came to light in this armed conflict. Europe too was drawn into this war.

End of war

In 1992 an armistice was signed. The UN began simultaneously to send troops into protected zones. In May 1992 Croatia became a member of the United Nations. Although there was actually a ceasefire and the Yugoslav army withdrew, the fighting did not quite end.

It was not until the Erdutam Agreement of November 12, 1995 and the Dayton Agreement that followed shortly thereafter that the war could end after much to-and-fro and many victims.

Croatia since 1996

In 1996 Croatia became a member of the Council of Europe. President Tudjman died in 1999. Stjepan Mesić followed as President and Ivica Račan as Prime Minister.

In 2013, Croatia became the second successor state of Yugoslavia to join the EU. Since 2003 the Croatians had tried to join. The President of the Republic was Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović from 2015 to 2020.

Zoran Milanović as President of Croatia

Zoran Milanović has been Croatia’s head of state since February 18, 2020. he is the fifth President of the Republic of Croatia. He was able to prevail in a runoff election in January 2020 against the then Croatian President and incumbent Kolinda Grabar-Kitrović and then take office a month later. In Croatia, the head of state is elected for a period of five years.

Typical Croatia

The family

According to itypejob, many Croatians don’t even live in a big city, but somewhere in a small town or in a rural village. Traditions are still very important in these areas. The family is also very important. Often grandma and grandpa, children and grandchildren live together, with the grandfather being the head of the family. Often the grandma becomes a babysitter when both parents are working. This is also not unusual in Croatia. By the way, respect for older people is highly valued in Croatia.

Hard language

For many people who do not come from Germany, it is really difficult to learn German. But it is a lot harder to learn Croatian. While there are four cases in German, there are seven cases in Croatian. By the way, a lot of names in Croatia end in -ic.

Here you can try the numbers in Croatian:

1 = ena 2 = dva 3 = tri 4 = cetiri 5 = pet

6 = sest 7 = sedam 8 = osam 9 = devet 10 = dese

You can find out exactly how to pronounce this in our small Croatian language course.

What does an Indian chief do in Croatia?

Indians in Croatia? Can this be? Yes and no. For the generation of your grandparents, Croatia was the country where their heroes Winnetou and Old Shatterhand roamed the mountains, fought for justice and put the bad guys in their place.

In 1963, the shooting of the famous Winnetou films began in what was then Yugoslavia (Croatia as an independent state did not yet exist). The “Treasure in Silver Lake” was not somewhere in a lake in the USA, but in the middle of the Plitvice Lakes in the Dinaric Alps of Croatia. The lakes made a wonderful setting for the filming of the film and everyone thought they had been transferred to America. In reality, Winnetou and Old Shatterhand were fighting in the middle of Europe. Ask your parents and grandparents, they probably still know the films.

Typical Croatia

What is Vegeta?

This is not meant to be an advertisement for a condiment, but many Croatians swear by this condiment, which is called “Vegeta”. It is made in Croatia and some other countries, but the company that makes it is a Croatian company.

Everyone in Croatia knows that. However, Vegeta also contains flavor enhancers, which are now controversial in our country because they are suspected of not being good for your health. The Croatians like it, with or without flavor enhancers.