New Government Takes Power in Croatia

Posted December 23rd, 2011 at 6:20 pm (UTC-5)
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A new center-left coalition government has taken power in the former Yugoslav republic of Croatia, ending eight years of conservative rule.

Zoran Milanovic of the SDP party and his 22-member cabinet were sworn in Friday in the capital Zagreb. At 45, Mr. Milanovic is Croatia's youngest prime minister since independence in 1991.

In remarks to members of the new 151-seat parliament , Mr. Milanovic said the country is in a difficult situation, facing tough economic challenges as it prepares for entry into the European Union in 2013. Croatia suffers from an unemployment rate close to 17 percent and a huge budget deficit.

The four-party Kukuriku coalition won 80 seats in the December 4 vote, while the defeated conservative HDZ party took 47.