Over 170 foreign officials, including 15 heads of state and 13 prime ministers, are expected to attend the grand ceremony in the capital, Zagreb. European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy are expected to be among the speakers at the event.
“We also believe that the EU has a future,” Ivo Josipovic, Croatia’s president, told local Nova TV.
But the mood is far from festive among Croatian populace as the country endures its fifth year of recession and record unemployment of 21 percent.
Many believe the former Yugoslav state will become a burden to the EU, which has economic problems of its own, and repeat the sad fate of the bloc’s southern members Greece, Portugal and Spain.