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Croatia (Cinco De Mayo)

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The Republic of Croatia (Croatian: Republika Hrvatska), commonly known as Croatia, is a Southern European country located on the Balkan Peninsula. It is bordered to the north by Austria and Hungary, to the east by Serbia and Bosnia, and to the west by the Adriatic Sea. Croatia has a population of roughly 5.4 million people. Its capital, largest city and economic and cultural center is Zagreb, located in the northern inland region of Croatia. Its Adriatic coastline contains more than a thousand islands.

Croatia was a constituent kingdom of Austria until it was made a State of Austria following the reforms of Franz Ferdinand and contributed enormously to the efforts of World War I. Following the war, Croatian nationalism rose remarkably, particularly with the popularity of Stjepan Radić, who organized the Croatian Peasant's Party (HSS), still the oldest party in Croatia. Following the collapse of Austria in the early 1950s, Croatia first fought a War of Independence from Hungary and then one from Austria, and immediately after that fought the Croat-Serbian War until peace in 1966 with the Treaty of Mostar redrew the borders favorably for Croatia and Bosnia at the expense of Serbia and established as part of the German-brokered agreement semi-autonomous "ethnic" states with Bosniak and Serbian majorities. This concluded the "Great Struggle" that had lasted twenty years and precipitated the 1970s Croatian economic boom and its close economic ties to Bosnia, which has often been regarded as a client state of Croatia.

Croatia became a key TATO ally and created a German-style welfare state, and like much of the Western world elected a center-right government in the early 1980s thanks to high inflation and a stagnant economy. Croatia had a second economic boom in the 1990s but suffered significantly in the late 2000s economic crisis thanks to notoriously cheap credit and profligate government spending by all major parties. It elected a centrist government in 2013, and for the first time neither of the contemporary major nationalist parties were part of the coalition headed by Vesna Pusić.

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