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Country Reports

Croatia Country Report

Overview

INTRODUCTION

The popular tourist destination of Croatia (population 4.3 million), located on the coast of southern Europe's Adriatic Sea, generally presents travelers with good conditions.

SOCIAL UNREST

Ethnic tensions remain relatively high in the country between ethnic Croatians and the ethnic Serbian minority (particularly in rural, inland areas) but related violence is rare. Large sporting events (e.g. international soccer, handball, and tennis matches) generally give rise to flare-ups of nationalistic sentiment. Tensions related to the breakup of Yugoslavia and the ensuing war continue to affect the country, particularly impacting relations with Serbia. Protests regarding socioeconomic and political issues do occur, but generally remain non-violent.

POLITICS

Croatia is a parliamentary democracy, with a president as head of state and a prime minister as head of government. The next presidential and legislative elections will be held in 2019.

SECURITY

Croatia is considered a generally safe country for visitors. Pickpocketing in major cities is less prevalent than in major Western European capitals. Violent crime is relatively rare in Croatia, particularly against tourists. Acts of mafia-related violence sometimes occur, although foreigners are generally not targeted.

Due to the presence of landmines, leftover from the civil war that devastated the country from 1991-1995, many rural areas are fenced-off with appropriate signage marking minefields. Despite landmine casualties being relatively rare, unexploded landmines remain a genuine danger. The US State Department estimates that de-mining will be completed in 2019. As of 2017, over 400 km² (150 mi²) of land still needed to be de-mined.

Terrorism has not historically been a concern in Croatia. However, the Islamic State (IS) announced in June 2017 that it intended to target the Balkan region in the future.

HEALTH

Hospital and medical infrastructure is generally adequate; however, certain islands lack medical facilities. Supplemental health insurance is strongly recommended for those traveling to Croatia.

Tap water is considered safe to drink.

NATURAL RISKS

The country is often afflicted in winter months by difficult conditions caused by low temperatures and snowfall. Local authorities are usually poorly equipped to deal with winter storms.

Croatia is located in an active seismic zone. A magnitude-6.0 earthquake struck the Dubrovnik region in 1996, leading to moderate structural damage and several casualties. Numerous minor tremors have occurred since, resulting in only minor damage.

OTHER

Although a member of the European Union since 2013, Croatia is not yet part of the visa- and border checkpoint-free Schengen Area. The country is scheduled to join the area sometime in 2018 or 2019.

Climate

Winters are cold in the center of the country where snowstorms are common; summers are very hot. Along the coast, the climate is Mediterranean: winters are mild and summers are hot and dry with thunderstorms common in the evenings. Ocean temperatures range from 21°C to 25°C between the beginning of June and the end of September.

Useful Numbers

Country Code: +385 (from a foreign cellphone, dial 020092) Police: 92 Fire Dept.: 93 UAS: 94 Civil Defense (DUZS): 112

Electricity

Voltage: 230 V ~ 50 Hz

Outlets:

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