Croatia Elections Could Turn on Nationalist Posturing Over Migrants

Croatia Elections Could Turn on Nationalist Posturing Over Migrants
A Croatian Police officer controls a group of migrants while they board a train on the way to Slovenia within a temporary camp in Slavonski Brod, Croatia, Nov. 4, 2015 (AP photo by Manu Brabo).

Against the backdrop of Europe’s worst refugee crisis since World War II, Croatia is gearing up for general elections on Sunday, Nov. 8, following one of the shortest campaign periods in its history. They are Croatia's first parliamentary elections since it joined the European Union in 2013.

The ruling coalition, which calls itself Croatia Grows and is run by Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic’s Social Democratic Party (SDP), will face the Patriotic Coalition, anchored by the center-right Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and the former head of Croatia’s internal security agency and Interior Ministry, Tomislav Karamarko.

Croatia is just turning the page on its worst economic crisis since the country emerged from the 1991-1995 war that led to the dissolution of Yugoslavia. For the past six years, the country was mired in a recession that diminished national output by 13 percent.

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