Monday, January 23, 2012

And then there were 28?

Croatia voted yesterday in a referendum on joining the European Union, a move the government says offers the former Yugoslav republic its only chance of economic recovery despite the turmoil in the 27-state bloc.

Early results, with 51 percent of the vote counted, have 67 percent of those voted saying "yes". It is interesting how people are allowed to vote to join the EU … but not to get out of it … but the former seems to depend on them being willing to say yes.

With a population of 4.3 million, slightly less than that of Scotland, the result will no doubt be watched closely by Mr Salmond. There are, after all, some parallels, the state of Croatia having been formed after the break up of Yugoslavia, which Scotland – as a state – being forned (Mr Salmond hopes) with the break up of the United Kingdom.

Neither Croatia nor Scotland, however, are big enough to alter the destiny of the EU. One is about to – and the other hopes to – shackle itself to a corpse. The Guardian is triumphant. But it will have plenty of time to repent.

On the other hand, Your Freedom and Ours - coming in with an update - notes that it was not exactly an overwhelming vote.

About 31 percent were against, while the rest of the ballots were invalid. About 42 percent of eligible voters were estimated to have taken part in the referendum, illustrating voters' apathy toward the EU, she tells is.

For those Croatians who did not bother to turn out to vote against joining the EU if they did not feel that they were in favour, they will, no doubt complain vociferously when things go wrong.