Croatia Leaders Stats


Zoran Milanovic has been a keen advocate of EU membership


Head of state > Term limit for head of state 5 2014 44th out of 145
President Ivo Josipovic 2013
President > Profile

Social Democrat Ivo Josipovic was elected for a five-year term in January 2010. He pledged to fight corruption and help Croatia achieve EU membership.

The role of the president is largely ceremonial. He proposes the prime minister but it is for parliament to approve the nomination.

The president can dissolve parliament and call elections.

President > Summary Croatian President Ivo Josipovic 2013
Prime minister Zoran Milanovic 2013
Prime minister > Profile

Zoran Milanovic became prime minister after his four-party centre-left coalition bloc defeated the conservative Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) in elections in December 2011.

The HDZ had held power for most of the previous two decades, but had come to be seen as mired in corruption - a view that was confirmed when former HDZ prime minister Ivo Sanader was put on trial for corruption in November 2011.

Riding a tide of popular anger over government graft and economic stagnation, the Kukuriku ("cock-a-doodle-doo") bloc led by Mr Milanovic's own Social Democratic Party (SDP) won 81 seats in the 151-seat national assembly. The SDP took 61 of those seats.

Mr Milanovic's chief election pledges were to revitalise the struggling economy and prepare Croatia for EU membership.

His government adopted tough austerity measures in an effort to avoid a further downgrade in the country's credit rating - which by the end of 2010 had deteriorated to just a notch above junk status - revive industry and attract foreign investment.

Mr Milanovic's efforts to restructure industry - especially the country's ailing shipyards - and cut back on public spending in order to meet the conditions for EU entry brought the government into conflict with the unions and dampened enthusiasm for EU membership.

Unemployment has remained stubbornly high. Shortly before the centre-left coalition came to power the jobless rate stood at just under 18%; by February 2013 it was closer to 19%, with youth unemployment at 51%.

On the eve of Croatia's EU accession in July 2013, Mr Milanovic acknowledged that the bloc's economic woes had undermined the Croatian people's support for membership, but insisted that there were still many good reasons for joining.

Zoran Milanovic joined the SDP in 1999 and became the party's president in June 2007, in an election that followed the death of the party's founder, veteran Croatian politician Ivica Racan, two months earlier.

He then led the SDP into the November 2007 general election, which it narrowly lost.

He was born in Zagreb in 1966 and after studying law at university embarked on a diplomatic career. In 1994, he went to Nagorno-Karabakh on a peace mission on behalf of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), and was the first Croatian citizen to serve in this role.

He is married, and has two sons.



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