Zagreb: Croatians vote on Sunday in a close parliamentary election that pits ruling conservatives led by Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic against the centre-left Social Democrats.
Here are a few facts about the Adriatic country which proclaimed independence from Yugoslavia in 1991:
Croatia is blessed with a stunning coastline dotted with more than 1,000 islands and islets attracting some 20 million tourists yearly. Camping and boating holidays are also a draw as they enable easier keeping to social distancing measures. Apart from the coast, other top tourist attractions include the Istria hinterland, known for its truffles, the Velebit mountain range, and the Krka and Plitvice national parks.
The small nation boasts an impressive number of sporting stars. Its footballers made a historic run to the World Cup final in 2018 under captain Luka Modric before losing 4-2 to France. The water polo squad and national handball team have both scooped up world championship titles and Olympic golds. Tennis legend Goran Ivanisevic and current star Marin Cilic, as well as high-jump champion Blanka Vlasic, have also made names for themselves.
The white dogs with brown or black spots are one of Croatia’s most universally known and beloved exports. Of Croatia’s seven native dog breeds, Dalmatians won global fame thanks to Walt Disney’s animated film 101 Dalmatians, first released in 1961.
The currency is the kuna, which was adopted in 1994 during the independence war. Kuna means marten, a weasel-like carnivore whose fur was used as currency in the Middle Ages. The animal’s image graces the face of many Croatian coins.