Basket Case Joins the Emm Basket Case.

Grim Future for Croatia as EU Accession Approaches - SPIEGEL ONLINE

It is unlikely that the small country will benefit from EU accession.

A deep economic crisis has battered Croatia for the last five years. Government debt is growing rapidly, and two rating agencies have already downgraded Croatian bonds to junk status. As such, the country will probably have to be subsidized from EU coffers for the foreseeable future.

Polls show that only 39 percent welcome the accession to the EU. "We feel like an uninvited guest who shows up too late for the party," says a banker in one of the street cafés in Zagreb, the capital.

In fact, the dream of Europe is likely to become a nightmare for many. More than half of young Croats are unemployed, and the overall unemployment rate is about 20 percent. Tough competition from the EU will drive many obsolete companies out of business once and for all.

Even Greece, Bulgaria and Romania are in better shape, according to World Bank statistics.

The EU negligently overlooked the structural problems during accession negotiations. Even a government representative says: "The economy urgently needs to be de-bureaucratized." But experience has shown that the desire to change quickly wanes after a country has joined the EU.

But German companies, in particular, will profit from the change. They are mesmerized by the prospect of 4.4 million new customers who are especially fond of German brands like Miele, Volkswagen and Adidas.
I don't see the problem.

They already have the wobbly economy, youth unemployment and pretty much everything else they need to be a bona fide, peripheral European basket case. The country is a natural fit - financially, geographically, politically. There's even room for a housing and infrastructure boom fed by German money looking for a slightly better return.

What could possibly go wrong?

Some suggest Croatia might need a bailout within a few months of joining last Month...

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