Croatia's tourist board bills it as "a small country for great holidays" and countless sun-seeking northern Europeans—including Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich—will attest to the joys of vacationing on its stretch of the Mediterranean coast.
However, the European Union (EU) newcomer suffers the same economic malaise that hampers the longer-established holiday spots of Italy, Greece, Spain and Portugal. Its inefficient public sector has continued ballooning since the global financial crisis of 2008-09, while its economy languishes in recession and unemployment remains sky-high.
"Being Mediterranean, we are used to having more inefficiency than in colder places—it is the effect of living in southern places," quipped Andrej Grubisic, the founder of Grubisic and Partners, a financial advisory based in the Croat capital of Zagreb.
"There is a lot of warm blood and temperament and a lack of fiscal discipline."
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