... while Croatians vote in favour of joining the EU

CROATIA has voted in favour of joining the European Union in 2013, shrugging off concerns over the economic turmoil in the bloc, according to preliminary official results of a referendum.

With 38 per cent of votes counted, 67 per cent had voted in favour of becoming the bloc’s 28th member, the state electoral commission said, more than two decades after Croatia broke away from socialist Yugoslavia.

Turnout looked unlikely to breach 50 per cent of eligible voters, but there is no binding minimum for the referendum to be deemed valid.

“This is a big day for Croatia and 2013 will be a turning point in our history. I look forward to the whole of Europe becoming my home,” president Ivo Josipovic said after voting.