Croatia observes Independence Day

Croatia observes Independence Day Izvor: Ilustracija, Sanjin Strukic/PIXSELL

Croatia is observing Independence Day on Monday, in memory of October 8, 1991, when the Croatian legislative assembly decided to cut all ties with the then Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY).

The parliament assembly made that decision in dramatic circumstances, after it had to be relocated from the parliament headquarters in St. Mark's Square in Zagreb's historical centre due to an air-strike by SFRY army planes on the residence of the first Croatian President Franjo Tudjman, opposite the parliament, on October 7, 1991.

During the air-strike, one person was killed and four were wounded and buildings in St. Mark's Square were damaged.

The lawmakers, relocated to the Ina building in Subiceva Street, downtown Zagreb, on October 8, 1991, made the historic decision to leave the Yugoslav federation.

The decision was adopted after the expiry of a three-month moratorium on the implementation of Croatia's Independence Declaration, adopted by the parliament on 25 June 1991.

Croatia's parliament adopted the declaration of independence and launched the procedure for disassociation from the other SFRY republics. That same day, Slovenia, too, declared its sovereignty and independence from the former Yugoslavia.

With mediation from the international community, in order to facilitate negotiations on disassociation from the former Yugoslavia, the Brijuni Declaration was adopted, establishing that the enforcement of the independence decision from June 25 should be postponed for three months.

When the moratorium expired on October 8, 1991, Croatia severed all ties with the other Yugoslav republics, becoming a free democracy. October 8 is observed as Independence Day, while June 25 is observed as Statehood Day.

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