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News Summary: Little joy in Croatia as it joins EU

The Associated Press

EU-BOUND: Croatia will become the 28th European Union member on July 1.

EU BLUES: When Croatia began lobbying for EU membership a decade ago, it eagerly anticipated the advantages that would come with joining the monetary union, such has increased access to capital and a stable currency. But with so many EU nations in financial turmoil and the Balkan country's own economy in recession for five consecutive years, that excitement has dimmed.

FRYING PAN TO FIRE: Some Croatians believe higher taxes and prices that come with EU membership will worsen living standards, which are already in steep decline. And with more than half of the EU countries now in recession, many fear that Croatians will face a tougher job market if they have to compete with countries where job prospects are even worse.