On the Bregana border crossing with neighbouring Slovenia, police took down indicators at midnight and a barrier was lifted up for the final time, earlier than a placard studying “free passage” was put in, symbolising the tip of border checks.
“If there are historic moments, particular moments which ought to present us with nice honour and after we witness the achievement of strategic objectives of a state — that is such a day,” Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic stated at a ceremony on the border in a while Sunday.
He was joined by European Fee President Ursula von der Leyen, who hailed it as “a day to have a good time”.
“As we speak Croatia joins the Schengen Space and the eurozone, two immense achievements for the youngest member state of the European Union and each reached on the exact same day. So certainly, it is a day for the historical past books.”
Plenkovic and von der Leyen later toured the capital Zagreb the place they purchased espresso in a restaurant utilizing euros, which changed Croatia’s kuna forex. After a server introduced their coffees to an out of doors desk, Plenkovic paid with a handful of euro notes, whereas von der Leyen, seated subsequent to him, applauded.
Croatia entered the EU in 2013. It turns into the twenty seventh nation to affix the Schengen space, and the twentieth to undertake the euro forex.
Finance Minister Marko Primorac touted some great benefits of utilizing the euro to lawmakers final month, saying it might strengthen the financial system, enhance the funding local weather and make Croatia extra immune to exterior shocks.