Joining the EU during a recession is bad enough but Croatia’s own economy is also in severe difficulty: there has been no growth in five years and unemployment is at almost 20 per cent. Photograph: Reuters/Antonio Bronic

Croatia may be just days away from setting off the fireworks in celebration of its entry into the EU, but Luka Zucko is not all that enthusiastic. The(...)

President Michael D Higgins has warned that speculative markets and rating agencies are now seen as having more power than elected parliaments in addressing economic problems. Photograph: Eric Luke /The Irish Times

Speculative markets and rating agencies are now seen as having more power than elected parliaments in addressing economic problems, President Michael (...)

President Michael Higgins, left, reviews Croatian honor guards with his Croatian counterpart Ivo Josipovic, right, in Zagreb, Croatia. President Higgins is on three day official visit to Croatia. Photograph: Damir Sencar/AP Photo

The EU can help Croatia deal with its past conflicts in the same way it helped Ireland deal with the conflict in the North, President Michael D Higgin(...)