Croatia’s opposition right-wing coalition has won most seats in the country’s first ever vote for the European Parliament.
Out of a possible twelve they took a surprising six with the ruling Social Democrats and their two junior partners only taking five after previously being tipped to take the lion’s share.
Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic tried some positive spin saying the election was historic and a key milestone on a path marked by years of difficult reforms.
But in the end only 20 per cent of eligible voters turned out to cast a ballot. Analysts explained the lack of enthusiasm due to domestic economic problems as well as by the developing debt crisis which is still rattling the euro zone. They also said politicians had failed to campaign on on EU-related issues.
Croatia becomes the bloc’s 28th member on July 1. That’s when the new MEPs will take up their seats but they will only serve for one year until Europe-wide elections in 2014.