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Croatian support for EU membership grows: poll

02 December 2010, 22:19 CET
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(ZAGREB) - Support among Croatians for European Union membership has significantly grown in the past months, according to a poll released Thursday.

Some 76 percent of those polled said they would participate in a referendum on Croatia's EU membership; 64 percent of respondents said they would cast a 'Yes' vote, showed the survey conducted by the Ipsos Plus agency.

The numbers are 12 percent higher then those from one of the previous polls done in June, results showed.

Some 29 percent would cast a 'No' vote at the referendum, while the remaining seven percent said they were still undecided, according to the poll of 1,000 people that was carried out in November.

The poll, commissioned by the foreign ministry, showed that of all those questioned -- including those who did not intend to vote in the referendum -- 52 percent backed EU membership: 10 ten percent up from the June figure.

Thirty-five percent were against Zagreb joining the 27-nation bloc and the remining 13 were undecided.

Andrej Plenkovic, state secretary for European integration, told AFP that the increase in support was because officials had stepped up their efforts to explain the benefits of EU membership.

"Also, the talks are nearing their end and people see that it will not take years before they are concluded," Plenkovic added.

The former Yugoslav republic hopes to conclude EU membership talks next year and become a fully fledged member in 2012.

"It is realistic to expect that the support will stabilise around two-thirds of those who would vote" for Croatia's membership, said Plenkovic.

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