Croatia Independance Day.jpg
Photograph: HINA/ Denis CERIĆ /dc

Croatia is observing Independence Day today, a national holiday in honour of a parliamentary decision on severing all state and legal ties with the former Yugoslavia.

The Croatian parliament made that unanimous decision on 8 October 1991 in a building of the INA oil company in downtown Zagreb, where MPs and journalists were driven from the parliament building in St. Mark's Square to avoid air strikes.

The day before, Yugoslav army planes bombed the parliament building, killing one and injuring four persons. At the time of the attack, shortly after 3 pm, Croatian President Franjo Tudjman was in the building talking with Yugoslav Presidency Chairman Stjepan Mesic and Yugoslav Executive Council Chairman Ante Markovic, but they were not hurt.

Parliament adopted the independence decision three months after the Brijuni Declaration, after the expiry of a moratorium on the declaration on independence and sovereignty requested by the European Community in the hope that the Yugoslav crisis and the Serbian military aggression against Croatia could be solved peacefully.

Parliament established that the Republic of Croatia no longer considered as legitimate or legal any body of the former Yugoslav federation and that it did not recognise as valid any legal act of any body acting on behalf of the former federation, which no longer existed as such.

On 25 June 1991, parliament adopted a constitutional decision on Croatia's sovereignty and independence, whereby Croatia formally became an independent state, and the following October 8 is considered as the end of the process of Croatia's separation from the former Yugoslav federation.

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