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PM Sanader issues New Year greeting message

ZAGREB, Dec 30 (Hina) - Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader has sent a New Year message to Croatian citizens reiterating that in 2009, priorities will be given to the maintenance of the living standards of Croatians and to the continuation of the country's journey towards the European Union and NATO.

As regards the preservation of the living standards, 2009 will bring us new challenges as well as new possibilities, Sanader said in his greeting on Tuesday.

"We are aware of the impact of the global crisis on our economy and of difficulties we shall face in the coming period. We also know the abilities of the Croatian people and what our advantages are. Therefore in the new 2009 we shall invest joint efforts and set up foundations for a new cycle of the development of the Croatian economy and the entire society," the greeting reads.

The premier said that achievements Croatia had made in 2008 would be encouraging on that road.

In this context he cited the equal development of all the Croatian areas, the construction of expressways' network, other infrastructure projects as well as successes in the country's foreign affairs including its nonpermanent membership in the United Nations Security Council, NATO's invitation to Zagreb to join the alliance and a road-map for the completion of the accession negotiations with the European Union in 2009.

With the prospective membership in NATO and completion of the EU entry talks in 2009 we shall wrap up a historical cycle we started nearly two decades ago, being guided with the freedom-loving ideals on which we built the independent Croatia, Sanader said among other things.