Croats vote in EU membership referendum

By the Associated Press | January 22, 2012 | 3:35 AM EST

A Croatian EU sceptic holds an anti EU flag during a rally at the central square in Zagreb, Croatia, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012. Police clashed Saturday with a group of nationalist protesters who attempted to take down an EU flag on the eve of the country's membership referendum. The clash occurred at the end of protest rally by about 1,000 mostly war veterans and right-wing protesters opposed to Croatia's joining the European Union. (AP Photo/Filip Horvat)

ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) — Croatians are voting in a nationwide referendum on whether to join the debt-stricken European Union.

The Sunday vote is a test of how much the 27-nation bloc has lost its luster with its troubled economies and bickering leaders.

A pre-vote survey suggests that between 56 and 60 percent of those who take part will answer "yes" to the question: "Do you support the membership of the Republic of Croatia in the European Union?"

Those who support the EU say the Balkan country's troubled economy could only profit from entering the bloc's wider markets. Opponents say Croatia has nothing to gain by entering and will only lose its sovereignty and national identity.