Croatians cheer country's historic EU entry

Tens of thousands of Croatians cheered the country's entry into the European Union at midnight Sunday (2200 GMT), almost two decades after the former Yugoslav republic's bloody independence war ended.

"Welcome to the European Union!" European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said in Croatian to 20,000 people gathered in the Zagreb square hosting the main celebration.

Moments later, the EU anthem, Beethoven's "Ode to Joy", marked Croatia's entry into the bloc as its 28th member and fireworks lit up the sky above the capital.