Outgoing president Ivo Josipović, Prime Minister Zoran Milanović, a number of heads of states, diplomats, high-ranking state officials and several hundred citizens were in attendance as Grabar Kitarović, accompanied by her husband, made her way down the red carpet to make her formal vow before members of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Croatia.
“I will the president for all Croatian citizens, regardless of political, religious, ethnic or sexual orientation. You showed faith in me and I will repay that, I will be your voice. I will serve all Croatian citizens and will never work against the interests of Croatia. Only being united we can work towards a better Croatia. We must turn over a new page and look to the future and not the past if we want a better Croatia,”said Grabar Kitarović, adding that it was time to make changes to create a positive business climate in the country to stimulate the economy.
“We have to be open towards new investment. We must open new markets and utilise our EU membership better. Croatia will become a richer country, there is no reason at all why it can not be. We are a winning nation, there is nothing that we can not achieve when we are united,” said Grabar Kitarović, who said she would dedicate her mandate to the nation’s youth, who were the future of the country.
Grabar Kitarović is the fourth president of the Croatian Republic since its independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, following Franjo Tudjman (1990 -1999), Stjepan Mesić (2000-2010) and Ivo Josipović (2010-2015).
Grabar Kitarović was born in Rijeka, Croatia before moving to the United States for part of her childhood. After graduating from Los Alamos High School in Los Alamos, New Mexico, she then attended the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb, graduating in the study of English and Spanish language in 1992. Later she obtained a master’s degree in international relations from the Faculty of Political Science at the University of Zagreb. After heading the North American department of the foreign ministry, and working as a diplomatic councilor at the Croatian embassy in Canada, she was elected to the Croatian parliament and eventually became the Minister of Foreign Affairs.