ZAGREB - Croatia's president on Saturday called a snap parliamentary election for September 11, a vote held after the fragile right-wing government fell last month over a conflict of interest affair. The election in the European Union's newest member comes less than a year since the last one in November, where no clear winner emerged. A barely-functioning ruling coalition followed. It comes at a difficult time for Croatia, which is hauling itself out of a six-year recession from 2009-2014.

The coalition's work was marred by constant disputes between the conservative HDZ party and its junior reformist partner Most, amid concerns over the country's shift to the right. "President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic has decided to call an early parliamentary election on September 11," a statement from her office said. The decision comes a day after the parliament was formally dissolved.

The political crisis practically paralysed Croatia and halted reforms it badly needs to get the economy, one of the bloc's weakest, back on track.

The government wanted public debt, which has reached 87 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), to start dropping this year, falling to 80 percent of GDP by 2019 and was eyeing sweeping reforms, notably targeting the ailing health sector, pension system and state-run companies.