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Croatia marked the Statehood Day26th June, 2014
Croatia marked the Statehood Day.

ZAGREB: Croatia yesterday marked the Statehood Day, a public holiday in memory of the Constitutional Act of the independence and sovereignty, which the Parliament adopted on June 25, 1991.

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Vesna Pusic20. May, 2014.
FLOODS IN CROATIA
Vesna Pusic: Croatia will seek assistance from the EU .
ZAGREB: Croatian Foreign Minister Vesna Pusic has revealed the country might ask help from the EU to fight consequences of heavy floods that hit eastern part of the country. Vesna Pusic revealed Croatia was able to intervene immediately but "will need help later when solving the consequences of the flood".

A number of Croatian political parties have decided to stop their promotional activities prior to European Parliament Elections and to give the spare money towards helping the floods in areas in eastern region of Slavonia. The leading leftist Kukuriku coalition was the first to decide so, and then opposition parties Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and Hrvatski Laburisti announced they would also do the same.
At least one person died and two went missing when heavy floods hit Slavonia. It is believed that homes belonging to 15,000 people were in danger of flood damage. The catastrophic situation also hit neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia where dozens of people have died.
.(croatiantimes/HIC )


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(Friday,21st December 2013.
CROATIAN PRESIDENT IVO JOSIPOVIC:
'Croatia creates better condition for Serb minority than Serbia for Croats'

Comparing the position of the Serb minority in Croatia and the Croat minority in Serbia, Croatian President Ivo Josipovic told Vojvodina Radio Television on Wednesday that Croatia was securing better conditions for the activities of Serb minority representation bodies.


"Croatia's legislation allows better participation as Croatia has reserved seats for minority representatives, not only in the state parliament but also in local self-government units," Josipovic said.

He underlined that the share of Serbs in Croatia's population is higher that the share of Croats in Serbia.

Countries need to be generous towards minorities as minorities are not threatening our countries, Josipovic said adding that minorities "are our wealth".Commenting on genocide lawsuits that Croatia and Serbia filed against one another before the International Court of Justice, Josipovic said the lawsuits were not as important and that they were more of an emotional character.
He also said his meeting with Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic was not possible at this moment.

"Our meeting would be meaningful if we could send out some good message," he explained.
( daly.tportal /hic.hr)



Ante KotromanovicFriday, 21st December 2013.
DEFENCE, MILITARY SERVICE BILLS
PM, defence minister deny conflict with president

The government on Thursday sent to parliament bills on defence and the military service, while Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic and Defence Minister Ante Kotromanovic dismissed claims that the bills had caused a conflict between the government and President Ivo Josipovic.
Kotromanovic described media reports about a conflict between the Defence Ministry and the president's office as stupid, saying the ministry has cooperated a long time with Josipovic's office and the Armed Forces General Staff on the defence bill.

He said the current defence and military service laws were ten years old and needed to be brought up to date and aligned with the laws in other NATO countries.
Kotromanovic said Croatia was the only country in the world where the law stipulated an eight-hour's work day for soldiers, adding that under the new law, soldiers would work when and how long it was necessary.
PM Milanovic too said the defence bill was agreed with the president and that he had made some suggestions. "We will consider them along the way. We have time to align the law with the 2010 constitutional changes."
He said the current defence bill was adopted after the constitutional changes in 2000 and 2001 which significantly changed the relationship between the government and the president. He said this law "isn't perfect but it works."
Milanovic said the government did not slash funding for the military in the 2013 budget because it "realises that this is one of the fundamental functions of the state which, because of international commitments and the country's security, can no longer suffer further erosion." (tportal dalnews/HIC)

Mirando MrsicFriday, 21st December 2013.
UNEMPLOYMENT
Ministar Mrsic: 178,000 HZZ-registered job-seekers hired this year

ZAGREB: A total of 177,790 job-seekers registered with the National Employment Service (HZZ) were hired in the first 11 months of this year, or 5.2% more than last year, Labour and Pension System Minister Mirando Mrsic told a press conference in Zagreb on Friday 21st Decembre.

Despite the rise in hiring HZZ-registered job-seekers, the number of the unemployed now exceeds 355,000 because at the start of the crisis in 2008 Croatia failed to launch necessary reforms for economic recovery, so this year too we will see a considerable drop in GDP, Mrsic said. He added that unemployment was expected to culminate in February or March, but would not speculate about the figure.

Mrsic said, however, that the trend of the simultaneous increase in hiring and loss of jobs showed that the restructuring process had begun and that it would continue more intensely next year.

The next year will most probably be one of the worst since the 1991-1995 war because about 10 billion kuna of interest is coming up for payment, and in the last 20 years we have not paid off a single penny of the principle, the minister warned.

Mrsic said that in the next five to ten years the focus should be on improving the educational structure of the workforce and on making necessary changes to the education system to facilitate employability. He said that next year his ministry would continue active employment policy measures.(Tportal news /hic)



Thursday, 23th October 2012
Swedish Royal couple to visit Croatia

Swedish Royal couple will visit Croatia next Spring. King Carl XVI and Queen Silvia were invited to Croatia by the president Ivo Josipovic and will stay from 16 to 18 April. According to the info released from president Josipovic's office there will be some of Swedish ministers to accompany the Royal couple. It is planned that a delegation of Swedish businessmen visit Croatia as well, all in aim to boost the economic ties between the two countries. Croatiantimes


Thursday, 25th October 2012
State owned companies increase investment 25 percent

Croatia’s state owned companies expect to increase investment by 25 percent in 2012 in comparison to 2011. They intend to focus on infrastructure and energy projects according to Economy Minister Radimir Cacic. Eight state companies have invested 710 million Euro ($926 million) in the first nine months, mostly in highways and gas pipelines as well as into a container terminal on the island of Krk and at the Thermoelectric Plant Sisak, he said. INA Industrija Nafte d.d., the oil refiner controlled by Hungary’s Mol Nyrt. (MOL), still has to make public its investment results for the year, Cacic said. Croatia owns 44.84 percent in the Zagreb-based company, while Mol holds a 49.1 percent stake.Croatian Times

 


25th of October 2012
PIRATES FIRE ON NATO SHIP

Mons - Belgium

ON the 24th of October, while conducting routine surveillance off the Somali coast, HNMLS ROTTERDAM the flagship for the NATO ‘OCEAN SHIELD’ counter piracy mission, came under sustained fire from groups of suspected pirates.
A boarding team from Rotterdam was making an approach on a suspect dhow near the coast when they came under fire from ashore and from the dhow itself. Rotterdam returned fire in accordance with Rules of Engagement, during which the dhow was seen to ignite and crew members were observed leaping into the water. One crew member of the dhow was killed in this action and 25 people were subsequently rescued from the water by Rotterdam. Commodore Ben Bekkering, the commander of the NATO Task Force, said that the Rotterdam and her boats remained under sustained fire from the shore throughout, even while attempting to rescue the crew of the stricken dhow and one of Rotterdam’s rigid inflatable boats was damaged.


Tuesday, 23th October 2012
Financing Transport Infrastructure summit in Dubrovnik from 24-25 October
Together with the Croatian Deputy Minister of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure, Albanian Deputy Minister of Public Works and Transport, Macedonian State Secretary and international representatives, Minister Nedeljko Cubrilovic will discuss upcoming projects to improve transport infrastructure in Western Balkans at the conference from 24-25 October 2012 in Dubrovnik.

As Europe reels from financial crisis, the Western Balkans and Southeast Europe are an increasingly attractive destination for international investment. Realising transport projects in this region has been on government and financiers’ agendas for a long time. Despite the opportunities, there are a number of serious obstacles impeding project development.
EEL Events Conference from 24-25 October at Dubrovnik ‘Financing Infrastructure in Western Balkans and Eastern Europe’ aims to address these obstacles and risks, providing a platform for industry leaders and local stakeholders to debate and overcome them.  Numerous representatives from leading international companies such as Steer Davies Gleave, Deloitte and KPMG are going to exchange views on the current situation in the region.
from Eelevents LTD UK / HIC-website

 



Thursday ,11 th October, 2012
Which Biofuels Hold the Most Promise for the Future – Interview with Jim Lane
Following record droughts across the United States the benefits of the ethanol subsidy were once again hotly debated and biofuels in general found themselves generating quite a few unflattering headlines. But as always the mainstream media overreacted and we wanted to help put the record straight as to whether biofuels are an expensive folly or if they really do offer an affordable source of liquid fuel that can help us lower our reliance upon gasoline.





Thursday, 11th October , 2012
Josip Leko set to be new parliamentary president

 

The ruling Social Democrat Party (SDP) has put forward former parliamentary vice-president Josip Leko for the job of parliamentary president.

The move comes following the death of president Boris Sprem who was buried last week after losing his battle against cancer.

Leko is described by party officials as an old school politician with a lot of experience. Croatian Times


Thursday, 11th October , 2012
France is set to welcome Croatia to EU

French president Francoise Hollande has said he will ratify Croatia’s EU accession ‘soon’. Talking to Croatian counterpart Ivo Josipovic in Paris on Tuesday, the French president said he would sign the ratification document "before the end of this year or at latest at the beginning of the next year". President Hollande also praised Croatia's efforts in protecting human rights. Croatia is expected to join the EU on 1 July 2013. Croatian Times

Thursday, 11th October , 2012

Bakar industrial zone gets new business building

 

Croatia’s largest industrial area in Bakar has said a new 13 million kuna business building will open Friday - and ten more covering 90,000 sqm are in the pipeline.

Bakar industrial area employs around 3,300 people. Croatian Times




Thursday, 11th October , 2012
Dubrovnik Airport hosts more passengers than last year

 

Passenger numbers are up on last year at Dubrovnik airport. In the first nine months of 2012 the airport had 1,296,745 passengers, 8.54 percent more than in the same period for 2011, daily Business.hr reports. By the end of the year it is expected that the airport could beat last year’s record of 1,349,501 passengers. Croatian Times


Wednesday, 26 th September, 2012
OSCE PA President Migliori's statement on pre-election arrests in Georgia
WARSAW, 25 September 2012 – OSCE PA President Riccardo Migliori issued the following statement today regarding arrests of Georgian opposition figures and civil society activists in the lead-up to the country’s parliamentary elections on 1 October.
“With less than one week to the important parliamentary elections in Georgia, I am very concerned with recent reports by media and civil society groups of numerous arrests of activists associated with the opposition. Having recently been to Tbilisi, I appreciate the importance of these elections, and am hopeful that calm will prevail for the rest of the campaign period and thereafter. I urge all actors to ensure that this is the case.
“Arrests and charges that would take political activists out of play during an election period must be taken seriously. An election is an opportunity for a great dialogue and must take place in a respectful manner. I urge the authorities to exercise due restraint particularly during this sensitive time; any actions that may give an impression of imbalance would be of grave concern.”
Neil Simon
Director of Communications
OSCE Parliamentary Assembly


 

21.th September 2012
No welcoming kiss for Milanovic

Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic met German leader Angela Merkel on Wednesday in Berlin, but without their customary kiss. Croatian daily Vecernji List reports that at their last meeting in June in Brussels, the two greeted each other with a welcoming peck on the cheeks. This time the greeting was a more formal handshake. The purpose of the one-hour-long meeting was ratification of Croatia’s agreement to join the European Union.

Croatian Times



21.th September 2012
Parliament president's health worsens in Houston

Croatian Times

Parliament president Boris Sprem’s health has worsened at the Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, USA, where he is receiving treatment for multiple myeloma. According to reports in daily newspaper Vecernji List, Sprem was moved into intensive care after efforts to curb the spread of the disease failed.


21.th September 2012
Croatia and Russia partner up to combat corruption

 

Prosecutors in Croatia and Russia have joined forces to fight corruption. After signing a joint Programme of Coperation: 2013-2014, the countries’ Prosecutor Generals Yury Chaika and Mladen Bajic said there would be extensive round table meetings and seminars to share information on how each country tackles the problem, and joint workshops on cooperating on extraditions and legal issues. Croatian Times


21.th September 2012
Croatia falls into deeper economic crisis

Croatia’s economy shrunk faster than estimated in the second quarter, confirming that the country is in recession, final data released by the Croatian Bureau of Statistics revealed on Thursday. Economic newswire RTT News reports that GDP fell 2.2 percent year-on-year in the second quarter, faster than the 2.1 percent contraction recorded in preliminary estimates. In the first quarter and the fourth quarter, the economy contracted 1.3 percent and 0.4 percent respectively. Household final consumption expenditure was down 3.4 percent annually, and public consumption slipped 0.2 percent. Consumption of non-profit institution serving households saw a decrease of 1 percent during the quarter and gross fixed capital formation was lower by 5.9 percent compared to last year. RTT reports that Croatia, which is to join the EU next year, hasn’t seen any growth in the last three years. Meanwhile, the IMF says it expects Croatia’s economy to shrink 0.5 percent this year.Croatian Times


21.th September 2012
Croatia in middle range of EU prices

Prices in Croatia are 'midway' for Europe, according to comparisons published in daily newspaper Vecernji List prior to the country joining the EU next July. For 20 Euro you can have 21 cups of coffee - for the same amount in Portugal you can have 35 and in Greece 7 cups of coffee. Another comparison says for 20 Euro in Ireland you can buy 70 eggs, in Malta 160 and in Croatia 120 eggs. Croatian Times

 


Wednesday, 12 th September, 2012

INA finds new oil reserves in eastern Croatia

Croatia’s national oil company INA announced on Tuesday it has found new resources of oil at the Privlaka oilfield in the eastern part of the country.

"During drilling at a depth of approximately 1,000 meters, investigations
have shown significant amounts of oil", INA said in a statement.

The precise amount of hydrocarbon reserves and production will be known after further testing and development of the project.

So far tests show it could yield around 600 barrels per day.Croatian Times


Wednesday, 12 th September, 2012
Pula experiences biggest drop in real estate prices in Croatia

The western town of Pula has seen the biggest drop in real estate prices in Croatia over the past year, according to Crozilla.com.

The information portal said it based its conclusions by comparing the advertised prices of apartments in all of Croatia’s major cities.

Between August 2011 and August 2012, flats in Pula were sold at an average 3.9% lower price.

The average asking price fell to 1,402 Euros per square meter.

The average price asked per square meter in Rijeka was 1,467 Euros, in Zagreb 1,731 Euros, and in Split 2,092 Euros.

Across Croatia prices fell by about one percent between August 2011 and August 2012, compared to 4.4 percent in August 2010, 10 percent in the same month of 2009 and as much as 15 percent compared to August 2008. Croatian Times


Wednesday, 5 th September, 2012
UNEMPLOYMENT
Labour minister says unemployment to go up until mid 2013
Unemployment in Croatia will continue to grow until mid 2013 when this trend will be reduced, Labour and Pension System Minister Mirando Mrsic said on Tuesday, adding that by that time everything the government had been announcing, measured it had taken and the investment cycle would start functioning.
One should not expect major progress, because even when investments are launched it takes about six months for the results to be visible in reduction of the unemployment rate, but employment will go up, Mrsic told Croatian Television prime time news.
The problem is that every day more jobs are lost. In July and August when we employed 14 percent more people, it was still not sufficient to compensate for a large influx of people coming from universities, high schools as well as the private sector, the minister said.
He announced active measures in the employment policy aimed at enabling self-employment, namely measures that would enable young people to start their own business for only HRK750 (daily.tportal)


Wednesday, 5 th September, 2012
CREDIT RATING
Mimica: There are chances for Croatia to keep its credit rating
Deputy Prime Minister Neven Mimica told Nova TV commercial television that chances for Croatia to keep its credit rating were the same as its chances to lose it, adding that the announced credit rating downgrade in some European Union countries did not create a favorable, optimistic environment for the assessment of Croatia's rating.
The criteria for evaluating a country's credit rating is not only a GDP growth or a GDP decline but a more dynamic assessment of the overall sustainability of fiscal budgetary projections, sustainability of income and expenditure, which Croatia can most definitely maintain this year, Mimica told Nova TV. (daily.tportal)


Monday, 3rd September, 2012
NO SIGNS OF RECOVERY
Karamarko: 'Gov't has no programme to stop negative trends'

Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) president Tomislav Karamarko said in Varazdin on Sunday the government did not have a programme to stop the negative trends in Croatia and that its work was very bad.
"Economic activity is contracting, unemployment is growing, prices are increasingly higher and it's become unbearable," he said, adding that after eight months in office, the government should at least indicate that it had a programme to stop the negative trends.
Karamarko said the trends should have been stopped and positive processes launched by now.
Asked by the press if the HDZ would be a tough opposition, he said the HDZ was always a constructive opposition and that it attacked because there was no other way.
He said the HDZ would like the government to succeed for the sake of everyone, so that the credit rating was not downgraded, adding that the party would step up its criticisms and proposing solutions.
He said the HDZ had an economic platform and that it would outline it when it suited the party best.
Karamarko accused the government of creating a fierce anti-enterprise climate and killing medium enterprises which he said should be the backbone of Croatia's economy.
He said the HDZ was consolidating to prepare as well as possible for next year's local elections. (daily.tportal)

 

Residence at Dubrovnik sun GardensThursday, 26th July, 2012
RESIDENCES AT DUBROVNIK SUN GARDENS
Wins a prestigious European Property Award

DUBROVNIK: A select number of Europe’s property professionals are about to be rewarded for their excellence. The European Property Awards 2012 have now been judged and Residences at Dubrovnik Sun Gardens  has been informed that it is amongst the winning companies.
Successful entrants have been invited to attend a high profile gala presentation dinner at the London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square on Monday, September 24th where the official announcements will be made. This follows a Property Summit held during the day attended by presidents, CEOs, managing directors, chairmen and other decision makers. The event presents an ideal opportunity to make connections and generate new business and is open to all industry related companies and suppliers in addition to award participants.

The European Property Awards are part of the long established International Property Awards and its award winners’ logo is recognised as a symbol of excellence throughout the global industry. Attaining one of these coveted awards is indisputable evidence that Residences at Dubrovnik Sun Gardens is capable of beating some exceedingly strong contenders within the highly competitive European property arena.

Later this year, the highest scoring winners from the European Property Awards will compete against other winning companies from Asia Pacific, Africa, the Americas and Arabia to find the ultimate World’s Best in each category. Stuart Shield, president of the International Property Awards, says, “ We received entries from 29 different European countries this year and the standard was extremely high. Any company to win one of these awards has shown exceptional levels of professionalism and competence in their respective field.”
HIC-portal



Thursday, 26th July, 2012
Croatia's foreign debt now close to 50 billion Euros
Croatia's gross foreign debt at the end of April 2012 reached 47.4 billion Euros, an increase of 1.7 billion Euros compared to the end of last year, reported the Croatian National Bank on Wednesday.
After a slight increase during the first quarter of this year, Croatia's gross foreign debt has risen strongly in April, driven primarily by new borrowing by the central government, which in April issued bonds in the U.S. market worth 1.5 billion USD.
Analysts say that the increased debt was also due to the takeover of foreign liabilities of three shipyards based on issued guarantees amounting to 300 million euros, as part of their restructuring.
As a result, the Croatian government debt at the end of April reached 8.5 billion euros, accounting for 18 per cent of total external liabilities, reports Croatian radiotelevision. Croatian Times


Thursday, 26th July, 2012
6,500 year old hunting trophy found in eastern Croatia
Archaeologists in Bapska, eastern Croatia have stumbled across 6,500 year old deer antlers. The hunting trophy was found hanging on the wall of prehistoric house along with valuable items of jewellery, writes website dalje.com.
"We have the oldest deer hunting trophy in Croatia," said Marcel Buric, the head researcher at the Department of Prehistoric Archaeology of the Faculty of Philosophy in Zagreb.
According to Buric, local hunters from Bapska have estimated that the deer, where the antlers trophy has come from, would have weighed between 220 and 250 kilograms and would have been extremely strong due to its 12 antlers.
"It was in prehistoric times and would have needed real skill to catch such an animal, and with only stones as weapons. It is a known fact that deers are fast animals," concluded Buric. Croatian Times


 

Thursday, 26th July, 2012
Civic Innovation Seminar in Zagreb
The Civic Innovation Incubator (Croatia), with support of The Leadership Institute  (USA), will hold a two day seminar titled "Civic Innovation for a Better Future" on 14 and 15 September at Hotel Dubrovnik in Zagreb .
The objective of the seminar will be to discuss how to foster and empower a culture of creativity and innovation in the younger generation. New times create new problems. New technologies offer new opportunities. New solutions are required and for this creativity and innovation are required.
Miguel Moreno, Director International & Government Training, will be the main speaker. From the start of his career as an officer in the Bolivian Navy to his present day work at the Leadership Institute and the Catholic University of America, Miguel brings to the seminar many years of experience in teaching and speaking about leadership in the Conservative context. The two main themes of the seminar will be "Leadership and the Conservative Organizational Entrepreneur" and "Government, Campaigns and Social Media Networking".
To register for the seminar please get in touch with the organiser Ivan Popovic at
ip981024@gmail.com, by 7 September. Croatian Times


July 19, 2012
Statement of President Migliori on terrorist attack in Bulgaria
 
COPENHAGEN, 19 July 2012 – OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President Riccardo Migliori today released the following statement in the wake of a terrorist attack that killed seven people at the Burgas Airport in Bulgaria.
“The terrorist attack against Israeli tourists in Bulgaria hurts the dignity of mankind. No political reason can justify such savagery.
 “The OSCE PA expresses condolences to the families affected and to the Parliament of Israel, our partner country. “We express solidarity with our colleagues, including the Delegation of Bulgaria, which was so harshly hit by this event. “In remembrance of the innocent victims of Burgas, we reconfirm the commitment against every kind of violence and for dialogue among peoples. OSCE Parliamentary Assembly/ HIC



July 17, 2012
Copenhagen wins the title of 2014 European Green Capital!

On the 29th June 2012, The Danish city of Copenhagen has won the European Green Capital Award for 2014. The award was presented by the European Commissioner for the Environment Janez Potočnik at a ceremony in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain, the current holder of the title, on Friday evening. Copenhagen received special praise for its achievements, notably in terms of eco-innovation and sustainable mobility, its commitment to act as a role model for the green economy, in Europe and beyond, and for an exceptionally promising communication strategy.
Commissioner Potočnik said: "I congratulate Copenhagen on the example they are setting. We have much to learn from the city's efforts to improve the environment and quality of life for citizens, whilst creating new business opportunities, and I look forward to their year as European Green Capital. They will have numerous occasions to showcase their expertise and their creative approach to urban planning and to developing a green economy."
The jury singled out Copenhagen as a good model in terms of urban planning and design. It is also something of a transport pioneer, aiming to become the world's most practicable city for cyclists. Its goal is to have 50 % of people cycling to their place of work or education by 2015 (35 % cycled to their workplace or school in 2010), helping the city reach an ambitious goal of being CO2 neutral by 2025.
The other finalists were Bristol and Frankfurt. European Green Capital Secretariat/HIC


July 13, 2012
PAM -KNESSET RELATIONS DISCUSSED DURING VISIT BY ISRAELI
AMBASSADOR TO PAM HEADQUARTERS IN MALTA

The Ambassador of the State of Israel to the Republic of Malta, H.E. Oren David, paid an
official visit to the PAM HQs in Malta. H.E. David was welcomed by the PAM Secretary
General, Amb. Sergio Piazzi, with whom a bilateral meeting followed.
Ambassadors David and Piazzi discussed at length priority topics and current issues related to
the situation in the various regions of the Mediterranean. Amb. David underlined the excellent
relations between the Israeli Parliament, the Knesset, and PAM, and recalled the active role that the former plays within the activities of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean and its Bureau. ( more)


Friday, 13th July, 2012
US Ambassador leaves Croatia: 'Croatia does not need anymore help'
The American ambassador in Croatia James Foley, who's mandate in Croatia has come to an end, considers the fight against corruption and the strengthening of laws as his greatest achievements during his three years of service in Zagreb.
"I would like to thank former Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor for her cooperation and congratulate her on the history making achievements of her government, especially concluding negotiations with the European Union and the fight against corruption," said Foley, adding that Croatia does not need any further assistence in that field, but needs to export its experience to neighbouring countries.
Croatian President Ivo Josipovic thanked Foley for his time in the country and stressed that cooperation with the former government under Kosor and the Ambassador was excellent, as it is with the new government under Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic. Croatian Times


Friday, 13th July, 2012
American humanitarian worker receives medal for work in Croatia
American humanitarian worker Linda Benda, who during the war selflessly helped the residents of the Croatian town of Karlovac, received the Mayor's Medal on Wednesday. The deserved recognition goes to all of Benda's family, who from 1991 brought aid to the citizens, reports website kaportal.hr.
Watching the horrors of the war in Croatia unfold on television, Benda could not just sit and watch so she decided to take action. Benda collected food, medicine and clothing and distributed it to the needy in Karlovac.
On the eve of Karlovac's 433rd birthday, the deserved medal was presented to Linda in the city she has grown to love. Croatiantimes.com


Friday, 13th July, 2012
Two Croatian cafes make 'Best coastal cafes in Europe' list
Two Croatian cafes have made the USA today's list of best coastal cafes in Europe, reports website poslovni.hr.
The national American daily newspaper published the list based on the cafes in Europe that had the best views of the sea, best sunsets, atmosphere and local cultural.
Cafe Bar Buza in Dubrovnik on the southern Adriatic sea, together with Valentino Cocktail & Champagne Bar in Rovinj on the northern Adriatic coast featured on the list with cafe's in Cinque Terre, Italy, Nerja, Spain, Solvorn in Norway and Hydra in Greece.
Describing Cafe Bar Buza, USA Today said that it was a cafe with an ambience in the style of Frank Sinatra and is the most picturesque spot for a drink in Dubrovnik.
Valentino Cocktail & Champagne Bar impressed the critics with the fact that it provided guests with a cushion and enabled the customers to find their own place by the sea to sit. Croatian Times



Friday, 13th July, 2012
Croatian exotic fruit and vegetable growers booming in Europe
Martina and Ivan Sulog from Medvednica just north of Zagreb, who have for the past 16 years grown exotic fruits and vegetables in Croatia, have seen interest grow all over Europe for their products, reports website Tportal.
Instead of planting traditional corn or wheat crops, the enterprising couple for years diligently created a tropical paradise, and it all began, they say, when Ivan, an energy and transport engineer, purchased a kiwiano seed when he was a student.
From the humble beginings, the company now called "Exotic King", exports such exotic fruits and vegetables as tamarilos, perennial tomatoes, tropical passion fruits, litchi, kumquat, several types of chili peppers, yellow watermelon, melon Jeju, Pepino and feijoas to the UK, Holland, Belgium, Italy and other European countries.
With Croatia's proximity to countries in Europe, exotic fruits and vegetables grown in Croatia arrive on European tables much more ripe than those from South America, and that, says Ivan, effects the quality of their products and gives the Croatians an advantage. Croatian Times


 


Davor Šuker6th July, 2012
SPORT
Davor Suker is the new Croatian Football Federation president
Croatian football legend and 1998 World Cup Golden Boot winner Davor Suker, was offically voted in as the new Croatian Football Federation president at Thursday's general assembly.
Suker (44) replaces Vlatko Markovic, who was in charge of the Croatian football federation for the last 14 years and the former Real Madrid star says he hopes he can contiute where Markovic left off.

"I will strive to achieve the same success as Vlatko Markovic and preserve the value of Croatian football. We are aware of the problems of our clubs, and we will do everything to repair it, and to maintain the popularity of football," said new president Suker. Suker's former team mate and ex West Ham and Derby County defender Igor Stimac was also confirmed as Slaven Bilic's replacement as coach of the Croatian national team.croatiantimes.com
Davor Suker (wikipedia)



15th June, 2012
Croatia 35th most peaceful place in the world
According to the global peace index for 2012, Croatia is the 35th most peaceful country in the world, reports Croatian radio television.
The index shows that despite the conflict in Syria, the world was a more peacefull place than it was in 2011. The Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP) based in Australia and the USA compile the list of countries based on the global peace index each year and this year the study included 158 countires.
Croatia scored best when in came to measuring the number of deaths in external and internal conflicts, arms exports, the number of suicides, the number of people displaced, terrorist attacks, political terror and funding UN missions. Croatia scored lowest when it came to the category of access to weapons.
For the first time sub-Saharan Africa was not the most violent place in the world. This year that went to the Middle East and North Africa with Somalia the most violent place on earth. Island was the most peaceful place in the world, whilst the worst ranking nation in the European Union was Greece in 77th place.


15th June, 2012
Political party attack Minister after comment about women raped in war
Ruza Tomasic, president of right wing opposition party the Croatian Party of Rights (HSP) Ante Starcevic has attacked Croatia's Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Vesna Pusic, after the Minister said that women victims of rape during the homeland war should be leading the parade at last weekend's Split Gay Pride parade.
Pusic, speaking before Saturday's parade, said that the women victims of rape should lead the parade because they themselves were victims of sexual discrimination.
HSP Ante Starcevic believes that the Minister's statement was ordinary hypocrisy and by mentioning women victims of rape in the war only serves as a cheap demagogic spin. HSP Ante Starcevic says that rape is one of the worst kinds of war crimes and very clearly and unequivocally have condemned these and similar statements from politicians.
HSP Ante Starcevic are calling on state institutions to invest enthusiasm and money into prosecuting the perpetrators of the war crimes on these women. Croatiantimes.


15th June, 2012
Croats working on artificial photosynthesis to save the Earth
A team of Croatian scientist are participating in the 2nd International Workshop - Natural and Artificial Photosynthesis, Bioenergetics and Sustainability currently held in Singapore from 11-14 June, reported website Tportal.
The workshop brings together the world's leading scientists from 18 countries including Croatia, who are actively involved in understanding the natural biological processes associated with solar energy capture, storage and utilisation with those directing their efforts at creating technological systems for energy generation using sunlight as the power source.
The Croatian team from Institute of Molecular Biology at the Ruder Boskovic Institute, will present results that suggest alternative ways of energy transfer in photosynthesis of taller plants.
"Understanding how plants regulate the production of energy in photosynthesis in constantly changing conditions is very important for the development of new technologies," said senior research associate on the Croatian team Hrvoje Fulgosi, adding that  "The plants know how to control the excess energy when it is very sunny day, or lack of it when it is cloudy or when they are in the shade. We can learn from them," concluded
Fulgosi. Croatiantimes.




June 23, 2012

Parliamentarians to vote on diplomatic solution to Iranian nuclear programme
COPENHAGEN, 21 June 2012 – The same week that the European Union oil embargo against Iran takes effect parliamentarians from the world’s largest regional security organization, the OSCE, will gather to vote on how to peacefully prevent the nation from becoming a nuclear power.
 Akhtar Chaudhry, head of the Norwegian delegation to the OSCE PA, has introduced a resolution calling on the 56 nations of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe to work for a diplomatic solution to the threat of a nuclear armed Iran.

 



15th June, 2012
Dubrovnik gets another generous mysterious donator
After an anonymous donor donated 1.5 million kuna (200 thousand Euros) for the restoration of the chapel at the cemetery, another mysterious donation has come Dubrovniks way.This time a secret donator has donated money to rebuild a children's playground in the southern Dalmatian city, reports dnevnik.hr.
The act of generosity has gone down well with the locals in Dubrovnik. 'Who has money just let them give,' say the locals.
"I like this house and big slide. I can go down easy and run around in the fire engine," said an excited 3-year-old boy after first seeing the new playground.
The boys mother commented how nice it was to see the new payground as for years it was just derelict. The whole new playground should be officially opened by the end of the week.
"Its important that the good deed was done and not important who done it. Who has money let them give, we need more of that in Dubrovnik," concluded a local Dubrovnik. Croatian Times


15th June, 2012
Up to 9,000 Euros incentive for new employees
Under new laws aimed to attract investors to Croatia and stimulate growth and employment, investors who invest to the tune of 150 thousand Euros in Croatia will have the right to receive incentives. The new laws, which should come into effect by mid-July, sees the threshold for the incentives cut in half from the previous amount of 300 thousand Euros.
Investors will also have tax benefits and pay tax at a reduced rate or in some cases not pay any tax at all. There will also be the extra incentive of between 3 thousand and 9 thousand Euros for each new person employed and the services from someone at the Agency for Investment and Competition to guide them through proceedures.
The government will also give extra incentives to the metal processing industry (automotive and shipbuilding) as well as the food, pharmaceutical, wood processing, renewable energy and tourism industries, reported daily newspaper Jutarnji list. Croatiantimes.

June 23, 2012

Parliamentarians to vote on diplomatic solution to Iranian nuclear programme
COPENHAGEN, 21 June 2012 – The same week that the European Union oil embargo against Iran takes effect parliamentarians from the world’s largest regional security organization, the OSCE, will gather to vote on how to peacefully prevent the nation from becoming a nuclear power.
 Akhtar Chaudhry, head of the Norwegian delegation to the OSCE PA, has introduced a resolution calling on the 56 nations of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe to work for a diplomatic solution to the threat of a nuclear armed Iran.



Tuesday, 17th April, 2012
President: Croatias EU membership will not cause mass emigration
Croatia's President Ivo Josipovic does not believe that there will be a mass exodus of Croatians living in Bosnia and Herzegovina with dual citizenship once Croatia becomes a full member state of the EU.
Despite fears in Bosnia and Herzegovina that there will be a surge of Croatians seeking better opportunities in EU countries once Croatia gets admitted in 2013, Josipovic cannot see that happening and says that Bosnia and Herzegovina will benefit with its neighbour joining the EU.
"I cannot see a reason for it. I don't believe that they will emigrate from Bosnia and Herzegovina, but I am certain that they will have better possibilites using their rights as Croatian citizens," said the president on his vist to Mostar in Bosnia on Sunday adding, "Croatia's EU membership is a clear opportunity for its neighbours."
Josipovic also said on his visit that Croatia would strongly support Bosnia and Herzegovina's joining the EU, reported portal Tportal. Croatiantimes


 

April 11, 2012
CROATS AMONG TRAVELERS
Sinking of the Titanic - 100th anniversary
The following article was published in the "Croatian Chronicle – Chicago", No. 1, Spring 2002, under the title “Sinking of the Titanic – 90th Anniversary.”  On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Titanic tragedy, we are bringing here the same text with a few small changes.


Youtube by National Geographic , more video HERE

 

April 15, 2012 marks the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the famous Titanic liner.  Among 1,316 passengers, out of which 818 died in this horrific tragedy that stunned the world, there were also a number of Croatians and/or people coming from Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. (more)


15th June, 2012
Croats working on artificial photosynthesis to save the Earth
A team of Croatian scientist are participating in the 2nd International Workshop - Natural and Artificial Photosynthesis, Bioenergetics and Sustainability currently held in Singapore from 11-14 June, reported website Tportal.
The workshop brings together the world's leading scientists from 18 countries including Croatia, who are actively involved in understanding the natural biological processes associated with solar energy capture, storage and utilisation with those directing their efforts at creating technological systems for energy generation using sunlight as the power source.
The Croatian team from Institute of Molecular Biology at the Ruder Boskovic Institute, will present results that suggest alternative ways of energy transfer in photosynthesis of taller plants.
"Understanding how plants regulate the production of energy in photosynthesis in constantly changing conditions is very important for the development of new technologies," said senior research associate on the Croatian team Hrvoje Fulgosi, adding that  "The plants know how to control the excess energy when it is very sunny day, or lack of it when it is cloudy or when they are in the shade. We can learn from them," concluded Fulgosi. Croatiantimes.


May 10, 2012
Croatia and Slovenia close the military circle

When Croatia and Slovenia arrived to Nymindegab in Western Jutland, they completed the circle of 18 nations gathered for the biggest multinational military exercise in Denmark since 2004. When exercise commences tomorrow morning, it is the first time these two nations join the series of Crystal Eagle exercises orchestrated by Multinational Corps Northeast.

18 nations, ten of thousands of kilometres travel, 1.200 soldiers, 185 vehicles, more than 100 fully booked accommodation rooms, 900 desks and 800 computers linked into a single network by 1.000 km cables. (more)


Croatia Raly 2012Wednesday, 19th April, 2012
CROATIA RALY 2012.
President of Croatia patron of honor

This year President of the Republic Croatia Dr. Ivo Josipović accepted to be the patron of honour over "Croatia rally", that will take place on 24 till 26 of May 2012 with the start and finish in Rijeka.
One of the most famous Croatian car drivers Mr. Goran Štrok joined "Croatia rally" team.
This year "Croatia rally" could be not only by number, but also by participation of finest European crews, the best edition of rallies in Croatia so far. First registrations are coming , we are very satisfied organizers say.

For the first time in Croatia, historic vehicles will make their appearance within "Croatia rally". Rally will also be graded for Central European Zone Historic Rally (CEZ Historic). HIC



Tuesday, 17th April, 2012.
April frost causes 120 million Euros damage to fruit
Frost and unseasonably low temperatures in early April has caused around 900 million kuna (120 million Euros) damage to apples, mandarins, pears, cherries, plums, peaches, apricots and strawberries in Croatia.
A spokesperson for the Croatian Fruit growers Association (HVZ), Frano Ivkovic says that in the history of fruit growing in Croatia, which dates back to 1877, nothing as sever as this has happened.
The HVZ forecasts that imports of fruit, which in better times was worth 170 million Euros, will double and that fruit prices will rise by at least 50-70 per cent.
According to HVZ's  predictions, the elements caused the most damage to the apple plantation with around 30 million Euros loss estimated. Cherries. mandarins and plums were next with around 15 million Euros worth of damage caused, reported daily newspaper Vecernji list. Croatiantimes

Tuesday, 17th April, 2012
Samobor named Croatias safest town
The town of Samobor has been named the safest place in Croatia for the third year in a row, according to research conducted by the Economics Institute of Zagreb and Journal "Zastita".
Samobor which is located west of the capital Zagreb between the eastern slopes of the Samobor hills, took out first place in three of the four categories that were analysed.
Samobor was named the safest city in the category with the lowest rate of violent crime and drug abuse.
Samobor was in second place behind Varazdin in Croatia's north, in the category of traffic safety. It also ranked highly in the rate of property crimes category.
In less than a year, Samobor has found its place amongst the best cities to live and work in also, reports portal dnevnik.hr.
Forbes magazine declared Samobor as one of the main drivers of the economy in Croatia. The administration also ranked among the most developed cities in the country. Croatiantimes


Tuesday, 17th April, 2012
Ljubicic emotional after playing his final tennis match
Croatia's best tennis player over the past decade, Ivan Ljubicic, has played his last match as a professional player. Ljubicic, who announced his retirement last month, bowed out on Sunday in the first round of the ATP tournament in Monte Carlo to fellow Croat Ivan Dodig, 6-0, 6-3.
Ljubicic, 33, said it was hard to contain his emotions playing his last match in the place he has called home for the last few years.
"I knew it would be emotional, but honestly did not expect it to be so difficult to contain my emotions, simply all the memories were spinning around in my head," said Ljubicic.
Ljubicic, who won 10 ATP titles, a Davis Cup and an Olympic bronze medal in his career, said he was unsure what he was going to do next now he had finished playing tennis and his only plans were to enjoy a long summer off with his family, reported daily newspaper Novi list.


Tuesday, 17th April, 2012
Cuban and Austrian Jazz acts part of Croatian jazz festival
Renowned local and international musicians and Croatian jazz hopefuls will gather in the Croatian capital Zagreb from 17 to 20 April for the Jazz.hr/Spring Festival.
The 22nd Jazz.hr/Spring festival, which used to be known as the International Days of Jazz and Spring Jazz Revue, will see musicians such as Croatian jazz artist Joe Meixner, Russian trumpeter Alex Sipiagin and his quartet, Radio.String.Quartet.Vienna, the Scharf Club quintet and Cuban American drummer Ignacio Berroa perform.
The festival will take place at the Vatroslav Lisinski concert hall in Zagreb. Croatiantimes

Thursday, 26th April 2012
Memorandum of Understanding STRIKFORNATO signed
MONS, Belgium - A signing ceremony took place at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) today in honour of Portugal joining Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO (STRIKFORNATO).

General Manfred Lange, SHAPE Chief of Staff (COS) took part in the Signing Ceremony of STRIKFORNATO legal documents, which amended the STRIKFORNATO Memorandum of Understanding, adding Portugal to the current 10 nations. STRIKFORNATO is NATO's premier Maritime Battlestaff and the Alliance's primary link for integrating US Maritime Forces into NATO operations.

General Lange welcomed the assembled signatories and guests, stating that the signing represents "a significant milestone because it is the first major event which signifies the implementation of NATO Reform. I'm certain that (the signing) has the attention of high levels of government throughout all 28 Nations – not just the 11 Nations that will be part of STRIKFORNATO.”

STRIKFORNATO's move from Naples to Lisbon reflects the new NATO Command Structure, with its changed geographic footprint, announced in June last year at NATO's Lisbon Summit.
Managed by a Memorandum of Understanding, STRIKFORNATO is a rapidly deployable, Maritime Headquarters that provides scalable Command and Control across the full spectrum of Alliance fundamental security tasks.


 

Thursday ,26 th April,2012
UK Government: Fracking Causes Earthquakes, but It's Worth the Risk
The process of hydraulic fracturing is a mining technique which uses injected fluid to propagate fractures in a rock layer to release hydrocarbon deposits that would otherwise be uncommercial. Developed in the U.S. and first used in 1947 for stimulating of oil and natural gas wells, the use of "fracking" soared in the past decade as thousands of wells have been drilled into the Marcellus Formation, also referred to as the Marcellus Shale, a deposit of marine sedimentary rock found in eastern North America.

While initial environmental protests of the technique centered around its possibility of polluting underground water aquifers as a number of known carcinogenic substances are used in the procedure, more recently research has focused on an even more ominous byproduct of the technique - the increased possibility of earthquakes. While in the U.S. the U.S. Geological Survey and the state governments are investigating the link, in Britain the Department of Energy and Climate Change on 17 April published an independent expert report recommending measures to mitigate the risks of seismic tremors from hydraulic fracturing and invited public comment on its recommendations. (more)


Saturday, 11th February, 2012
NATIONAL FEDERATION OF CROATIAN AMERICANS CULTURAL FOUNDATION SUPPORTS NEW VISA WAIVER REFORM BILL IN THE US CONGRESS THAT WILL INCLUDE CROATIA IN PROGRAM FOR FIRST TIME
Washington, DC:  The National Federation of Croatian Americans Cultural Foundation (NFCACF) has announced it's full support for reform of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) which would include Croatia's participation. 

 

In a recent letter to the US Senate Judiciary Committee, NFCACF President Bill Vergot cited full support for S. 2046 as another "crucial milestone for the growing relationship between our two countries.  The 'Visa Waiver Program Enhanced Security and Reform Act of 2012’ would enable Croatia to soon join the VWP.  While Croatia is not requiring visas for Americans, the US requires Croatians to have visas when traveling to America. Croatia is one of America's most supportive allies in NATO and is fighting alongside the United States in Afghanistan.  It is time to afford the privilege to Croatia for membership in this helpful program that will enhance travel for Croatian citizens to the United States."

 

Mr. Vergot has also requested that all Croatian Americans, who support the new VWP reform legislation that permits Croatia's membership in this important US program, soon call their Members of Congress to express their strong personal interest in seeing this legislation move forward during the current session of Congress.  Croatian Americans can easily identify their Congress Members, both House and Senate, and then call 202-225-3121 to speak directly to their Members' offices in Washington.  The new House bill is numbered as H.R. 3855, and the new Senate bill is numbered S. 2046.  Callers should identify themselves as constituents, cite the two newly introduced bills, and ask their Members of Congress to co-sponsor the bill while effectively expressing their support for consideration of this legislation as soon as possible.  Follow-up letters to these Congressional representatives is, of course, also extremely helpful in developing support for early passage of the two new bills in the House and Senate.

 

A copy of President Vergot's letter to the US Congress follows. 

The NFCA Cultural Foundation is the national umbrella organization of Croatian American groups that collectively represents approximately 130,000 members.  For recent newsletters, important NFCACF membership application and chapter information, and other Croatian American news please visit our Web Site at www.nfcacf.org. Please see the attached copy of the NFCACF’s letter to the US Senate Judiciary Committee.  If additional information is sought, please call Public Affairs Director Joe Foley in Washington on 301-294-0937.



Tuesday, 31st January, 2012
Croatia joins Multinational Corps Northeast!
On 30 January 2012, Croatia joined Multinational Corps Northeast (MNC NE) in Szczecin, Poland, and became its twelfth member state.
A note of accession was signed by Lieutenant Colonel Tihomir Zebec, the Chief Military Police Department of the Croatian General Staff. Along with the Croatian flag run up the pole, Croatia became the twelfth member state of the Multinational Corps Northeast and opened a common chapter in relations between Croatia and Multinational Corps Northeast.
The Commander of the Multinational Corps Northeast Lieutenant General Rainer Korff, on behalf of the whole staff, welcomed new members of the Corps. “I hope that our collaboration will be fruitful for both sides,” said General Korff. “The signing of the Note of Accession underscores Croatia’s efforts to foster its relations with NATO. I would also like to emphasize the importance of the Croatian contribution to the development of the NATO Multinational Military Police Battalion, which will be affiliated to the Corps after passing Full Operational Capability,” added General Korff. “We will give maximum power to our work contributed to the development and progress of Multinational Corps Northeast,” reassured Lieutenant Colonel Tihomir Zebec, expressing pride and content with the Croatian integration into Multinational Corps Northeast.

The ongoing manning conference will establish how many Croatian soldiers will serve at HQ MNC NE. Along with the increase of posts of the Headquarters peacetime structure, all member states of the Corps – Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and the United States – will decide upon manning the respective posts.
Multinational Corps Northeast was founded by Denmark, Germany and Poland in 1999 in Szczecin, Poland, as the first and most eastward located NATO unit. Several other countries have joined the Corps throughout almost thirteen years of its functioning: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania (2004), Slovakia and the Czech Republic (2005), the United States (2006), Romania (2008) and Slovenia (2009). Thus, Croatia has become the twelfth member state of Multinational Corps Northeast.
Since 2005, Multinational Corps Northeast has been a certified NATO Graduated Force Headquarters of Lower Readiness (Land) and a part of NATO Force Structure. The MNC NE personnel have been deployed to Afghanistan twice already – in 2007 and 2010. Currently, the Corps is preparing for this year’s biggest training event – the Crystal Eagle exercise, the aim of which is to train assigned units and share mission experiences.
Text: Anna Gałyga, HQ MNC NE Public Affairs Office
Photos: Marian Cihon, HQ MNC NE Public Affairs Office


EPP president liiks forward to historic voteBrussels, 20 January 2012
Croatia EU referendum: EPP President looks forward to historic vote

Following the completion of Croatia's accession negotiations with the European Union and the signing of the accession Treaty, the country will hold a referendum this Sunday, 22 January 2012, to decide if it will become the EU's 28th Member State. The President of the European People’s Party (EPP), Wilfried Martens, expressed his thoughts on Sunday's vote:  
“The people of Croatia are called this Sunday for a historic vote that will change the course of the country. Twenty years after Croatia gained its independence, the EPP and most Europeans will eagerly follow this Sunday's decision of the Croatian people, which will surely be guided by their nation's best interest. It has always been my belief that Europe will become more complete with the accession of Croatia, so I truly hope that on Sunday the country will embrace with confidence its European future and finally become a proud 28th EU Member State,” the EPP President underlined.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank former Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor and the HDZ for the tremendous work over the years in Croatia's EU accession process, as well as the work and support of the HSS and all other pro-EU parties and politicians in Croatia,” Wilfried Martens added. EPP pres /hic

The EPP is the largest and most influential European-level political party of the centre-right, which currently includes 74 member-parties from 39 countries, the Presidents of the European Commission, European Council, and European Parliament, 16 EU and 5 non-EU heads of state and government, 13 members of the European Commission and the largest Group in the European Parliament.
EPP press /hia


Monday, 9 th January, 2012.
Danish People’s Movements against the EU:
Joining the EU is a great risk for Croatian democracy and economic stability
Croatia will have a referendum concerning EU membership the 22nd of January. The Danish People’s Movement against the EU’s believes that it is the worst time ever for Croatia to join the European Union.
First of all the EU is becoming a more and more centralized union and Croatia’s influence will be marginal.
Secondly the EU is in its worst crisis ever and Croatia does not have an opt out from the euro as e.g. Denmark. This means that Croatia will be bound to a currency union in great trouble. The welfare risks for the Croatian citizen are great.
The Danish People’s Movement suggests that Croatia should join the EFTA, the European Free Trade Association, instead of the European Union. Membership of EFTA will give the Croatian citizens possibilities to work, study, live and travel, trade in all EFTA and EU countries just like the citizens of the EU. However Croatians citizens will be able to have more democratic influence. And the Croatian economy does not have to be connected to the failing EU Monetary Union and the euro. folkebevaegelsen.dk


Jerzy Buzek, on Croatian electionsFriday 9.December,2011.
CROATIA SIGNS ACCESSION TREATY
Jerzy Buzek's speech at the signing ceremony for Croatia's accession

-"We were proud to say a loud and decisive "yes" to the 28th Member State of the European Union".
-"Your country is a model, but we also need to send an encouraging signal to the rest of the region that the door of the EU remains open".


"Dear Presidents, Dear Prime Ministers,
Excellencies, Dear Friends,
Just over a week ago the citizens of the European Union, represented by my colleagues in the European Parliament, gave Croatia a green light for accession.
We were proud to say a loud and decisive "yes" to the 28th Member State of the European Union. I believe that this is a good sign before the ratification procedure in Member States; as I am confident that our strong "yes" will be replied in kind by the Croatian people in their referendum.

Dear Friends,
The process of accession is often seen as a marathon - it has taken you ten years of hard work to get to where we are today. You have done an incredible job in adapting your laws, standards, and institutions to our common model. But every marathon ends with a final sprint. It is important for all of us to cross the finish line on 1 July 2013. I am sure we will.

After the Second World War our founding fathers found reconciliation in building a common European home. After the collapse of Communism my part of Europe found reconciliation through reunification. After the end of the Balkan wars, you may find reconciliation through jointly entering the EU.

Your country is a model, but we also need to send an encouraging signal to the rest of the region that the door of the EU remains open.
As I said during my recent visit to Croatia, you also have a duty to help your neighbours, as we were helped by ours.

Dear Colleagues,
I have some good news for you: accession is not the end of the race. It is the beginning of a new journey, but one that you are taking alongside friends. The EU is what we all make of it. I look forward to welcoming your observers to the European Parliament and hearing Croatian as the 24th official language in our plenary. Hvala!"
Robert A. Golański, europarl President Press /HIC






Jerzy Buzek, on Croatian electionsMonday,5th December, 2011
Jerzy Buzek, president of the European Parliament
on
Croatian elections


BRUSSELS: Commenting on the results of the Croatian parliamentary elections, the President of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek stated:

"I congratulate the Kukuriku coalition on winning Croatia's parliamentary elections

I am glad that support for EU membership is an issue that cuts across the political spectrum in Croatia and that the winning coalition will remain strongly committed in the pursuit of European integration. It is necessary to maintain national unity ahead of the referendum, and sustain the reform momentum building on the good progress achieved by the outgoing government.

Much like the EU, Croatia is facing a difficult economic situation. I am confident that by the time Croatia becomes a full member of our Union, we shall all be standing more firmly and united on the path to recovery and growth.
On Friday, we will sign the Croatian Accession Treaty in Brussels. This will be a moment of celebration for the remarkable progress achieved by Croatia towards EU membership, but it shall also serve as an opportunity to look together at our common future in the European family."
Robert A. Golański, europarl President Press /HIC


Thursday, 1st December, 2011
Nigel Farage: EU bribing independent Croatia to rejoin a 'new Yugoslavia'



"Last September I went to Croatia. I wanted to find out whether a proper national debate is going on; whether there was afair campaign.
What did I find? I found that the EU is doing everything it can to bribe the political class in Croatia - doing it quite well, really, too. Already the EU has given 320 million euros to Croatia in what is called pre-accession aid. The EU has just spent a million euros on a blatant propaganda advertising campaign, telling Croatia that the EU is their only hope.
Cleverly, you've even given jobs to Croatians - highly paid jobs to Croatians in the European Parliament and in the European Commission just to show them how well off they'll be - the ruling class will be - if they join, and you've got EU flags flying on official buildings all over the country to give the impression that it's a done deal.

You've got some willing helpers, because the old Communists are still there in Croatia, they still hold all the positions of power and they will all become personally enormously wealthy if Croatia joins the European Union.
And there is an even more sinister side to this, because there is not a free press in Croatia. There is no national debate going on at all. Indeed a prize has been offered - 10,000 kunas have been offered if anybody can find an article in any Croatian newspaper suggesting that joining isn't the right thing to do.
The whole campaign is bent, corrupt and distorted. We've seen this before from the European Union, but I think it's happening on a scale in Croatia that is worse than I've seen before.
This country has for nearly a thousand years sought independence. And for 20 years they've had independence - they got out of the failed political experiment that was Yugoslavia - and if they vote to join the European Union, they're voting to rejoin a new Yugoslavia - a failing political experiment that will implode.
I hope there is, in the last month or two a debate in Croatia. Sadly, I doubt it".Hrsvijet


Wednesday, 30th November, 2011
Fewer companies donate to political parties
Fewer firms are donating to major political parties in these elections, campaign financing statements show.
Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and Social Democratic Party (SDP) have both lost a significant number of company donors compared to parliamentary elections held in 2007.
Some 127 firms gave money to HDZ that year, with their donations totalling 10.2 million kunas (1.36 million Euros). SDP, on the other hand, had 25 company donors in 2007 that gave 3.1 million kunas (413,000 Euros).
The numbers are different in 2011. HDZ’s campaign financing statement that includes the period from 17 to 26 November shows that only 10 companies gave the party some 565,300 kunas (75,400 Euros). SDP has received donations from eight companies or 320,500 kunas (42,750 Euros) in total since 1 November.
SDP received 48,511 kunas (6,470 Euros) from individual persons, while HDZ collected 164,000 kunas ( 21,871 Euros).
The biggest company donor for HDZ is Agrokontrola that gave 150,000 kunas (20,000 Euros). Out of the 10 companies that supported the party is also Radnik d.d with a donation of 50,000 kunas (6,670 Euros). According to Croatian daily Vecernji List, the company had made several very lucrative deals through state tenders in the past two years.
The biggest SDP donor is Unisol Kastelica with 75,000 kunas (10,000 Euros). The company is owned in part by former model-turned-businesswoman Suncica Lalic. Together with her husband Dragan Jurilj, Lalic was a business partner to Vladimir Zagorec, former Croatian general serving seven years in jail for abuse of power.
SDP collected a total of 8,369,011 kunas (1.116 million Euros) for campaign expenses and has spent 5,485,738 (732,000 Euros) so far.
Croatian Peasant Party (HSS) had most donations - 29 company donors that gave 1.5 million kunas (200,000 Euros) and 31 individual donors who had given 164,300 kunas (22,000 Euros) between 1 January and 25 November 2011.
The two biggest parties have spent the most money on advertising in electronic media for the most part, daily Vecernji List writes. Croatiantimes


Wednesday, 30th November, 2011
Apartments cheaper in 2012
Apartment prices in Croatia could drop another 10 per cent next year, real estate experts believe.
They warn that there are currently 15,000 unsold apartments available and the general economic situation in the country will not change much in the next year. In such circumstances, further price drops would seem a logical step to awaken the hybernating real estate market.
Domenico Devescovi who edits internet portal Centar nekretnina says that the capital Zagreb is likely to see price drops of about 10 per cent.
"The final price will depend on location. The prices will continue to drop also in other places," Devescovi says.
Maruska Vizek from the Institute of Economics says she expects prices to drop between five and 10 per cent.
When it comes to the Croatian capital, apartments in Novi Zagreb are likely to see the biggest drops in prices. The area has seen a lot of new construction, unproportional to demand.
Amongst the candidates for new price corrections are also apartments in the centre that have been waiting for buyers for years. For example, a square meter of an apartment in Zagreb's central neighbourhood Donji Grad cost 2,377 Euros. This year the price has dropped to 2,165 Euros. Pula is the Croatian city where prices dropped the most, or 30 per cent in the last two years.
The Croatian real-estate market was one of the biggest victims of the recession, daily Jutarnji List writes. The apartment prices in Croatia have been dropping year on year. The average price per square metre in October of this year was 1,757 Euros, a 14 per cent drop since the end of 2007.


Friday, 18th November 2011
30,000 people to gather in Vukovar on Friday

Some 30,000 people are expected to take part in a memorial march in Vukovar on 18 November commemorating the city's suffering during the Croatian war of independence from former Yugoslavia, news website Tportal writes.
The procession will be a tribute to all those who died in Vukovar when Serb rebel forces took control of the city in mid-November 1991. The 204th Vukovar Brigade veterans that defended the town will lead the procession.
The 5.5 kilometre memorial walk will start outside the town's general hospital and proceed towards the Memorial Cemetery. In 1999 the Parliament declared 18 November Vukovar Remembrance Day. Croatiantimes


Friday, 18th November, 2011
Monument to trout unveiled in Solin
A monument to the trout has been unveiled in Jadro river in southe
rn Croatia.
The bronze scuplture of a unique trout (Salmothymus obtusirostris) has been placed in the Jadro river in the town of Solin as a last attempt by local green activists to protect the species. The indigenous trout has been endangered by the American species of trout introduced there, which is eating most of the food.
The indigenous Salmothymus obtusirostris needs more clear water and is more sensitive to pollution. Activists that boosted the unveiling of sculptor Kazimir Hraste's work, believe the monument in the centre of Solin will remind people to take care of the Jadro river to help protect the local trout.
They also believe it can become a tourist attraction. croatiantimes.com


Friday, 18th November, 2011
Road privatisation could bring Croatia 4 billion Euros
Croatia could receive as much as four billion Euros if it decided to privatise its highway networks, Australian investment bank Macquaire group believes.
The announcment by Radimir Cacic that the centre-left Kukuriku coalition would put the Croatian roads under concession should they win the upcoming elections has piqued interest amongst foreign investors, daily Jutarnji List writes.
Gavin Winbanks from Macquaire group said that there would be many interested parties regardless of which government announces the tender."For twenty years we have been successfully dealing with consulting and investment in infrastructure and I am sure that we could improve the quality of your road networks," Winbanks told Croatian daily Jutarnji List.
The Macquaire group participated – as a consultant and investor – in the sales of concession of Skyway in Chicago worth 1.8 billion dollars. Chicago Mayor Richard Daley called the deal "the most successful financial transaction of its kind in the United States." They are famous for their investments in French Lyon airport, Finnish railways and London water supply.
The Croatian government is expected to pay some 780 million Euros to foreign banks for HAC loans and take out additional debt in amount of 6.7 billion kunas (894 million Euros) this year, while the total HAC debt is close to 3.5 billion Euros.
The privatisation of the highways would ensure a fresh investment capital from leading pension funds, which would indirectly influence the growth of the country's credit rating that would jumpstart new investment in production and industry without further debt, the daily writes. Out of 27 EU member states, 19 have privatised their highways completely, while Austria, Germany, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia have done so in part. Only three states – Bulgaria, Romania and Slovenia – fully finance their highways, but the governments of Bulgaria and Romania have been negotiating a public-private partnership models for some years. croatiantimes.com



Wednesday, 9th November, 2011
Kosor and Kerum together at 9th and 10th election unit
ZADAR - The president of HDZ Jadranka Kosor and president of the Croatian Civil Party (HGS) Zeljko Kerum signed an agreement about pre-election and post-election cooperation in the 9th and the 10th election unit.
On the mutual lists in those two election units Kerum got the third and the seventh position in 10th election unit and seventh position in the 9th election unit. Kosor stated that the negotiations had lasted for two months. She justified this agreement with her wish to win over the parliamentary elections and cooperation with every person, as she said, who cherished Croatian values and had the election potential at the right center.
- We are confident about victory over those two election units so this will assure the great result in these elections - said the PM Kosor. She pointed out that the agreement was also signed for the matter of economical strengths. Zeljko Kerum emphasized that two parties had run the negotiations over long period of time and it eventually resulted with the agreement that was, as he said, unfortunate for those who exulted.
- We will win in the 9th and 10th election unit for sure. This will mean much for the entrepreneurs who are in fear of what will happen. The continuity is the important thing so I am glad we will win - said Kerum. His speech was followed by the ovation of the HDZ members. He even sung after the conference.
The PM Kosor emphasized that they were negotiating with some other political parties so more election cooperation was possible. When the news reporters asked her why the agreement was signed in Zadar and not in Split, Kosor said that they used a situation since she scheduled the visit in Zadar and Kerum didn’t find it difficult to travel from Split to Zadar.
(dalje.com)


Wednesday, 9th November, 2011
11th ‘’Martin is in Zagreb’’ opened

The wine festival ‘’Martin is in Zagreb’’ has been opened for the 11th time on the Jelacic square. The opening was welcomed by the city’s major Milan Bandic and Zagreb’s prefect Stjepan Kozic.
The evening’s program will be accompanied by the free concerts of the Croatian performers that the citizens will have a chance to see inside the tent called ‘’vinograd’’. The concerts take place every day and start at 8:30 PM. The festival will close on Sunday with the band Cinkusi.
The festival ‘’Martin is in Zagreb’’ is traditionally organized during the greatest wine holiday, the Saint Martin holiday. It has developed out of the need of Croatian wine makers to introduce their products. In that way they can present other products like cheese and domestic cakes together with other exhibitors.
is also the Zagreb County day so the program will start in 6 PM with the band Remetski muzikasi. Inside the tent, the first band to play Today will be Neki To Vole Vruce. (dalje.com)



Wednesday, 2nd November 2011
Croatian businessman buys Zeljezara Split
Steel mill Zeljezara Split has been sold to Croatian businessman and owner of company Adria Celik, Petar Pripuz.
Pripuz bought the steel mill for 10.3 million Euros.
As he told Index portal half a year ago, Pripuz plans to reinstate the production and hire some 200 workers. The steel mill stopped working in 2009 and since then its former employees have gone on hunger strike five times.
In a critique directed at the state, Pripuz said it was "unbelievable to him" that it would let such valuable resources lie dormant.
Pripuz is confident in the existence of a market for Zeljezara Split's products and is counting on 150 to 200 tonnes of finished goods annually, portal Index writes. Croatiantimes.com


Wednesday, 2nd November 2011
Croatian weapons manufacturer after regional markets
Croatian weapons manufacturer Djuro Djakovic is reaching out to regional markets with a presentation of its combat vehicle at a fair in Tirana, Albania.
Djuro Djakovic manufactures the vehicle under the licence of Finnish company Patria.
Tomislav Mazal from Djuro Djakovic Holding says the company is looking to intensify its presence in the region.
"Albania is certainly a market in which we would like to actively participate," Mazal said, adding he was sure that they offered their partners competitive financial conditions suitable for the plans of military acquisitions in the region. Croatiantimes.com


Wednesday, 12th October, 2011
Torches mark convicted General Gotovina's birthday
There were 56 torches lit in the southern Croatian town of Knin on Tuesday night to mark the 56th birthday of Croatian General Ante Gotovina.
Supporters intented to show in this way that they believe Ante Gotovina not to be guilty of war crimes. He is being held in the international war crimes tribunal's prison in The Hague, Netherlands, awaiting a decision on his appeal. Gotovina was sentenced to 24 years in jail for his role in Operation Storm that has among the rest freed the area of Knin from rebel Serb occupation.Croatiantimes.com


Investment conference brings millionaires to CroatiaWednesday, 12th October, 2011
"INVEST IN CROATIA" FORUM
Investment conference brings millionaires to Croatia
Millionaires from all over the world gathered on Monday in Zagreb's hotel Westin for the largest investment conference ever in Croatia "Invest in Croatia".
"This is the biggest conference judged by the size of capital that is sitting in this hall," President of Croatian Employers Union (HUP) Davor Majetic described the participants.
Croatian Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor opened the conference, praising her countrymen's diligence."Croatia is a country of diligent people," Kosor said.
"Despite the crisis, the government has removed a string of barriers for investments in the last two to three years. Actively attracting investments is a priority in our policy. In the last two years of our fight against corruption and crime we have been sending a good message to investors," Kosor said.From 1993 to 2011 Croatia has had 24 billion Euros of direct investments, daily Jutarnji List writes. Croatiantimes.com


OSCE Parlamentary Assembly Fall Meetings in DubrovnikFriday, 7th October 2011
press:OSCE PA: Neil Simon
OSCE Parlamentary Assembly Fall Meetings in Dubrovnik
DUBROVNIK, Croatia, 7 October 2011 – President Petros Efthymiou and political leaders of Croatia, speaking today at the opening of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Fall Meetings, held up the progress in South East Europe as an example of successful growth that can come from international co-operation.

Friday, 9th September, 2011
Martin Bell,former BBC correspondent
RETURN TO VUKOVAR
For 87 days in 1991 the world watched in helpless horror as 2000 civilians, and volunteers from all around Croatia, defended the town of Vukovar against tens of thousands of heavily armed soldiers from the Serbian dominated Yugoslav National Army. The fighting had broken out in the wake of the collapse of the former Yugoslavia. Vukovar, on the banks of the Danube, became known as "The City of Heroes" for the almost countless acts of valour among the untrained volunteer army of defenders. Yet it also has a much darker significance. Not only was this the first town in Europe to suffer such devastation since the Second World War, but the pattern of the indiscriminate bombardment of civilians that characterised the Yugoslav wars, was first seen here. The siege also brought a new and terrible phrase into common usage. The first cases of organised ethnic cleansing took place in Vukovar. Former BBC correspondent Martin Bell, who covered the siege, returns 20 years later to find out how Vukovar and its people are recovering and finds Vukovar today is a shadow of its former self; haunted by the ghosts of 1991. (BBC)

Vukovar, November 1991

The shell damaged water tower has not been repaired and remains a monument to the fighting.

The memorial at the site of the massacre at Ovcara farm

Almost all of Vukovar has been rebuilt, but 20 years after the
siege some buildings still show the extent of the damage.


Monday, 6th June 2011
THANK THE HOLY FATHER
The President of the Council of the Croatian Conference

At the conclusion of the magnificent celebration of the Mass at the Zagreb Hippodrome, on behalf of the assembled faithful, the President of the Croatian Conference for the Family, Bishop Valter Župan of Krk, thanked the Holy Father and said: "This multitude before you firmly adheres to the doctrine of the inviolability of life, marriage and the family, which you fearlessly proclaim. That is why we came here today, to testify to you that this has been our commitment for centuries, upon which we have decided to build our future."
The long and difficult periods of history, during which the Croatian nation was the bulwark of Christianity, have been weathered "because our families were founded upon the solid values of the gospel, so we were like a house built on rock that does not collapse when storms come, of which there were, indeed, many. There are also storms today."

Bishop Župan added: "We are aware that marriage and the family are being threatened today by the undermining of their stability. Forms of living together are being promoted that have no basis in the European cultural and legal heritage. It is precisely upon the stability of the family and Christian values that civilized Europe and Croatia, which has always been an integral and inseparable part of Europe, were built. We are firmly convinced that our future is based upon these foundations."

Requesting an apostolic blessing, the bishop concluded that the faithful have the inalienable right for children to be able to call their parents the natural names of "mother" and "father." "They have the natural right to declare before everyone that they have a father and mother who have given them life. We have this right and we want those who govern to promote life and eventually amend the law, from what we want to believe is the past, on the termination of human life, and not call that which leads to death progress."ika

Tourist news


Tuesday, 9th August, 2011
Tourism up eight per cent over last year
The number of tourists visiting Croatia this year rose eight per cent in the first seven months to 6.2 million, Minister of Tourism Damir Bajs has said.
That is half a million more tourists than in 2010, the Minister added. In July alone there were five per cent more visitors - or three million.
When it comes to overnight stays, they increased six per cent for the first seven months to 33 million, daily Jutarnji List writes.
All Adriatic counties are registering an increase in visitors as does the capital Zagreb.
The best numbers were seen in Split-Dalmatia County (7.8 per cent increase) followed by Lika-Senj County (6.3 per cent), Dubrovnik-Neretva County (5.7 per cent), Istria (3.4 per cent), Kvarner (2.5 per cent) and Sibenik-Knin County (1.3 per cent).
According to the Minster, August is expected to bring further improvement and more guests especially from Italy. Croatiantimes.com



Tuesday, 26th July, 2011.
Tourism results up over last year
Croatia will finish this year's season with better figures than last year, but two-digit growth should not be expected, Minister Damir Bajs has said.
"Croatia had two goals this year – to be better than the neighbours and to keep the domestic guests on its territory. In both cases it was successful," Bajs said after a meeting with the representatives of the public and private tourism sector.
Bajs warned that next season would be especially demanding and would require good preparation.
"Next year Europe must compensate for the tourism sector debt of 70 billion Euros, so European destinations will fight even more zealously for every guest," Bajs said.
Croatia must be aware of three things, the Minister said – France, Greece and Italy will intensify their fight for their share of the tourism pie, European states will implement tourism recovery measures aimed at keeping domestic guests at home, and instability in the so-called Eurozone will lead to more careful vacation planning. Croatia must prepare well, portal Business writes.Croatiantimes.com


Thursday, 22nd September, 2011
EU citizens to have equal employment rights as Croats
EU citizens will, from the first day of Croatian membership, have exactly the same employment rights in Croatia as Croats, daily newspaper Vecernji List reported on Wednesday. In the final negotiated positions it does not specify how much restrictions Croats would face if wanting to work in the EU. Croatia is committed from the first day of membership in the EU not to discriminate against foreigners in employment, even in public administration, the document said. This means that a resident of Murska Sobota in Slovenia or Nagykanizsa in Hungary can get a job in the city government of the northern town of Cakovec even if he had to travel accross the border to Cakovec every day. Regarding the language barrier the negotiated position states: "The EU takes note that Croatia is aware that, at the present acquis, mandatory language skills requirement is applicable only in certain circumstances on a case by case basis." Vecernji List has pointed out that a bus or tram driver who earns less in Bulgaria and Romania could be employed in Zagreb, where the salary is higher. An engineer who lost his job in Greece could take a job in Croatian national electric supply company HEP because Croatia expects large investments in the power industry with money from EU funds. Croatiantimes.com


Thursday, 22nd September, 2011'
The Person - the key to success in tourism' contest launched in Sibenik
Professionalism, a good spirit, a big smile and human qualities are the characteristics that are asked for from those who want to win the newly launched Croatian contest "The Person - the key to success in tourism".
The contest takes place at the event "Days of Croatian Tourism" organised by the Croatian Tourism Board in the coastal town of Sibenik this week.
Croatia hosts over 10 million foreign tourists per year.
Croatiantimes.com


Wednesday, 14th September, 2011
Interior Minister Karamarko to join HDZ ranks
Karamarko’s membership comes at a delicate time for the party shaken up by recent allegations by its former head accountant that some HDZ officials used embezzled money to finance electoral campaigns. Former Prime Minister Ivo Sanader has been implicated in the case, and the accountant’s most recent testimony suggests current PM Jadranka Kosor’s two campaigns were financed from the so called "black" or slush fund.
Karamarko is one of the founders of the HDZ’s national movement headed by Croatia’s first President Franjo Tudjman. He left the party and had been refusing for years to re-enlist, daily 24 Sata writes.

Wednesday, 14th September, 2011
Zagreb's hotels seventh best place to stay in the world
Zagreb hotels have made it into seventh spot amongst hotels situated in the world’s metropoles and judged by the quality of stay and satisfaction of their guests, according to website hotel.info.
Polish capital Warsaw is number one with 7.62 points, followed by Helsinki and Tokyo.
Zagreb hotels received 7.43 points, getting hold of seventh spot. Eternal city Rome, romantic Paris and legendary London all fared worse, with London receiving 6.48 points.
Hotels.info provides reservations for over 210,000 hotels around the world, portal Business writes. Croatiantimes.com


Friday, 2nd September, 2011.
Ex President Mesic defends 'communist crimes' suspect Boljkovac
Former Croatian President Stjepan Mesic has come to the defence of Croatia’s first Interior Minister Josip Boljkovac who may be facing arrest on suspicion of murder of concentration camp prisoners in the aftermath of World War II.
Boljkovac, who is now 92, may be the first prominent figure to face prosecution for so-called "communist crimes" against fascist supporters committed in the aftermath of World War II.
Current Interior Minister Tomislav Karamarko has pledged to uncover and prosecute suspects believed to have been responsible for the execution of soldiers and civilians after the war had ended. Karamarko said there are as many as 672 mass graves in which close to 90,000 victims - Independent State of Croatia (NDH) soldiers, German and Italian soldiers and civilians - are buried.
Mesic has accused Karamarko, however, of starting a witch hunt in the hope of gaining right wing votes.

"The charges against Boljkovac are a sorry attempt to use political positions in order to settle accounts with people from Yugoslav World War II resistance (Narodnooslobodilacka borba, NOB) who were fighting in Croatia's defence. All of this is done with a purpose of collecting cheap political points from the right in upcoming parliamentary elections," Mesic said.
"If the rule of law functions properly, it is absolutely crazy to arrest Boljkovac. I hope that reason will prevail and that insitutions will not become Karamarko’s political farce," Mesic added. He said Boljkovac should be praised rather than arrested as he was forming the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) at the time when "those accusing him today hid in mice holes in fear of [Serbian leader Slobodan] Milosevic's hordes."
In his defence, Boljkovac said he was not responsible for the execution of Independent State of Croatia (NDH) fighters after the war. NDH was a fascist regime existing between 1941 and 1943 that collaborated with the Nazis. As a head of Gorski Kotar police, Boljkovac said he would investigate and bring suspects to the Ministry of Interior, who would then proceed with trials.

The main accusations that he is responsible for are death of many in Dubovac concentration camp he says are current Minister of Interior Karamarko's personal revenge because Boljkovac refused to appoint him to high position at the beginning of the 1990s.
Boljkovac said he believed he would not be arrested, but in case that happened he had some dirt on Karamarko, who according to Boljkovac got rich by selling to the Ministry of Interior spy and technical equipment through his companies. Croatiantimes.com


Friday, 2nd September, 2011.
Prince Harry parties on at Hvar disco
Prince Harry has enjoyed his time in a discotheque on the Croatian island of Hvar on Saturday night, TV channel NovaTV reported.
The TV channel aired a video showing allegedly Prince Harry and his friends in Veneranda discotheque in Hvar.
Visitors of the club and Mayor Pjerino Bebic have confirmed to the channel it was really prince Harry despite the fact it cannot be said for sure when observing the video.
The video shows a person alleged to be Prince Harry dancing in the club and jumping into the little pool.
"Prince had no special requests from city authorities and therefore we do not know for how long he would stay," the mayor of Hvar, Pjerino Bebic, has commented.
Hvar is often a stop for world celebrities during summer time. People like Roman Abramovich, Bernie Ecclestone, Gwyneth Paltrow, Princess Carolina and Prince Albert of Monaco, Gerard Depardieu and Steven Spielberg have visted the place in recent years.Croatiantimes.com


Friday, 2nd September, 2011.
Safe rides for drunk drivers on offer in Zagreb
A clever bunch of young entrepreneurs have started up a new service in Zagreb that brings drunk drivers and their vehicles safely home after a wild night out.
Drazen Kraljevic, 23 and his friends Vana Markovic, Blanka and Marina come with a foldable motor bike wherever needed, take over the keys and bring the car and its owner safely home when one drink too many prevent a safe ride. Safety Drivers, as the business is called, is the first such service in Croatia.
"How many times did you go out into town by car, got drunk and then took a cab home? And then you were racking your brains the following day about where you left your car, or you had to go back to the other side of the town to pick it up?" Safety Drivers ask, offering a convenient way of getting back home. They scooter up with a foldable scooter that fits into any car trunk and all you need to do is give them your car keys.
The service "You drink, we drive" is not the only one the quartet is offering – they can also bring to your door anything you want, 24 hours a day. Croatiantimes.com



Wednesday, 31st August, 2011
SplitCulture launched for tourists and locals
The first website reporting about cultural events in Croatia's second largest city of Split has been launched.
The SplitCulture.hr reports on cultural happenings as well as informs tourists on cultural heritage of the 1,700 year old city.
"We'll present programmes of museums, galleries, libraries, theatres, etc. We'll also help tourists to easily find those locations," Mladen Slamic, the project owner commented. Croatiantimes.com


Tuesday, 30th August 2011
NATO Aircraft collision in Lithuania
MONS, Belgium — At approximately 09:30, two NATO aircraft collided while conducting a training flight based out of the Zokniai Air Base located in northern Lithuania. The incident occurred between a French Mirage fighter and a Lithuanian military jet L-39.
The lightly damaged Mirage fighter was able to land after the collision while the two Lithuanian pilots ejected successfully from their jet before it crashed. The two Lithuanian pilots walked away from the crash without serious injury and are currently under medical supervision.The L-39 aircraft crashed in a rural area resulting in no further damage to any civilian property.The incident is under national investigation. The NATO air policing mission over the Baltic states continues.
Allied Command Operations Public Affairs Office at SHAPE /HIC


Friday, 26th August, 2011
Croatian and Italian Presidents to meet in Pula in September
Croatian President Ivo Josipovic will meet Italy’s head of state Giorgio Napolitano on 3 September in Pula on Croatia’s Istrian pensinsula.
The meeting will take place at the Roman amphitheater Arena under the motto of tolerance and multiculturalism.
Furio Radin, an ethnic Italian representative in the Croatian parliament said that all citizens sharing the above-mentioned values were welcome at the meeting. This would be the first time that the two presidents would address such a large number of Italians, daily Tportal writes.
Radin said the Italian minority in Croatia and Slovenia expect a lot from the speeches of the two presidents.
"That's not the path of reconciliation, as we have reconciled many years ago. That's the path of the common European future," Radin said. He added that although some recent developments have set back the Italian national community in Croatia – mainly the abolishment of double voting rights – he looks ahead to the future where "past is not forgotten but overcome." Croatiantimes.com


Wednesday, 24th August, 2011
Ex-President Mesic delivers Gaddafi's message to ambassadors
Libya’s dictator Muammar al-Gaddafi was ready to step down from political life and allow the emergence of a multiparty system if NATO would stop its bombing, former Croatian President Stjepan Mesic has said.
Mesic tried to deliver this personal message he received from Gaddafi last week to Chinese, Russian and American ambassadors in Zagreb.
"Firsthand I can confirm that Colonel Gadaffi was ready to withdraw fully from public and political life, with the firm promise there would be no barriers to implementing a multiparty-system or reforms, but under condition that NATO attacks are suspended. I can also confirm that the government in Tripoli has tried to reach the countries leading the military operations in Libya with this message," Mesic said in a press release.
"Without going into the review of Gaddafi's regime and with no illusions about its character in the context of what we consider democracy - but also with full awareness of the strictly secular nature of government that is being overthrown – I express my sincere regret that the fighting in recent months, including the NATO strikes, and especially yesterday's battle for control of Tripoli, have taken a large number of civilian victims," Mesic said, reminding that Libya was the first non-European country to recognise independent Croatia.
Over the past few days rebels and Gaddafi-loyalists have been fighting over control of Libya’s capital Tripoli and it is still not clear who is having the upper hand, the BBC reports.
In parts of the capital, rebel forces are in control and confident in their future victory, BBC’s correspondent Matthew Price writes.

"But Gaddafi forces have been reinforced and some rebel supply lines into the city seem to have come under attack. It is clear loyalists are fighting back in some areas and many casualties are being reported." In addition, the appearance of Saif al-Islam – Gaddafi’s son rebels claimed to have captured – is likely to have given an extra boost to the loyalists.
Mesic was previously criticised for what some perceived as his defence of the Libyan dictator and his regime. He questioned the military intervention in Libya based on the United Nation’s resolution and called for its end. At the same time, he advocated a new resolution that would define future actions of the international community in implementing reforms in Libya, with Libyans in charge.
At the time he responded to his critics by saying he was pro-principles rather than pro-Gaddafi and that it was dangerous to allow a precedent in which a group of countries – even if they acted in accordance with a Security Council Resolution – decided who would be in power in a sovereign state.


Wednesday, 24th August, 2011
Trust in Croatia's institutions growing amongst German businessmen
Germans expect transparency and reliability when doing business in Croatia, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel said during her visit to the country's capital Zagreb on Monday.
Merkel remarked that the trust in Croatian institutions has been growing amongst Germany’s businessmen and successful investments made so far were a guarantee for good cooperation in the future, daily Tportal writes.
Welcoming Croatia into the European Union, Merkel said that Croatia’s accession sends a positive signal to other Western Balkan countries.
Kosor thanked Merkel for her continual support of Croatia on its road to EU membership. She said the two countries were interested in strenghtening their economic cooperation, with energy sector and infrastructure as areas of particular interest.
Kosor informed Merkel of her government's plan to reduce the government deficit to 1.8 percent and the budget deficit to 1.6 percent of GDP by 2014.
The two officials expressed satisfaction in particular with the Croatian tourism industry that sees a big contribution from German tourists. Croatiantimes.com


Wednesday, 24th August, 2011
Construction of controversial Peljesac bridge resumes
Croatian Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor has announced the resuming of construction of Peljesac bridge suspended earlier due to financial issues.
Some critics believe Peljesac bridge - intended to connect Peljesac peninsula with the Croatian mainland currently intersected by a small strip of coast belonging to Bosnia and Herzegovina - is an important political factor ahead of parliamentary elections taking place about three months from now. The resumptiuon of the works would also signal Croatia has left the toughest of the times behind as the construction was suspended in the midst of the crisis.
European Union has called the project senseless as it does not fit the vision they have of Europe, that would include Bosnia and Herzegovina. One of the reasons for the Peljesac bridge construction is to ease up border traffic jams near Neum, but such border jams will be non-existent once borders are gone.
The government has nevertheless decided to go ahead with the project, whose completion is now expected for 2017 instead of 2015, as it was originally planned.
The controversial bridge will be financed from road fines collected by the project's carrier, Hrvatske ceste (Croatian Roads, HC) on every litre of fuel sold.
Croatian Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor said that all funding for the construction has been secured and no loans would be needed to complete the project.  Although there is still no precise information as to how much the bridge would cost, the numbers considered range between 2.4 billion to five billion kunas (321 million to 668 million Euros). Croataintimes.com



Wednesday, 24th August, 2011
Dinamo may have sights set on Senegalese Diawara
Zagreb football team Dinamo is looking to strengthen its ranks with the possible addition of 23-year-old Senegalese striker Babu Diawara who currently plays for Portuguese C.S. Maritimo, daily Jutarnji List writes.
Although club officials have not confirmed their interest, both clubs' sports director Zoran Mamic and the manager of another Portuguese player now amongst Dinamo’s ranks Danko Djikic, were recently on a visit to Portugal.
Djikic was surprised to receive the newspaper’s call but refused to comment on the possible acquisition.
Transfermarket estimates Diawara is worth some three million Euros, while Dinamo’s heads are convinced he could reach his full potential in the Zagreb club and be of a value of 10 million Euros. Last season Diawara scored 13 goals in the last 38 games.
Mamic, however, is exploring his options and is looking at other candidates, daily Jutarnji List writes. Croataintimes.com


Friday, 19th August, 2011
Sanader's remand extended by two months
Zagreb County Court judge Kresimir Devcic has decided to prolong ex-Prime Minister Ivo Sanader's remand by another two months.
The extension comes at the anti-corruption burea USKOK’s request. USKOK has claimed that if freed, Sanader could not only influence witnesses but attempt to escape from Croatia.
The defence has the right to appeal the decision, daily Vecernji List writes.
Sanader has been held in Zagreb’s Remetinec prison since 18 July, when Austria extradited him to Croatia. He was ordered to remain in custody, since in December of last year Austrian authorities apprehended him on an international warrant issued by Croatia.
He is suspected in six cases of fraud. Croatiantimes.com


Friday, 19th August, 2011
Mountain rescuers save two groups of French tourists
Two separate groups of French tourists had to be rescued yesterday (Wed) after getting lost on Mosor mountain near Split and the island Ugljan next to the coastal town of Zadar.
Eight French pilgrims disappeared yesterday on Mosor, on their way to Our Lady of Sinj sanctuary in the town by the same name.
They could not be located with the aid of their mobile phones as they got lost in an area without any phone signal. The search for them continued in the morning, with Croatian Mountain Rescue Services (HGSS) finding them on Mosor’s northern slope in the Jabukovac area.
Three other French tourists got lost in dense underbrush on the Croatian island of Ugljan. They spent the night stuck in vegetation. Zadar-area HGSS managed to cut their way to them with machetes.
The tourists were found dehydrated and bruised. They were escorted to the camp where they were staying. Croatiantimes.com


Friday, 19th August, 2011
Government and banks agree on help for Swiss franc debtors
Croatian government has reached an agreement with the country’s banks to fix the Swiss franc's exchange rate to 5.8 kunas and defer the difference between the real and fixed rate into a lump sum known as "balloon" loan to be repaid later.
These are the latest measures aimed to give a breather to numerous Croatian households whose mortgage and car loans have been pegged to this ballooning foreign currency.
"This is the maximum that we’ve managed to achieve" Croatian Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor said at the end of the negotiations.
The new repayment model is intended for all who have Swiss franc-pegged loans and not just those who bought their first property with such loans, as it was previously rumoured, daily Jutarnji List writes.
The debtors will be able to choose whether to combine the new model with other measures approved by the banks. Banks could not comment on whether they expected a high demand for the new model, considering that the franc rate has been dropping in the past few days.
Should it drop below 5.8 kunas, the "balloon" or lump sum consisting of the difference between fixed and real value will also shrink. The duration of the "balloon" is limited to five years and interest rates of up to 3.95 per cent will not be applied for the first six months.
After five years, debtors will be able to decide whether they would pay for the accumulated difference with a single instalment or add it to the remainder of their mortgage. They would also be able to refinance it with new loans.
The agreement does not address lowering interest rates on franc-pegged loans as these are regulated by individual banks.


Tuesday, 16 th August, 2011
Parliament Speaker Bebic retiring after health scare
Parliament Speaker Luka Bebic has resigned from politics after a recent health scare.
"I am retiring and future political events don’t interest me," Bebic said.
Bebic ended up in hospital last month after losing consciousness while on vacation.
Doctors ruled out heart attack and stroke, but could not determine what has been causing Bebic’s periodical fainting spells.Croatiantimes.com


Tuesday, 16 th August, 2011
Bad loans grow to 4.6 billion Euros
Croatian banks are getting nervous over 34 billion kunas (4.6 billion Euros) of loans considered to be in arrears or with repayments late three or more months, daily Jutarnji List writes.
That is three times more than in 2008 (last pre-crisis year) and two times more than in September 2009. Two thirds of these so-called bad loans are held by companies, and one third by individuals.
The total number of loans has grown 7.2 per cent since last year’s July, with the share of bad credits rising to 34.2 per cent.
Banks seem to be holding on to the money rather than giving them out to potentially risky clients, daily Jutarnji List writes. Vice-governor of Croatian National Bank (HNB) Davor Holjevac recently warned that Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development (HBOR) had 800 million unused kunas (107 million Euros) that have not yet been handed out as loans because the banks are not ready to accept the risks.
HNB estimates that bad credits could grow to 37 billion kunas (close to five billion Euros) by the end of the year. Croatiantimes.com


Friday, 12th August, 2011
Growing number of Croatians facing foreclosures
Some 150,000 bank accounts are currently blocked because of foreclosures, Financial Agency (FINA) data shows.
The number of foreclosures of properties – vehicles, land, homes - is also growing – there are currently more than 930 that will find itself up for auction in the next month.
There were 2,400 foreclosures in just six months of this year.  Dunja Resman Bartolec from Croatian Chamber of Economy (HGK) expects the number to double by the end of the year.Zagreb city has the most foreclosed properties, followed by Istria and Zagreb Counties. Croatiantimes.com


Friday, 12th August, 2011
Germany's Chancellor to visit Croatia
Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel will visit Croatia in what will be the first stop on her tour of several Balkan states.
Merkel is expected to travel on to Belgrade and Podgorica, capitals of Serbia and Montenegro.
According to some analysts, Markel comes with a message for Croatia that should encourage it to become an "agent of Europeanization" of the region.  Germany would like Croatia to help along the other states, serving as an "example of success," weekly Globus writes ahead of Markel’s visit.
Merkel’s message is likely to emphasize the fact that Croatia finished the European Union negotiations because it fulfilled all criteria and that the doors to the Union are open to all those willing to do the same, the weekly writes.


Tuesday, 9th August, 2011
Croatian government defends Storm's legitimacy in response to Tadic's criticism
The Croatian government has reiterated that military operation Storm was a "legitimate and just action," in its response to Serbian President Boris Tadic’s criticism of Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor’s remarks during the commemoration of Victory and Homeland Gratitude Day.
Tadic had criticized Kosor’s address in which she thanked generals Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markac for their role in operation Storm, a military action that reclaimed parts of Serb-occupied territories in Croatia.  Both generals were recently sentenced in The Hague for war crimes committed during the operation.
In its response to Tadic’s criticism, the Croatian government said that the military action defeated the "aggressor policy" of Serb leader Slobodan Milosevic. "In addition to liberating the occupied territories in Croatia, the victory over the tyrant opened the road toward democracy for our neighbours," the government’s statement read.
Tadic said that such statements did not contribute to good neighbourly relations amongst states that are trying to deal with the legacy of wars that left "a large number of casualties, missing and displaced from their homes."
The Croatian government said it would "continue to advocate for the development of good neighbourly relations based on principles of freedom and democracy, and reject of any form of rehabilitation or relativisation of Milosevic's policy of aggression." Croatiantimes.com


Tuesday, 9th August, 2011
Bosnian farmers unblock roads toward border crossings with Croatia
Bosnian farmers have unblocked roads leading to border crossings with Croatia after reaching an agreement with their government over new subsidies.
The authorities of one of the two Bosnia and Herzegovina’s governing entities, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, decided to secure additional production incentives for the local farmers after protests broke out on several of the country’s roads yesterday (Mon).
Bosnia and Herzegovina was divided into two entities: Republika Srpska and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina as a result of the Dayton peace agreement in 1995. The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina covers 51 per cent of Bosnia and Herzegovina's total area, while Republika Srpska covers 49 per cent.
The entitiesare based largely on the territories held by the two warring sides at the time. Since 1996 the power of the entities relative to the State government has decreased significantly. Nonetheless, both entitiesstill have numerous powers to themselves.
Traffic on roads leading to border crossings Doljani (near Metkovic), Kamensko (near Livno), Izacic (near Bihac) and Orasje was either fully suspended or had evolved with difficulty and delays during the protests. Croatiantimes.com


Thursday, 4th August, 2011
End of EU negotiations big encouragment for investors, Minister says
Croatia’s conclusion of negotiations for European Union membership is the biggest encouragement for investors, the Deputy Prime Minister Domagoj Ivan Milosevic has said.
Reflecting on the fact that Croatia received little foreign investment last year, the minister said that the country was still much better off than the majority of transitional states. For this year he predicts a considerably higher influx of foreign investments that could double last year's numbers.
Milosevic said that the government had recently started the realisation of about 10 public investment projects worth 16 billion kunas (2.15 billion Euros) and had eased the conditions for the  realisation of another 110 private projects worth about 47 billion kunas (6.3 billion Euros).
Most important among the public investments are projects of state companies HEP (electricity), Plinacro, Croatian rail roads (Hrvatske zeljeznice), Jadranski naftovod and Luka Rijeka (Rijeka port).
"Part of this investment was financed by borrowing, and part through concessions and joint ventures," Milosevic said.
Most of the private investments ended up in the tourism sector followed by energy projects, industry, infrastracture and trade. The biggest private investment is the new manufacturing plant for Pliva built in Novi Marof and worth 100 million Euros, daily Jutarnji List writes. Croatiantimes.com


Wednesday, 13th July, 2011
Brits flew for wedding in Croatia together with their priest at the place where they discovered the best sunset
A British couple flew to Croatia together with 80 guests and a priest to get married at the place where they first met two year ago.
The 39-year-old designer Lee Penney and the 36-year-old marketing manager Kathryn Williams, both from London, met at the Gardens Music Festival in southern town of Zadar. They have now returned two years later to the same music festival to get married aboard the ship Argonaughty as the dancing stage in Zadar's channel.
"We met at the festival by chance. We went there separately, met and the love story developed," Kathryn told local daily Slobodna Dalmacija.
"We've returned here as such a sunset we could never forget," she added.
The organiser of the Gardens Music Festival is British musician Nick Colgan of UB40s. Thousands of Brits visit the festival every year. Croatiantimes


Tuesday, 12th July, 2011.
Ex-UN mission head in India and Pakistan named new commander of armed forces
Major general Dragutin Repinc has taken over as the head of the Croatian Army after the removal of Mladen Kruljac following his arrest on suspicion of land fraud.
Educated in military schools, Repinc was commander of the United Nations mission in India and Pakistan from 2005 until 2007, the highest duty a Croatian officer has ever held within the United Nations.
He is expected to take over his new post on Wednesday.
Daily Jutarnji List writes that Repinc may decide to reshuffle the chain of command as he is likely to face officers loyal to their ex-boss Kruljac. (Croatiantimes)


Tuesday, 26th July 2011
Europe at the Crossroads
The inauguration of the European currency union over a decade ago was preceded by a long discussion of the need for fiscal probity and economic convergence within the Eurozone. The "convergence criteria" in the Maastricht Treaty (Article 125,1) resulted from this protracted debate.
The criteria decided on can be summarized as follows:

1) The inflation rate shall not be more than 1.5 percentage points higher than the average of the three best performing member states of the EU.
2) The ratio of the annual government budget deficit to GDP must not exceed 3%.
3) The ratio of total government debt to GDP must not exceed 60%.
4) The nominal long-term interest rate in the member state concerned must not be more than 2 percentage points higher than that in the three member states with the lowest inflation. (more)


Wednesday, 13th July 2011
Despite Fukushima, Russia's Nuclear Industry is Open for Business  
Japan's 11 March catastrophe at its six-reactor Daichi Fukushima nuclear power complex has had global repercussions, hardly surprising given the trillions of dollars invested in civilian nuclear energy over the last five decades. Ironically, just a year ago the nuclear power industry saw itself on the verge of a renaissance, with worldwide concerns about global warming causing many to reconsider the merits of nuclear energy, which produces no greenhouse gases.  
Events in Japan changed all that, and hit the "big three" exporters of civilian nuclear power technology hard - the U.S., France and the Russian Federation.   (more)


Tuesday, 30th August, 2011
Most expensive ship built in Croatia tested in Split port
The most expensive ship ever to have been built in a Croatian shipyard has started testing in Split prior to delivery to its new owners.
The loading ramps of the 1.1 billion kunas (147.2 million Euros) worth ro-pax vessel "Piana" were tested under heavy cargo conditions and passed with flying colours.  In the future, the ship will connect Marseille and Bastia in Corsica.
The acronym ROPAX describes a roll on/roll off vessel (RoRo) built for freight vehicle transport along with passenger accommodation.
Brodosplit shipyard is expected to finish the vessel in a month and deliver it to the "La Meridionale" line. The vessel is envisioned to carry freight vehicles, personal vehicles and passengers. Croatiantimes.com


Tuesday, 12th July, 2011.
Brodosplit to build heavy lift ship for Netherlands ' company
Brodosplit and Jumbo Shipping from Netherlands have signed an agreement for the construction of a heavy lift ship.
Jumbo Shipping is one of the world's leading companies for the transporation of large and heavy cargos, daily 24 Sata writes. The new ship to be built in Split 's shipyard will be the largest in their fleet.
«Heavy lift ships are sophisticated vessels that have not yet been built in Croatian shipyards,» Brodosplit says. The company's strategic goal is targeting this market niche.
The ship will be 152 metres long and 27 metres wide and equipped with two cranes that can lift up 1,100 tonnes each. The delivery is expected in the first half of 2013 and there is a possibility of another commission for two more ships.



Tuesday, 5th July, 2011.
Replacement for Croatian ambassador in US still unknown
Former Croatian ambassador to the United States Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic has left her post to join NATO as Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs will start reviewing candidates for her replacement during the regular procedure of ambassador rotation and selection currently underway. (Croatiantimes)

 

 

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