Croatian brands5th December 2011
CROATIA AMONG TOP-10 COUNTRIES WITH FASTEST GROWING NATIONAL BRANDS

LONDON , Dec 5 - Croatia ranks 9th in terms of the rate of growth of its national brand - as China tops the list-  according to Brand Finance, a leading global brand valuation consultancy. The figures come from the London-based firm's recent Nation Brands 100, a report on the value of the world's top nation brands.

A nation brand is a measure of a country's reputation abroad. Since consumers are more willing to visit, invest in, or buy products from countries with strong reputations, these brands are valuable economic assets. The strong reputation of Switzerland, for example, encourages people to buy Swiss products, which they assume to be of high quality.

Croatia's nation brand increased in value to $30 billion US in 2011. While this total is much lower than that of the world's largest economies, it placed Croatia as the 9th fastest growing nation brand, one of only two European countries to make the “most improved” list.  Croatia’s nation brand increased in value by 21.2% in 2011. This is an especially impressive accomplishment considering that the nation brands of most European states actually lost value. The worst performing country in Europe – and the world – was Greece, which lost over 40% of its brand value. 

Croatian native produsts -Croatian quality products-Croatian souvenirs

 
Croatia’s nation brand still suffers from low perceptions of infrastructure and business-readiness, but has seen growth as the country continues to develop and move closer to the European Union. The BrandFinance Nation Brand 100 provides a comprehensive report on the world's leading nation brands and presents an analysis of the impact that a country's reputation and image have on foreign consumers and investors.

The report combines a wide range of economic, demographic, and political factors, and is based on in-depth research by Brand Finance's global network of offices.

For the entire report, click here  
Sent by John Ashbourne , anlyst




Monday, 20th June 2011
DUBROVNIK
In Dubrovnik held on 17th Meeting of the Bureau of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean

The 17th Bureau Meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean was hosted by the Croatian Parliament in Dubrovnik, and chaired by Hon. Tayseer Quba’a, PAM Vice President.


Friday, 10th June 2011 at 13:00
EU commision proposes to close the last four chapters in
the accession negotiations with Croatia

Today is a historic day for Croatia and for the European Union. The European Commission has just proposed to the EU Council of Ministers to close the last four chapters in the accession negotiations with Croatia. This paves the way for Croatia to join the EU as the 28th Member State as of 1 July 2013, if this indicative date proposed by the Commission were to be retained by the Council.

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.


Thursday, 2nd June 2011
Croatia Crimes 'Won't Be Included' in Mladic Indictment
The chief prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal Serge Brammertz convened the news conference in The Hague on Wednesday after Serbia extradited Mladic to the ICTY on Tuesday evening. He welcomed Mladic's arrest as a big step for international justice, adding that the forthcoming trial must meet expectations.He has said that his office does not plan to expand the indictment against Mladic to include crimes committed in Croatia allegedly by troops under his command, including killings in Skabrnja in November 1991.
He has said that his office does not plan to expand the indictment against Mladic to include crimes committed in Croatia allegedly by troops under his command, including killings in Skabrnja in November 1991.
My office has no such intention, Brammertz said on Wednesday when answering questions at a news conference about whether the prosecutors would amend the indictment to include the responsibility of Mladic for war crimes in Croatia, notably the killings in Skabrnja. During his trial at the UN tribunal, Mladic, the former Bosnian Serb military commander, will face charges including genocide and crimes against humanity committed in Bosnia during the war there. He will appear in court for the first time on Friday. Croatian President Ivo Josipovic told on the Croatian TV on Sunday that Mladic should be tried for crimes committed in Croatia."That would be absolutely just. Ratko Mladic must be tried for crimes in Croatia," Josipovic said, adding that the arrest and the future trial of Ratko Mladic would contribute to reconciliation in the region and improvement of relations among the countries.
Mladic was arrested in republic of Serbia on Friday 27th May after 15 years on the escape . tportal/hic


Tuesday, 17th May, 2011.
CROATIA RALLY: 59 ENTRIES LED BY THE REIGNING EUROPEAN CHAMPION

A legitimate satisfaction for the organizers of the Croatia Rally who have a total of 59 entries in the event, an uncommon figure for the country, about half of which are foreign crews. There are 16 crews registered for the FIA European Rally Championship, including all the main candidates for the 2011 title, starting with the reigning European champion and current leader of the series, Luca Rossetti and Matteo Chiarcossi on the Grande Punto Abarth, the 2006, 2009 and 2010 European Champion car.

In the race there will be all the main models of Super 2000 cars: Abarth Grande Punto, Ford Fiesta, Peugeot 207, Skoda Fabia. Among the favourites for the overall victory are also the two-time European champion Renato Travaglia, former Italian national champions Piero Longhi and Andrea Dallavilla, former European 2WD champion, Czech Anton Tlustak, former Bulgarian champion Dimitar Iliev and outstanding drivers such as Polish Maciej Oleksowicz, Italian Luca Betti, Polish Szymon Ruta, Frenchman Cyril Vosalho, Croats Niko Pulic and Juraj Šebalj, Slovenian Rok Turk, Hungarian Janos Szylagyi.
It is worth noting that thanks to the organizers' decision to offer a free entry to female crews, there will be two such teams at the start, one from Bulgaria, Ekaterina Sratieva and Blagovesta Milanova and one from Croatia, Lana Sutlović and Anamarija Pozojević.
The Croatia Rally is valid for the FIA European Rally Championship, the FIA Central European Trophy, for the Croatian Regional Rally Championship and for the Croatian Rally Championship.
The competition, based in Rijeka, will be held from Thursday to Sunday this week. HIC


Monday, 16th May, 2011.
Rijeka´s politician under investigation for war profiteering

Former head of Rijeka's defence headquarters has been placed under investigation in the case of the alleged disappearance of some 410,000 Euros in Deutsche Marks (DEM) intended for weapons purchases in 1991.
Slavko Linic returned from the United States to find himself in the centre of an investigation about war profiteering, the daily Jutarnji List writes. Linic refused to comment on the case before familiarising himself with the allegedly anonymous report submitted 15 days ago.
The Croatian government recently voted to end the statute of limitation for criminal offfences in cases of war profiteering.
According to Linic, the new law is supposed to take effect on 21 May, which would mean that he is being investigated under legislation that does not yet exist.
The money under investigation belonged to the city budget, and Linic claims that he personally went to collect it in Slovenia when weapons purchases deals went through. He says that the money had been returned in full to the city's accounts.
The police have already questioned the former head of Primorje-Gorski Kotar police Josip Kukuljan, chief of territorial defence Simo Rudulic and the headquarters' secretary, Franjo Butorac. They all claim that the weapons were never delivered and that money was returned to the city.
Linic thinks that he is the last to be investigated as the only other person that was involved in the procurement of weapons, the former chief of the city's finances, is no longer alive.
Linic suspects the Minister of Interior Tomislav Karamarko and the police director, Oliver Grbic of trying to frame him, the daily writes. Croatiantimes.com


 

Thursday, 5th May, 2011
Croatian athletes reap wins at Taekwando Championship in South Korea
Croatian taekwondo athlete Marina Sumic has won the silver meal in the up to 62 kilograms category at the World Championship currently held in the South Korean town of Gheongju.
To get to the semi-finals, Sumic beat Mexican Carolina Acosta Alvarez 5-2, New Zealand's Verina Wihonghai 5-0, Russian Marina Cesuina 12-1 and Australian Carmen Marton 15-3. The Canadian Karine Sergeria turned over the semi-final match to Sumic without a fight.
Sumic lost in the finals to Thailand's representative, Rangsiya Nsaisom 1-3.
This is the second medal for Croatia's representatives in Gyeongju, after Ana Zaninovic won gold in the category of up to 53 kilograms on Tuesday. Croatiantimes.com


Thursday, 5th May, 2011
National Geographic recommends Istria for this year´s summer vacation
National Geographic includes Istria, Croatia in the list of top 10 holiday destinations for 2011.
National Geographic Traveler has recommended Croatia's Istria region as one of the hottest spots for this year's summer vacation.
The article praises the cleanliness of Istria's beaches little known to North American travellers more familiar with the Dalmatian coast and Dubrovnik.
It singles out Medulin Riviera with the hidden jewel Cape Kamenjak for all those who are up for an edge-of-the-world experience on these rocky beaches.
National Geographic reminds that everyone should visit the peninsula's main city Pula and its Arena amphitheatre dating to the first century A.D. Croatiantimes.com


Tuesday, 3rd May, 2011
FINAL RUSH FOR THE ENTRIES TO CROATIA RALLY: CLOSING DAY ON MAY 5th
This is the last week to enter Croatia Rally, second round of the FIA European Rally Championship. Entries will close on May 5th at midnight.
Even if these last few days will draw the complete picture of the favourites, the situation at the end of the first phase of the entries is positive for the organizers of Croatia Rally, since they have already over 40 entries, and among these there are already more than half of the drivers who are entered in the FIA European Rally Championship.
A truly remarkable percentage, given that the actual participation in the continental series is often influenced by budgets and therefore there are those who after entering the series are forced to retire for economic reasons, or for other opportunities. Such is the case of the 2009 European champion, Giandomenico Basso, who after his registration has been hired by the works Proton team involved in another international series and who will therefore will not be in Rijeka as he also missed the Mille Miglia event, which opened the season.
There will certainly be all the major stars of the first act of the 2011 FIA European Rally Championship (Renato Travaglia, Maciej Oleksowicz, Luca Betti, Dimitar Iliev, Szymon Ruta, Maciej Rzeznik, Cyril Vosahlo, Andrea Dallavilla etc..), although to date there still lacks the official confirmation of the presence of the reigning European champion, the first leader of the 2011 series and winner of last year's event Luca Rossetti with his Grande Punto Abarth S2000 and codriver Matteo Chiarcossi. More difficult, but not impossible, will be the debut of the Mini John Cooper Works on the Croatian roads, as between those who are considering giving up the European Championship are Corrado and Luigi Fontana, who could dispose of them. But the option remains open for Piero Longhi to be with the car in Rijeka.
A rich and qualified participation of local pilots is expected, beginning with Juraj Sebalj, several times winner of the rally over the last decade.
To learn more about Croatia Rally and on its side events centred in the pedestrian area in the centre of Rijeka, visit the website www.croatia-rally.com.HIC


26th April, 2011.
Minister Karamarko calls ex-President Mesic´s claims about Brijuni transcripts 'untruthful'
Croatian Interior Minister Tomislav Karamarko has said that former President Stjepan Mesic's claims that the counter-intelligence agency (POA) handed over the Brijuni meeting audiotapes used to sentence Croatian generals Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markac in The Hague were untruthful.
In a letter to Novi List last week, Mesic responded to criticism that his cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) led to guilty sentences for two Croatian generals largely regarded as heroes in their home country, by claiming that the President's office served only as a forwarding service that would hand over requested documents first to the Croatian government and not directly to The Hague.
Many have criticised Mesic for allegedly "handing over" the transcripts of the meeting at Brijuni that are seen as the main incriminating evidence against generals Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markac, who were sentenced by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) to 24 and 18 years, respectively. ICTY had used the information from the Brijuni meetings to prove that Gotovina and Markac were part of what the court has called "joint criminal enterprise" aimed to permanently remove the Serb population from parts of Croatia.
Mesic claimed that it was not the transcripts of the Brijuni meetings that led to Gotovina and Markac's sentence as some have said, but rather audio recordings of the same meeting that were handed over to The Hague by POA, which Karamrko headed at the time.
ICTY's verdict read that the meeting established the existence of a joint criminal enterprise of which both generals and Croatia's first President Franjo Tudjman were a part, and which had as its goal the elimination of the Serb population from parts of Croatia.
Karamarko responded to Mesic's accusations by saying that the ex-President was not telling the truth when he said that the transcripts were never used as evidence. He added that POA had not given the audio recordings to The Hague.
"POA tried to establish the authenticity of the document that was our entire contact with that document. POA had never on its own initiative or directly cooperated with The Hague. Mesic's statements are clumsy and ill-intentioned," Karamarko said. Croatiantimes.com


22nd April 2011
18th Annual Assembly of National Federation of Croatian Americans Announced for Pittsburgh area June 3-5
"18th Annual Convention of the National Federation of Croatian Americans Cultural Foundation Convention and Wine Tasting Events to Take Place June 4, 2011, in Pittsburgh"
For Immediate Release - April 20, 2011
The 18th Annual Convention of the National Federation of Croatian Americans Cultural Foundation (NFCA) will take place in Pittsburgh on June 4, 2011 at the Clarion Hotel in Greentree, located just outside of Pittsburgh.  Delegates from throughout the United States are expected to attend and will discuss a wide range of issues, including the recent convictions of General Gotovina and Mladen Markac, the status of Croats in Bosnia and Hercegovina, and furthering links between the United States and Croatia.
The Convention's activities will be preceded on Friday evening, June 3, 2011, by a special visit to St. Nicholas Croatian Church in Millvale where Convention Delegates and their guests will have an opportunity to view the murals of Max Vanko which feature scenes from Croatian life in the homeland and in America in the 1930s.  Delegates and their guests will also participate in a private wine tasting social of Croatian wines at the NFCA's Hospitality Suite at the Clarion Hotel that night.
The Convention will open with a Delegates-only meeting on Saturday morning, June 4, 2011, at the Clarion Hotel located at 401 Holiday Drive, Greentree-Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  That afternoon after 1:00 pm, the Convention will open its doors to the public when we will hear from a number of speakers about Croatian American issues.  That Saturday evening the Delegates will attend a Wine Tasting Event fund raiser at Peter Karlovich's home on Mt. Washington, which is open to the public and discussed in another article in the Zajednicar.
Delegates are eligible for a special discount hotel rate at the Clarion.  Reservations can be made by calling 412-922-8100 and asking for the NFCA Cultural Foundation rate.  Please note that the special rate is only good for until May 20, 2011. This hotel is a short 15 minutes from the Pittsburgh International Airport.
If you are interested in attending as a Delegate - or if you would like more information concerning the NFCA - please contact Zvonko Labas at zvonkolabas@yahoo.com or by calling the Washington offices of the NFCA at 301-208-6650.  The mailing address for the NFCA is 2401 Research Blvd, Rockville, MD 20850.
Bill Vergot, National Secretary, NFCA CF, Lodge 541



Wednesday, 20th April 2011
KUHNER: The coming Balkan war
Hague conviction of Croatian general rekindles designs for ‘Greater Serbia'
By Jeffrey T. Kuhner
The Washington Times
Croatia is headed toward another war. The Balkans - again - will explode with violence. It is only a matter of time. And the so-called “international community” has been pivotal in stoking the flames of ethnic conflict.
Recently, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) based in The Hague, Netherlands, sentenced Croatian Gen. Ante Gotovina to 24 years in prison. The ICTY's ruling rightly has sparked angry protests across Croatia. (more)


Friday, 15th April, 2011.
THE CROATIA RALLY WILL MARK THE DEBUT IN THE EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP OF THE NEW MINIS IN PRESENCE OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC
The importance of the Croatia Rally, second round of the 2011 FIA European Rally Championship, goes well beyond the high one for the speciality (the continental series is second in importance only to the World Championship) and is definitely one of the most awaited and important events of the nation, to the point that the event should be greeted by the President of the Republic, Ivo Josipovic, who has already confirmed his presence in Rijeka in the days of the rally: He might greet the winner on the finish podium in the pedestrian town centre.
Meanwhile the approach to the event, just over a month away (but the entries will close on May 5th) has seen a rapid increase in the entries, as most of the 25 drivers who have already entered the FIA European Rally Championship have declared their intention to be at the start and some have already sent their entry to a race which is very appreciated for its programme: the service area in the pedestrian centre of Rijeka, three days of competition between May 19th and 21st with a compact asphalt route of 500 km in total, 250 of which are timed and divided in 15 special stages one of which is the 'superspecial' next to Rijeka. The three legs are also well balanced. On Thursday shakedown in the morning and 2 SS in the evening, run twice. On Friday, the longest day (from 11.00 to 21.30) with three special stages to be repeated twice and the superspecial in the end. Finally, the third day (Saturday between 11.00 and 17.00) with another 2 stages to be repeated twice.
Among the favourites for the title already confirmed, Polish Maciej Oleksowicz (Ford Fiesta S2000) and Czech Antonín Tlusťák (Skoda Fabia S2000) while next week (after the running this weekend of the first race of the series, the Mille Miglia Rally) entries are expected from several other Italian drivers like Renato Travaglia (Skoda Fabia S2000), Alessandro Perico, Luca Betti and Elia Bossalini (Peugeot 207 S2000), Andrea Dallavilla and Polish Michal Solowow (Ford Fiesta S2000). Moreover, the race will certainly mark the debut in the European Rally Championship of the new Mini John Cooper Works 1.6 T: Corrado Fontana will certainly drive one and Luigi Fontana and Piero Longhi probably will too.

This is the full list of the drivers entered in the European Championship att April 12th:
Szymon Ruta, Maciej Rzeznik, Petar Gyoshev, Giovanni Vergnano, Dimitar Iliev, Rok Turk, Luca Rossetti, Piero Longhi, Alessandro Perico, Mathieu Biasion, Maciej Oleksowicz, Antonín Tlusťák, Corrado Fontana, Luigi Fontana, Francesco Parli, Renato Travaglia, Luca Betti, Michal Solowow, Giandomenico Basso, Stefano Albertini, Cyril Vosahlo, Uroš Petrič, Elia Bossalini, Andrea Dallavilla, Marco Signor.


Tuesday, 5th April, 2011
CROATIA RALLY: THE MISSES ARE THE FASTEST. THEY HAVE ALREADY ARRIVED, THE CHAMPIONS WILL FOLLOW

Ana, Sanja, Bojana, Milana, Sandra, Gordana or who else will succeed amongst the 15 candidates to the title of Miss Rally of the 2011 Croatia Rally?
It's difficult to make predictions. Almost like saying who will be the winner of the Croatia Rally, second and decisive round of the FIA 2011 European Rally Championship, which will take place from May 19th to 21st based in Rijeka.
Meanwhile, You can already admire the photos of the aspiring Miss Rally on the event website (www.croatia-rally.com/miss/miss.html), waiting to see them in person in the days of the rally between HQ and Service Area in the pedestrian centre of Rijeka, where we will know the name of the beauty queen and of the winner of one of the most important sporting events of Croatia and of the European Rally Championship.
With the entries now open it is possible to feel the interest towards a rally which will surely play a role in the fight for the title, even though many entries are expected especially after April 17th , when the countdown will begin for the last thirty days before the start and with the end of the season's first rally, the 1000 Miglia in Italy.
The local drivers are particularly hot, as they welcome the return of their main national event in the European series to step in the light. For what concerns the cars and drivers which aim to the European title (currently 26 entries), it is virtually certain that there will be at least a couple of the new Mini John Cooper Works besides many Peugeot 207 S2000, Skoda Fabia S2000 and Abarth Grande Punto S2000 (the car that has won the last three European Championships). But there might be further news: there could also be the new Mitsubishi Lancer Evo R4 and Subaru Impreza R4 (both homologated and available from May 1st) and not to rule out is the participation of a works Proton Satria Neo S2000, the team which has hired the former European Champion Giandomenico Basso, who is entered in the FIA European Championship and who will not start in the Tour de Corse, the IRC round scheduled for the week before.
www.croatia-rally.com


Monday, 4th April 2011
Miss America 2011, future politician Teresa Scanlan, brings her tiara to Washington

By The Reliable Source

“Hi! How you doing?” said Miss America 2011, Teresa Scanlan. “Great to meet you!”
The blond bundle of enthusiasm before us Tuesday night at the Capitol Hill Club is just 18, but has the poise, ambition and firm handshake of a seasoned politician — which is what she wants to be.
“I would like to start out as an attorney, actually,” she told us. “I want to be in criminal prosecution as a trial attorney and hopefully become a federal judge.” Then politics: “I really think that it's important for my generation to step up into those roles... I constantly hear: ‘Stay out of politics. You don't want to get in there, you're too good for that!' It really shows me all the more why we need to get involved.”
Just the perfect sound bite when you're in the nation's capital, isn't it? Scanlan and a handful of state title holders who competed in January's scholarship pageant blitzed through Washington this week, bringing their rhinestone crowns and wholesome glamour to the gray, cold city, including visits to the Capitol, the Croatian Embassy and a lunch on Wednesday at Cafe Milano. (more)


Wednesday, 30th March 2011.
Veterans to organise tent protests in front of government building in Zagreb
Croatian veterans plan to set up tents in front of ministries and the parliament starting next Monday in protest against their difficult economic situation.
Organised by the Association of Warriors of Croatian War of Defence (URHOR), the protests are expected to take place in front of various government buildings, including the headquarters of the majority the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ).
The President of the Association, Petar Janjic Tromblon called his fellow veterans who have not yet solved their pension, disability nor housing problems to join him "in relaxation and free parking" in front of government buildings.
"All campers who join the camping and relaxation action will be provided with meals in the elite restauarant called 'Croatian Parliament' for a price of 15 kunas per meal. At the same time we have arranged free showers in the fountain in front of the Croatian National Bank," Tromblon said.
The main reason for the protest is a lack of work and diversions from solving the veterans' problems, Tromblon said.
He is expecting some 1,100 tents, the daily Vecernji List writes. Croatiantimes.com


Monday, 28th March, 2010
Davor Suker to attend CACF 9th Annual Golf Outing in NYC
The Croatian American Charitable Foundation announced today that soccer legend Davor Suker will be attending the 9th Annual Charity Golf Outing and Awards Dinner on Monday, May 23th 2011 in Long Island, New York. This is the third consecutive year that Mr. Suker will be attending this event that will benefit the Croatian Mine Action Centre, American Cancer Society, Cam Neely Foundation, Lustgarten Foundation for pancreatic research and Doctors Without Borders.
“We are delighted to have Mr. Suker joining us again and supporting the CACF.”, said Tomislav Nogalo, President of the CACF. “Mr. Suker is a wonderful supporter of our organization for a few years now and we look forward to seeing him at our outing.” (more)


Wednesday, 23rd March, 2011
Election date will be set in June, Kosor says
The date for parliamentary elections will be set by the end of June when the European Union negotiations are expected to end, the Croatian Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor said after a three-hour meeting with her coalition partners.
"We do not want the date of the elections to coincide with the date of the referendum (on EU membership)," Kosor said. She did not however specify which one of the elections will be held first.
She added that the meeting was the start of negotiations with the coalition partners and that they will meet again at the beginning of April, the daily Jutarnji List writes.
The legal deadline for elections is February 2012. Croatiantimes.com


Wednesday, 23rd March, 2011
Port of Ploce goes to workers
The workers of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County's port operator Luka Ploce (Port of Ploce) have successfully managed to buy enough of their company's shares to become a majority owner, the Croatian media have reported.
All 746 of the company's workers participated in the purchase of 24.6 per cent of the company's shares for 21 million kunas (2.84 million Euros) from the Croatian government. With their current holdings, the acquisition makes the workers the majority owners with 35 per cent of shares.
They managed to lock the nominal price at 400 kunas per share under the condition that all workers contribute to the privatisation and keep the shares for the next five years.
On average each worker bought around 100 shares, depending on the length of their time with the company. Their acquisition was supported by a loan from Privredna Banka Zagreb, the daily Jutarnji List writes. Croatiantimes.com


Wednesday, 16th March, 2011
Foreign companies vie for Pleso airport concession
The most serious candidates for the concession of the Zagreb's Pleso airport are American, French, Turkish and German companies, the daily 24 Sata writes.
The Croatian government is receiving offers from potential concessionaires until April 4. The selected company would build and manage the new terminal worth 200 million Euros.
Amongst serious offers are also those from Denmark and Australia, but the most interesting proposal seems to come from the American Houston Airport Systems. Houston airport is the home base of the carrier United Airlines.
The Croatian government hopes to establish a direct connection with the United States in the near future, the daily writes. Croatiantimes.com

Tuesday, 15th March, 2011
Swoboda and Kosor hopeful about end of June negotiations deadline
The Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor met with the the European Parliament rapporteur for Croatia, Hannes Swoboda and the representatives of the Foreign Affairs Council to discuss the finalisation of Croatia's European Union negotiations.
"After an open and constructive conversation, I can say that I have once more informed Mr. Swoboda that the government is determined to work non-stop, 24 hours, in order to, if possible, finish the negotiations by the end of June of this year," Kosor said.
Swoboda said: "The sun is shining outside, spring is here! We hope that by the summer we will manage to finish the negotiations. That is a clear message of the entire European Union to Croatia. Focus on those efforts in order to do everything to finish the negotiations."
"We talked about the political situation and I told the PM – protests are a sign of democracy. That is Europe," Swoboda added.
At the beginning of March, Swoboda said that Croatia has to first finish the accession negotiations with the European Union and then determine the date for the parliamentary elections. Many of the protesters have been calling for elections to be held sooner rather than later.
The Croatian opposition officials have interpreted Swoboda's statement as meddling in the country's internal affairs, the daily Jutarnji List writes. Croatiantimes.com


Thursday, 10th March 2011
Croatia places 34th on World Economic Forum tourism report
Croatia has maintained a steady position in this year's World Economic Forum Travel (WEF) and Tourism Competitiveness, placed 34th amongst 139 countries surveyed.
It is the 24th most competitive country in Europe, receiving 4.6 points on the scale of seven.
Croatia's position has not changed since last year's report, the daily Vecernji List writes.
The Adriatic country received highest marks in the area of tourism infrastructure, taking fourth place and receiving the maxium number of points
It's weakest spot are the prices (101st place with 4.2 points).
Compared to other countries in Europe, Croatia is ahead of most of the new European Union members such as Hungary, Bulgaria, Poland, Lithuania, Slovakia, Latvia and Romania, while Slovenia is immediately in front of Croatia.
The report selected the following countries as the top ten in the world: Switzerland, Germany, France, Andorra, Austria, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Spain and Singapore.
According to the WEF website, the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2011 measures and analyzes the drivers of T&T competitiveness in economies around the world. Its main goal is to provide a useful tool for governments and business leaders in overcoming the obstacles to T&T competitiveness, in order to benefit fully from the sector's development.
The Report includes an analysis of the rankings of the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI), which aims to measure the factors and policies that make it attractive to develop the T&T sector in 139 industrialized and emerging economies. Croatiantimes.com

Wednesday, 9th March 2011.
One fifth of Croatian men think their word is law
Some 36 per cent of Croatian men believe that the most important role of a woman is to take care of the children and cook, while only 20 per cent think that the man should have the last word in the household.
The latter fact makes Croatian men the most liberal out of the male population in six countries surveyed for the "Evolving Men - Initial Results from the International Men and Gender Equality Survey (IMAGES)" (Brazil, Mexico, India, Chile, Rwanda and Croatia).
Still, 29 per cent of Croatians think that women should be the ones to change baby's diapers, while an overhwleming 62 per cent believes that they have to be rough to be "real men."
The initial results of the IMAGES survey, however, show that men in all of the countries except for India and Rwanda support the equality between men and women.
The study also showed that men who consider their female counterparts equal are more satisfied, communicate more with their partner and have a better sex life.
The biggest sources of stress for men were income and lack of work, which could lead to depression, thoughts of suicide and domestic violence.
The surveys this year will include Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea in coordination with the UN's programme "Partners for Prevention." Croatiantimes.com


Wednesday, 9th March 2011.
Sea cleanup in November cost Croatia 70,000
Croatia will have to pay 70,000 Euros for the cleanup of the sea waters in Dalmatia's south polluted by waste from Albania swept up by bad weather at the end of last year.
The shores and waters surrounding the peninsula Peljesac and Mljet island were littered with needles, catheters and bottles filled with saline solution and even dead animals.
The affected areas will soon receive the funds, the daily Jutarnji List writes. Croatiantimes.com


Wednesday, 9th March 2011.
Croatia moves up a spot in FIFA ranking
The Croatian national football team has moved up to 8th place on the latest FIFA list of the best national teams.
Croatia's biggest challengers in the UEFA Euro 2012 competition - the Greeks - are behind in 10th place.
The Georgians, who will host the Croatian team on March 26, are in 72nd place. Out of the other challengers for the European championship qualifications, Israel is in 58th place, Latvia in 75th and Malta in 156th position.
The top five FIFA teams come from Spain, Netherlands, Germany, Argentina and Brazil. Croatiantimes.com


Monday, 7th March 2011
Dubrovnik museums lead in revenues
The museums in the city of Dubrovnik have upped their revenues 16.5 per cent last year, officials have announced.
The museums' total budget was 11.7 million kunas (1.58 million Euros), out of which 9.8 million (1.327 million Euros) came from institutions' own revenues. The share of museums' money in total revenues was 84 per cent last year, an absolute record in Croatia as a whole.
The city's museums increased their collections with 27 bought and 102 gifted objects, 39 things were restored and 240 have been cleaned.
Some 350,000 people visited the museums last year, the portal Business writes. Croatiantimes.com


Wednesday, 9th March, 2011
Croatia hopes for more German tourists this year
Early tourist season indicators show that German guests will remain the number one visitors to Croatia in 2011, with the Adriatic country being one of their top five preferred destinations.
Some tour operators report an increase in demand between 20 and 100 per cent for vacations in Croatia, the daily Vecernji List writes.
The interest was growing even before the unrest in Tunisia and Egypt, but it seems that the turmoil in those countries is forcing vacationers to choose alternatives.
Although some estimates call for 100,000 more German guests than last year, the Ministry of Tourism would be happy with more moderate increases.
"We would be happy if last year's growth of 4.2 per cent continued," the Minister of Tourism, Damir Bajs said. Croatiantimes.com


Monday, 28th February, 2011
Dutch TV station apologizes to Gotovina for inaccurate documentary
A Dutch TV station has apologized to the Croatian General Ante Gotovina currently on trial in Hague, for airing a documentary about his alleged crimes while showing footage of Serb concentration camps.
Gotovina's lawyers threatened to sue the Dutch TV NCRV after it aired a statement from former UNPROFOR member Stefan van Zanten who claimed that Gotovina was responsible for crimes against the Serbs in 1992. According to Gotovina's team, Van Zanten's speech was accompanied by "gruesome shots of tortured Croat and Bosniaks (Bosnian Muslims) held in notorious Serb concentration camp Trnopolje, thus suggesting that people shown were Serbs in camps under general Gotovina's control."
As station did not ask for Gotovina's comment before airing the documentary, the general's lawyers said it had broken Dutch laws.
The TV NCRV has admitted its error and will post an apology on its web pages, the daily Jutarnji List writes. The two parties are likely to settle the case outside of the court. In their original complaint, Gotovina's lawyers asked for 50,000 Euros of compensation for the damages that the programme has caused.
Ante Gotovina is currently awaiting his trial's verdict in the Hague. He stands accused of crimes against humanity during the war in former Yugoslavia (1991-1995). Croatiantimes.com


Thursday, 24th February, 2011
Croatia looking at options to rescue workers stranded in Libya
Croatia has been in discussions with Turkey about the possibility of evacuating its citizens working in Libya using Turkish ships, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has confirmed.
The Ministry has met with the directors of the Croatian companies whose workers are in Libya where unrest has claimed over 200 lives in the last few days.
As no special flights have yet received permission to land or depart, the officials are looking for alternatives, the daily Vecernji List writes.Croatiantimes.com


VodiceMonday, 21st. February, 2011
Croatian tourism increases, but Germans still opt for Spain and Turkey
Croatian tourism is not expected to profit from German tourists in wake of the crisis in Egypt, news website Dalje has reported.

The same source has said that Germans have largely stopped making bookings to Egypt, but instead of choosing Croatia as hoped, they mostly choose Spain or Turkey.

However, Croatia still in general has noticed an increase of 24 percent in bookings for the new season when one compares January this year and last year.
Croatiantimes.com


Wednesday, 16th February, 2011
Temple of Roman godess Venus found on Krk
A Croatian family has unearthed a rare temple built in honour of Roman goddess Venus while trying to refurbish a building on Krk island.
The Rist family discovered the remains of the structure in the foundations of a building which they were intending to convert into a store. The building is located in the heart of the island's main town, also named Krk.
Temples to Venus are a rare find as it is believed that only ten or so exist in Europe. Since Venus was considered the progenitor of the Roman Julio lineage, her temples could only be built with the members' approval. Archaeologist Nino Novak explains that this would mean that either a family member or someone exceptionally rich – who could have bought the permission – built the temple.
The newly discovered temple is dated to the first century before Christ, the daily Jutarnji List writes. It was most likely destroyed in the civil war between Caesar and Pompey, Novak believes.
Together with the conservationists, the Rist family plans to protect the discovery with glass in order to allow visitors to come and see the important find, the daily writes. Croatiantimes.com


 

Tuesday, 22nd February, 2011
The SafeMed II Project Annual Workshop on Maritime Security: A platform for progress
The 2nd SafeMed II Project Annual Workshop on Maritime Security was held in Genoa between the 1 and 2 February 2011, providing an excellent platform for communication between member States of the EU and SafeMed II Project Beneficiaries. Organised by The Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC) , the implementing body of the project, the workshop's main objective is to improve Maritime Security in the Mediterranean Region by mitigating any gaps existing between Project members and Beneficiaries with respect to the implementation of Maritime Security. n high on the agenda not onlyin the Assembly but in all international fora", Dr. Piazzi said.
(more)


Tuesday, 4th January, 2011
Concerned at Continued Investigation and Detention of Belarus Journalists Following Mass Arrests and Assault Earlier This Month
Vienna, 3 January 2011 - The International Press Institute (IPI), and its affiliate organisation, the South and East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), are alarmed that dozens of journalists arrested in a brutal police crackdown on demonstrations that followed the re-election of President Alexander Lukashenko on 19 December 2010 remain in prison, some of them reportedly in KGB investigation wards.
According to the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ), 24 journalists were arrested in the crackdown, and 21 were physically assaulted. A number of the arrested journalists have already been sentenced to up to two weeks' detention. Others remain "under investigation" - some of them in the "KGB ward" of a Belarus prison, according to sources. (more)


Tuesday, 4th January, 2011
PAM declaration following Alexandria Blast
Hon. Mohammed Abou El-Enein, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean, has expressed, on behalf of the Assembly, the strongest condemnation for the bomb attack against the al Qiddiseen Church in the city of Alexandria in Egypt, in which innocent people have died and others were seriously wounded. (more)


Wednesday, 22nd December, 2010
The Shape of the World in 2020
None can foretell the future, and yet the shape of what we face can be shrewdly estimated with enough attention to historical trends; with broad contextual understanding; and with sufficient insight into the character of leaders, their societies, and the structures which define their basis.
These estimates will be tempered by the sudden acts of nature, the sudden emergence of true leadership from unexpected quarters, or key breakthroughs in science. Still, we can hazard reliable views on the shape of the world in, say, a decade - in 2020 - if present trends and characters remain, and on a knowledge of certain baseline levels of wealth and capability which presently exist. (more)

Tuesday, 15th February, 2011
Captain Dragan´s extradition from Austrialia could be postponed until 2012
The extradition of the suspected war criminal Dragan Vasiljkovic from Australia to Croatia could be put off until 2012, the daily Vecernji List writes.
The 55-year-old wanted for war crimes committed in the Croatian city of Knin during the war of the 1990s, has been held in Australia's Silverwater jail for nine months while awaiting extradition.
Although the Australian federal court has agreed to extradition, the process requires the Interior Minister's approval. He is, however, awaiting the finalization of all proceedings after the Vasiljkovic's lawyers lodged an appeal of the court's verdict.
It is not likely that the court will hear the case before August, the Serbian press has reported. If the judges decide to transfer the case to the Judicial Council, no meeting would be held before November.
Vasiljkovic – who is better known by his wartime nickname "Captain Dragan" but has renamed himself in Australia as Daniel Snedden - is wanted in Croatia on suspicion of committing crimes in the Knin area between 1991 and 1993. He is also suspected of having violated Geneva conventions on the treatment of prisoners.
After the Australian High Court ruled he should be extradited to Croatia last March, Snedden disappeared for 43 days, hiding on a docked boat before he was arrested. Croatiantimes.com


Friday, 11th February, 2011
Croatian company wins Abu Dhabi contract
Croatian company Tehnix has secured a contract to build a waste-recycling line for the communal services in the United Arab Emirates' (UAE) capital Abu Dhabi.
The director and owner of the company from Donji Kraljevac, Djuro Horvat, has secured the 5.5 million Euro project after five years of preparation. As UAE gives preference to local companies, he founded a joint venture company Tehnix-Abu Dhabi Emirates that is planning on building the two-million-Euro plant.
"It is a beautiful, rich country which has decided to solve the waste problem in a modern way, with sorting and recycling. We jumped in with our knowledge and experience," said Horvat, when talking about scoring the deal.
The Croatian Society of Managers and Entrepreneurs has recently recognized Horvat with a lifetime achievement award for his contribution to the development of technology and patents in the production of specialized equipment for the sorting and recycling of communal waste, water protection and environment, as well as for the development of the ecological industry in Croatia.
As well as founding Tehnix - which employs 300 people - in his birthtown Donji Kraljevac in Medjimurje, Horvat also owns companies in Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and now UAE, the daily Vecernji List writes. Croatiantimes.com


Friday, 11th February, 2011
Josipovic visits Dayton anniversary conference in New York
Croatian President Ivo Josipovic has attended a conference held in New York on the 15 year period after the Dayton Peace Accords ended the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Former American President and one of the contributors to the agreement Bill Clinton organized the meeting "America at a Crossroad - the Dayton Accords and the Beginning of the 21st Century Diplomacy" to take a look at what has happened since the end of the war.
The panellists agreed that the Agreement has brought peace to Bosnia but it had not necessarily ensured equal development of all three constituent peoples and the country's economic recovery.
President Josipovic said that he has been working for the region's peace and security during his year-long mandate.
"The European Union is the future for all of us and the region needs leaders who will guide it on that path. We are working on reinstituting the trust, and it is important for us that Croats return to the Serb Republic, that we maintain the identities of all three constituent peoples and that we strengthen economic relations," said Josipovic, inviting Americans to invest in Croatia and the region.
Serbian President Boris Tadic was not at the conference due to leg surgery. The Prime Minister of one of Bosnia's governing entities Republika Srpska, Milorad Dodik, was also not present.
During the meeting Josipovic spoke with Catherin Ashton, the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of the European Union, as well as with the American Deputy Secretary of State, James Steinberg. They concluded that Croatia is on the last stretch of its journey toward the EU and that it has a strong support in that from America. President Josipovic invited Bill Clinton to Croatia in April for a trade and investment forum planned in Dubrovnik. Croatiantimes.com


 

Friday, 21 st January, 2011
Branko Franolic 1925-2011 distinugished promoter of Croatian studies
By Prof.Dr. Darko Zubrinic
Polyglot and promoter of Croatian language
Branko Franolić (1925-2011) was born in Rijeka, Croatia, and died in London, UK, where he had lived for almost four decades, since 1974. He studied French, English and Italian languages at the University of Zagreb. In 1952 he emigrated from ex-Yugoslavia, and since then spent most of his life far from his homeland, in England, France, Canada and elsewhere.
In 1977 he defended his doctoral disertation Les mots d'emprunt français en croate (Words of French origin in Croatian) at famous Sorbonne in Paris. During many years he lectured French language in England and Canada, and English in France. For sixteen years he was lecturing at prestigious University of René Descartes at Sorbonne. In Canada he lectured Croatian language at Atkinson College of the York University in Toronto. (more)


Wednesday, 19th January, 2011
Zagreb´s Archbishoip and Kosor meet to discuss Pope´s visit
Croatian Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor has met with Zagreb's Archibishop Cardinal Josip Bozanic to discuss the Pope's upcoming visit to the capital.

In a short statement, the two said that they reviewed the steps which have already been made in preparation for the Pope's visit, and also discussed the next stages of the process.

The head of the government told the Cardinal about the status of the European Union negotiations as well as about the economic, social and demographic projects of the government.

Cardinal Bozanic thanked Kosor for the efforts she has been making that benefit the Croatian citizens, the daily Vecernji List writes. Croatiantimes.com


Monday, 17th January, 2011
Bill Gates to pay millions to clear land mines from Skradin area
Microsoft owner Bill Gates has decided to spend a few million dollars on removing mines from an area in southern Croatia where he spends his holidays.
Croatian De-mining Centre director Zdravko Modrusan has told daily newspaper Novi List that Bill Gates announced that he will donate money. The exact amount is unknown, but the paper says it will run into the millions of dollars.
According to Zdravko Modrusan, Bill Gates wants the area close to the southern town of Skradin to be cleared of mines. This is the area which he has been visiting for family holidays since 2004.
"Bill Gates has noticed warnings 'watch out for mines' and has decided to help to de-mine the area", Zdravko Modrusan has told the paper.
Since the war for independence in Croatia from 1991 to 1995 there are still 800 square kilometres of land suspected to be dotted with land mines. Croatiantimes.com

Monday, 17th January, 2011
Accommodation in Croatia/Alojamiento en Croacia/hotels
Aeroflot connects Moscow and Dubrovnik with direct flights
Dubrovnik Airport authorities have confirmed that Dubrovnik and Moscow will be connected by a direct flight from 27 May to 29 October.
Russian airliner Aeroflot will keep daily flights between two cities.
The line will additionally boost the arrivals of Russian tourists in Dubrovnik, the city dubbed as "the pearl of Adriatic".
After years of charter flights, Dubrovnik and Moscow will now, for the first time, be connected with direct flights.


Wednesday, 12th January, 2011
President criticizes 'excessive' persecution of Sanader´s family
Croatian President Ivo Josipovic has criticised the "excessive" persecution of former Prime Minister Ivo Sanader's family.
"This is excessive, there should be more respect for the dignity and the privacy of the family of the former premier. I see that were are immature as a society," Josipovic said.
During his interview, the President reflected on his first year in office and said that he is trying to fulfill everything he has promised during the elections campaign, the daily Jutarnji List writes. Croatiantimes.com


Tuesday, 11 th January, 2011
Sanader´s lawyers fight for his wife´s access to blocked salaries
Former Prime Minister Ivo Sanader's lawyers will appeal to authorities to allow Sanader's wife Mirjana to collect her last two salaries from blocked bank accounts.
The bank in which Mrs. Sanader's accounts have been blocked has refused to let her withdraw two of her last salaries. They have allowed her, however, to open a new bank account where future salaries can be deposited and then withdrawn.
One of Sanader's lawyers Goran Suic said that it is unacceptable that Mrs. Sanader is unable to collect her earnings. According to Suic, the court order that blocks some of the family's bank accounts should not refer to regular income.
Croatian Anti-Corruption Bureau (USKOK) is investigating the ex-PM on suspicion of abuse of power and embezzlement. Several bank accounts and other assets of the former PM and his closer family members have been blocked in Croatia. At the same time a large number of pieces of art have been confiscated from his collection, the daily Vjesnik writes. Croatiantimes.com


Tuesday, 4th January, 2011
Croatia´s GDP up in Q3 for the first time since 2008
Croatia's economy has grown 0.2 per cent year on year in the third quarter of 2010 for the first time since Q3 2008.

The results have been expected considering the increase in retail trade due to a successful tourist season (1.7 per cent year on year) and a stronger growth of exports over imports (export of goods and services +5.7% yoy and imports +3.1% yoy), an analysis of Raiffeisen Research shows. The growth in personal consumption (1.9 per cent year on year) contributed most to the rise.

The biggest fall was recorded in fixed capital investment by 9.5% year on year, with base period investments shrinking 10.5 per cent. Analysts conclude that the negative trends are the result of weak investment activity in both public and private sectors, with government spending falling for the first consecutive quarter (minus 0.9 per cent).

"Since Q3 GDP growth is based on seasonal factors, we do not expect it to continue in Q4. Moreover, economic releases for the fourth quarter (fall of industrial production and
construction output, rising unemployment and in general intensification of negative trends on the labour market) support our expectation that in Q4 economic activity will slow down again and GDP would be in the negative territory (-1.2% yoy in real terms)," the analysis says.

Raiffeisen Research expects the economy to contract by 1.5 per cent year on year, while 2011 will see a "slight but still fragile economy." Positive growth rates could be stronger in the second half of the year as investments increase as Croatia nears the end of European Union negotiations. Croatiantimes.com


Tuesday, 21 st December, 2010
Anton E. Basetić (1879-1921)
The First Victim of Yugoslav Terror among Croatian Émigrés
by Dr. Ante Čuvalo

The assassination of Croatian patriots in the ranks of émigrés was a trait of the infamous Yugoslav secret police, namely, the UDBA, during the time of Tito's regime (1945-1990). Actually, the liquidation of Croatian patriots began long before Tito's time—that is, from the very founding of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes in 1918 (Yugoslavia after 1929). Persecution of every sort was one of the historical links that bridged the time of the bloody founding of the Kingdom until the even bloodier end of the Yugoslav State. In fact, Greater-Serbian terror in Croatian lands began even before unification.(more)


Thursday, 30th december 2010
Croatia is richest EU candidate
The purchasing power (PP) of Croatians rose to 65 per cent of the European Union averages last year, making Croatia the wealthiest EU member candidate.
Looking at the region, PP in Macedonia is almost half of that of Croatia and is only 36 per cent of the EU averages. Serbs are close by, with 37 per cent, while Bosnia and Herzegovina lags behind them, with 31 per cent.
The worst off are the citizens of Albania, where the standard of living barely exceeds the quarter of the EU average.

The standard of living has fallen in the majority of EU member states in 2009, the daily Jutarnji List writes. This includes Slovenia, which is now at 88 per cent of the Union averages.

The decrease of the purchasing power across the European Union is the main reason behind the Croatia's statistical growth on the European ladder, the daily writes.
The analysts of the Split Bank Zdeslav Santic says that it might not be like this for too long.
"The economic activity of EU fell significantly in 2009," said Santic. "But already in 2010 the Union started recovering, while Croatia continues to fall."
"We can then expect a drop on the ladder in 2010," he added. Croatiantimes.com


Tuesday, 28th December 2010.
Sanader to remain in detention until January 27
The Austrian judge has extended the former Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader's detention until January 27.
Sanader is currently in jail in Salzburg, where he has been held since his arrest on December 10. He was expected to give a statement today (Mon) about whether or not he accedes to an extradition to Croatia, where he is wanted on suspicion of embezzlement and abuse of power.
In the next month, Sanader could request another appointment to state his decision, the portal Dalje writes.
The Austrian media have been interested to know whether the ex-PM would once again repeat his claims that he is a victim of a political persecution and request and asylum. Under such a scenario, everything could be prolonged for several years.
Should he agree to a speedy extradition procedure, he could be back in Croatia between three to six weeks.
The situation is further complicated by several allegations of fraud on Austrian territory, the portal writes. A bank from the Austrian state of Tyrol has implicated Sanader in money laundering, while the former PM has also been questioned in relation to cases of loan fraud linked to Hypo Group Alpe-Adria (HGAA). Croatiantimes.com

Monday, 20th prosinca 2010.
High-class hotel employees earn 780 Euros on average

The average monthly salary of four- and five-star hotel employees in Dubrovnik-Neretva County was 5,755 kunas (780 Euros) this year, 16 per cent more than those of employees in lower-quality establishments.
Employees of two- and three-star hotels received 4,842 kunas (656 Euros) on average.


High-class hotels hired six per cent fewer workers than in 2009, the statistics show. Hoteliers warned that such a decrease in workforce leads to a drop in the quality of services, the daily Slobodna Dalmacija writes. croatiantimes.com


Monday, 20th prosinca 2010.
Sanader authorizes Zagreb lawyer Suic to represent him
Ivo Sanader has authorized Zagreb lawyer Goran Suic to represent him in investigating accusations of corruption that the former Croatian Prime Minister is facing.
Suic has confirmed that Sanader had signed a power of attorney that gives him this authorization.
Suic visited Sanader in jail in Salzburg where the ex-PM is being is held while awaiting extradition.
"He feels well, very well. I cannot say any more than that until I consult the Austrian lawyer," Suic told the reporters of the Croatian daily Jutarnji List.
Sanader is wanted in Croatia on charges of abuse of power and embezzlement. He has denied these accusations. Croatiantimes.com


Jadranka_KosorFriday, 17th December 2010.
Kosor to freshen up the government with new ministers
Croatian Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor is looking to freshen up her government by replacing several current ministers and an introducing a new one.
An anonymous source from the PM's Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) party has confirmed the rumours that the reconstruction of the government is at hand, but that there is no indication yet when or whether an extraordinary parliament session will be convened to address these changes.
"With the reconstruction we would need to find a vice prime minister for investments, and we are also looking for a new minister of finance, a minister of environmental protection, a minister of culture and a defence minister," the source said, adding that it is difficult to find qualified candidates ready to take on these positions just a year ahead of the elections.
Although she had mentioned it during her visit to New York in September, the PM has not yet officially convened the extraordinary parliamentary session where this is to be discussed.
For days, one of the government coalition partners, the Independent Democratic Serbian Party (SDSS) has been demanding a restructuring of the government. The party's vice-president Milorad Pupovac told Dnevnik 2 that for a long time SDSS has thought it necessary to make some changes in order for the government to be able to face the "problems of society."
"What is important for us is that the reconstruction is not merely symbolic and the government gets new strength, new ideas and new politics," he said.


Thursday, 16th December 2010
London connected with Adriatic island once again
A direct flight between London and the northern Adriatic island of Krk close to Rijeka, Croatia will be re-launched in April next year.
The return ticket with Croatia Airlines will cost 170 pounds.
The return of the route will help to boost tourism in the northern Adriatic.
The line, which was cancelled a year ago, will be partially financed by the local tourist board. Croatiantimes.com


Wednesday, 15th December, 2010
The South and East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) would like to announce the following:

Vienna, 14 December 2010 - The International Press Institute (IPI) and its affiliate, the South and East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), will hold a press freedom fact-finding mission to Hungary on 15-16 December 2010.
The mission participants will be: SEEMO Secretary General Oliver Vujovic, SEEMO Board Member Marta Palics, and IPI Press Freedom and Communications Manager Anthony Mills. They will be a meeting with a broad array of journalists and state officials. (more)


Tuesday, 14th December, 2010
Sanader arrest overshadows Faymann - Kosor meeting
Austrian Social Democratic (SPÖ) Chancellor Werner Faymann has met with Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor just three days after her predecessor was arrested in Austria.
A spokesman for Kosor claimed that today's (Mon) meeting was agreed upon "a long time ago", and dismissed it had anything to do with the arrest of ex-HDZ boss Ivo Sanader. The former Croatian prime minister is currently in custody in Salzburg and expected to be extradited to his homeland.
Croatian prosecutors issued an international arrest warrant on the former politician. Sanader, who is accused of being entangled in corrupt business deals, was stopped on the A10 Tauern motorway in the Austrian province of Salzburg on Friday. (more)

Thursday, 9th December, 2010
Croatia to close three EU chapters in December
Croatia plans to close another three European Union chapters at the intergovernmental conference in December, the state secretary for European Integration Andrej Plenkovic has said.
That way Croatia would be ready to close all remaining chapters during the Hungarian presidency ( by the end of June) and sign the EU accession agreement in the following six months.
Chapters on Justice, Freedom & Security, Environment and Foreign Security and Defense Policy are expected to be closed in December.
The chapters on Agriculture & Rural Development, Fisheries, Competition Policy, Regional Policy, Judiciary and Financial and Budgetary Provisions would remain to be closed by end of June 2011.
Croatiantimes.com


Monday. 6th December, 2010
Proudly home
Qatar's victorious World Cup Bid Committee team was welcomed back home with Arab pomp and pageantry never seen before in the country.
On Thursday evening, at the home of FIFA in Zurich, Qatar upstaged bidding rivals the United States, Korea, Japan and Australia in a historic vote that awarded the World Cup to the Middle East for the first time.
Led by Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al Thani, the Qatar 2022 Bid Committee's dynamic and charismatic chairman, Qatar scored double digits in all four rounds of voting to win the bid.
After the plane carrying the team landed at the Doha International Airport, Sheikh Mohammed was the first one to step out of the aircraft and waved to about a thousand well-wishers who braved cold and windy conditions last evening. Dozens of women and children held banners and maroon-coloured scarfs to welcome the team. (more)


 

Monday, 6th December 2010
Croatia gets EU help for flood damages
European Union funds will cover some of the damages caused by floods that devastated parts of Croatia in May.

The areas of Slavonia, Baranja and Srijem were affected by the extreme weather that hit Croatia earlier this year. The damages were estimated at 15.4 million Euros.

Croatia claimed the maximum compensation it was allowed under EU regulations - 11,461,685 Euros damages. The country filed its claim at the same time as Hungary, which was also affected by the same natural disaster. The European Union Solidarity Fund (EUSF) will give money to both countries.

In order to get help from EUSF, a member sate can report direct damages caused by natural disasters that are over three billion Euros or 0.6 per cent of net national revenues. If the damages are lower, they can report them together with another member or an acceding state.
Minister of Regional Development, Forestry and Water Management Bozidar Pankretic said that this is the first time that Croatia will receive something to which EU member states are entitled.
The payments are expected to be received in March or April of 2011, the daily Vecernji List writes.
Together with Slovenia, Croatia made another claim on November 25 on behalf of six Croatian counties (Zagreb, Zagreb City, Krapina-Zagorje, Sisak-Moslavina, Varazdin, Koprivnica-Krizevci, and Istria) which were damaged by September floods.
The damages reported amounted to 28,647,292 Euros or about 60 per cent of the 11.88 per cent of revenues of those counties. European Commission approval of the report is pending.Croatiantimes.com


Wednesday, 1st December, 2010
ICT likely to reach verdict in Gotovina´s trial in March
The verdict for the Croatian generals on trial at the International Criminal Tribunal in the Hague for war crimes is likely to be reached in March 2011 instead of December this year, as was previously expected. The trials of Croatian generals Ante Gotovina, Mladen Markac and Ivan Cermak ended this September, with some expecting the verdict to be announced within the following three months.
The judges Alphons Orie and Elizabeth Gwaunza,who are ruling over the case, are also working on another one involving Serbian defendants and require more time. This delay is not outside of the common Tribunal procedures, the daily Jutarnji List writes. Gotovina's lawyer Luka Misetic said that it usually takes about six months from the end of the proceedings until the judges reach the verdict.


Friday, 26th November, 2010
First Croatian automobile factory on the way
The mastermind behind the first Croatian electric car will soon embark on the construction of Croatia's first car manufacturing factory.
Vjekoslav Majetic is currently in the final stages of negotiations with a foreign investor, after which he will disclose the details of the new factory to the public. He had said earlier that some 150 to 200 million Euros were needed to start up the serial production of the electrical car XD.
The factory is expected to release its first car by May 2012, the portal Business writes.
The company has chosen the Sibenik Podi trade area as the site to build the future factory since it fulfils the "zero CO2" conditions."Since we are in the business of making ecologically clean cars, it would be senseless to link some industrial zone that pollutes the environment to such a product," the Dok-ing Automotiv Director Tomislav Bosko has said.
"There are already renewable sources of energy in Podi – for example, windmills," Bosko said, adding that it is this kind of a background that will make their product recognizable on the market. Croatiantimes.com


 

Monday, 22nd. November 2010
Low budget carriers present tough competition for Croatia Airlines
Low-budget companies flying out of Zagreb's Pleso Airport may affect Croatia Airlines' traffic with overlapping destinations, some critics have warned.
EasyJet and Norwegian Air both serve destinations already covered by Croatia Airlines, the daily Vecernji List writes.
Some critics have warned that the logic behind introducing low-cost airlines is flawed, with most thinking that they would attract a higher number of passengers. In reality, they only take clients from existing companies, they say.
Croatia Airlines have already threatened to curb flights to Paris, London, and Copenhagen, or destinations that the other companies are now covering. The company's contributions make 65 per cent of Zagreb airport's revenue.
The director of Zagreb's airport has come under sharp criticism from some observers. Just a month after he had been named the Honorary Consul of Norway, Norweigan Air started flying from Zagreb.
Peovic says, however, that foreign companies are warned not damage the national air carrier. The airport, however, does not have the possibility to influence the company's choice of destinations as specified under the Open Sky agreement.
Peovic says that he had spoken to EasyJet about six destinations, but they decided to start their services with Paris and London. He adds that Norweigan Air last year carried 8,000 passengers from Zagreb to Copenhagen, or 1,000 more than Croatia Airlines.
"That is 7,000 more passengers in Zagreb's airport," said Peovic.
Peovic says that low-budget airlines' contributions to both Split's and Dubrovnik's airport revenues have grown to 25 and 30 per cent, respectively. Research also shows that some 50 per cent of European passengers also prefer these carriers.
The Croatian Ministry of Transport has said that airports must be careful to strike a good balance between the new carriers and the national airline, the daily writes. Croatiantimes.com



Friday, 19th November 2010.
Germany wants more economic cooperation with Croatia
Germany wants to intensify economic relations with Croatia, the country's Minister of Economics and Technology Reiner Bruderle said at a lecture held at the Croatian Chamber of Economy on Wednesday.
Increased cooperation would be possible in several areas including the energy sector and the automobile industry.
For the first time after 1973, Germany has devised a strategy for a development of the energetics sector with an emphasis on renewable energy sources. This energy will need to be transported and linked via existing networks, with Croatian firms potentially playing an important role.
Germany wants million electric cars on its streets in the next 10 years giving a strong impulse to an industry that will be looking for international partners.
A lack of workforce in Germany due to negative demographic trends could also lead to some outsourcing to the surrounding states.
Bruderle spoke about the possibility of a joint European presence on the world markets that could respond successfully to the challenges presented by growing economies such as India and China. He said that even big European economies will not be able to compete on their own, but they do stand a chance together.
Croatian Minister of Economy Djuro Popijac called upon German firms to invest in Croatia, and organize production in the country. He also asked them to support plans for the restructuring of Croatian shipyards, adding that the Croatian government wants them to remain the engine behind the country's economy. Croatiantimes.com


Tuesday, 28th December 2010
Accommodation in Croatia/Alojamiento en Croacia/hotels
Cruise ships continue coming to Dubrovnik
The number of passenger filled cruise ships who have visited Dubrovnik this year has grown 11 per cent over 2009.
In the first 11 months of 2010, 695 cruise ships brought 912,000 passengers to Dubrovnik's shores. Last year, the number of ships was 621, the daily Slobodna Dalmacija writes.
That is an 11 per cent increase from last year's numbers.
The city is expecting another nine cruise ships to sail in by the end of the year, bringing another 9,000 passengers. Croatiantimes.com


Friday, 17th December 2010
Accommodation in Croatia/Alojamiento en Croacia/hotels
HTZ invites Americans to become Croatia´s no1. non-European guests
The director of Croatian National Tourist Board (HTZ) Niko Bulic invited Americans to become the most numerous guests coming to Croatia from outside of Europe at yesterday's (Wed) promotional event at the Harvard Club in New York.
Speaking to approximately one hundred representatives of tourist agencies and airlines, journalists, and diplomats, Bulic said that visits of Canadians and Americans to Croatia grew 11 per cent this year compared to 2009. The tourism organizations hope to further the trend.
"We will concentrate on a stronger promotion in the United States and on even better cooperation with tour operators and agencies that offer arrangements in Croatia,"
said Andrea Cvitkovic, the head of the HTZ offices in New York.
The director of the Zagreb Tourist Board Amelia Tomasevic said that Croatia's capital is a safe and intriguing city in which every guests can find something of interest amongst the plethora of art, cultural and culinary offerings.
"I invite Americans to visit Zagreb – they will not be disappointed," she said.
As the surprise of the evening, cello soloist Ana Rucner enthralled the guests with a stunning performance. This is Rucner's first performance visit to the United States, and it took place under the sponsorship of HTZ and Zagreb Tourist Board. During the trip, Rucner also performed in New Orleans.
Croatian ambassador to the United States Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic and Consul General Marijan Gubic were also in attendance, the daily Vecernji List writes. Croatiantimes.com

8th December 2010.
Award "Simply the best" for hotel Park Split
Dear business partners & guests
We would like to use this opportunity to thank you on your given trust in choosing our hotel, hotel Park,
as your permanent Split address. It trully makes us happy to have developed a good business realtion through years, and becoming friends after all.
We would like to thank all members of  UHPA - Association of Croatian

Travel Agencies on nomination of hotel Park and the award “Simply the best” in the category of small city hotels Adriatic (mainland). This award means a lot to us because it comes from you, our esteemed colleagues from the profession. It is a proof that the work we do, we do with pleasure and that it is recognized and appreciated like that. We will do our best to justify your trust given to us and this award will certainly be our motivation to continue doing the work in the same direction, the best we can and know.
As for our dear guests, we want to share our happiness with you for the received award. We think we share the same right on this award with you, our dear guests - friends. You are the reason why we always try to be better! Therefore, we would like to thank and congratulate you on this award because she is equally yours like it is ours. We are looking forward meeting you again in hotel Park!
New Year's Eve in hotel Park, program


Monday, 6th December 2010
Accommodation in Croatia/Alojamiento en Croacia/hotels
Visitors from Turkey,Spain flocking to Dubrovnik for winter holidays
Some 15,600 guests visited Dubrovnik this November, a 50 per cent increase compared to the same month last year.
The increase in numbers is primarily the result of the organized arrivals of guests from Turkey, the portal Dalje writes.
The first December weekend will be marked by the arrival of more than 700 Spanish guests coming through Travel Europe, Kompas and Atlas agencies. In addition to an excursion-filled schedule, the guests will also have an opportunity to visit a Christmas market where they will be able to try traditional sweets and souvenirs.
Six charter flights from Spain, Bulgaria, Turkey and Portugal are expected ahead of the New Years celebrations, the Dubrovnik Tourist Board says. Croatiantimes.com


Monday, 6th December 2010
Accommodation in Croatia/Alojamiento en Croacia/hotels
Visitors from Turkey,Spain flocking to Dubrovnik for winter holidays
Some 15,600 guests visited Dubrovnik this November, a 50 per cent increase compared to the same month last year.
The increase in numbers is primarily the result of the organized arrivals of guests from Turkey, the portal Dalje writes.
The first December weekend will be marked by the arrival of more than 700 Spanish guests coming through Travel Europe, Kompas and Atlas agencies. In addition to an excursion-filled schedule, the guests will also have an opportunity to visit a Christmas market where they will be able to try traditional sweets and souvenirs.
Six charter flights from Spain, Bulgaria, Turkey and Portugal are expected ahead of the New Years celebrations, the Dubrovnik Tourist Board says. Croatiantimes.com


Accommodation in Croatia/Alojamiento en Croacia/hotels
Friday, 12th November 2010.
Croatia is more than Dubrovnik and marketing should show it, British tour operators warn
Good marketing should focus more on lifestyle as well as promote off-season travel, according to tips given at the London Travel Market fair to the Croatian Ministry of Tourism.
At the Ministry's meeting with British tour operators, Tara Hawkins from Croatian Villas said that contrary to what most advertisements show, Croatia is more than a select few destinations such as Dubrovnik and the Kornati archipelago.
Promo shots should feature people enjoying a cappuccino on the Split riviera or children eating ice creams. A stronger promotion of Christmas and New Year travel is also necessary if the country wants to extend its tourist season, she said.
Lifestyle is what sells a destination, she said.
Good marketing is just a stone in the mosaic, and many of those present the fair have said that next year's tourist season will be rather "tricky." The tourist industry in Great Britain, France, the Netherlands, and many other countries is facing de-stimulating (and unprecedented) passenger tax while travellers' standards are not rising.
The Croatian Minister of Tourism Damir Bajs said that there should be no fear of such measures coming to Croatia.
"Our government has a policy of supportting tourism," Bajs said.
A bigger threat to the success of 2011 is the possible increase in hotel prices. Encouraged by this year's good turnout, some are considering these measures.
"I hope that will remain just empty talk. The increases on British market have cost us too much and we had a stagnation because of that for the past three years" said Marko Resetar, the director of Dubrovnik agency Elite Travel.
The things are going well for the agency however. At this year's meeting the company managed to make partnerships with four more tour operators that had not previously worked in Croatia, the daily Vecernji List. Croatiantimes.com



Friday, 12 th November 2010
Tadic returns just some of important documents sought by Vukovar Hospital
Only four out of the 25 documents returned by the Serbian President Boris Tadic to Croatia on his recent visit to Vukovar are of vital importance, says the town hospital's director Dr. Vesna Bosanac.
"This is still not the original hospital documentation that we are looking for," Dr. Bosanac said.
Out of the documents that Tadic handed back during his visit to the town last week, the most important ones are three notebooks in which the hospital personnel noted down the names of all patients admitted before November 18, 1991.
Also of much importance is a list of 517 casualties that had been put together by a policemen who is missing today. All of the other documents do not have much significance.
Dr. Bosanac still expects Serbia to return the original medical histories (diagnosis and x-rays) of every patient that was in the hospital at the time of the Serb occupation of Vukovar.
Except the medical histories that some of patients themselves were able to salvage, the hospital does not have a single original document.
According to Dr. Bosanac, two days after the former Yugoslav National Army and Serb paramilitary forces entered Vukovar, 255 people – the wounded, medical personnel and civilians, amongst them three children and one pregnant woman– were taken from the hospital. Two hundred of them were killed at Ovcara, while the rest remain missing.
At the time of the occupation, the hospital housed 450 wounded and sick, 350 members of the personnel and their families, and a large number of civilians, the daily Jutarnji List writes.


Thursday, 11th November 2010.
Cardinal Puljic eviction/delozacija
Dear Sir/Madam:

We are deeply saddened and appalled by the November 2, 2010 decision of the Sarajevo County court that ordered the eviction of Vinko Cardinal Puljić and his staff from a section of the Vrhbosna Archdiocesan residence in Sarajevo. The following is the history of the case.
The building that houses the seat and living quarters of the Archbishop of Vrhbosna was erected at the center of the city of Sarajevo in 1895. In 1972, the communist regime simply took over a part of the building, turned it into an apartment and moved in Fadil and Emina Smajović, both agents of the UDBA, the infamous Yugoslav communist secret police. Their job was to keep an eye on the comings and goings at the Archbishop's home and office and, by means of a secret listening device, to record what was being said at the Archbishop's residence. (more)


Wednesday, 10th November 2010.
Oslobođenje, July 31, 2010 (name of the newspaper – Liberation)
Rešid Hafizović on Bugojno
There are no New or Old Muslims, instead, there are Wahhabis
Oslobođenje: Professor Hafizović, the terrorist attack in Bugojno reminded many of the terrible, almost prophetic significance of your article, published precisely in „Oslobođenje,” titled “They are coming for our children.”  How did you feel when your darkest premonitions became true and that ignoring your words of warning proved to be disastrous?


Hafizović: When I wrote the text under the above title almost four years ago, and after its reprint following the terrorist attack in Bugojno, I felt awful and sad at the same time, because I realized that what I thought was definitely a thing of the past and, just another event in the history of Muslim literature, culture and civilization, instead had actually become our daily life, a new pestilence after the bloody aggression the Bosniaks barely survived, a new virus which ultimately will ruin a half-millennia old national, religious, and cultural identity of the Bosnian Muslims – Bosniaks.  That virus has already destroyed every chance for Islam in Europe, Islam as it once existed in Muslim Spain, and now is ending its work with the autochthonous (indigenous) European Muslim groups in the Balkans and Southeast European region.   I wish I never had to write that text, and I would be even happier if my predictions never became true and that I had been wrong
.(more


Monday, 8th November 2010
Croatian to become 24th official EU language
The Croatian language will become the 24th official European Union language once the country enters the EU.
Croatian citizens will be able to write to the EU institutions in Croatian and receive answers in their mother tongue.
There have been no negotiations on this procedure as European legislation is clear: an official language of a member state is at the same time one of the official languages of the Union, equal to all others.
Although some European diplomats have insisted on having "Serbo-Croatian" language as the language for all west Balkan states once they enter the EU, as a money saving measure, their suggestions have been deemed unacceptable, and not coherent with the EU acquis.
Still, with 23 official EU langauges, there are 506 possible combinations. When it comes to conferences and translations, mutually understandable languages are often not translated.
It is thus unlikely that a future speech made in Montenegrin will be translated into Croatian, the daily Vecernji List writes. Croatiantimes.com


Wednesday, 3rd November 2010
Government to form organizational committee for Pope´s visit
The government will form a committee that will organize the Pope's visit to Croatia scheduled for next year, Prime Minister Kosor said.
Pope Benedict XVI's arrival to Croatia is a historical event of great importance, she said.
"This is big and an important news for all of Croatian citizens, and for Croatia's faithful."
President Ivo Josipovic said that Pope's visit will also send a message to the European community.
"The visit of the Holy Father will be an additional encouragement to all of us to persevere in the reforms," Josipovic said adding that the visit will also be a "message to Europe that Croatia is a European country and that – with its culture, tradition and economy – will contribute to EU's progress."


Thursday, 28th October 2010
Croatian soldiers join EU military excercise
Croatian soldiers are participating in the international military exercise of the European Union Nordic battle group, which began in Sweden yesterday (Tue).
Some 21 soldiers and two helicopters will join the formation, which is one of the 18 European Union battle groups intended for quick deployment in cases of extraordinary circumstances.
The standby period for 2011 would be regulated by a special agreement, while the majority of the costs of Croatian participation would be covered by Sweden, the daily Vecernji List writes. Croatiantimes.com


Wednesday, 27th October 2010.
Kosor gets Brussels support
Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor met with European Commissioner for Justice Viviane Reding in Brussels yesterday (Mon).
Reding stressed her full support for Croatia and PM Kosor in the fight against corruption.
"It was my pleasure and honour to participate in a very successful working lunch with the strong woman who is needed to bring powerful solutions at this moment to Croatia. Mostly we talked about the need to combat corruption, which can be done only with an independent judiciary and an independent public prosecutor who is fighting against corruption, regardless of political party or family," she said after meeting Kosor.
The Prime Minister said that by the end of the year Croatia will complete all criteria in the chapter "Judiciary and Fundamental Rights", which is the most difficult chapter in the accession negotiations.
"I'm sure we'll end all this great work by the end of the year, and it is realistic to expect its closure early next year", said Kosor. croatiantimes.com

 

Tuesday, 26th October 2010
'I am looking forward to Zagreb concert' says Sting
The English musician, singer and songwriter Sting will perform in Zagreb on 8 November.
Two years after performing with his good friend Edin Karamazov, Sting is coming back to Croatia. This time, he will sing at the Arena Hall in Zagreb, and will perform his most famous works, accompanied by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
For the tour, "Symphonicity" it was necessary to adapt many of the arrangements of his best-known songs for orchestra, and Sting's performances have been given a new, higher, level of music.
Popular British singer and ex-Police frontman Sting, recently celebrated his 59th Birthday. The coming performance with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra is being hailed as a jewel in the crown of his rich musical career.
Sting who was lead singer and bassist of the rock band The Police said in an interview to HRT, Croatian national television: "When the whole orchestra is behind the pop musician there is at times the risk that just playing long tones in the background can be boring. That's why I asked them to be precise and dynamic."
Sting said he is coming to Zagreb as musician and not celebrity.
On being asked about Croatia, Sting said he knows Croatia as a beautiful country and a home to many especially beautiful women. croatiantimes.com


Monday, 25th October 2010
State of the online gambling industry in the world
Those unfamiliar with online gambling in general and online casinos in particular, could be confused by the great number of situations found in the business today. It can safely be said that that every country has its own specific laws and ways to deal with this activity. One can group countries and territories regarding their level of freedom for the online casino industry.
The worst case is that of countries that have completely banned online gambling and related activities, such as China. These countries imposed severe punishments for all who play in online casinos. The near future does not seem to bring anything good for players from these states.

Another case is that of countries that control everything in this domain, the government being the only one that offers online casino games and such. Others cases include those that allow just a few activities and foreign operators inside the country, imposing strict conditions.The most fortunate case is that of countries who completely liberalized their market and allow all online casino operators to apply for a license.
Surely, the industry is evolving each day and more countries pass towards the legalization of online gambling. Online casinos have become hugely popular in the world, and there is people will continue to play, legally or not. Source: Sloturi

Monday, 25th October 2010
EU wonders what early elections could mean for Croatia´s accession
The uncertainty over whether there will be early elections in Croatia has piqued the interest of the European Union and NATO as the event could have consequences for Croatia's EU negotiations.
A change in power could potentially affect current enthusiasm about European Union accession, the daily Jutarnji List writes.
Some of the diplomats – including some from Germany and Austria – have expressed their satisfaction with the current Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor and her government's fight against corruption. They fear that any major changes, such as the potential replacement of the State Attorney Office chief Mladen Bajic, could endanger the progress that has been achieved so far.
On the other hand, some diplomats from EU member states believe that it would be better for Croatia if it could resolve its internal political situation, and the sooner the better, even if that involved early elections.
"It is not realistic to expect radical cuts and economic reforms in the election year, and without them Croatia will not be able to come out of the crisis," says one of them. "That is why it is perhaps better for Croatia to slow down negotiations for a few months, and then compensate for the lost time with new zest and new government."
"If the economic crisis worsens, it could create another barrier for the end of the negotiations," the diplomat added. croatiantimes.com

 

Friday, 22nd October 2010
SASO Fair opens in Split
The 15th SASO fair opened its doors yesterday (Wed) in Split.
SASO is a grouping of fairs for building trade, wood and metal industries, tools and equipment manufacturers, handicrafts, electronics, energy, telecommunications, and finances.
The fair has attracted 1,497 exhibitors from 15 countries, the Croatian business portal Poslovni Dnevnik writes.
In addition to participants' exhibitions, the event offers conferences and opportunities for companies to meet and exchange contacts and ideas.
It will be held until October 24th. croatiantimes.com




Friday, 22nd October 2010
Croatian garden buildings going to Britain
Croatian garden home manufacturer Azelija will export 80 houses made of Slavonian oak to British markets in 2011.
The company made the million-Euro deal at a recent Ambient fair, the daily Vecernji List writes. Known mainly as a software manufacturer, Azelija has been in the timber industry business for only four years.
Company's Marija Sutila says that they are proud of their first and rather large export deal. She assures that the houses are, from floor to ceiling, a 100 per cent Croatian product.
croatiantimes.com


Thursday, 21st October 2010
Tadic to visit Croatia in November
Serbian President Boris Tadic is preparing for a three-day visit to Croatia in November, the Serbian press has reported.
The Serbian head of state will be hosted by his Croatian counterpart, President Ivo Josipovic. He is also likely to meet other high-ranking officials including the Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor and the Speaker of the Parliament Luka Bebic.
On the meeting's agenda are various questions including the return of refugees, protection of their property, solutions to housing questions, and the preservation of the Serbian minority's language in Croatia.
But one of the main issues are the countries' mutual accusations of genocide before the International Court of Justice in Hague. Croatia sued Serbia in 2008 for genocide during the war that took place between 1991 and 1995 in the former Yugoslavia. Serbia countered with a similar lawsuit last year, accusing Croatia of genocide against Serbs. Earlier this year both presidents agreed that it would be more desirable to resolve these questions outside of the Court.
The Serbian press writes that the only precondition for the country to withdraw its accusation is if Zagreb does it first. It is believed that Tadic will use the upcoming visit to discuss the issue with PM Kosor who is seen as one of the strongest opponents to dropping the charges. She has said that she would prefer that some other open questions are resolved before this is done, referring to the arrest of the Serbian general Ratko Mladic, the dispute over borders and the restitution of cultural treasures.
Tadic may also visit Vukovar this time, one of the places in Croatia that had been most devastated by the war, the daily Vecernji List writes. croatiantimes.com

 

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