Sunday, 12 March 2023

TCN New York Correspondent Srecko Mavrek Gains Recognition

March the 12th, 2023 - TCN New York correspondent Srecko Mavrek, a man born in Varazdin who has spent his time living, studying and working around the world, gains recognition for his promotion of Croatian culture abroad.

Last week in Bad Homburg, Germany, the winners of the 17th Vecernjak’s selection of the most popular Croats in the diaspora were announced in the categories of sport, music, acting and showbiz for the 2023 Vecernjakova Domovnica Award. This year’s “Vecernji list” newspaper awards ceremony was also held under the sponsorship of the Minister of Foreign and European Affairs and the Croatian Heritage Foundation.

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Srecko Mavrek, TCN correspondent from New York and one of the hosts of Croatian Radio New York "Voice of Free Croatia", also received special recognition.

Srecko Mavrek was born in Varaždin in 1969, and his origin is from Ivanec. He studied in Zagreb, Pecs, Graz and New York, and was one of the prominent student leaders at the University of Zagreb, where he was elected to the presidency of the Student Union and served as a representative for the social-humanistic-theological field in the university senate.

Before leaving for the USA, he worked as a researcher and lecturer at the University of Udine in Italy, the Karl-Franz University of Graz in Austria, the University of Augsburg in Germany and the University of Pécs in Hungary. He currently works as a swimming and physical education teacher for the New York City Department of Education.

He is also an adjunct lecturer at Hostos Community College, the City University of New York. As an internationally recognised expert in education, he was the official representative of the Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education at the United Nations Department for Global Communications.

He received several prestigious professional awards and recognitions, such as the 2016 President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition Community Leadership Award. Mavrek sings tenor in the well-known New York klapa Astoria, which became famous by performing the American national anthem at the Croatian Heritage Night in Madison Square Garden on January 11, 2019. In Science of Music, he composes folk and world music and plays various instruments. He is also a correspondent for the Croatian Information Agency (HIA).

Srecko Mavrek is a highly respected Croatian lobbyist and promoter of Croatian national heritage and culture in America and around the world. For this reason, last Sunday he received one more recognition from the American-Croatian Congress at a ceremony held at the famous Dubrovnik restaurant in New Rochelle, New York, owned by Zeljko Tomic from the island of Lopud.

The ceremony was preceded by the premiere of the HRT documentary "Ana Mljecka", which promotes Croatia, the island of Mljet and the Mljet National Park around the world, and is dedicated to the traditional way of life on the Adriatic and the Croatian islands, showing the cultural heritage of the island through the biographical story of Ana Strazicic Rodriguez, a well-known Croatian expatriate who has been living and working in America for decades.

During his speech at the award ceremony, Srecko Mavrek thanked the entire American-Croatian Congress, which recognised his contribution to the Croatian community in New York, and he also said that it was a really great honor for him personally to be among other award winners such as Jere Kursar, Zvonko Crnogorac and all others who for many years have been contributing to the promotion and reputation of Croatia and the Croatian community in New York and New Jersey with their voluntary and humanitarian work.

As a respected member and journalist of the American-Croatian Congress, he also announced that after this recognition, he will become even more involved in a series of projects at the local community level and globally.

Mavrek UN 1

Mavrek UN 2

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Sunday, 12 March 2023

Do All Brits Living in the Balkans Work for MI6?

March 12, 2023 - Being a Brit in Croatia comes with its own peculiarities.

Despite being born in 1969, I am apparently responsible for the events in Bleiburg in 1945, for example.

And we are all arrogant colonialists (I also spent a lot of my time in Kenya apologising for the British colonial past before I was born).

And of course, the main topic - what the hell are Brits doing living in Croatia? There can only be one answer - they are undercover operatives for MI6. After 20 years of rumour and accusation, including the delightful claim that I am the MI6 Balkans Bureau Chief (can you imagine), tonight the truth and a little insight into whether or not all Brits living in the Balkans work for MI6.


You can subscribe to the Paul Bradbury Croatia Expert YouTube channel here.

What is it like to live in Croatia? An expat for 20 years, you can follow my series, 20 Ways Croatia Changed Me in 20 Years, starting at the beginning - Business and Dalmatia.

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Croatia, a Survival Kit for Foreigners is now available on Amazon in paperback and on Kindle.





Sunday, 12 March 2023

EHF EURO 2024 Qualifiers: Croatia and the Netherlands Draw in Osijek (25-25)

March 12, 2023 - In the fourth round of the EHF EURO 2024 qualifiers, the Croatia handball team and the Netherlands drew 25-25 in Osijek.

Croatia thus did not manage to win even in their second match against the Netherlands. Four days ago, the Cowboys lost 27-32 during Croatian coach Goran Perkovac's debut on the bench.

With a victory, Croatia would have taken an important step towards qualifying for the final tournament, which will be held in Germany from January 10 to 28 next year. The decision on who will qualify for the Euros will be known in April when the last two rounds are scheduled. Greece currently leads Croatia's group.

The quick Netherlands side created problems for the Croatian defense from the start. The visitors took a 4-1 lead, and in the 11th minute, it was 7-3. The Netherlands, led by Staffan Olsson, reached a big six-goal advantage (13-7) in the 19th minute.

Fortunately, in the last 10 minutes of the first half, Croatia picked up their intensity. On the wings of the great Osijek audience, they played much tighter in defense and more mobile in the attack. Croatia reduced the score to just one goal by halftime (14-15).

At the start of the second half, Croatia managed to equalize (15-15), and in the 42nd minute, they took the lead for the first time (20-19). Goal for goal was played, and there were nine ties! The Netherlands was the first to break away, taking a 25-23 lead in the 51st minute. But Croatia tied the score again at 25-25 with goals from Domagoj Duvnjak and Tino Lučin four minutes before the end. Croatia failed to capitalize on an attack to retake the lead. 

With his eighth save, Kuzmanović gave Croatia a new chance to go ahead. Unfortunately, Lučin committed a foul in the attack, and the Netherlands got a chance to lead a minute before the end. They were not successful either. Croatia had 15 seconds left to celebrate, and while Duvnjak shot, Ravensbergen registered his 15th save.

Mateo Maraš was the top scorer for Croatia with five goals, Filip Glavaš and Tin Lučin scored four each, while Dominik Kuzmanović recorded eight saves. Dani Baijens led the Netherlands with six goals, Rutger ten Velde scored five, Kay Smits scored four, and the excellent Ravensbergen recorded 15 saves.

In the second match from this group, Greece beat Belgium 26-24.

Greece leads the standings with six goals, Croatia and the Netherlands have five points each, and Belgium is at the bottom with no points.

The top two national teams from each of the eight groups will directly qualify for the Euros, and the four best third-placed teams will also qualify for the final tournament. Winning first place in the group also brings a slightly easier draw.

The last two rounds are scheduled for April. Croatia first visits Greece on April 26, and the qualifiers will conclude on April 30 at home against Belgium.

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Sunday, 12 March 2023

Luka Modric Donates World Cup Jersey to Turkey Earthquake Victims

March the 12th, 2023 - Legendary Croatian footballer Luka Modric says all proceeds from the sale of his no. 10 jersey, worn in the 2022 World Cup opener against Morocco, will go to the victims of the devastating February earthquakes, which have claimed more than 44,300 lives in Turkey’s southern region.

"Hello to all my Turkish friends. I just want to send you a lot of strength and prayers in these difficult moments. Stay strong, we are all with you and we are praying for you", Luka Modric said in a video message on Twitter:

Turkish Ambassador to Zagreb Yavuz Selim Kiran thanked Luka Modric for his show of care and solidarity,

Croatian central defender Josko Gvardiol and goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic have also donated their jerseys and gloves to the earthquake victims.

For more, check our our sport section.

Sunday, 12 March 2023

Sold Out Poljud Expected for Croatia - Wales EURO 2024 Qualifier

March 12, 2023 - We are less than two weeks away from the upcoming Croatia - Wales EURO 2024 qualifier at Poljud stadium. And if you haven't snagged a ticket yet, you may be out of luck. 

On Friday, March 3, ticket sales began for the upcoming Croatia - Wales match as part of the qualification cycle for the 2024 European Championship in Germany.

Namely, Croatia and Wales meet on March 25 at 20:45 at Poljud Stadium in Split.

Advance tickets are on sale until March 24, with the following prices: 
Central West: 30 euros
West: 25 euros
East (middle): 20 euros
East: 15 euros
North: 12 euros

While match day tickets on March 25 are as follows: 
Central West: 33 euros
West: 27 euros
East (middle): 23 euros
East: 20 euros
North: 13 euros

The deadline for buying tickets online lasts until the start of the match or until all tickets are sold out, which may already be the case. 

Just 13 days before the match at Poljud, the HNS ticket portal is showing no tickets available, according to This is not surprising, however, as Croatia fans are still feeling the euphoria of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, where the Vatreni took bronze, the third medal in their young history.

There was incredible interest among Croats for this match against Wales, and Poljud was nearly sold out two weeks before the important Euro qualifier. Poljud did not even experience this frenzy for the Nations League match against France and the 2022 World Cup qualifier against Russia.

Croatia will thus be welcomed by 30,000 fans in the electric Poljud atmosphere. Fans will come to Split from all parts of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, including many Croats living in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland.

Anyone who did not manage to buy a ticket can watch the match live on TV. Should more tickets become available, don't forget to check the HNS ticket portal, where you can find detailed information on ticket sales and payment methods.

Croatia will play their second EURO 2024 qualifier on March 28 against Turkey in Bursa. 

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Sunday, 12 March 2023

Izlet hr: First Croatian School Field Trip App Launched in Split

March the 12th, 2023 - Izlet hr ( is the very first Croatian field trip app designed for schools and their children. Launched by the Split-based Eklata agency, this new tool will likely be a hit with schools.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, the global coronavirus pandemic contributed to the creation of the very first Croatian application for designing school trips, with which the Split agency Eklata alleviated the problem of a lack of staff and accelerated the process of selecting one-day trips for schoolchildren.

The real breakthrough of the Izlet hr application, which has been on the market since the beginning of this school year, will show itself in just a few days, because the beginning of spring is the traditional time for arranging one-day trips for schoolchildren, and by the beginning of the next school year, a version for multi-day trips, including high school graduates, will be ready.

"We've had this idea for a long time now, because we wanted to speed up and simplify the procedures for designing school trips and offers that will meet demand. As we always strive to be innovative and follow trends in our work, and we've digitised our business to a great extent, a mobile application was a natural sequence. The coronavirus pandemic gave us time to develop our product, which took us about one year, and the app has been available since last autumn.

There was also a trial period in which Izlet hr proved to be very useful and easy to use, but now schools are starting to plan school trips and as such we expect full implementation,'' said Jurica Glavina, the owner of Eklata. The web and mobile application Izlet hr is free and available to everyone, and through it, teachers, parents, and students can independently create an offer for a school trip somewhere in Croatia.

This skips the need for any lengthy communication between the agency and the user as the application is fully automated and the agency's employees are involved only at the last step.

Until then, users can specifically enter all the necessary information about their desired excursion into the app, from the number of passengers and the desired destination to the topic of the trip and the specific content they're interested in, with an overview of service prices.

"After deciding which county you want to go to, you can choose whether the excursion will be out in nature or whether the students want to see cultural and historical sights, visit galleries and museums... You can decide on one or a combination of different content, for example, you can add lunch to the offer. You simply click or "drag&drop" your selections, enter the number of students and you'll immediately find out the price and terms of payment,'' explained Glavina.

With the very next click, an offer is requested, which the app generates independently and which arrives by email in an instant, and by clicking ''accept'', a team of tourism workers, pedagogues and educators start preparing an educational and fun school trop, so it's actually a fully tailor-made service.

Mirko Vukusic from the Split-based company Banica Trade is responsible for the creation of the application, and he took special care to create a maximally simple interface which will be attractive and easy for all generations who decide on school trips. The next step is an expanded application for excursions, which is expected this September, with the beginning of the next school year, but Glavina added that it is a product that can be modified for all other group trips. Eklata doesn't intend to offer this product to other agencies, but will instead use the application for its own services.

Izleti hr has begun work in the first year since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in which the old dynamics of organising school trips are expected to return, although this year will also be challenging due to rising prices and a lack of workers in the sector.

"During the pandemic, many agencies changed things, there are fewer bus operators, and prices have risen, and all of this will affect traffic," concluded Glavina.

For more, check out our news section.

Sunday, 12 March 2023

Adults Only Croatia: New Veladrion Resort to Open in Zrnovica Bay

March the 12th, 2023 - An adults only Croatia is very much possible, and a brand new resort in gorgeous Zrnovica bay will definitely delight all of us who would prefer a relaxing break without the chorus of screaming kids in the background.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the upcoming Veladrion Resort, a five-star facility within the wider Zubak Group, will soon be opened in Zrnovica bay. It will officially start operating on April the 27th this year and represents an investment worth seven million euros, all of which was invested in the complete renovation of the Veladrion Resort.

The new resort will otherwise be the second luxurious five-star hotel from within the Zubak Group on the Croatian Adriatic coast, which will open its doors to guests exactly four years after the opening of the Ikador hotel, which is still renowned as one of the most luxurious hotels in all of the Republic of Croatia.

The Veladrion Resort will be located between the Velebit Channel and the nearby Kvarner islands, at the mouth of the Gacka River, where the river flows down into the Adriatic Sea.

This will once again be a win for the adults only Croatia tourism segment, as this previously adults-only resort was closed for years. Next month it will open to the public with five rooms and thirteen suites within a total of three villas and one special house within the pine forest, which will boast a total capacity for 41 people.

Wellness and spa rituals inspired by nature and enriched with indigenous Mediterranean herbs will also be available, and future guests will be able to enjoy the benefits of both indoor and outdoor swimming pools or on the beach in the immediate vicinity of the new adults only Croatia resort.

Activities include tennis and basketball courts, outdoor and indoor gyms, the possibility of hiking and biking in the Northern Velebit Nature Park, all the way to rafting and kayaking. The highest point of Veladrion is a private lookout point with a view of the neaeby Kvarner archipelago, not to mention the offer of boat rental. Namely, Marina Zrnovnica is located in a deep bay and offers guests a fleet of private boats, one of which is an authentic wooden boat 24 metres long. The resort will also have a restaurant whose menu is based on seasonal organic ingredients and local traditions.

The Zubak Group has already announced that more than 30 employees will work for the new Veladrion Resort.

For more, check out our news section.

Sunday, 12 March 2023

All Croatian Fuel Prices to Increase Slightly Again This Tuesday

March the 12th, 2023 - Croatian fuel prices are set to increase once again this Tuesday, continuing their very up and down trajectory that we've unfortunately become used to over the past few months.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, as of Tuesday this week, all forms of Croatian fuel are set to go up in price, be it petrol, diesel, or blue diesel. All Croatian ful prices will go up by two cents, as RTL Danas/Today reports.

The price for petrol will therefore increase from the current price of 1.30 euros to 1.40 euros, with diesel going up to that exact same price, and blue diesel reaching 90 cents per litre as of Tuesday.

For more, check out our dedicated news section.

Saturday, 11 March 2023

Omis: Cetina Bridge Connected, When Can Traffic Finally Commence?

March the 11th, 2023 - When it comes to Croatian bridges, it isn't just Peljesac bridge that is getting the glory. The Cetina bridge, which will finally relieve seriously irritating traffic issues in and around the Omis area, is now finally connected. 

As Mladen Miletic/Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the much talked about Cetina bridge over the Cetina river canyon in Omis in Central Dalmatia was finally connected on Thursday, and it is expected that cars will be allowed to drive along it this autumn.

The brand new Cetina bridge spans 224.45 metres and is part of the wider Omis bypass construction project which seeks to help this area, known for its traffic jams and congestion issues, to relieve itself of those burdens.

It sits over the Cetina river and is held up with a steel arch, the ends of which are secured in tunnels on both sides of the bridge, meaning that its actual length is greater than the visible structure.

The value of the works on the Cetina bridge stood at around 23.16 million (without the inclusion of VAT), and this much needed project will contribute to the traffic relief of the town centre of Omis, the immediate surrounding areas and reduce overall congestion issues. The works on the new Cetina bridge were carried out by Strabag, and the designer was Veljko Prpic from the Engineering Project Institute.

Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said at the merger ceremony that the merger of the Cetina bridge "is a good thing for Omis, Dalmatia and Split-Dalmatia County as a whole".

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated news section.

Saturday, 11 March 2023

Croatian Summer Holidays Becoming More Expensive Than Ever Before

March the 11th, 2023 - The days of relatively cheap Croatian summer holidays are now gone. The introduction of the euro as the country's official currency this year and spiralling inflation have driven prices upwards, and it seems as if this trend isn't likely to alter much as we go forward.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Croatian summer holidays down on the Adriatic coast could be more expensive than ever before this year, and it's already being announced that private accommodation prices will be 30 percent higher on average than before.

That means that an apartment that came at a cost of 60 euros per night last year in the peak of the summer season will be around 80 euros this year, reports For a ten-day stay on the Adriatic, you will now need to allocate around two hundred euros more for accommodation expenses alone. Private renters have even higher expectations for cash flowing in from the booking of Croatian summer holidays this year than they did last year.

Some property owners who rent to tourists are still waiting to set their prices until they see what will happen after March with the government's aid package related above all to the price of electricity and energy.

"For the past few years, we've been spending our Croatian summer holidays in the Istrian town of Rovinj for a minimum of three weeks. Each night during the peak season in 2022 cost us 60 euros. I asked for offers from renters for this year and the prices are abnormal, even with a longer stay. From 90 euros in a more remote location to 140 euros. We'll probably change our destination, but Dalmatia is not much better either. I looked at nearby Greece, where an entire house during the peak summer season is 150 euros," one interviewee told

"Given the overall situation, economic and socioeconomic, it would be realistic to increase accommodation prices by 15 to 20 percent, but if we take all the levies that have been increased for private renters into account; from sojourn tax to tourist membership fees and communal services in numerous destinations, the real price increase in the family/private accommodation sector stands at about 30 percent,'' explained Mirko Bulic from the Croatian Community of Family Accommodation Association for

This particular trend, he says, is for prices to rise in this type of accommodation at the global level by 15 to 25 percent.

"It won't really cause any turbulence for us, I hope that we'll even end up being overbooked and that we'll need to send some guests down to Albania and into some other neighbouring countries,'' added Bulic.

These higher prices don't really seem to have affected the bookings for Croatian summer holidays for this year so far. Moreover, bookings for this season are 10 to 15 percent better than they were last year at this time, and the two coronavirus-dominated years have also contributed to all this, because people want to travel and are willing to pay more to do so.

How might one get by cheaper when it comes to Croatian summer holidays this year? Experts advise local tourists to avoid using the main platforms and negotiate prices directly with the renters.

For more, check out our dedicated news section.

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