Thursday, 1 December 2022

Croatian Vertiv Factory Eyes Great Opportunity for Data Centres

December the 1st, 2022 - The Croatian Vertiv factory has an excellent chance of getting a slice of the proverbial cake which comes in the form of a huge increase in searches for data centres.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Josipa Ban writes, as many as 20 projects are currently being worked on at the Croatian Vertiv factory's production plant in Rugvica. At the entrance to the IMS (which is a factory for the production of modular solutions), Marko Skara, the factory manager, showed of this 500 kilowatt power data centre, made to order, which is being disassembled and prepared to be sent up to France.

The second, smart mode, intended for a customer from Uzbekistan is currently being tested. This is followed by disassembly and shipping. All in all, the Croatian Vertiv factory's management explained that the production of modular data centres, such as those which are being assembled in the factory in Rugvica, which was opened last April, takes only six to seven weeks.

It's worth noting that this plant in Zagreb County acts as a base for modular solutions and a centre of excellence for the whole world. "Engineers here in Zagreb support the engineering and development of other regions, in addition to EMEA and America and the Asia-Pacific region," emphasised Vedran Brzic, senior director of IMS Engineering.

This speaks volumes about the importance of the factory here in Croatia, one of 23 production locations of Vertiv, whose headquarters are in the USA, and one of five in Europe. This one in Croatia specialises in the construction of modular data centres intended for the wider EMEA region.

In addition, the factory, the construction of which amounted to 10 million euros, also produces air conditioners (intended for cooling data centres) and energy modules, which is their best-selling and also the most expensive product they boast. The new facility in Rugvica has 130 percent more internal space, which isn't surprising when you take into account the demand for data centres we're seeing at this moment in time.

"In just a couple of years, business has doubled, and we expect demand to grow by 20 percent," said Viktor Petik, a member of the Vertiv Croatia Management Board, a company founded in 2017, but whose tradition in Croatia stretches back far further, as it is the successor of Emerson Energy System, which has been operating in Croatia since 2000.

The growth of Vertiv Croatia's revenues, which grew by 66 percent back in 2020 and by 32 percent last year, reaching 716 million kuna, speaks volumes about the demand for data centres on the whole. Petik pointed out that they expect growth this year as well, and this was also reflected in the number of employees, which grew from 280 at the end of 2020 to more than 500 now.

In addition, this year, they also opened an office in Rijeka after numerous discussions. Rijeka, according to Brzic, prevailed for three reasons. "It's a city with a strong tech university and other faculties that Vertiv needs. Rijeka also has a rich industrial tradition, and it's close to Zagreb," explained Brzic, adding hat these are solutions that are very complex. "Modular data centres require the cooperation of a number of engineering disciplines, such as architecture, construction, energy, mechanical engineering, air conditioning, automation," he stated.

''With the rapid progression of digitisation, data centres are becoming more and more in demand, and changes in trends are being observed,'' explained Igor Grdic, who is in charge of operations and services for Croatia and the CEE countries of the Croatian Vertiv factory.

"Data centres are mostly located around large cities, such as the famous FLAP (Frankfurt, London, Amsterdam and Paris) and Dublin. Recently, we've seen a shift in needs and capacity to the east. For the last three years, Poland, more precisely Warsaw, has had an explosion in data centres with over 200 MW of capacity.

Israel is also following Warsaw's trends, but the question arises as to where the next expansion will go. Vertiv Croatia, of course, is pushing Croatia,'' Grdic concluded.

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

Wednesday, 30 November 2022

First Ever Winter Wine & Walk to Take Place in Baranja

November 30, 2022 - The well-known wine walk along the undiscovered paths of Baranja is getting its winter edition for the first time this year on Saturday, December 10, 2022 – Winter Wine & Walk.

As SiB writes, on the nine km-long route through the villages of Suza and Zmajevac, the famous wine meccas of Baranja, the participants will be welcomed at 14 points by Baranja winemakers and restaurants with top-quality wines and traditional snacks.

The organisers will equip the walkers with a map, a wine glass, and a winter hat, and the participants will need to bring comfortable clothes and shoes. It is equally important to arrive in a good mood and with a good team.

The walkers will move in groups under the guidance of a tourist guide who, in addition to leading the way, will make sure that the group learns something new about Baranja.

Participants gather in Zmajevac in front of the Cultural Centre, with parking spaces available nearby. After collecting their equipment and checking in with the organiser, the walkers will take a dedicated bus to the first checkpoint of the walk.

The following wineries await Pinkert, Kovač, Kolar, Horvat, Gerštmajer, Svijetli dvori, Zlatno Brdo, Kalazić, Josić, Szabo, and Kusić. Providing Baranja snacks for the energy: Kovač Čarda restaurant, the Oaza Mira vacation house, the association Tako je to nekad bilo (That's How it Used to be), Vinarium Borarium, and Kusić cellars.

The start for the groups is according to the following schedule:

Group 1 12:00 p.m
Group 2 12:30 p.m
Group 3 1:00 p.m
Group 4 1:00 p.m

In addition to the beautiful landscape and top-quality food and drinks, during this adventure to the wine capitals of Baranja, walkers will be welcomed with song, music, and dance by the local artists.

The end of the walk does not mean the end of fun! At the end of the trail, the start of the Advent afterparty awaits in the "Catholic surduk" in Zmajevac.

A Christmas fair with mulled wine, lights, a rich music program, and a special experience of Zmajevac surduk awaits everyone on 10 December at the Winter Wine & Walk.

APPLICATIONS can be submitted by filling out the form HERE.

Registration fee: HRK 300.00 / €39.82

Registration fee includes: wine glass, winter cap, map, a voucher for wine tasting at 12 locations + 5 gastronomic locations, tourist guide, and bus transportation (Zmajevac-Suza)

Payments are made no later than Monday, December 5, 2022. towards:

Baranja Tourist Board

Kralja Tomislava 70, Beli Manastir

Description: Registration fee for Winter Wine & walk

IBAN: HR32 2340 0091 1108 3919 1

Info: Baranja Tourist Board, tel. 031/702080 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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

Wednesday, 30 November 2022

Private Exhibition of Academic Sculptor Pero Jelisić and Painter Davor Jelisić Held in Zagreb

oNovember 30, 2022 - A delightful evening of art, music and culture in Zagreb on Saturday, as academic sculptor Pero Jelisic held a private exhibition of his work 

One of the many joys of living in Croatia is that every day is different, and there is often a surprise around every corner. 

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The plan for last Saturday evening was relatively simple - the long-awaited opening of Advent in Zagreb, once more restored to its pre-pandemic glory. There was palpable excitement from the little ones. A friend suggested I make an appearance at a private event he was attending. And so I entered another world, completely forgetting about Advent, at least as soon as the kids took their leave, allowing me to enjoy a rather unexpected and fascinating unplanned evening of culture and excellent company. A little more detail in the press release below, before some closing remarks from me: 

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Last Saturday, a private, pre-Christmas exhibition of father and son, academic sculptor Pero Jelisić and painter Davor Jelisić, was held in Zagreb. Maja and Jonathan Cooper, serial entrepreneurs and business angels, opened the doors of their apartment, which was conceptually decorated as a gallery space, and for this occasion transformed into a real gallery outfit, to numerous guests and art lovers.

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Art critic Iva Körbler provided professional support in experiencing the 86 exhibited works, which highlighted the self-effacement of the top sculptor Pero Jelisić, a student of the doyens of Croatian sculpture Kršinić, Augustinčić and Radauš, who is among those artists whose works speak volumes about him. Numerous guests witnessed this by following the artistic path of one of the most prominent members of the HDLU through the multiple award-winning sculptures of Nikola Tesla, and sculptures from the oeuvre of water - drops and its variations, and female nudes, and impressive relief sculptures of the Sun and the Moon were also exhibited. and works of other life scenes expressed through movement and emotions.Davor Jelisić confirms the saying that the apple does not fall far from the tree. He has continued the artistic family tradition and built a recognizable, distinctive artistic style that is best reflected in the range of works from Koprena to Jungle that we had the opportunity to see in the current exhibition.

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Two musical numbers also contributed to the atmosphere. The first was performed by Krešimir Ferenčina, a member of the Zagreb Philharmonic, who performed A. Corelli's Allegro from the 3rd violin sonata in C major, and the second was performed by the young cellist Maša Biban Capponi, a 2nd grade student at Elly Bašić High School, who performed Saint Seans - Allegro passion Op. 43.

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The exhibition also had a humanitarian character through the donation of part of the proceeds from the sale to the Association of Melanoma Patients.

According to the organizers, this event will continue as a tradition, and next year we will have the opportunity to enjoy this unique and unusual delicacy on the cultural scene of Zagreb.

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****

In addition to meeting many Croatians from social circles higher than those I usually swim in, there were two moments which will stay with me in addition to the fantastic company (so many very interesting people), the art, and the excellent refreshments and hospitality of the Cooper household. The first was watching the master at work, as Pero Jelisic, seemingly oblivious to all the noise and celebration around him, continued to work quietly, methodically, and with total dedication to his art. It was an extraordinary contrast to the conversations of high society all around him. Even the cameraman circling him as he worked did not phase him. A humble artist and a master of his craft united in a mission to produce another perfect bust. You can see Pero At work in the video below. 

 

The second was a personal surprise for me, as the cocktail waiter at the reception introduced himself to me upon entering. Although we had never met, Denis Vlahovac recently contacted me to tell his story on TCN for our Returnee Reflections series, and Denis gave a great interview on his journey from Vancouver back to Dauvar, where he has started an excellent new cocktail business. You can read his interview here.   

And Denis had perhaps the most innovative use of the dreaded bureaucratic Croatian company stamp, using it to brand his company logo on each block of ice that graced his excellent cocktails. 

A fabulous evening all round, and a delightful snapshot into a cultural window of Zagreb. Many thanks to the excellent hosts, Maja and Jonathan Cooper. Check out the official video of the evening below.

To learn more about the work of Pero Jelisic, visit his official website.

To learn more about the work of Davor Jelisic, visit his official website.

Wednesday, 30 November 2022

Canadian Goalkeeper Croatia Row: His Grandmother Speaks

November the 30th, 2022 - Canada's goalkeeper Milan Borjan caused an intense reaction during the Canada-Croatia match (during which Croatia really f*cked Canada, by the way, Mr. Herdman) with his comments about Croatia and ''Krajina''. Croatian fans launched a wave of anger (and literal physical items) at Borjan, who otherwise plays for Crvena Zvezda (Red Star) Belgrade.

Croatian football fans aren't the only people Borjan has managed to upset with his statement about being ''born in Krajina, not in Croatia'', and his own grandmother, Stefica Borjan (83) has come out and said in no uncertain terms ''Jebala ga Krajina'' which you'll no doubt be able to quite easily translate and save me the job.

As Mirovina writes, Canadian goalkeeper Milan Borjan isn't the most popular person in Croatia at this moment in time, he's apparently even less popular with his own grandmother, 83-year-old Stefica Borjan, who came out and commented on the extremely controversial statement he made about his birthplace and his performance at the World Cup as the Canadian goalkeeper in the recent match against Croatia.

After the convincing victory of the incredible Croatian national team over Canada (4-1), apart from Croatia's talented goal scorers themselves, the hottest topic was Canadian goalkeeper Milan Borjan. During the match, Croatian fans threw all kinds of things at him from the stands, and he responded by raising three of his fingers at them. Look up the historical meaning of that and just why it's so insulting to do to a Croat.

Although he pointed out after the match that the Croatian players behaved like ''gentlemen'', the public will definitely not forget his statement from a few years ago. Journalists once asked him how he would describe himself, as a Serb born in Croatia who plays for Canada.

''Big mistake. I wasn't born in Croatia. I was born in Krajina, Dalmatia, it was a Serbian place. When I describe myself, I say I'm from Serbia, should I say Dalmatia, but I feel like a Canadian,'' was his answer. We're not sure Borjan's strong point is geography, but that's another matter for another time.

Stefica Borjan is far from thrilled with his performance and she's made zero effort to hide it

After the match, fans somehow got hold of Borjan's mobile phone number and sent him around 2,500 rather, erm... inappropriate messages. During that time, the Dnevnik Nova TV team visited the village close to Drnis in inland Dalmatia where his grandmother, Stefica Borjan, lives.

''Listen, I'm a little angry about all this. He should have done a little better,'' she said.

She didn't seem to be very enthusiastic about the fact that her grandson conceded four goals against the Croatian team. Let's remember that Kramaric scored twice, as did Livaja and Majer.

''Well, it is what it is, what am I going to do with him? Is it my fault?'' Stefica threw up her hands and asked.

"Nobody hates anyone"

She also commented on his controversial statements about being born in Krajina. Borjan could also quite easily take his grandmother's message as an insult.

''He didn't say anything in particular. He only said that he was born in Knin and that he loves, as he says, Krajina. F*ck his Krajina. I was immediately angry about that, that he'd mention Krajina, and his grandmother is Croatian, his father is half Serbian and half Croatian,'' said 83-year-old Stefica Borjan for Nova TV.

Despite the wave of fury that her grandson caused with his odd statements, she claims that there is no hatred in the Borjan family to speak of, for anyone.

''Oh no, no. Nobody hates anyone, nobody despises anyone,'' concluded the grandmother of the Canadian goalkeeper of Serbian origin who was born in Croatia. Not in Krajina.

For more, follow our politics and sport sections.

Wednesday, 30 November 2022

Croatian Euros Can be Purchased Tomorrow But Can't be Used Yet

November the 30th, 2022 - Croatian Eurozone accession is drawing ever closer, with the final month in which the kuna will remain the country's official currency beginning tomorrow. You'll be able to purchase Croatian euros tomorrow, but you won't be able to spend them yet.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, in order for people to be as ready as possible to use the euro in the first days of 2023, banks, the Financial Agency (Fina) and Croatian post (Hrvatska posta) will make it possible for people to come and purchase a maximum of two initial packages of Croatian euros (coins) per transaction.

The initial package of the new Croatian euros contains 33 euro coins with the Croatian national motifs on them. They will be in all denominations and amount to the value of 13.28 euros. For one initial package of brand new euro coins, you will pay 100 kuna.

People will only be able to use these Croatian euros for legitimate payments in this country and abroad only from January the 1st, 2023. Namely, euro and cent coins with Croatian national symbols on the reverse will only become legal tender in the Republic of Croatia and the rest of the Eurozone on the actual day of Croatia's accession to the Eurozone, which is scheduled for the very first day of 2023.

There are a mixture of feelings among the residents of this country when it comes to sending the now historic Croatian kuna to this history books and replacing it with the single currency of the Eurozone. While some are mourning the loss of a part of Croatia's unique identity in the face of continued EU ''encroachment'', others will be more than happy to no longer be victims of exchange rate fluctuations, and this will be the particular case for those who have taken out bank loans.

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

Wednesday, 30 November 2022

Pozega Resident Flies Yugoslav Flag, Neighbours Call Police

November the 30th, 2022 - One Pozega resident has caused quite the stir by flying the flag of the former Yugoslavia on his property, resulting in the ruffling of his neighbours' feathers and them contacting the local police.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, a Pozega resident (male, 47 years of age) recently displayed and flew the flag of the former Yugoslavia on his own house in the town of Jaksic near Pozega, as reported by the Pozega-Slavonia County police, who found out about this after his neighbours made them aware of it.

The police say that the 47-year-old "insulted the moral feelings of the people of Pozega'' by flying the controversial flag of a now extinguished country that still has people across Croatia and indeed the rest of the immediate region deeply divided.

The 47-year-old Pozega resident will be charged with a misdemeanor under the Law on Offenses against Public Order and Peace.

Republic Day (Dan Republike) was a holiday in the former Yugoslavia that was celebrated on November the 29th each year. It marked the anniversary of the second session of the AVNOJ (Anti-Fascist Council for the National Liberation of Yugoslavia/Antfasisticko vijece narodnog oslobodjenja Jugoslavije) on November the 29th, 1943, when representatives of the partisan resistance movement proclaimed the federal structure of Yugoslavia and the constitutional assembly on that same date in 1945.

Republic Day ceased to be celebrated with the dissolution of the fomer Yugoslavia, and celebrating it in Croatia today, at least if giant flags are involved, might just see the police come knocking at your door, as well.

For more on Croatian news, make sure to keep up with our dedicated section.

Wednesday, 30 November 2022

Keesing Technologies Showcases Croatian ID Cards at Trustech Fair

November the 30th, 2022 - The Trustech fair in Paris has seen Croatian ID cards showcased by the Dutch company Keesing Technologies, which highlighted them as among the most aesthetically pleasing.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, at the Trustech fair, which is deemed to be the most important technology fair for identity and payment solutions, the Dutch company Keesing Technologies decorated the exhibition space with images of the protective elements of Croatian ID cards, which can also be seen on the cover of the "Overview of travel documents" magazine.

Trustech, the most important technology fair for solutions in the field of identity and payment solutions, is being held in Paris from November the 29th to December the 1st and expects more than 5,000 visitors and 150 exhibitors, Irena Papes, the advisor of the AKD Public Relations Directorate, announced on Wednesday.

According to the impression and statements from Keesing Technologies, Croatian ID cards are "some of the most beautiful identification documents created in the last few years". The Croatian company AKD which produces them, is more than happy with that opinion.

The Dutch company Keesing Technologies has otherwise existed since 1911, and within its DocumentChecker solution, it owns a database of identification documents and banknotes for 200 countries around the world, and through AuthentiScan, they enable verification of the authenticity of said identification documents.

In addition, the protection elements of Croatian ID cards - the partially metalised Kinegram made with ZERO.ZERO technology - adorn the cover of the aforementioned "Overview of travel documents 2016-2021" magazine.

"I'm proud that the design of Croatian ID cards, as well as the entire IT solution, is an entirely Croatian product made at AKD. We'd like to thank our colleagues from the Ministry of the Interior (MUP) for their excellent cooperation with us,'' said Jure Sertic, the CEO of AKD, a company that produces personal documents and protected printed matter, develops advanced IT solutions in the field of identity and security, advanced traceability systems, and provides services to the banking and fintech sector.

AKD is recognised as a leader by international partners as well, stated the advisor of the Administration, Irena Papes.

The Agency for Commercial Activities (AKD) is a company of special interest to the Republic of Croatia and is 100 percent owned by the state.

For more, make sure to keep up with our dedicated news section.

Wednesday, 30 November 2022

How to Croatia - How Can I Work Legally and How Do I Find a Job?

November the 30th, 2022 - Imagining yourself lounging around on a Dalmatian beach with a cold beer in hand is all well and good, but unless you've won the lottery or have a foreign wage or pension coming in every month, how do you fund it? Here's how to get a job (legally), in this edition of our How to Croatia series.

I know, it might be funny to read ‘working in Croatia’ considering the reality that the Croatian economy isn’t exactly booming and an enormous number of people are out of work for various reasons. There is a demographic crisis which is still ongoing, a brain drain, and there are employers seeking employees but can’t pay them what they’d like to. It’s a complicated situation that requires a book of its own, but one of many Croatian paradoxes is that you just can’t get the staff, despite the fact that the staff are quite literally everywhere.

I’m aware that many expats in Croatia earn their money abroad, or are drawing a foreign pension. In that case, you can safely skip this part, but for those who want the experience of working for a Croatian company, read on!

Now, it’s important to note that being able to work in Croatia and under what conditions also depends, much like residence, on your nationality. 

So, who can work in Croatia? Do I need a work permit?

If you’re an EEA citizen, or you’re from Switzerland, you are free to take up work or self-employment in Croatia much like a Croat can. You don’t need any type of work permit or special permission to do that. If a Croatian company wants to hire you, they can.

If you’re a third country national, then things are a bit more difficult. Not impossible, might I add, but more difficult. If you’re a third country national and you haven’t yet been granted permanent residence, then you’ll need to seek a work permit if you’re offered employment.

If you’re a British national covered by the Withdrawal Agreement (a pre-Brexit Brit), then you can work without a work permit. Post-Brexit Brits, however, fall under the third country national category.

If you have permanent residence in Croatia, you can work in Croatia regardless of your nationality, be it an EEA citizenship or a third country one, being a permanent resident in Croatia more or less equals you with a citizen, especially in this regard.

Seems simple enough… How do I get a work permit?

In order to get a work permit, you'll need to either apply from within Croatia if you're already here, or at a diplomatic mission in your own country. Should you need to extend the work permit you've been granted when here in Croatia, you may do so in person at your local administrative police station (shock, horror, it’s the police again!)

Please note that the law states you must begin the work permit extension procedure 60 days before your current work permit is due to expire. There are exceptions of course, and discretion is commonly used by MUP, but it's best to stick to this rule to avoid needless complications and possible extra paperwork, not to mention a fine.

What does a third country national need to present when applying for a work permit for Croatia?

You'll need to present an official (government issued) ID, such as a biometric ID card or a passport, and a copy of the information page.

An employment contract (it's wise to make a couple of copies), or other appropriate proof of having concluded (signed) a work contract

If you're not technically being employed by a third party, and you intend to carry out your work in Croatia as a self employed person, you'll need to provide proof of you having registered your company/trade (tvrtka or obrt), etc, in Croatia. (Extracts from the relevant registers should not be more than six months of age).

A completed application for the work permit (this can be picked up at the administrative police station when you apply, or at the competent diplomatic mission outside of Croatia).

Your OIB (personal identification number used for tax purposes that was touched on earlier).

If you've registered your address in Croatia, you'll need to provide proof of you having done so (either via a registration certificate, proof of you having submitted that particular document, or your Croatian ID card if you already have it).

A photo of you (this is done in the same way as with the residence permit, so MUP will tell you more).

Proof of having paid the applicable fees for the application.

You may be asked for proof of your education and qualifications, proof of sufficient funds, and other documents depending on your individual situation.

You'll notice that unlike when you as a third country national applied for residence in Croatia, you may not need to provide proof of having Croatian state health insurance when applying for a work/stay and work permit if you are being hired by a Croatian employer/company, as this will be paid by them anyway.

In some cases, however, third country nationals continue to be asked for this, and it is prescribed by law even though this often isn't asked about, so do be prepared for the question.

Is Croatia part of the EU Blue Card scheme?

Croatia is indeed part of the EU Blue Card scheme, which often proves useful for third country nationals in Croatia. If you're highly skilled and are offered an EU Blue Card, this can entitle you to two years of being able to work in Croatia. Other work/stay and work permits typically only allow for twelve months at a time and in some cases can prove problematic to extend.

For certain jobs, you don't need a work permit, but a work registration certificate, and your employer can get this for you from the police. If you're unsure of whether or not this applies to you, ask MUP and your employer.

I’m a third country national going through this process, does my Croatian employer need to be involved at all in this process?

Yes.

The work/stay and work permit procedure can either be done by you, or by your employer who has their company seat in Croatia. You'll both be required to provide supporting documents as and when asked for them. You may also be asked to provide official translations for any documents you provide which are not already in Croatian.

There used to be a quota system in place, but it has been abolished… Why?

Croatia used to use a quota for the employment of third country nationals in various sectors in need of workers. This has been abolished, so I won’t go too deeply into it. 

Under the no-more-quotas-rule, an employer from Croatia seeking to hire a foreign (non-EU) worker will have to contact their Croatian Employment Service’s (CES) regional office to verify whether or not there are any unemployed persons in their records who meet their requirements.

If there are any, the CES will mediate the employment of that (usually Croatian or EEA) individual, otherwise, it will issue an opinion on the basis of which MUP will issue work permits for foreigners. Once again, this refers to third country nationals, not EEA citizens, who can work freely just like Croatian citizens, without the need for any type of permit. If you’re an EEA citizen, just ignore this entirely.

It’s worth bearing in mind that these tests aren’t carried out in the case of seasonal agricultural workers, and there’s no need for the test in certain other professions either. I’m aware this comes across as somewhat vague, but these tests are also overlooked for occupations that are lacking on the local and regional labour market and cannot be 'stoked' by migration into the country, the implementation of strategic and investment projects, and ‘other circumstances relevant to economic growth and sustainable development’.

In other words, it’s all about context and the situation at hand. Much like just about everything else in Croatia.

Now that bit is (hopefully) cleared up, how do I actually find a job?

I’ll be honest, it’s no easy feat. Croatia is a nation of paradoxes in many regards, and this is just one of them. There’s an ongoing demographic crisis, employers can’t get the staff, everyone is out of work, there is plenty of work and there’s also no work. I know, it’s difficult to wrap your head around.

Employment in Croatia is, on the whole, very seasonal. The unemployment rate traditionally drops like a tonne of bricks the closer we edge to the summer tourist season, and we all get to read about it each and every year in the newspapers like it’s some economy-rescuing phenomenon. Talk about groundhog day. I digress, finding a job in the catering, hospitality and tourism sector isn’t that difficult as the warmer weather approaches, especially as the demographic crisis is biting even harder.

Traditionally, citizens of Croatia’s neighbouring countries such as Serbia and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina come to work as bar staff, waiters and chefs in coastal Croatian destinations to fill labour market gaps. Many people from Bosnia and Herzegovina also hold Croatian citizenship and of course speak Croatian, so it’s easy for them to hop over the border and get a job. Given that Dubrovnik for example is so close to the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina, people from a town called Trebinje which belongs to Republika Srpska often travel the few miles into the extreme south of Dalmatia and gain employment as seasonal workers during summer, repeating the same thing each year, much to the disdain of Dubrovnik’s locals.

More recently, Croatia has been importing labour from much more distant countries, including India, Nepal and the Philippines. There are even agencies which facilitate precisely this. Since the war broke out in Ukraine following the Russian invasion in February 2022, many Ukrainians have also taken up residence and work in Croatia. Ukraine is hardly a distant country, but it is a third country (a non-EEA member state) and this is worth mentioning because the number of Ukrainians working in Croatia has increased significantly since Croatia facilitated this for refugees.

Many Croats have gone off to Ireland, Germany and all over the place to seek work and better prospects. This was made extremely easy when Croatia joined the EU in July 2013, allowing Croats to work in most countries across the bloc without the need for a work permit, with only a few continuing to maintain labour restrictions which would expire after a period of however many years. The United Kingdom and Austria were just two of several of the countries which imposed this. Those restrictions were eventually dropped.

Background over, let’s get back to the practicalities.

How do I find a job in Croatia?

There are a multitude of ways. In a country so set in the ways of connections and someone’s friend’s uncle knowing someone else’s cousin who used to work for so and so (apparently it’s called networking now), word of mouth is king. 

Talk to who you know, and ask them to talk to who they know

Word of mouth is, as I stated above, king in Croatia. Many people find jobs through someone who knows someone else, so put yourself out there. If you’re fluent in a language like English or German, you can absolutely use this to your advantage.

The Croatian Employment Service (CES)

In Croatian, this is Hrvatski zavod za zapošljavanje, or HZZ for short. It is a state institution which implements employment programmes. It is by no means a legal requirement as a jobseeker to apply to be kept up to date with new jobs on offer linked to your desired field of work, education and profession in this way, but it might help you. What you need to commit to if you do choose to do this is to visit their office once a month, then once every two months after some time passes. You’ll need to find the office closest to your place of residence if you choose to take this route. 

You can unsubscribe from their service and from receiving information on available jobs from them at any time, whether you’ve found work or not.

Facebook groups

There’s a Facebook group for just about anything, and finding jobs and staff is no exception. Numerous Facebook groups exist solely for this purpose. Many of these groups are regionally based, or city/town based. A quick Facebook search will allow you to narrow down the sort of thing you’re looking for, be that freelancing, work in the blossoming Croatian IT sector, seasonal work, or even work as a skipper, videographer or photographer.

Most of these groups will contain the words ‘trebam’ (I need), ‘tražim’ (I’m looking for), ‘nudim’ (I’m offering) and posao (work/a job). Add your location if that is important to you and you’re not a remote worker, and off you go. Just watch out for scams and spam posts. They’re usually obvious and properly administered Facebook groups will quickly take such posts down, but sometimes they aren’t as obvious as one might hope. This is a very legitimate way to seek and find work, with thousands of people doing it, but it always pays to keep your wits about you.

Websites and platforms

Just like in most other places, Croatia has its own array of websites and platforms dedicated to job searches. Posao (posao.hr) is a very popular one, as is Moj Posao (moj-posao.hr), Jooble (hr.jooble.org), Oglasnik (oglasnik.hr), Freelance (freelance.hr) and even Njuškalo (njuskalo.hr) all have a huge amount of jobs on offer spanning a very wide array of different fields and professions. There are some which offer information and even live chats in English, such as danasradim.hr, which is a Croatian language website with a live English language chat option, and PickJobs, which is available in multiple languages. 

I’m not endorsing any of the above websites, nor do I have any affiliation to them, but this is just an example of (only a mere handful) the amount of websites in Croatia dedicated to employment, be you the employer or the would-be employee. LinkedIN is also extremely helpful and will show you jobs best suited to you, as will websites like the aforementioned Moj Posao which have a newsletter you can subscribe to.

Target Croatian companies specifically

If you’re qualified and interested in a highly specific field, such as engineering for example, the likes of Rimac Automobili and Infobip might well be on your radar. There are many rapidly growing, wildly successful companies in Croatia (contrary to what you might hear and read), and they’re more or less constantly expanding and trying their hands at new things. These are the types of companies that you need to contact directly. They might be a safer option if you’re a non-EEA national without permanent residence, meaning you need a work permit in order to legally work in Croatia, as highly qualified employees who aren’t EU Blue Card holders are still deeply desired by companies like the aforementioned who are willing to go the extra mile to get you sorted legally.

Language schools

There are multiple language schools spread across Croatia who are often on the hunt for native English speakers (and indeed the native speakers of a number of other languages). A quick Google search will reveal their details. It’s absolutely worth contacting them.

Things to note

There are more and more large multinational companies popping up in Croatia, particularly in larger cities Zagreb and Split, who require staff who speak other languages. Some don’t even make speaking or understanding Croatian a requirement.

When the quota system (which I talked about a little bit in the Working in Croatia chapter) was in force, things were a bit different for companies seeking to employ third country nationals. They didn’t have to contact the Croatian Government and were free to facilitate the employment of a third country national (and have their work permit approved) as long as their skills matched what the quota needed. That is no longer the case. Now quotas are a thing of the past (and have been since January the 1st, 2021), employers must still contact the powers that be and make sure there are no Croats or permanent residents registered on the labour market who would fit the bill for the job before being able to hire you.

Many job posts being posted on Facebook groups in particular will state that they want people who have ‘EU papers’ (meaning either an EU passport, or someone who isn’t an EU citizen but who does have permanent residence in Croatia).

The economy isn’t ideal at the minute (it feels like we’ve been saying that for an eternity, doesn’t it?), and finding a job is not easy, so don’t be put off if you don’t hear back from some of the places you apply to. Unfortunately, ignoring applications as opposed to sending out a ‘thanks, but no thanks’ in response has become the norm just about everywhere.

As I talked about before, because Croatia’s demographic crisis is becoming more and more problematic, many Croatian employers are importing foreign (non-EEA) labour, either from neighbouring countries or from much further afield. If you are a non-EEA national and you manage to land a job, just be prepared for MUP to take a while to approve your work permit. They have been struggling with an increasing backlog and there are unfortunate (and infuriating) cases in which Croatian employers in the tourism, catering and hospitality sectors are waiting for weeks for their employees’ work permits to be processed, leaving them short of staff in the height of the summer season purely due to complicated red tape. 

Because of this, if you’re a non-EEA citizen and you want to work in Croatia’s tourism, catering or hospitality sector, you must begin your job hunt months before summer arrives to make sure (as best you can), that your paperwork is all done and dusted and you can begin work and legally receive a wage before the tourist season hits.

You’re much more likely to find work in less formal ways than through the CES. I’m not saying that it doesn’t help, but most people simply don’t fall into jobs through that service, particularly if they’re foreign, and every other way I’ve listed is more popular and usually yields more fruit.

For more on our How to Croatia series which is published each week, check out our lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 30 November 2022

Dalić and Kovačić ahead of Belgium: "A Tough Match Awaits, but We are Ready"

November 30, 2022 - The national teams of Belgium and Croatia held press conferences the day before their final 2022 World Cup Group F match in Qatar. 

Croatia and Belgium meet on Thursday, December 1, at 18:00 local time at Ahmed bin Ali Stadium in Qatar. Both national teams held press conferences with the coach and one player, with Belgium taking the floor first. 

Player Timothy Castagne answered questions first.

How did you feel after Monday's meeting, and will it change something on the pitch?

"It wasn't a crisis meeting, as you might have heard. There were no insults. We used it as a way to improve and be better."

Is Belgium in war mode?

"We are trying to show more solidarity with each other. We are trying to be more focused. We know there is a lot of pressure. We are trying to rediscover the values we had before and enjoy ourselves; that's when we play better. It's important for us, for Croatia, and the country. We need to play more aggressively. We need to show more control."

Why will Belgium beat Croatia?

"I am convinced that we will win. I know the quality of our team. I know what we are capable of. We don't need to prove anything to anyone. We will win it for us and our country. 

We have been united, but not enough. You need to be united if you want to go far in a World Cup tournament. You need to fight for your teammates. The meeting was helpful in that respect. We expect a lot from each other. I don't think our confidence is as low as people think. We are not in crisis mode like the press has said. We have been worse. If we want to be a big team and go far, we must show that even under pressure, we can deliver. It's a big game; if we win, we go through. 

We let the criticism affect us. Maybe we heard people saying we were a golden generation and started doubting ourselves. We lost some of the confidence we had. We know that we believe in ourselves."

What do you think about the Croatia team?

"It's tough to say there is a favorite. We know Croatia is very good and went to the final last time. We also know we have beaten them. We have the quality to win. It'll depend on how badly Croatia or Belgium wants it."

Does finishing 3rd in 2018 put a lot of pressure on the Belgium players?

"Yes. We know that is the standard you set yourselves. We need to not think about what might happen if we lose, but what will happen if we win."

Belgium coach Roberto Martinez Montoliu answered the questions next:

"We were not happy with our performances. Losing 2-0 was a shock; we were unhappy with it. I think we have listened too much to the noise. The less you listen to the noise, the better."

What does he think about Dalić?

"Dalić is a thinker, a gentleman, and we share many values. He joined in a chaotic moment. You can see a clear direction from him. He has only gotten better. I cannot speak highly enough of the job he has done.

I was impressed with Croatia against France in Nations League. The quality of this team is excellent. They have togetherness; they are brave. Lovren coming back brings added value. I would highlight this team's competitive dynamics, not just the midfield."

Croatia coach Zlatko Dalić and Mateo Kovačić followed:

"It's a deciding game for our group. One of the best teams in the world. We await a tough match. We saw a slightly weaker Belgium in the last two games. We are ready. We are not going for a point or to play for a draw. We need to play how we did against Canada. It will be a very tough game," said Dalić. 

"Belgium is a top team. We will show our true face as we did against Canada," said Kovačić. 

"Belgium was first on the FIFA list for a long time. The coach is amazing, and the team is amazing. We have our quality, and they have theirs. We know how challenging this game will be. We await the toughest Belgium tomorrow. We are ready for that," added Dalić. 

"We all came here to have the best World Cup. We know what we are capable of. There isn't fear. We will do what we did against Canada," added Kovačić. 

"I've known Lukaku for a long time. He is a phenomenal player. We have been training for this match and how to be ready for them. De Bruyne has played in the Premier League forever. We need to be careful with him. We must focus on ourselves, though; that is most important."

How is the atmosphere in the Croatia team?

"I am not taking into consideration anything about the meeting Belgium had. I am only thinking about them as the 2nd national team in the world. Nothing can change overnight. They are an incredible national team. They are #2, and we are #12. Our atmosphere is excellent, calm, no drama," said Dalić. 

"We played great against Canada. When we play together like that, we can beat anyone. We are going to show tomorrow that we can replicate that against Belgium. We need to show the same face we showed against Canada," said Kovačić. 

"This game is even more important than the last two. The team will give the most of themselves. It will be a much different game than against Morocco and Canada. It will be much harder. No disrespect, but Belgium is a class above," said Dalić. 

What's the plan for Lukaku?

"We have prepared the team as if Lukaku is playing. He will get the ball, guard the ball, and find Hazard. He is a big player. He hasn't played many games lately, but it doesn't matter for that type of player," said Dalić. 

"The atmosphere in their team doesn't worry us. We are only analyzing their game; that's all that matters," concluded Kovačić.  

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

Tuesday, 29 November 2022

Croatian Weather Service Finally Has Full Radar Coverage

November 29, 2022 - The Croatian national weather service (DHMZ) reported today that the latest in the series of radar devices was installed and fully operational on the Pelješac peninsula, which makes the entire national area covered with such devices.

With the completion of the test operation of the radar device at the MRC Uljenje location on the Pelješac peninsula, radar data for the south of Croatia is available to the public, the DHMZ reported. It is the third, final modern meteorological radar on the Croatian part of the Adriatic. Its antenna and the dome were installed on October 19, 2022, after which the final equipment installations and test operation of the radar device began.

As of today, the C-band Doppler meteorological radar on the top of Uljenje on Pelješac started working, and thus for the first time in history the entire territory of Croatia, including the Croatian coast, sea and islands, is covered by radar measurements. A better understanding of the state of the atmosphere in southern Dalmatia is a long-standing wish of Croatian meteorologists, which was finally realized with the start of the operation of this radar device.

All users of DHMZ services can access radar measurements via their mobile devices or computers and thus not only better plan their daily activities, but also assess how far some dangerous weather system is from them and make a timely decision about their safety. Currently, 5 radar devices are in operation at the locations of MRC Gradište, MRC Bilogora, MRC Goli, MRC Debeljak and MRC Uljenje (or check out the composite image created by them all). By the time the entire project is finished, the radar at the location of MRC Puntijarka (on Sljeme, near Zagreb) will also be in operation.

The DHMZ shared the on their social networks, including the photos of the radar itself and the first composite image from the radars. See if you can see something else recently opened in Croatia in the photo of the radar dome!

The measurements from 5 meteorological oceanographic buoys anchored this summer along the Adriatic Sea and two altitude stations in Slavonia and Istria, and after the installation of sensors at more than 400 locations of ground stations, create a modern meteorological observation system. The project to modernize the meteorological monitoring network in the Republic of Croatia - METMONIC, implemented by DHMZ, will further improve the early warning system for extreme weather and hydrological phenomena and climatic conditions. With this, the Croatian weather service will provide additional support to the development of the economy, tourism, fishing and boating, as well as adaptation to climate change. The total estimated cost of the METMONIC project is HRK 343,914,506.50, of which 85% or HRK 292,327,330.52 is financed from EU funds through the Operational Program Competitiveness and Cohesion, while 15% of the national component in the amount of HRK 51,587,175.98 is co-financed The Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund.

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