Sunday, 16 January 2022

From Sting to The Cure in Zagreb: TCN Meets Concert Promoter Nick Hobbs of Charm Music

January 16, 2022 - TCN spoke to Nick Hobbs of Charm Music Croatia, a concert division of the Charmenko group in Eastern Europe organizing the biggest shows in the country this year - from Sting to Arctic Monkeys and The Cure. 

If there is one thing Croatians can be excited about this year, it is a stacked concert calendar, which is more than welcome after two years of cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to the return of music festivals on the coast, Croatians are particularly looking forward to three massive shows this year announced at the end of 2021 - Sting at Arena Zagreb, Arctic Monkeys at Pula Arena, and The Cure at  Arena Zagreb. 

TCN spoke to the man responsible for making these gigs happen - Nick Hobbs of Charm Music, a concert division operating under the Charmenko group of companies specialized in international music organization.

How did you get into promoting concerts?

It's a long story. When I was 23, I organized an Italian tour for Henry Cow, and I promoted one of the shows myself. They asked me to be their manager.

I moved to London, and a year later, the band split. I carried on working with them on offshoot projects, then I moved to Stockholm for a year and worked for a promoter as their international buyer. Then I moved back to London and joined Rough Trade in about 1985 as an artist agent for their roster outside the UK. I then started managing David Thomas and Pere Ubu and some other acts and gradually, over the years, developed an interest and contacts in Eastern Europe. By about 1995, EE was my main work, so it has been since. In 2003 I moved to Istanbul.

Tell us about Charmenko and Charm in general. What are some of the biggest acts on your roster? 

I can’t remember when I came up with the name, but it was maybe around 1990. It was just me plus a small crew of London-based staff for a long time, and we worked from my home in Brixton. Now we have our own offices in Turkey, Serbia, Croatia, Czechia, and Poland and clients all over EE. We also have our own roster of artists that we represent more or less worldwide.

I’ve worked with many big acts over the years, but off the top of my head...

Radiohead
Muse
George Michael
U2
Ed Sheeran
Rihanna
Beyoncé
Elton John
David Bowie
Lou Reed
Nick Cave
Oasis
Blur
Rammstein

and many others.

Really exciting concerts were announced in Croatia this year, from Sting to Arctic Monkeys and The Cure. How are the interest and ticket sales so far? Do you expect sellouts?

We expect Sting to sell out, Arctic Monkeys are already sold out, and we hope The Cure will sell out; they’re a great live band!

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Croatia is not always viewed as a desirable destination for touring musicians, as many acts choose other cities in the region. Why do you think that is? 

It's a small country…and the further south you go into the Balkans, the more straggly concert possibilities become. Anyway, the Balkans are much more developed than they were 20 years ago. So the trend is positive - as long as Bosnia doesn’t fall apart - we hope not!

What difficulties have you encountered when promoting and organizing shows in Croatia? 

Mostly no special difficulties and generally we’ve not had disasters in Croatia and, with one minor exception, the clients we’ve worked with have always paid us - that’s nice. One particular difficulty is that Serbia and Bosnia aren’t part of the EU. Once they become part of the EU, all kinds of opportunities will open for Croatia too. Borders are stupid, just like nationalism is. 

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Charm has announced concerts in Zagreb and Pula - anything planned for Split or the Dalmatia region? If not, why?

Zagreb is the capital. Pula has the arena. I’ve done shows in Split; not easy to make them work financially. Usually, provincial shows with international artists rather depend on municipal support for them to be viable. Split is also further from Slovenia, which is an overlapping market with Zagreb and Pula.

What would make promoting and organizing concerts in Croatia easier for Charm Music?

I hope we will develop our own office further. In the end, the concert business depends on ticket buyers. My own wish is for us to be able to work with more left-field artists, but we worked with Terra Neo, for example; it wasn’t a commercial success. Better connections with venues and municipalities would be good, too.

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What else can we expect from Charm in 2022?

There's a lot of great music around that we'd love to promote but selling enough tickets to cover the costs is very, very tricky and very, very risky. So we have lots of discussions internally, and we have lots of ideas. 

Learn more about Charmenko and Charm Music Croatia.

For more, check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Sunday, 16 January 2022

Get to Know Your Country: Free Tour of Sinj Organized

January 16, 2022 - A free tour of Sinj was organized on Saturday, January 15, as part of the 'Get to Know Your Country' project by the Croatian Tourist Guides Association.

On Saturday, January 15, as part of the 'Get to Know Your Country' project organized by the Croatian Tourist Guides Association, and on the International Recognition Day of the Republic of Croatia, the Sinj Tourist Board organized a free tour of Sinj, in cooperation with the Sinj Tourist Guides Association "Osinium," the Sinjska Alka Museum, the Cetina Region Museum, and the Sikirica Gallery.

On this occasion, many interested citizens of Sinj and the Cetina region, as well as visitors from Kaštela, Klis, Knin, Split, and Solin, visited the Cetina Region Museum where they explored the permanent exhibition "Statue of the Bible - the body of language from all continents" by Siniša Vuković, Sikirica Gallery and the exhibition of photographs "Angels" by Ivo Pervan, and the famous Sinjska Alka Museum, all with the expert guidance of Ivan Vuleta, tourist guide and Danijela Banović Petričević, curator of the Cetina Region Museum.

They helped participants learn more about the knightly city of Sinj, prominent people who influenced its development, numerous public sculptures, the Franciscan Classical Gymnasium - the first gymnasium in southern Croatia with Croatian as the language of instruction, Grad Fortress, the Church of Our Lady of Sinj - the largest southern Croatian Marian shrine, which includes the Image of the Miraculous Lady of Sinj, the votive church at the Grad Fortress, the miraculous defense of the city of Sinj in 1715 and the significance of the Sinj Alka, a knight's game under UNESCO protection.

All participants received a 2022 calendar to remember the day from local and world-famous designer Boris Ljubičić. 

For more on Inland Dalmatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Sunday, 16 January 2022

Croatian Exports to Slovenia Blow Up, 2019 Record Exceeded by 25%

January the 16th, 2022 - Croatian exports have done well despite the circumstances posed by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and exports to neighbouring Slovenia have exceeded pre-pandemic 2019's record by an impressive 25%.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Brnic writes, statistically speaking, ''last year'' isn't quite over yet, but it is already clear that 2021 was a record year in economic relations with Croatia's most important foreign trade partners, in which Italy returned to first place on the list of the main Croatian export markets.

Last year will also be recorded as a time when perhaps the strongest shift was achieved in relations with neighbouring Slovenia, especially when it comes to Croatian exports.

Economic relations between the two neighbouring nations are traditionally good, but in the first ten months of 2021, the Central Bureau of Statistics recorded that trade increased sharply and in absolute terms greatly exceeded the level of the pre-pandemic year of 2019, and if the trend did continue in November and December 2021 (which is yet to be confirmed), it is likely that the total exchange will exceed the results of the record year of 2019. In the case of Croatian exports, this has already happened.

From January to October 2021, as much as 1.808 billion euros worth of goods from Croatia were exported to Slovenia, 171 million euros more than during the whole of 2019, which was a record, and if you look at the same period in that year, the result is better by as much as 452 million euros.

Speaking in percentages, back in 2020, in the conditions of the then very slow and unstable economic life, Croatian exports to Slovenia stopped their growth for the first time in more than a decade and had a deficit on an annual basis (of about 6%), but last year, in that 10 month period, it grew by 42% on an annual basis), largely making up for lost time, so compared to the same period, Croatian exports to Slovenia were higher by 25%.

This result gains even more strength and weight if compare it with Croatian exports to Germany, the second market for domestic products, which in those first 10 months of 2021 amounted to only slightly more. The reason for the convergence of sales values ​​to these two markets should not be sought in the negative trend with Germany, since Croatian exports had a better performance here as well.

What was the generator of accelerated growth of foreign trade between Croatia and Slovenia, you may ask? The Croatian Chamber of Commerce assesses that the step forward in trade relations at the general level, and thus in relations with Slovenia, was greatly contributed to by the increasingly pronounced trend of rising global prices.

"According to the analysis of the structure of Croatian exports to Slovenia, the causes of this growth can be mostly attributed to the increased value of the exports of petroleum oils and oils derived from bituminous minerals and electricity, which is due to a significant increase in energy prices on the global market last year."

The CBS states that electricity worth 45.7 million euros was exported to Slovenia in 2019, as were petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, worth 15.5 million euros. In the first nine months of 2021, electricity was exported in the amount of 183.3 million euros, and petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals were exported in the amount of 67 million euros.

A different structure of exports

At the same time, there was a smaller increase in Croatian exports of aluminum products, various plates, sheets and strips, despite the strong rise in metal prices. They illustrate this with the fact that in the observed period of 2021, these goods were exported worth 118 million euros, while in the conditions of much lower prices back in 2019, the result is only slightly weaker, 110 million euros.

The value of Croatian exports of parts and accessories for motor vehicles, as well as glass products, they say, is declining. It's worth mentioning that in the structure of products in 2021, according to available data, electricity had the largest share (11.8%), and compared to the data on the structure from the previous year, in which it was not among the main export products, it exceeded the traditional main export products - aluminum plates and sheets (7.6%), and parts and accessories for motor vehicles (4.8%), and medicines and chocolates, which last year were not even among the top five products for the Slovenian market.

The automotive industry was going through a turbulent period last year, so Croatian manufacturers, the largest of which is AD Plastik, which cooperates with Revoz, slowed down its sales.

New jobs are now growing, especially in the services segment. Sasa Muminovic, President of the SLO-CRO Business Club, and a member of the Management Board of AquafilSLO and President of the Management Board of AquafilCRO in Oroslavje, a member company of the Italian group Aquafil, says the same. A survey conducted by this association among Slovenian and Croatian businessmen at the end of 2021 reveals a number of interesting things about how they see each other.

The characteristics of their neighbourly relationship

What characterises these relations is that Croatia is Slovenia's first country when they decide to enter foreign markets, and not, for example, Italy or Austria. Moore than half of the respondents estimated that they don't really see a difference in the business climate between these two countries, and as many as 62% of Slovenian businessmen believe that there are no obstacles to doing business in Croatia, while 26% find those obstacles in the country's infamous administration.

The answers are similar on the Croatian side, but both sides, which Muminovic points out are important, believe that economic relations are not disturbed by politics (only 6.7% of Slovenian and 2.6% of Croatian businessmen think differently).

For more, check out our dedicated business section.

Sunday, 16 January 2022

Croatian Lawyer Fined 10,000 Kuna for Refusing to Disinfect Hands

January the 16th, 2022 - A Croatian lawyer has been ordered to pay 10,000 kuna for refusing to disinfect his hands as the coronavirus pandemic continues and hand washing is part of the most basic of epidemiological measures. He also referred to the disinfectant on offer to him as ''poison''.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, before the start of a main hearing in court recently, the judge told those present to put their things away and spray their hands with the available disinfectant, but the prosecutor's Croatian lawyer said he did not want to do so, according to a report from Nacional.

The bizarre situation has also been also described in the official minutes of the court:

“Next, the trial judge instructs the same lawyer (the prosecutor's lawyer, op.a.) to use his hand sanitiser, to which the same lawyer replies that there is no other - his disinfectant, without spraying his hands with the disinfectant offered to him by the judge, before saying "we aren't going to shake hands and I don't want to use the poison offered to me" before requesting that the latter be entered in the minutes,;; it is written in the minutes.

The judge is the person who determines during the hearing what will be entered in the minutes. As such, he warned the Croatian lawyer who refused to disinfect his hands and stated that he "will not disinfect his hands because that disinfectant is poison", that he was behaving inappropriately in court and disobeying a court order before sending him out of court.

The lawyer refused to leave the courtroom, to which the judge ordered his associates to call a security guard who "within five minutes", as it is written in the minutes, removed the disobedient and oddly behaving lawyer from the courtroom.

According to the decision of the minutes, the Croatian lawyer in question was fined 10,000 kuna for his inappropriate behaviour for "disrespect, inappropriate treatment and disobedience to court orders, with personal audacity." The incident will also be reported to the Bar Association.

For more, follow our lifestyle section.

Sunday, 16 January 2022

The Blame Game: Reactions to Croatian 2021 Census Varied

January the 16th, 2022 - There have been a varied range of reactions to the recently revealed official Croatian 2021 Census results, from shock and references to ''catastrophe'' to those who most absolutely expected such an underwhelming result.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, after the Central Bureau of Statistics published the first official data from the Croatian 2021 Census, according to which 3,888,529 people live in the Republic of Croatia, the first reactions have arrived.

"We expected the population to be less than 3.8 million," said Croatian demographer Stjepan Sterc, who was a recent guest on N1's live studio. He added that little was said about Croatia losing almost 400,000 inhabitants.

"This is an incredible catastrophe for Croatia, to lose 400,000 inhabitants and that there is no reaction to it or awareness of it," added demographer Sterc.

Member of Parliament Katarina Peovic also commented on the results of the Croatian 2021 Census as a guest in N1's studio.

"It must be said openly that people have been expelled from the country. The birth rate is low everywhere, but in Croatia there are measures that force young people to leave the country. For the first time, we have a situation where young people have worse living conditions than their parents did. Young people are creating a surplus of the population, they're deemed unnecessary and this country does not intend to use them. We have a million unemployed people, no country can prosper if there are so many people who are deemed to be unnecessary to it,'' said Peovic.

"The devastating results of the Croatian 2021 Census are a defeat to all those who led this country first and foremost, for the last ten years! But what's even more of a concern is their deep misunderstanding of the problem they're trying to solve with the measure Choose Croatia - which would pay people to return here,'' said the head of Nova ljevica (New Left), Ivana Kekin, on Twitter.

The prefect of Vukovar-Srijem County, Damir Dekanic, commented on the Croatian 2021 Census results and the fact that his county has almost 20 percent fewer people than it did before 2011. "I have to admit that this result is, unfortunately, expected," said Dekanic, adding that a large number of people from the county he's in charge of left with Croatia's entry into the European Union (EU).

"HDZ is not in power in the Czech Republic, so the results of the population in the Czech Republic are because people have moved out of the country when it joined the European Union," he said in response to people criticising HDZ as the results came in.

"The general climate of return should be created first, just as the general climate of departure was created in the media," Dekanic added.

Rajko Ostojic considers the results of the Croatian 2021 Census utterly catastrophic. "Corruption, crime and clientelism are the main reasons why people are leaving Croatia," said Ostojic as a guest on the N1 live studio.

For more, check out our dedicated politics section.

Sunday, 16 January 2022

Economic Analyst Andrej Grubisic Discusses Croatian Public Sector

January the 16th, 2022 - Economic analyst Andrej Grubisic has spoken among a series of others to state his feelings about the recently released official Croatian 2021 Census data, noting an uncomfortable truth about just how many people are employed in the country's public sector.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, economic analyst Andrej Grubisic was a recent guest of N1 on which he commented on the repercussions of a smaller number of residents of the country on the sustainability of the pension system. He says fewer people in the country means that they will see the greatest repercussions of pressure on the pension system from a long-term perspective.

"In my opinion, these are the biggest challenges. We undertook an analysis that showed that about 100 and something thousand people experienced a negative natural increase. What the data shows is that for one million and 240 thousand pension beneficiaries, when you have 2.5 million able-bodied residents, we have about 50 percent of pension beneficiaries for every single able-bodied resident,'' explained Andrej Grubisic.

The pension system, he says, is sustainable, but it will not be able to produce higher pensions in real terms. "The question is what reasonable adjustments would be made, given the facts we're dealing with. A solution is likely to be sought by force in a few things. One is the opening of the borders, I think that Croatia will have to liberalise the import of labour,'' said Amdrej Grubisic.

He also spoke about what he considers to be one of the sources of that desired labour.

"I think that one of the sources that is not often talked about in public space is that there are a significant number of quite frankly redundant people working in the public sector. In the Croatian public sector, in the broadest sense of the word, with four hundred thousand people who are tied to the central budget, local budgets and public companies... If you start from the fact that 10 percent of that workforce is redundant, that’s equal to 40,000 people.

That's an extremely significant pool of people. If they ended up in the labour market, some of them would be forced to take up jobs in the private sector. We have relatively young retirees, who are retired but are still very much able to work. The work of pensioners needs to be liberalised. All barriers need to be broken down in order for people to work if they want to. There can be no progress if there aren't enough of us, with a special emphasis on job productivity,'' Andrej Grubisic concluded.

For more, check out our dedicated politics section.

Saturday, 15 January 2022

Getting Around Rijeka by Bus Just Became Easier With Google Transit Now Available in Maps

January 15, 2022 - The transit feature in Google Maps allows users to view public transportation options and keep track of departure times and stops

IT company Exevio from Rijeka helped implement the Google Transit feature in their city after a year of collaboration with Google, announced the bus company Autotrolej.

Autotrolej allowed Google access to their unified database of routes, timetables and other relevant data. After a successful collaboration of the local bus company with the tech giant, getting around Rijeka by bus will be easier than ever for locals and tourists alike.

Google Transit is a service within Google Maps that allows users to view public transportation options including detailed information about the route; it lists the next few departure times and all the stops between the starting point and the end destination. In Rijeka, for example, the user is guided to the nearest bus stop; once they board the bus, they can track the route along the way and are alerted to the destination stop.

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Why enthusiastically report on a feature that’s technically a navigation standard these days? This isn’t exactly groundbreaking technology in this day and age; the Transit feature has been available in Zagreb since 2014, and is also available in Google Maps for Osijek and Pula.

However, it’s something that Rijeka has been sorely lacking until now. With the local bus network being the only available mode of public transportation in Rijeka, the way information is presented leaves a lot to be desired.

Even though the Autotrolej website provides detailed information regarding bus lines, routes and departure times, one would need to know their way around the city quite well for the said information to make sense.

It’s unlikely that first-time visitors to the city would be able to smoothly navigate the bus network based on Autotrolej maps and timetables alone, and Google Transit will certainly help tourists get around town by bus more easily. A small but important step in making the public infrastructure in Rijeka more tourist-friendly.

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Locals are sure to embrace the new navigation service as well - this particular local is happy to attest to this. While we do have a solid grasp of all the bus routes in town, departure times and schedules have always been somewhat of an enigma.

Until now, the timetables only specified departure times for the first stop of any given line, and some of the lines operate on considerably long routes. Knowing when a bus is departing from the other side of town doesn’t mean much, especially during rush hour or in busy downtown traffic. Add to that the frequent schedule changes that are easy to overlook, and you end up missing a bus by a few minutes and having to wait for another 20 minutes quite often. 

Unlike the lucky folk in Zagreb where tram stops are equipped with digital displays showing when the next trams are about to arrive, so far in Rijeka we could only resort to waiting around and hoping that a bus will eventually show up. Not anymore!

Thanks to Google Transit, departure times are now listed for every bus stop in town, and even though the information might not be 100% accurate as of yet, it’s definitely a massive help when getting around town by bus.

I put Transit to the test a few days ago to see how reliable and accurate the schedule is in Rijeka. I changed location a few times and used them as starting points, and picked a few random addresses as the end destinations just to get route suggestions and a list of estimated times of arrival. 

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In this example, bus no.2 was supposed to show up exactly at 12:00pm at this stop. It ended up arriving a minute early, not too bad!

The other two showed up exactly on the specified time of arrival. It’s a relief to have a bit more certainty when it comes to public transportation - it looks like the dark ages are finally behind us indeed.

While the schedules are currently based on fixed Autotrolej timetables, Google Transit in Rijeka should soon provide public transportation updates in real time as well.

 

Saturday, 15 January 2022

Meet Vukovar 365, Full of Life: Vanja Maksimović of Lima Baby

January 15, 2022 – Meet Vanja Maksimović, the owner of Lima Baby – a shop with handmade pieces of bedding and mats for your little ones

Meet Vanja Maksimović, a young laboratory technician, soon-to-be mother of two, and business owner. Vanja says that she has always been the energetic, creative type with a constant bug to decorate and redecorate, to change things up, doing it all on her own. If you follow her on Instagram, you will know exactly what I mean – she has salvaged so many old pieces of furniture and turned them into not only perfectly usable but visually outstanding pieces of décor and practicality for her house. There is nothing this lady cannot do, from chairs and cabinets to building her own bed frame. On one occasion, she even took her skills to the silver screens as a contestant in the TV show INdizajn with Mirjana Mikulec, but says that she prefers designing in the relaxed atmosphere of her home. You can have a sneak peek here

Her house is also the home of Lima Baby, Vanja’s pride and joy. The idea that handmade products for the little ones should be widely available at reasonable prices propelled Vanja to try and start designing and sewing these pieces together. When the people of Vukovar showed interest, the cutest shop around was born. Alongside the interesting designs, Vanja makes sure that all the materials she uses are hypoallergenic and safe to use from the youngest ages.

Tell us about your business, what do you do exactly?

Lima is a shop with various products for babies and little children. More precisely, I design and sew bedding, mats, crib rail covers, blankets, and pillows.

Where did you get the idea and what makes your offer unique?

At the time when I started production, such products weren’t widely available in our area, so people would usually order them internationally. When my friend ordered something similar, I did some maths and realised that I could produce the same thing for a lot less money. Before that, I had only tried using a sewing machine a few times, but I quickly learned the basics which allowed me to start my business. 

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What was it like starting a business in Vukovar? What were the main challenges?

As I was already employed with the Department of Microbiology in the Public Health Institute of the Vukovar-Srijem County, I did not have any major issues registering an additional job or trade.

My accountant, Melita Marić, helped me a lot in the very beginning, as well as later, as I did not have any knowledge in that area. She explained everything, step by step.

Are you satisfied with how your business is developing? What is your perspective for the future?

I'm satisfied. I think that people in Croatia love handmade products and try to support small businesses. For now, I don't have any big plans for the future of my business, but I hope that it will one day become my primary job.

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Do you think that the fact that you are in eastern Croatia influenced your success?

Possibly, people do love Vukovar, and will therefore love anything that was made here.

What opportunities are there in our city and region?

Starting a business is fairly easy. The incentives for self-employment are great and you will receive a lot of support.

Personally, I haven't used any incentives so far since my business is not my primary employment, but it’s good to know that such support exists. I might want to try and take advantage of that in the future.

What is your view on other small businesses in Vukovar?

Since I have two jobs, a small child and another on the way, in the past year I haven’t had that many opportunities to collaborate with other entrepreneurs in our city. We do, however, always stay in touch, supporting each other and helping as much as we can.

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If we were to implement the Vukovar Card, would you participate and offer our guests discounts or special packages?

Of course, we would love that.

Finally, tell us something about life in Vukovar. What do you like most, what would you say to all potential visitors?

I can't name a single thing I don't like about Vukovar. Every aspect of life here suits me and I would not change a thing. My husband and I are two different nationalities (Croatian and Serbian), which is certainly not the norm in Vukovar, but we haven’t had any obstacles.

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Success in all areas of life requires a good idea, passion, and willpower. And when it comes to starting a business, the city of Vukovar will indeed be very helpful.

I always say that our city should be given a chance and should be viewed through a lens of positivity. I recommend a visit to Vukovar with all my heart. This is a place where you can see a lot, enjoy some beautiful nature, taste excellent food, take different kinds of tours, and yet enjoy a break from crowds and busy life.

Where can we find you?

On our Facebook page – Lima baby, and our Instagram lima_baby.

For more, check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Saturday, 15 January 2022

More Croats Emigrated in the Last 8 Years than in 46 Years of Yugoslavia

January 15, 2022 - The census results were released this week, with most seeking explanations for the large number of Croats who have left the country in recent years. In a separate study, it is confirmed that more Croats emigrated in the last 8 years than during Yugoslav times.

Based on estimates by Croatian diplomatic missions and consular offices, Croatian Catholic missions, and censuses in countries where Croatian emigrants and their descendants reside, until a few years ago it was estimated that about 3,200,000 Croatian emigrants and their children live outside Croatia, reports Zadarski.hr.

The largest Croatian diaspora is currently in the United States: about 1,200,000 people. There are about half a million of them in Germany, and about a quarter of a million in Australia, Canada, and Argentina. About 200,000 Croats live in Chile, about 100,000 in New Zealand, about 90,000 in Austria, 80,000 in Switzerland, 70,000 in Brazil, 60,000 in Italy, and about 40,000 in France, the same number in Sweden, and about 25,000 in Ireland… These are just the countries with the most Croats, tens of thousands or fewer live scattered around the world.

More Croats emigrated in the past 8 years than in the time of Yugoslavia, where in a period of 46 years, about 350,000 Croats emigrated to Western Europe. In the past eight years, more than 370,000 emigrated from the finally free, sovereign, and European Croatia. This migrant paradox was pointed out by dr. sc. Tado Jurić from the Department of History of the Croatian Catholic University. He recently conducted an important study in Germany, "Emigrants' Perceptions of Croatia", which identified huge differences between former waves of emigrants, with a strong tendency to return, and the modern exodus, with the intention to leave everything behind.

"Emigrants used to use every opportunity to visit their homeland. Today, many, unfortunately, are no longer interested in their own country: before, only three percent of them said they would stay in Germany forever, and now there is more than 45 percent. In the past, 80 percent of Croatian migrants wanted to return, while now it is only 15 percent of the Croats living in Germany'', Jurić warned in his study. The paradox is all the greater that the former emigrants, as a rule, did not have their own real estate in their homeland, and the current ones usually have it. Once upon a time, their primary goal was to save in order to achieve something in their homeland: build a house or buy a car or a tractor. Today's emigrants leave all their homeland fields and estates and often live in German modest rooms.

Throughout history, Croatia has always been a country of emigration: it witnessed large waves of emigrants across the Atlantic on the eve of World War I, then from 1918 to World War II, then immediately after World War II and after 1965, when Western European countries were most preferred. After the 1990s, Croats mostly emigrated to Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Ireland, Canada, the USA, Australia, and New Zealand.

The already mentioned scientist Dr. Tado Jurić in his latest scientific study "Are we losing Croatia" showed that unemployment or inability to find a suitable job in Croatia are not the main motives for current emigration, but primarily injustice, the immorality of political elites, legal uncertainty, nepotism, and corruption. Pushing factors from Croatia are much stronger in modern young people than the objectively more attractive elements of life abroad.

It is unlikely that there will be a greater return of new Croatian emigrants, because the reasons why they do not want to return are the same and have not changed for years in relation to what drove them from their homeland, concluded Dr. Jurić. An unjust society and the so-called captive state, corruption, weak institutions, nepotism, and clientelism are stably immobile in Croatia, so in their decision to live elsewhere, in a more orderly and just society, they are equally firm and immovable.

To learn more about the Croatian diaspora, be sure to check our dedicated section.

Saturday, 15 January 2022

EHF Euro 2022: Croatia Beats Serbia 23:20!

January 15, 2022 - Croatia beats Serbia 23:20 in the second match of Group C at the EHF Euro 2022 in Szeged, Hungary. 

The Croatia men's handball team met Serbia on Saturday night to advance to the second round of the European Championship in Hungary. Recall, Croatia fell to France in the first match of Group C on Thursday. 

Coach Hrvoje Horvat is still battling the coronavirus among his players. Today, Zvonimir Srna and young goalkeeper Matej Mandić dropped out of the squad. This match saw the return of Luka Cindrić, which was certainly a huge advantage for Croatia. 

The hall tonight was also sold out, with around 8,000 fans estimated and several Croatia fans in the stands. 

Recap

The match started with Croatia's first attack saved by the Serbia keeper. A controversial foul on Cupic saw Marsenic receive a 2-minute suspension and Croatia retook possession. Serbia received another exclusion in the 2nd minute of the match. Croatia scored the first goal with 2 extra players for 1:0. 

Croatia intercepted the ball on Serbia's first attack and Cupic scored for 2:0 in the 3rd minute. Martinovic made it 3:0 in the 4th minute! 

Serbia made it 3:2 in the 7th minute. Jaganjac scored for 4:2 one minute later. Serbia made it 4:3 in the 10th. An incredible goal by Martinovic made it 5:3 in the 12th. Lucin scored for 6:4 two minutes later. 

Serbia scored a penalty to equalize for 6:6 in the 16th minute and took the lead for the first time in the match in the 18th minute (6:7). Jaganjac equalized for 7:7.  

Cindric put Croatia back in the lead in the 22nd minute for 8:7.  

Serbia retook the lead in the 26th minute for 8:9. Cindric equalized at 9:9 in the 27th minute. Lucin put Croatia back ahead a minute later for 10:9. 

A quick counter-attack saw Cindric score for 11:9 going into halftime. 

The second half started with no goals from either side in the first 3 minutes. Serbia scored for 11:10 in the 33rd. Martinovic scored for 12:10 moments later. 

Martinovic made it 13:12 in the 37th. Two huge saves by Sunjic stopped Serbia's attacks. Cupic made it +3 in the 39th - 14:11. 

Martinovic scored his 5th goal from a penalty for 15:12 in the 41st. Cupic scored for 16:13 a minute later! 

Lucin scored for 17:13 in the 44th and again in the 46th for 18:15. 

Cupic scored for +4 in the 49th minute - 19:15. Lucin made it 20:16 in the 53rd. Martinovic made it 21:17 with 4 minutes to go! 

Cupic scored for 22:18 with less than 2 minutes to go. Goalkeeper Sunjic scored in an empty goal for 23:18! The match ended 23:20 for Croatia!

Croatia plays Ukraine in the final match of Group C on Monday, January 17 at 18:00. 

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.  

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