Saturday, 1 October 2022

Croatian Care Home Costs Set to Rise by 20% as Inflation Continues

October the 1st, 2022 - Croatian care home costs are set to rise in yet another strike to the already shallow pockets of the majority as inflation continues to spiral.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, small pensions and long waiting lists for Croatian care homes have long since been an uncomfortable reality in this country, and a team from HRT was in Zagreb's largest home on Tresnjevka to investigate the situation further, bringing you the experiences of some of the users and residents.

''We've been here for a year and a half, and how long did we wait? Fifteen years. We applied to this care home and then every year we reported that we were still here, that we were alive, but that we weren't willing to be put into a home until the situation arose that we absolutely needed to,'' said Bozica and Slavko, a married couple.

''I've been in this care home for three and a half years now, but I waited eleven years for a place,'' added Stefica Lovrecic.

On average, people wait up to fifteen years for a place in a Croatian care home such as this Zagreb one, and many don't ever manage to get in. Fifteen thousand people are currently on the waiting list for this care home in Zagreb, and Croatia has too few accommodation capacities of this sort in general.

For example, according to the European average, five percent of people over the age of 65 have a secured place in a home - here in Croatia, this number stands at only two percent. There are currently eleven city care homes in Zagreb, 26 family homes and 25 private homes, and they are all completely full.

''Everyone who has the intention of going to a home can submit their applications to all the homes when they turn 65, so that list isn't a true picture of the situation, and when a situation arises, let's say someone has a really great need to be in a care home, and has been applying for a couple of years, then we do find a solution for their accommodation in one,'' said Djurdja Novakovic 

''The total capacity of all of the care homes is 6,381 users in the area of ​​the City of Zagreb, of which 63 percent of those residents are housed in our city homes, or more precisely 4,021 users are housed in city homes,'' said the head of the Office for Social Protection, Health, Veterans and Persons with Disabilities of the City of Zagreb, Romana Galic, PhD.

In the Zagreb care homes, the price of accommodation ranges from 1,750 kuna to 7,500 kuna per month, and those amounts are now expected to grow up to twenty percent.

''For now, everything is fine, but if the price goes up a lot, it will be a little more difficult for people, my pension doesn't cover this and my children help me,'' said Milka Grajner, who is currently 82 years old.

''I believe that the government, like any other normal government, will protect us,'' said Mladen Belicza, 80 years old.

Waiting lists and the prices of Croatian care homes

Pavo Corluka from the Croatian Association of Employers said that he doesn't consider waiting lists in retirement homes to be all too serious. He's interested in how many users who need what's known as the fourth level of service are accommodated in these homes, and these are immobile people who need round-the-clock care. He stated that this would actually be a realistic waiting list.

The Croatian Association of Employers has been advocating for the categorisation of the system so that people who are really in need are provided with accommodation as quickly as possible, explained Corluka, adding that doesn't see the price of 1,750 kuna for accommodation in a care home as realistic, while 7,000 kuna would be approximately right. He claimed that the financing of public homes across Croatia hasn't been resolved correctly.

''They're financed by the country's taxpayers, and on the other hand, cheap accommodation is given to people who can pay for it themselves,'' said Corluka, pointing out that the problem of the labour shortage has not yet been taken seriously in this sector, either.

''First and foremost I'm thinking of the medical staff when I talk about this, and we're lacking in this regard when it comes to social care. It's the last activity in which people want to work in their country,'' he said, adding that we must turn to importing labour if we're to keep our heads above water in this sector, as well.

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

Saturday, 1 October 2022

Croatian Startup Farseer's Software Earns International Recognition

October the 1st, 2022 - The Croatian startup Farseer's software which gave Microsoft Excel a run for its money has recently received international recognition.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Josipa Ban writes, doing business well means, among other things, planning things well. However, it was impossible to precisely and accurately plan various business segments in one programme, until the team of programmers came up with the Farseer software.

"Farseer is a cloud solution for financial modeling, planning and analytics that enables integral planning within a company. This includes everything from operational to financial planning to reporting on all these items," explained Matija Nakic, the co-founder and director of the Croatian startup Farseer.

In fact, he added, this software replaces the entire forest of often irritating Excel documents, and with its implementation, users, namely large and medium-sized companies, manage to eliminate up to 90 percent of the time normally spent on such boring, manual tasks.

"Our approach was, and still is, to solve the most difficult problems in the field of financial modeling. That means we're great for users who need to plan intensively. By simultaneously solving several specific problems, we've created a platform that is very robust and universal. Farseer brilliantly solves the challenges faced by companies who have outgrown Excel," Nakic pointed out.

This, in fact, is their competitive advantage because all the latest technological solutions in the field of planning, the third generation, according to the co-founder of Farseer, solve only a certain part of the problem, while Farseer's software offers everything in one place. It is therefore not remotely surprising that the solution, which has been on the market for only two years, and on the development of which four founders worked for three years, has been included in the Top 15 global third-generation planning solutions, i.e. in the official guide for FP&A (Financial Planning and Analytics).

The whole story surrounding the Croatian startup Farseer is actually the result of frustration due to the lack of planning tools. Nakic, as well as the creator of this solution - Zrinko Dolic, come from the world of telecom, where they worked as planners with spreadsheets, that is, with Microsoft Excel. "Back in 2010, we asked ourselves why there were no better solutions than this, and honestly, not much has changed since then," recalled Nakic.

The young four-member team decided that they would offer a much better solution if they put their heads together. Today, their team is much bigger and has sixteen people. The excellence and usefulness of the Croatian startup Farseer's software is rapidly being recognised by this rapidly moving and extremely demanding market. Today, only nine months after the commercialisation started, 27 companies are already using their solution.

Alpha Chrom from Switzerland, the Swedish Lelo, EOS Matrix, Violeta, Plinacro, Intercapital, and Mazars are just some of their clients. However, Nakic pointed out that in the long term they want to specialise in two industries - distribution and production. "Both are characterised by a very intensive planning process due to the huge amount of data they handle every day. They have a thousand components, distribution centres, numerous customers, and tonnes of different variables that they have to plan according to. Planning using Excel is impossible for them," Nakic explained.

“We actually automate a lot of the planning ourselves. Planners only have to change or tweak parameters at very high levels and you can literally get a profit and loss plan (P&L), which is what it all boils down to, in a mere five minutes. Users can plan their expenses by different departments, and all of this is automatically aggregated within Farseer,'' stated Nakic, adding that their vision is to enable senior management to set the EBITDA they want and to get several different scenarios to achieve it.

In addition to all of the above, when using Farseer, various simulations can be performed and parameters can be changed, which are then automatically propagated through the entire model. The success of the solution should be supported by rapid changes and constant shocks on the market, which we've witnessed more than our fair share of in the past few years alone.

"Planning is no longer a quarterly 'sport' of sorts, it has instead become relevant and important to do almost on a weekly basis. People want to plan in great detail, much more detailed than before. They want to monitor what is happening with costs, with income and with the key performance indicator (KPI). We see a big opportunity in this,'' emphasised the co-founders of the Croatian startup Farseer.

Nakic has revealed that the plan for the startup, whose sales have grown by 21 percent in the last six months alone, is to achieve 450,000 euros in revenue by the end of the year - 250,000 from licenses and 200,000 from services.

"I believe that growth will intensify. We're now at a turning point," he said, and at that turning point, they're also looking for a new investment, the second after two years of business (in the first one, they collected 100,000 euros of investment). This time the plan is to collect much more, but Nakic doesn't want to reveal the details as yet, saying only that the money will be invested in development, i.e. fine-tuning of the product and in marketing and sales.

For more, make sure to check out Made in Croatia.

Saturday, 1 October 2022

New Step Forward as Croatian IT Company Agency04 Becomes Notch

October the 1st, 2022 - The Croatian IT scene is continuing to blossom and has been doing over the last several years, with companies springing up all over the place and doing exceptionally well. The latest news in this regard is the fact that the Croatian IT company Agency04 has now become Notch, a new name under which it will operate.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Croatian IT company Agency04 has been operating under the new name Notch since last week. It is one of the fastest growing full service software companies in all of Central Europe, and it has recorded a 500 percent revenue growth in recent years. It presented its new brand and plans for the future recently in the City of Zagreb.

"We've been in existence for eight years now, there are almost 200 of us in the team, and we've been working on large and challenging projects since day one, but our story is not only about technology. Notch is all about serious processes, serious communication and most important of all – serious people in our team. That's why Notch, as a derivative of the term Not Only Technology, was chosen as our name,'' said one of the founders of the company, Roko Roic, at the aforementioned Zagreb presentation.

Around 75 percent of Notch's projects are for foreign clients from various industries, including global companies with thousands of employees and turnovers measured in billions of euros. The company is particularly proud of the fact that they have a low turnover of employees who have a strong mentoring system at their disposal.

Notch has offices in Zagreb, Split and Frankfurt, and the plan is to expand to other global capitals. That is why they need a larger team of creative people who will recognise their culture, attractive working conditions and desire to solve complicated problems in a simple way, which has become a kind of DNA and motto of the company.

"We are interested in playing only the biggest games. Today, Notch is even bigger and more ready for an even more serious global performance. The synergy of working on our own products and those for our customers and clients opens many global doors for us, and that will continue to happen.'' said Roko Roic.

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

Friday, 30 September 2022

Croatian Returnee Reflections: Andrian Juric, from Sydney to Zagreb

October 1, 2022 - Whisper it quietly, but more and more people are relocating to Croatia from the diaspora. In a new TCN series, we meet them to find out how they are faring and what advice they have for others thinking of making the switch. Next up is Andrian Juric, who moved from Sydney to Zagreb.

My family is from Škabrnja, a town known for its agriculture and classic Dalmatian attitude; you know the one: slow to anger, reasonable in debates, respectful of road rules, and a healthy dose of sarcasm. I was born in Sydney, Australia, and like my father before me, I left the country of my birth for a better life. I've been living in Croatia since the World Cup of 2018. I live in Zagreb, where I work for OptimoRoute, a Silicon Valley software company. If you live in a major English-speaking city and ordered something online, chances are you are indirectly using our software.

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1. You made the switch to Croatia. Tell us a little about the decision process and how long it took for you to get on the plane.

Back in 2012, I visited my godparents in the town of Nin. After an amazing home-cooked meal (My godmother reads this, this will make her day), my godbrother and I enjoyed a night of partying with the locals. Eventually, we ended up listening to a live band playing acoustic versions of Dalmatian hits. His family was all there, late into the night, at a bar that overlooked the beaches of Nin, and all I could think was, "This is a Tuesday for them"

It was then that I realized that his family has something no one in Sydney will ever have. If they could have this life, why couldn't I do the same?

I then started looking for other returnees to Croatia who came from Australia. The ones with the best lives were all working remotely for Australian companies. An Australian salary with a Croatian cost of living was the dream. I spent 2 years learning relevant skills, built up a network of contacts in Sydney for remote work, and made this dream a reality.

The Russian World Cup in 2018 was the perfect opportunity to visit Croatia. I saved up a lot of vacation time and left on a reconnaissance trip. In-between matches, I looked up rental properties, interviewed with local tech companies, networking with business owners, everything that I would need to thrive. It was a crash course in living in Croatia.

Not many people have that moment where they know exactly where they need to be. I had this in 2018. I didn't want to be anywhere else, and I'd do whatever it took to stay.

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2. What did your family and community back home think of your decision at the time?

Besides my family, I didn't tell anyone I was going. My rationale was that people who had never made this choice before would only fill me with doubt. I only really opened up to people who were already living in Croatia and a few people that had come back. My family was cautiously optimistic at the time but today are very supportive now that they know that all it takes to make it is to not make too many stupid decisions, be a bit creative with how you earn a living, and a lot of hard work (like it's any different elsewhere?).

3. Where did you get your information about the realities of Croatia prior to coming?

I researched tech companies in Croatia and became optimistic. I made a bet that there would be at least one company with a need for my skill set. It took a while to get to that coffee with the right CEO, but it paid off. The reality is that it's difficult to know anything about Croatia without actually living here. If you associate yourself with the right people, ambitious and positive people, you'll make it.

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4. What were you most nervous about making the switch? What was your biggest fear, and what was the reality of what you found?

I came to Zagreb in the winter of 2018/2019 from Australia, a place whose winter is considered beach weather in 90% of the rest of the world. It was cold, my Croatian was terrible, and my bank account turned into a countdown to homelessness.

I acted on the one piece of advice trusted people had given to me in Australia: "it's who you know that counts". So what do you do when you know absolutely no one in Zagreb? You start doing what Croatians do best, go out for coffee.

Before long, my coffees took me all around the country, and it taught me a very valuable lesson: to get value, you must give value. This 18-month caffeine binge lead me to one of the best job interviews I ever had and resulted in a job with a world-class tech company.

What's the reality of coming here? With the right group of people, you can really live your dream life. After 4 years, I've discovered that if you talk to 1,000 returnees, you'll learn 1,000 different ways to "make it" in Croatia. But the people who didn't make it all tended to make the same two mistakes: stubbornness and isolation. If you're serious about returning, avoid the following:

  1. Don't brag about who your parents or relatives are. It never ends well.
  2. Don't flash cash from your savings account. It won't last long.
  3. Never ever talk about how you're going to "save" Croatia. Every month there's a returnee who tries to pull this stunt.

Put your head down, work, be friendly, and very quickly, you'll see support coming from everyone around you. That's the reality, be humble and help people. There are very good people here; they just need to be sure you're genuine.

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5. Think back to the time before you arrived. What were your perceptions about Croatia, and how were they different from the reality you encountered?

This is no longer pre-war Croatia; it's not 1991 Croatia, it's not even 2008 Croatia. This is 2022 Croatia, an EU member state with a passionate but informal entrepreneurial culture. Those on the outside only see the headlines or what's shown on TV. What they don't see are the networking events, the tech start-ups, and the company parties. Croatians are very quickly learning how to make high incomes, and their work ethic can be world-class. The people I'm describing are currently a minority, but they love the fact that the world underestimates them. They are constantly looking for like-minded professionals to build new connections with.

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6. You are still here, so obviously, the pros outweigh the cons. Tell us about some of the things that you love about being in Croatia, as well as some of the things you don't like. 

Things that make me love Croatia::

  • The nightlife and work opportunities
  • Hiking in the mountains, going to secluded beaches
  • Other Croatians

Things that give me a headache in Croatia:

  • The bureaucracy
  • People who drive a BMW in Zagreb
  • Other Croatians

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7. What advice do you have for others thinking about making a move from the diaspora?

Talk to other returnees before you make your decision. We all have an online presence, and someone will be able to connect you to someone that can advise you properly. There is no single solution to living here, find someone who came from a similar situation and ask them what they did. The rest is fairly straightforward: get your citizenship in order, be in a profession that can work remotely or be a tradesman, and be ready to rebuild your network from the ground up.

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8. How do you think Croatia can better assist those who are looking to return to the Homeland?

We currently live in a sweet spot of Croatian history. Moving to Croatia is perceived to be so difficult that only the people that really want to come to do so. None of the returnees have a boring backstory. If you want to return to Croatia, now is the time you'll get the most support from other returnees. Purchasing that one-way ticket gets you at least one coffee with absolutely everyone.

But, if we wanted to make this process easier:

  1. Make it easier for the Croatian diaspora to obtain their citizenship or at least make it easier for them to live here for several years legally
  2. Make it well known what services the country has to offer. There is a lot of information freely available online that most people don't know about.
  3. Give Croatian companies better incentives to network with foreign companies, thus exposing more potential returnees to our economy
  4. Instill a sense of security in returnee families by publishing and committing to long-term city planning. Let people know where new schools, medical centers, transport links, and housing will be built

There are a million ways to make Croatia better. What's the worst that can happen in moving here? For me, it was living again in Sydney, a winning lottery ticket for most of the world. I had nothing to lose.

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Thanks, Andrian!

You can follow more stories in the Croatian Returnee Reflections series in our dedicated TCN section.

Would you like your returnee story - positive or negative - to be featured in this series? Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Subject Returnee.

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What's it like living in Croatia, and where can you get the best survival tips? TCN CEO Paul Bradbury and TCN Editor Lauren Simmonds have teamed up to publish Croatia, a Survival Kit for Foreigners.

Follow Paul Bradbury on LinkedIn.

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Friday, 30 September 2022

African Love Story as Croatia and China Mark 30 Years

 September 30, 2022 - An African love story in Croatia, made in China, as The Chinese Embassy marks 30 years of diplomatic relations between China and Croatia, as well as 73 since the founding of the People's Republic of China. 

A very stimulating evening of Chinese culture to celebrate 30 years of diplomatic relations between China and Croatia last night, as well as 73 years since the founding of the People's Republic of China. There is the full press release below, but there were also many details in the evening to reflect on. 

The Peljesac Bridge of course loomed large in proceedings, including one lesser known story, of a love found, initially in China where both the Croatian lady and husband from Togo, were studying, before moving to Croatia to work on the constuction of the bridge. 

A wonderful - and very diverse - show of Chinese music and culture. 

 Including traditional dance with the fan.

An inspiring peformance of the violin with dance. 

And if you have never heard the Dalmatian classic, Ti Si Moj San (You are My Dream) sung in Croatian, now is you chance.  

The official pess release about the event is below and in full. 

A reception was held on the occasion of the 73rd anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China and the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Croatia.

Zagreb, September 30, 2022. - On September 29, the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Croatia held a reception on the occasion of the 73rd anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China and the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Croatia. Present were the Vice-President of the Croatian Parliament Željko Reiner, former President Ivo Josipović, as well as representatives of the diplomatic corps, people from various circles, representatives of Chinese companies and representatives of the Chinese in Croatia.

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Ambassador Qi said: "This year marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Croatia. In the past 30 years, relations between the two countries have always maintained comprehensive development at a high level, and political mutual trust is continuously strengthened. The leaders of the two countries held close exchanges and led the development of Chinese-Croatian relations. The two sides understand and support each other on matters of vital interest and great concern. In the past 30 years, economic and trade cooperation between the two countries has been continuously expanding. Recently, a solemn ceremony was held to put the Pelješki bridge into traffic. This bridge is not only a flagship project of trilateral cooperation between China, Croatia and the EU, but also a model of cooperation between China and Croatia and a symbol of friendship between the two nations. Chinese companies are deeply involved in the Croatian market, committed to promoting the economic development of Croatia, providing better quality products and services, creating a large number of employment opportunities for Croatia, and they are really for the benefit of the citizens of Croatia."

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Ambassador Qi said, “Currently, unprecedented major world changes in a century are accelerating, and the world has entered a new period of turbulent change. In order to respond to global challenges, Chinese President Xi Jinping recently explained the concepts and attitude of Chinese diplomacy on various occasions, outlined the global security initiative and the global development initiative, advocated supporting the concept of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, promoted the construction of a balanced, effective and sustainable security structures, stressed that China is willing to cooperate with all parties to protect the international system with the United Nations at its core, maintain peace, stability and international fairness and justice. He called for building a stronger, greener and healthier global development, adhering to free trade and fair trade, strengthening the coordination of macro policies of different countries, ensuring energy security and food security, maintaining the safety and smoothness of the industrial and supply chain, maintaining and promoting economic globalization and deepening multilateral and bilateral international economic cooperation."

Ambassador Qi said: "In the emerging situation, China and the EU should, as important political forces and major economies on the world stage, strengthen communication and coordination on China-EU relations and major issues related to global peace and development, and play a constructive and stable role . In a speech at the opening ceremony of the Pelješac Bridge, Premier Li Keqiang said that China and the EU are comprehensive strategic partners and cooperate and learn from each other on the basis of mutual respect and equality in accordance with the fundamental and long-term interests of China and the EU.

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Vice-President of the Croatian Parliament Željko Reiner gave a speech at the reception, expressed warm congratulations on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Croatia and the 73rd anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, praised China's achievements in economic and social development and the results of mutually beneficial cooperation on various areas between China and Croatia and expressed the belief that the two sides will continue to cooperate on deepening the partnership, expanding the area of ​​cooperation and promoting the continuous achievement of new achievements in bilateral relations.

At the reception, a photo exhibition about the 30th anniversary of the establishment of Chinese-Croatian diplomatic relations and the important cooperation between the two countries was set up, which vividly presented the results of cooperation over the past 30 years, told touching stories about the friendly exchange between the Chinese and Croatian people, and presented the contributions Chinese investment cooperation to the development of the Croatian economy and people's livelihood. In addition, at the reception, the teachers and students of the Confucius Institute, as well as the Chinese music band, performed a series of great points such as martial arts, the presentation of Chinese traditional Han clothing and the performance of famous Chinese songs, and a calligraphy booth was set up that allowed guests to experience the depth Chinese culture.

 

 

Friday, 30 September 2022

Looking for a Job in Croatia? This Week's Top 10 from Posao.hr (September 30, 2022)

September 30, 2022 - Looking for a job in Croatia? A new weekly feature on TCN, in partnership with leading job site agency, Posao.hr, who present a selection of weekly job listings.

How hard is it to find a job in Croatia, and what is on offer?

We spoke to Ines Bokan, director of leading jobs site Posao.hr, who kindly took the time for this excellent interview overview.  

Ines has kindly agreed to work with us on a new weekly feature on TCN - a weekly selection of 10 job listings, as chosen by Posao.hr.  Details and links to the job opportunities below in the latest edition of this feature.

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WEEKLY SELECTION OF JOB LISTINGS

Fortenova Grupa is hiring for the Senior Internal Auditor (m/f) and Internal Auditor (m/f) in Zagreb, Croatia. They offer the opportunity for personal development and professional advancement, work on interesting projects in diversified and unique business areas, usage of internal audit Software during the execution of internal audit work and professional training and certifications. Apply by October 11 via this link.

Pfizer Inc is hiring Patient Experience Partner (PEP) Adriatic (m/f) in Ljubljana, Slovenia. If you have min 5 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, University Degree, Language Requirements: Serbian, Croatian, Slovene and English fluency, strong collaboration, communication and interpersonal skills, apply here by 28 Oct 2022.

Strabag BRVZ d.o.o za usluge is hiring .NET Developer (m/f/d) in Zagreb. They are offering an opportunity to work in a team, the final salary level depends on professional knowledge. Apply by October 16th via link.

McDonald's (Globalna hrana d.o.o.) zapošljava Accountant / Računovođa (m/ž) u Zagrebu. Ako si zainteresiran/a pridružiti se vrlo dinamičnom timu koji vodi najveću tvrtku unutar sektora ugostiteljstva u Hrvatskoj, koja je ujedno i dio najvećeg svjetskog lanca restorana brze usluge, prijavi se do 13.10.2022. na linku.

Salzburg AG is hiring Engineer Telekom 1st- & 2nd-Level Support (NOC) (m/f) in Salzburg, Austria. Salzburg AG unterstützen Sie (und Ihre Familie) bei der Verlegung Ihres Wohnsitzes nach Österreich und bieten Ihnen für die ersten 2-3 Monate Ihres Dienstverhältnisses die Möglichkeit, während der Arbeitszeit Deutschkurse zu absolvieren. Apply here by 20 Oct 2022.

ManpowerGroup Hrvatska, za klijenta, traži Voditelja proizvodnje (m/ž) koji će preuzeti jednu od ključnih funkcija u organizaciji. Tražimo kandidata s izraženim kreativnim i organizacijskim sposobnostima koji će preuzeti odgovornost koordinacije i upravljanja svim procesima proizvodnje.Prijaviti se možete klikom na link do 12.10.2022.

TELUS International AI Inc. Is hiring Online Data Analyst (m/f) – remote. If you are fluent in English and Croatian, and are living in Croatia for the last 2 consecutive years, apply here by 23 Oct 2022.

INNIO Jenbacher GmbH & Co. OG is looking for Specialist Group Accounting (m/f/d) in Jenbach, Austria. Do you want to make a difference with your work? Join their team by clickling apply by 23 Oct 2022.

Kadus d.o.o. za klijenta, zapošljavaju Senior NET developer (m/ž) u Rijeci. Radit ćete na razvoju aplikacija integriranih s različitim vanjskim hardverskim jedinicama, razvoju desktop i mobilnih aplikacija, uz svakodnevni kontakt s korisnicima softverskih rješenja. Prijavite se do 10.10.2022. na linku.

InnoPharma d.o.o. - Podružnica Zagreb za promidžbu zapošljava Stručnog suradnika za prodaju farmaceutskih proizvoda (m/ž) u Zagrebu i središnjoj Hrvatskoj. Ako želiš raditi u ambicioznom, međunarodnom i kreativnom timu u poticajnoj radnoj atmosferi, prijavi se na linku do 13.10.2022.

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For more career options and job listings, visit posao.hr.

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These weekly job listings will appear in the weekly TCN newsletter - you can subscribe here.

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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.

Follow Paul Bradbury on LinkedIn.

Croatia, a Survival Kit for Foreigners will be out by Christmas. If you would like to reserve a copy, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Subject 20 Years Book

Friday, 30 September 2022

Best Man to Best Croatian Chef in Vegas, Music by Elvis

September 30, 2022 - It has been quite a year for Mario Mandaric, who was named by his peers as the best Croatian chef, just a few months after getting married in Vegas, a wedding attended by a vey underdressed best man. 

The only other time in my life that I have been a best man was the second wedding of my father, and that was pretty weird. And as I don't have many friends, and even less single ones who would consider me to be best man material, I thought my best man career was behind me. 

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But then came Vegas. 

I only met Mario Mandaric for the first time late last year through a mutual friend. We were all looking to work on a project together, as well as me covering his wonderful initiative to dig wells in remote villages in Uganda. We quickly became friends, and soon ou regular meetings included a lovely young lady from Imotski called Matea, who he apparently met while renting a car in Zagreb. Strange things can apparently happen in car rental parking lots. 

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Despite a huge fear of grasshoppers, Matea decided to accompany Mario to rural Africa. I was sure she would not return, but on the contrary. Not only did she survive, she blossomed, taking to remote African village life like a true champion. There is a new dance sweeping the villages of Uganda called the Imotski Shuffle, as Matea showed the ladies how they shake that ass back in inland Dalmatia. 

After three months in Africa, the couple returned to Zagreb and I met Mario alone for a drink.

"Man, I think she is the one. 3 months, 24/7 together in rural Africa and Zanzibar - she is really great," he said.

"As in you are thinking about getting married?"

"Yeah, I am going to propose. I know that getting married in Vegas with Elvis singing is a cliche, but it is not in Croatia. What do you think?"

"How about this," I suggested without thinking. "If you set the date for April 8, I will be happy to be your best man. I need to get from New York to the West Coast, so can pop in for a night to Vegas, and then pick up a car and take you to San Francisco."

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And so it was.

But almost wasn't. As people who follow me know, nothing i ever plan works out the way it should. This is one of the reasons my next book is called Around the World in 80 Disasters, which you can follow on its own YouTube channel, a chapter at a time. 

Rarely for me, I had actually planned everthing, booked two nights in a hotel and a flight that would get me there the night before. 

I got to La Guardia 3 hours before my flight, and I was proud of myself. I haven't really travelled for 20 years, and this was my first time in the States since 1994. All was going smoothly.

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And then... 

Flight cancelled. All flights cancelled. A storm on the east coast. Where to find another flight? Join the queue for customer service. Two hours later, I was told that the ealiest they could get me to Vegas was 20:00 the following day, almost 8 hours after the wedding. There must be something you can do, SURELY?

I was told that there was a flight to Chicago at 06:00 and I could be on a waiting list and report at 05:20, but there was no guarantee I would make the flight. There was no point going back into New York, so I spent a sleepless night on the floor and was rewarded with the last seat on the plane. Hurrah! But Chicago was not Vegas, and I touched down at O'Hare with around 6 hours to go until Mario and Matea were due to walk down the aisle. 

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Customer service in Chicago was a lot less stressful, and there was no queue whatsoever. There were two ladies behind the counter, one a grumpy middle-aged white woman, and a young and more wholesome African-American lady who I sensed had a bit of personality. I chose her.

"Good morning," I started, in the cutest British accent I could muster. "You look like a lady who enjoys making dreams come true."

"You are at the right address, Honey, what's your dream today?"

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I explained the situation, how Mario was my best friend from childhood, that we had saved for 10 years for this moment where he would wed his childhood sweetheart, with Elvis doing the tunes. I told her how beautiful Croatia was - and how far away - and that she was welcome to visit any time if she could help me.

She raised her hand. I stopped talking. She tapped something into her keyboard, the printer sprung into action, and she presented me with a boarding pass.

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"What a beautiful story. Time to make your dream come true. Your flight to Vegas leaves in 20 minutes. Gate 19."

And so it did, albeit with a 30-minute delay. A taxi to the airport and I arrived with 45 minutes to spare. The lovely couple forgave me for arriving to perform my best man duties without a shower and sevely underdressed. 

And so the lovely couple tied the knot. As for what happened after that, remember the saying - What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. 

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I have been meaning to write about this little chapter for quite a while, but time the enemy as usual. But I was giving a little push by the fact that Mario has just been voted Best Croatian Chef 2022 by his peers at the recent Raise the Bar awards. Congratulations and fully deserved. Having tried his 10-course taster menu at Kinoteka in Split recently, I can fully understand why. 

The best man to Croatia's best chef, one more random chapter in my 20-year jourrney in this incredible land.  

 ****

What's it like living in Croatia, and where can you get the best survival tips? TCN CEO Paul Bradbury and TCN Editor Lauren Simmonds have teamed up to publish Croatia, a Survival Kit for Foreigners.

Follow Paul Bradbury on LinkedIn.

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Friday, 30 September 2022

ERBD's Prognosis for Croatian GDP Growth Considerably Improved

September the 30th, 2022 - The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has given its improved prognosis for Croatian GDP growth.

The global coronavirus pandemic which halted tourism and created unprecedented circumstances across the board had tremendously negative effects on the domestic economy. Tourism, being the strongest economic branch this country has, making up 20 percent of Croatian GDP, took a hit like no other as planes stopped arriving. Things, however, seem to be on the up despite ongoing spiralling inflation and the horrific situation still unfolding in Ukraine following Russian invasion earlier this year.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) announced in its September 2022 report on regional economic forecasts that Croatian GDP growth this year will amount to 6.5 percent, while next year it will slow down to 2 percent.

Compared to the report which was issued back in May this year, this is a doubling of Croatian GDP growth for this year, while the forecast for 2023 has worsened, given that the EBRD expected an increase of 3.5 percent.

In the 38 countries in which the EBRD operates, economic growth will amount to 3 percent next year. This is a significant reduction when it comes to initial expectations, considering the fact that back in the May report, economic growth of 4.7 percent was expected.

As for this year, the bank expects Croatia's immediate region to grow economically by 2.3 percent, which is a significant improvement. Back in May, the EBRD expected a growth of a mere 1.2 percent.

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

Friday, 30 September 2022

Istrian Kabola Winery Receives Two More International Awards

September the 30th, 2022 - The well known Istrian Kabola winery is no stranger to international recognition and awards, and two more prestigious international awards will only push this Istrian winery even further into the limelight.

As Morski writes, two international awards - Luxury Awards in the category of Best Organic Wine Production Company 2022 and Prestige Awards in the category of Vineyard of the Year - have arrived at the doors of the Istrian Kabola winery. According to many people, this is by far the most beautiful Istrian estate of all.

Both awards come from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and are annual awards given by respected British publications. The best ones are decided by readers online, as well as by an expert jury.

Connoisseurs of the wine scene know that both of these awards have definitely ended up in the right hands, because the Istrian Kabola winery was the first of all on the Istrian peninsula to venture into organic production, which is why all its labels have had the BIO certificate since back in 2009, and it is also the first winery in all of the Republic of Croatia to have started with the production of wine aged in amphorae.

The awards given to the owners of the winery, the Markezic family, who are still very busy working in the vineyards because this year's harvest is still in progress.

"We started harvesting around August the 25th this year, two or three weeks earlier than in previous years due to the extremely hot and sunny summer. Early Chardonnay and Pinot Gris varieties were harvested, and we're using them to produce our RE Kabola sparkling wine. We've just finished harvesting the Malvasia, which accounts for 70 percent of the total production of our grapes and wine,'' explained famous Istrian winemaker Marino Markezic, announcing yet another excellent wine year.

The vineyards on the estate of the Istrian Kabola winery withstood this year's horrendous drought very well thanks to the soil in the microlocation of Momjanstina, which is rich in marl that retains moisture more easily.

It's worth noting that wine and the production of it has been present within this family and has been a tradition for more than 130 years now, and the Markezic family live in harmony with nature. Their cellars have always been the Istrian avant-garde, their wines are widely appreciated, recommended by the most famous sommeliers and offered by prestigious restaurants in many locations. Their winery in Kanedol is a must-see destination for tourists from all over the world, and the film industry also loves it, given the fact that just a few years ago, scenes for a Hollywood blockbuster were filmed on the property.

"Awards always make us happy, but the best reward is the recommendation of our clients and guests who return to us year after year and truly enjoy our wines," concluded Markezic.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated Made in Croatia section.

Friday, 30 September 2022

Pula Tourism is Booming, But Decent Public Toilets are Lacking...

September the 30th, 2022 - Pula tourism has come on leaps and bounds over more recent years, with this year having been excellent for this beautiful Istrian city. Despite the increasing crowds of visitors from all over the world, there are no decent public toilets to speak of.

As Morski writes, the City of Pula is reputed to be one of the ''most touristic'' and most visited cities in all of Istria, however, it still doesn't have a decent, properly run public toilet. Recently, the project of renovating the toilets on the city's main promenade was supposed to start, but a storm arose over the cost of the renovation - Pula allocated around 1 million kuna for the works and the renovation. However, given the fact that the decision on public procurement hasn't yet been made, it seems that the entire project has been abandoned for now.

Almost a hundred years ago, Pula definitely didn't have thousands of tourists to carer to, but it still did have several public toilets which had been built by the Italians. It isn't exactly practical for Pula or for Pula tourism to not have a proper, decent and well-functioning public toilet. It would be a bare faced lie to claim there aren't any at all, as there is one inside the market, but it isn't very easy to find, which kind of defeats the object.

''Tourists can hardly find this place. That's why the city administration intended to restore the toilet on the main city promenade. That toilet has been closed for more than a year, it was supposed to be renovated for a value of around 1 million kuna, but as we've unofficially found out, that idea was abandoned,'' said Damir Prhat of the the city administration.

Although many are already calling it the "million kuna toilet", archaeologists note that it is a cultural asset located in the complex of the city walls, which could pose issues and delays.

''When you take into account the fact that the restoration of the staircase and the renovation of the tower are also being done, I assume that the price is skyrocketing because all work on the cultural property is performed by companies that specialise in work solely on such buildings,'' said Darko Komso, the director of the Archaeological Museum of Istria.

Whether or not Pula will finally get its own public toilet by the next tourist season remains to be seen, but with Pula tourism on an upward trajectory, it will be a little more than embarrassing if this situation is still as it is this time next year.

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

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