Saturday, 17 September 2022

Croatian Returnee Reflections: Tony Ante Lucic, from London UK to Dubrovnik

September 18, 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 Tony Ante Lucic, who moved from London to Dubrovnik.

My name is Tony (Ante) Lucic; I was born in Dubrovnik in 1953, I was a motor mechanic by trade. In 1974, when I was 21, I left my hometown of Dubrovnik and moved to London and worked as a waiter in the Savoy Hotel, to get a work permit, I had to work in catering. I was only planning to stay short-term to improve my English… I met my wife, and we had 2 children and made the UK my home for 46 years. I owned and ran our restaurant for 30 years. 

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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.

I moved back to Croatia with my wife in 2020, just as Covid hit. I always said that when, and only when I retire, I would return back to my hometown of Dubrovnik, so that was an instant decision, albeit my English wife was hesitant.

 

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

My family and friends in the UK were pleased but sad to see us go, but they all love coming out to Dubrovnik for holidays.

 

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

We holidayed every year in Croatia, so we kept up to date with friends, family, and on social media. We also attended the Croatian Catholic mission on a Sunday, where we met up with other Croatian people living in London.

 

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

For me, the switch was easy, as I did not need anything from the state, as I already had a house here and did not need employment as I was retired, and that was one of the reasons I always said I would only move back when I retired. Because I had my English wife with me, we did have a few hurdles regarding paperwork and going from office to office, apostille stamps trying to avoid the office coffee breaks, and all this during Covid made it a bit stressful.

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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?

From my perceptions of reality, things have improved a lot over the years, notably the healthcare service, they don’t lock you in the ward anymore, haha, but there is still a long way to go. People like to moan here, but most of them seem to live well, I do wonder if anybody does any work as they all seem to be drinking coffee.

 

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.

Being a laid-back person, I enjoy the slower pace of life, sunshine, beach, and the coffee culture, people make you feel welcome, and their hospitality is first class. Drivers are very impatient; no one likes to queue, bureaucracy is a nightmare, tradesmen, i.e., plumbers and electricians, never turn up as promised, and everyone knows everyone's business. And living in a small town is a case of who you know, not what you know!

 

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

My Advice would be, only come if you are financially secure, otherwise, good luck!

 

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

They need to simplify bureaucracy; the politics need to change, and not to mention the corruption.. otherwise, I love it here.

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Thanks, Tony!

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 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

Saturday, 17 September 2022

Looking for a Job in Croatia? This Week's Top 10 from Posao.hr (September 17, 2022)

September 17, 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

OK Mobility has an Administrative position (m/f) vacancy in Zagreb. The company is offering a competitive remuneration package, a clear career plan and internal development. Apply by Oct 15th via this link

Spit Shack Mitchell Pty Ltd is looking for a Cook (m/f) in Canberra, Australia! The company is offering a starting paycheck of 16 000 HRK (approx. 3 000 AUD), help with relocation and boarding and a starting contract for 2 years. Apply by Sep 26th via this link.

Gi Group Staffing Solutions zapošljava Rukovoditelja prodaje (m/ž) u Zagrebu! Poslodavac nudi priliku za razvoj potencijala, stimulativna primanja i osigurava sve tehničke uvjete potrebne za rad. Prijaviti se možete klikom na link do 27.09.2022.

Addecco Hrvatska d.o.o. is looking for a Regional Purchasing Specialist (m/f) in Zagreb for their client CAT Cargo Logistics. The company is offering a competitive salary with growth potential, a young team of experts to work with and collaborating on international projects and working with international clients. Candidates can apply by clicking here until Sep 28th.

Deceuninck d.o.o. zapošljava Voditelja marketinga (m/ž) u Dugom Selu / Bistri. Poslodavac nudi priliku za rad u međunarodnom, stabilnom i inovativnom poduzeću s jasnom misijom, izazovnu radnu okolinu, mogućnost za razvoj karijere, atraktivna primanja i mogućnost napredovanja! Prijavite se do 30.09.2022. na linku.

Le Méridien Lav is hiring an Executive Pastry Chef (m/f) in Split! They are offering various training and development opportunities, high international standards, seasonal incentives, accommodation and meals. Apply by Sep 29th via this link!

Metronik Sustavi d.o.o. zapošljavaju Voditelja projekata automatizacije u zgradarstvu (m/ž) u Zagrebu. Poslodavac nudi stimulativna primanja, rad s najnovijim tehnološkim rješenjima i dobro razvojno okruženje za napredovanje na poslu. Prijaviti se možete do 27.09.2022. klikom na link ovdje.

Manpower is hiring a Technical Sales Representative (m/f) in Zagreb. If you have excellent communications and sales skills, great MS Office knowledge, and are fluent in English, this might be a great opportunity for you! Apply via this link until Sep 30th.

PLIVA Hrvatska d.o.o. zapošljava Tehničara u kontroli kvalitete (m/ž) u Savskom Marofu. Ako želite surađivati s vrhunskim stručnjacima iz brojnih područja, raditi u inovativnoj i poticajnoj srediti i raditi na najsuvremenijoj opremi i tehnologijama, ovo je sjajna prilika za vas! Prijavite se do 19.09.2022. klikom na link.

Gi Group Staffing Solutions is hiring a Service Sales Engineer (m/f) in Zagreb. The company is offering use of the company car, laptop, and mobile phone; various allowances; life insurance; and additional bonuses and awards. Applications can be submitted via this link until Sep 26th.

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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

Saturday, 17 September 2022

K.K. Split: City Fails to Find Investor

While the public international tender for investments and strategic partnerships for the ABA League basketball club closed without offers, Deputy Mayor Kuzmanić does not accept his defeat and wants to try again in spring.

 

September 17, 2022 - The City of Split announced on its facebook page yesterday: "Despite the unofficial announcements and expressed interest, no official offer was received after the deadline for the international public call for investment in K.K. Split and the selection of a strategic partner."

 

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Mayor Puljak (left) and Deputy Mayor Kuzmanić presenting the tender in August (Photo: Grad Split)

 

Deputy Mayor Antonio Kuzmanić who claims there were talks with -according to rumors up to four- interested parties did not admit to having made any mistakes: "We are not discouraged by this outcome considering the circumstances of the short deadlines and the fact that the contract cannot be concluded or consummated until the beginning of this competition season.  We will make additional efforts to attract potential partners and repeat the public call in the spring. We believe that when the objective circumstances are removed, the interested parties will formalize the offers and that we will get a quality solution for the club's future." 

 

Mayor Ivica Puljak who co-presented the tender together with his deputy in August did not stop his colleague from executing the poorly prepared, heavily flawed and quite ridiculously naive publication. The tender did not only have no chance to attract investors but has also put a spotlight on the heavy lack of competence of Mayor Puljak and his team in the matter and has further damaged the image of the historic basketball club formerly known as Jugoplastika Split. So it is quite understandable that the mayor's name was neither mentioned in the press release nor has he commented on the matter publicly. Instead the city's press release points out that Deputy Mayor Antonio Kuzmanić is responsible for the implementation of this process in front of the city.

 

Until such a tender will have any chance of success in the future, a lot of work will need to be taken care of within the basketball club whose last trophy was won in 2004 and that since then has been amassing debts without being able to monetize on any player sales. To the club's history of mismanagement and problems in finding potent sponsors, the responsible politicians have now added the new category of failure to find investors and strategic partners.

Saturday, 17 September 2022

Young Croatian Humanitarian Andro Fabijanic Dies in Ukraine

September the 17th, 2022 - Young Croatian Andro Fabijanic, a selfless 29-year-old from Zagreb, who actively helped Ukrainian families and veterans with humanitarian work, died in Ukraine in an anti-tank mine explosion on Tuesday while delivering aid.

Ukrainian suffering caused by the Russian invasion which shockingly took place back in February of this year has been horrendous, but it has shown us just how many selfless individuals from across Europe have been ready to step in and help in any way possible.

The Republic of Croatia, with its relatively recent experience of invasion and bloody war has been praiseworthy in its efforts to help Ukrainian refugees, with the government quickly amending laws to allow refugees to stay and work here, and individuals offering up their homes to displaced Ukrainian families free of charge all over the country. Croatian humanitarian Andro Fabijanic is one such person who left the comfort of his peaceful country to head over to Ukraine to help directly.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the tragic news that Andro had lost his life quickly spread on social media and was later also confirmed by friends of the bereaved Fabijanic family. This altruistic young man from Zagreb, known to local athletes and recreationists as a personal fitness trainer, died in a delivery vehicle transporting sanitary materials to Ukrainian fighters.

The vehicle ran into a mine on the road and several of his Ukrainian colleagues were wounded. Unfortunately, there was no escape for Andro Fabijanic, who was supposed to leave for the safety of Croatia just one day later, writes Novi list.

He had bought a ticket home and otherwise worked for an association from Dnipropetrovsk that delivered bandages and other medical aid to Ukrainian veterans fighting against Russian aggression in their war-torn homeland.

For more on Croatian efforts during the ongoing Ukraine war, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Saturday, 17 September 2022

Losinj Gets First Sculpture Dedicated to Wives of Croatian Seamen

September the 17th, 2022 - Losinj has become home to the very first sculpture dedicated to the wives of Croatian seamen, who would be frequently seen down by the shoreline waving goodbye to their men heading off to sea.

As Morski writes, when every vessel set sail from the Port of Losinj for a long journey, it would dock in one of the most beautiful coves there - Cikat bay near the church, where the crew would disembark and pray with their families in the church before parting.

The "ADDIO" sculpture dedicated to the wives of Croatian seamen was created as a symbol of tradition, but also of love and loyalty. The bronze sculpture, which stands at a height of 178 cm, found its place exactly in the same place where Losinj's local wives used to wave goodbye to their sailor husbands many, many years ago. It is dedicated to Marija Stuparic, the wife of Captain Aldebrand Petrina, who waved to him as he sailed off into the distance. "Goodbye, my beloved!" she said into the wind while waving a white handkerchief to the sailing ship that was disappearing over the horizon.

After that, she would return to the small church of the Annunciation of Mary (Annunziata) to pray once more for her husband's eventual safe return. The Initials M.S. on the facolic (handkerchief) belong to her, and she was considered to be a dear woman, the wife of Captain Aldebrand Petrina. During their 32 years of married life, they spent only 13 months together in their home in Losinj. Sailors' wives had to be strong-minded, persistent, patient and ready for anything to occur.

''Our desire was to pay tribute to all the sailors' wives who saw Croatian seamen off on their journeys and waited for their return home in an attractive, modern and somewhat abstract way. The form of a classical sculpture has been retained but with a silhouette, and it is somewhat more airy and unique. The sculpture is life-size, on the back is a motif that used to be found on the headbands of women from Losinj, and which can be seen in our permanent exhibition,'' explained the director of the Losinj Museum, Zrinka Ettinger Starcic.

Academic sculptor and the creator of this new Losinj sculpture, Zvonimira Obad, explained the artistic interpretation of the sculpture.

''This is the shape of a woman and it is layered and lost in space, showing how she is being "carried away by the wind". The idea comes from the symbol of a tradition that is falling into oblivion, all for the purpose of "retaining" the time that has passed and renewing the feeling of belonging. The "Addio" sculpture is a symbol of both love and fidelity,'' according to author Obad.

''In this way, we're helping to preserve another valuable memory of our rich maritime past,'' said the director of the Tourist Board of the Town of Mali Losinj, Dalibor Cvitkovic.

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

Saturday, 17 September 2022

Popular German TV Chef Johann Lafer Spends Time on Istrian Peninsula

September the 17th, 2022 - Popular German TV chef Johann Lafer has been spending time on the gorgeous Istrian peninsula as it seeks to position itself as one of the most exciting gastronomic destinations in all of Europe.

As Morski writes, one of the most prominent television chefs in the entire German-speaking region, Johann Lafer, recently visited Istria. During his stay, an extensive editorial photo production was carried out, which will be presented on as many as thirteen pages of the prestigious Lafer magazine this month.

At the end of July in Singapore, he created new menus for Singapore Airlines as one of the world's best airlines, which the German television company ARD reported to an audience of millions during a special one-hour show during the primetime evening programme. In August, German TV chef Johann Lafer visited Istria to thoroughly research the area and its rich and varied gastronomic scene.

The star chef, who, among other things, has been awarded multiple Michelin stars, is considered to be among the most respected and highest paid chefs in all of Germany and Austria. His visit to Istria without any fees was arranged by Dr. Wolfgang Neuhuber from ART Redaktionsteam, a public relations agency, a long-time partner of Istria, and the Tourist Board of Istria County.

''Johann Lafer is simply a passionate chef who takes a lot of delight from cooking, wine and other top quality products. Together with the director of the Istria County Tourist Board, Denis Ivosevic, we tried to present all the faces of the gastronomic destination of Istria,'' said Neuhuber.

During the three-day research tour, Johann Lafer got better acquainted with various Istrian specialties, from baking to fine dining and classic wines, as well as typical Istrian delicacies. Of course, there was no shortage of tasting prosciutto, truffles and Istria's well known extra virgin olive oil.

Along with German TV chef Johann Lafer, Patricia Brohm, the longtime editor-in-chief of the prestigious Gault Millau Germany guide, was present, as well as the top photographer from Hamburg, David Maupile, with Dr. Wolfgang Neuhuber working as the presenter. Johann Lafer was delighted with what he discovered and has already booked his next private holiday in Croatia to "get to know even more of this fascinating country''.

What is most important and represents a huge success for Istrian tourism is the extensive cover story about Istria as a gastronomic destination, which is due to be published in the autumn edition of the prestigious Lafer magazine. The magazine belongs to the elite publisher Jahreszeiten-Verlag (Feinschmecker, Merian), and it is estimated that the advertising value of this free reportage for Istria stands at about 230,000 euros, but it will bring inestimable value to the image of Istria and its destinations.

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

Saturday, 17 September 2022

Rijeka Police Begin Project in Schools Tackling Topics of Addiction

September the 17th, 2022 - The Rijeka police have begun their project ''Zdrav na 5'' (Healthy for 5) in schools in collaboration with the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MUP), the Ministry of Health and others. They will seek to teach children in an age appropriate way about the issues of drug addiction and alcohol abuse.

As Morski writes, the praiseworthy Healthy for 5 project has been created in cooperation with the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Energy, and the Ministry of Science and Education in all elementary schools across the Republic of Croatia.

This year's educational lectures from the project "Healthy for 5" intended for eighth grade students began at the Skurinje Elementary School and included Rijeka police officers. The lecture was given by Nives Kajfes Grcko, a police officer from the Primorje-Gorski kotar Police Department.

Through this national project carried out in elementary schools, activities to prevent drug addiction and alcohol abuse among children and youth are being promoted, as are the proper development of socio-emotional skills, the teaching of the responsibility young people have in boosting and preserving their own health, and general safety.

On this occasion, police officer Nives Kajfes Grcko gave lectures for two classes of children, in which she pointed out to students the harmful consequences of alcohol consumption among young people, which not only has a negative effect on their cognitive and psycho-emotional development, but also results in many punishable behaviours that the police often encounter when it comes to young people and drinking alcohol (peer violence, fights, vandalism, traffic accidents).

As part of the implementation of the "Healthy for 5" project, these types of lectures will be held until the end of the school year in other primary schools across Primorje-Gorski kotar County.

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

Friday, 16 September 2022

Croatian Returnee Reflections: Ljubica Tomić, from Hong Kong to Istria

September 17, 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 Ljubica Tomić, who moved from Hong Kong to Istria.

My name is Ljubica, born and raised in Croatia, in the lovely Samobor area. Being a teenager in the 90s in Croatia, I always thought - there must be a less toxic place where people are positive and embrace differences. I put in a lot of effort and grabbed the first possible occasion, which took me to Hong Kong when I was 30 years old. A few years later, I abandoned the profit business and started from scratch in the aid sector, where I spent almost a decade on and off, alternating working and travelling around the world… until 2017, when I decided to abandon a nomadic lifestyle and settle in Croatia, Istria.

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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.

In my 30s, I thought I could settle in several places around the world I loved, but after 70+ countries visited and about a dozen I lived in, I figured the Mediterranean is the place to be - weather, food, culture, nature, lifestyle, safety…  with family here and Croatian passport in the pocket, picking Croatia made sense. 

 

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

Croatia was still my primary home, and important people were happy I am finally coming back.

 

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

 I kept in touch, and I observed progress, which was encouraging.

 

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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?

Growing differences with my existing community in Croatia and, on the other side, a lack of differences (diversity) in Croatian society. 

Being away for over a decade, even though I regularly made enormous efforts to meet everybody I could each time briefly visiting Croatia, I knew it would feel different once I am back. Making appointments became more difficult and some of those relationships simply diluted…which was kind of normal and okay, being in my early 40s and becoming aware that all we need is “mali krug, velikih ljudi” (small circle, big people).

On the other hand, I like to meet new, different and interesting people who also travel the world, embrace differences, cherish what they have and grab life by the balls (rather than just whining). The growing expat community is great news, so I managed to connect and make some new friendships.

 

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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?

While I was well aware of possible obstacles, it did disappoint with how severely inefficient Croatian administration and regulations are. I could have easily picked any place on the planet to live in but decided to come back to Croatia. Being in my prime age, educated, experienced, focused, persistent and with money to invest,  I struggled for 3 years to kick off my project. A tiny retreat on my one-acre land in Istria was the idea. 

Legal and administrative obstacles were insane. One issue was ping pong between the municipality and county, whereby each one says, “go and ask the other one”. No clear statements and guidelines. Another one was that for such a project, I needed to please three different ministries with their regulations while the regulations of each ministry are ambiguous and then contradictory between those three. Loads of meetings and email correspondence with highly ranked officials also didn’t help. Sometimes when I reached a relevant person, I figured this person was stuck in the 80s and had no experience or capacity to do their job. 

… This brings us to the next worst obstacle - many (not all) people working in Government offices, besides not being professionally equipped, have a very common (and very wrong) approach - and that is behaving like we are here because of them, and not vice versa. Our notorious “uhljeb” model.  

 

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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.

 I love that I can show up at my neighbour’s door to borrow a few eggs. I love when the staff in the pet shop sits with my dog when I go to grab groceries. I love how we exchange and share goodies in the village. I love that visiting amazing and diverse places across Croatia takes only a few hours of driving. I love the fact that I can leave my house key (in case of emergency) with a neighbour when I travel. I love to host my international friends visiting, who, all without exception, find Croatia amazing. Because it is. 

What I don’t like is already mentioned in the article but in general, what hurts most is that we have a country with amazing opportunities, and we just can’t handle all those incredible resources we have. But, I believe in the young generation and am positive they will make changes as soon as old farts step down. 

I fully support young people leaving Croatia and seeing the world, getting new skills and opening their minds, but we need to find a way to bring them back. It was easier for me because I was single, but if I had my own family, I'm not sure Croatia would be the final pick…

 

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

 Be aware of heavy administration and equip yourself with a lot of patience. As much as you would think that you should be invited and welcomed with your qualities to the country that clearly needs “fresh blood”, there is a massive lack of community benefits perspective. It mostly comes down to individuals and their personal interests. Very sadly, Croatians are known to be very tolerant of corruption, but please, do not support that.

Another one is very common around the world - as most of you would probably come from more developed countries and with some capital to invest, many locals will think that you have an unlimited budget. Do your research before closing the deals. Not only as prevention of getting ripped off but simply because nonchalantly paying more (just because you can) means overall prices inflating, which can badly affect local people with fewer resources. 

 

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

Easier investment opportunities from every perspective. It is abnormal that once you paid the full amount, you need to wait for a HEP electricity connection for ten months, even with regular follow-ups through all possible channels. Cut the heavy administration, which, if done well, should make it more efficient. We don’t need "uhljebs" who actually serve their own purpose while making people’s lives more difficult with their incompetence and unprofessionalism

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Thanks Ljubica!

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 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, 16 September 2022

Great Fun in Zagorje: One of World's Safest Flying Machines, Gyrocopter

September 16, 2022 - "Gyrocopter flights are something new, different, exciting and safe for young and old, our future members! We offer everyone to experience all the beauty of the magnificent Croatian landscape from a bird's eye view, enjoying a slow and safe flight that will surely leave you breathless" these are the words of the founders of Aeroklub Gyrocopter Croatia.

As Poslovni writes, the club was founded eight years ago with the aim of expanding this relatively new branch of sports aviation in Croatia, which has a lot of potential for development.

They offer their members introductory flights and training in sports and recreational flying, and at the same time organize multi-day gyrocopter tours, flying from the Krapinsko Zagorski Aerodrom to Zabok Gubaševo.

It sounds like a type of prehistoric giant bird, but in fact the gyrocopter is a type of microlight flying machine that is considered the safest in the world, and is therefore attractive to those who are suspicious of safety, yet eager for adventure.

Croatian regulations also contribute to safety, club members can fly, with a number of safety measures that are standard, explains Nikolina Ćorković, who, along with her husband and pilot Ilija Ćorković, is the owner of the company Dva krila, which imports gyrocopters.

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"But we were actually pioneers for these in Croatia, we imported the first gyrocopter in the country and initiated the creation of the Regulations that will regulate these flights. It was not easy, but we are trying to promote this sport, which is very developed in countries such as Poland and the Czech Republic, and to motivate young people to become pilots", says Nikolina Ćorković. The club currently has about 20 members and four budding pilots.

Pilot training includes education that lasts 2 months and a certain number of flights, and exams are taken with the approval of the Civil Aviation Agency. It is interesting that with a passed test and a flying license, anyone can get their own gyrocopter, which costs from 50,000 to 120,000 euros with depending on the equipment, and fly wherever they want.

Ćorković notes that in European countries these have multiple purposes, they are used in both public and private activities, from the coast guard to agriculture, and one Polish entrepreneur even recorded a video of him traveling to a meeting in the city from his farm in the countryside.

The club is very proud because this July they participated for the first time with their gyrocopter in the world championship of microlight flying machines in the Czech Republic, where they won 5th place, and it was a great opportunity to promote Croatia in this sport.

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Gyrocopter has an interesting history, and its predecessor was designed in the 1920s by the Spanish aviation designer don Juan da la Cierva, after he lost his best friend in a plane crash. He then vowed to design the safest aircraft in the world, and in 1923 he introduced the Auto Gyro to the world, the predecessor of today's gyrocopter.

It is the only flying machine in the world that cannot enter a stall (breakdown of buoyancy, the most common cause of aviation accidents), and which, in the event of an engine failure, gently floats towards the ground, like a maple seed.

Basically, it functions like its big brother, the helicopter, but the rotor of the gyrocopter while airborne is not driven by an engine like in a helicopter, but by an air current that passes through the rotor blades. The machine gained worldwide attention in the film "Mad Max 2" and in the James Bond film "You Only Live Twice", when Sean Connery maneuvered "Little Nelly" on an Asian island.

Aeroklub emphasises that the gyrocopter is not particularly sensitive to turbulence, because the tips of the rotors move at a speed of 700 km/h through the air and are not bothered by wind gusts of 70 km/h. For this reason, even in difficult weather conditions, it is safe to fly in one.

Gyrocopter is equipped with standard and advanced aviation equipment, radio transmitter, transponder, as well as the latest technological innovations in the field of navigation for monitoring meteorological conditions and air traffic, and is therefore an excellent choice for sports, panoramic and international flights.

Nikolina Ćorković revealed that their Gyrocopter with one fuel tank of 68 liters can fly for three hours, with an average speed of 120 km/h, which is a range of over 400 kilometers. It can be flown by children and the elderly, and the restrictions are a height of at least 140 cm and a maximum weight of a person of 100 kilograms.

On September 24, the Croatian Civil Aviation Agency is organising the aviation event "Let's fly together, let's fly safely" at the Gubaševo-Zabok airport with the aim of promoting the culture of safety in aviation.

The event is intended for users and operators of general aviation as well as students and pupils of educational institutions attending technical courses, in order to get them interested in sports aviation, but also to motivate them to choose aviation professions in their future education.

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"The event is unique. It is the first time that it is organized by the Croatian Civil Aviation Agency and it is almost certain that it will continue to be held in the coming years, always in different locations. "Let's fly together, let's fly safely" is an interactive, educational and attractive event. It offers the opportunity to participate in a large number of educational workshops in the field of aviation, which will not only be theoretical but also practical in the field, especially when it comes to flight inspections of flying machines. We have also organised quizzes for all those who will attend the workshops, and we will reward the best with appropriate gifts", the Agency announces.

At the same time, organisations for training pilots of airplanes, paragliders, paratroopers, and balloons will be presented to visitors at Gubaševo airport, and visitors will be able to ask about anything they are interested in when it comes to training (conditions, duration, price, permits, etc.). About 30 aircraft will be located at the airport from early morning, and an event of this type would certainly be unthinkable without an airshow and flight program that starts in the afternoon with numerous surprises, the Agency promises.

All photos courtesy of Gyrocopter Hrvatska.

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

Friday, 16 September 2022

Croatian Journalists Association Wants Accountability for Matijanić's Death

September 16, 2022 - The Croatian Journalists Association (HND) yesterday started a petition, demanding a new, independent commission to re-investigate the circumstances around the death of their late member, Vladimir Matijanić. 

We have covered this scandal, rattling Croatian society this summer, because of how publicly the details of Matijanić's passing were discussed and how many perceived his death as avoidable. There was a brief investigation by a commission formed by the Minister of Health, Vili Beroš. That commission predictably found that nobody in the healthcare system in Croatia did anything wrong.

Now, the Croatian Journalists Association is calling for another look, by an independent group of experts. The people in the previous commission are reported to be in direct conflict of interest, which makes their findings less legitimate. The Association is asking the Prime Minister to make sure a thorough investigation gets done, including interviewing witnesses. They additionally request that Vili Beroš, the health minister gets removed from the position, because of his embarrassing, scandalous and unacceptable behaviour throughout this situation, but also because of the results of his commission which previously investigated the death of their colleague.

If you want, you can sign the petition here.

There are two things to note here, however: it is extremely bizarre that the association of the nation's journalists, the people whose job and calling it is to ask the questions directly to the people in power, acting in the best interest of the public, feels like the best (only?) way to pressure a Prime Minister is to start a chage.org petition. One of the explanations for that decision could be that they wanted to garner international attention to the Croatia's mistreatment of Matijanić and a failed investigation of his death, in which case it's even more bizarre that there isn't an English translation of the text of the petition, so the international readers (such as yourself) don't really know what exactly they'd be signing!

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