Tuesday, 24 January 2023

Valdis Dombrovskis: Croatian Eurozone Entry Happened at Right Time

January the 24th, 2023 - Despite ongoing inflationary pressures, Valdis Dombrovskis, a Latvian politician who has served as the European Commissioner for Trade since 2020, has said Croatian Eurozone entry has occurred at the right time.

As Ana Blaskovic/Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the annual inflation rate in the Republic of Croatia more than likely peaked back in December 2022 and could continue to fall due to lower food and energy prices, Croatian National Bank (CNB) Governor Boris Vujcic said on Monday.

"Here in Croatia, the inflation trend is very similar to that in the rest of the Eurozone, but it is higher, which is in line with Eastern European countries where GDP per capita is lower, so food and energy prices have a greater effect on people," Vujcic told reporters at a seminar ahead of a government and CNB conference called ''Croatia – The 20th member state of the Eurozone".

When epeaking about Croatian Eurozone entry, Vujcic said that "we should wait for official data, but we should also realise that the prices of energy and food in the first two weeks of January are lower than before on an annual basis,'' however, he did make sure to note that the CNB doesn't actually monitor the prices of (utility) services for small businesses.

When asked whether, now that inflation is slowing down, the European Central Bank (ECB) will continue to raise interest rates with the same intensity, from 50 basis points, Vujcic said that he wouldn't like to speculate on it.

"Warmer weather than usual across Europe this winter has reduced the risk of recession in the European Union and here in the Eurozone, two months ago the main risk was possible reductions in energy sources. Now it's certain that we aren't going to have a recession, although there may be some issues which are shallow and short-lived in some countries,'' stated the governor, noting that in a calmer environment it is easier to raise interest rates.

"Although the headline inflation rate has fallen, core inflation across the Eurozone has risen. Current forecasts call for a further increase in interest rates," he said. Valdis Dombrovskis also pointed out that Croatian Eurozone entry happened at the right time regardless of inflation.

He explained that the economic benefits of Croatian Eurozone entry enable the country to borrow more cheaply, it brings about price transparency, which is especially important in tourist-oriented countries like Croatia. With the kuna tied to the euro, monetary policy in Croatia followed the monetary policy of the ECB, he believes, but did not benefit from formal membership in the Eurozone back when the kuna was legal tender.

"Because of high inflation, things are a bit more difficult at this moment in time, but the government is working on measures to suppress those issues. From a historical perspective, inflation was low when Latvia joined the Eurozone, and even then the opposition was against it precisely because of low inflation. I think Croatia's timing was good regardless," he assured. Referring to inflation across the Eurozone, he pointed out that inflation has spread throughout the Eurozone's economy and it will take time for it to calm down despite the drop in energy prices.

"The euro is a young but extremely well-established currency, the second strongest reserve global currency. Its use is expanding and that is going to continue, the euro will play a role in the development of the European Union's economy and that of all of Europe," concluded Dombrovskis.

The poll conducted by the EC in Croatia after the changeover to the euro shows that the vast majority of Croatia's residents believe that the changeover went smoothly and efficiently. As many as 88 percent believe that they are well informed about the euro, 61 percent that the transition was smooth and efficient, 81 percent had no problems when exchanging their kuna banknotes and coins into euros or withdrawing cash from banks during the first week of the use of the new currency.

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

Tuesday, 24 January 2023

Corporate Philanthropy in Croatia - Three Good Recent Examples

January 24, 2023 - Following the global trends, companies in Croatia address their corporate social responsibility (CSR) by investing in projects for the good of the society. Some examples of corporate philanthropy in Croatia include Adris Grupa's unique employment program for young educated people, INA's assistance to healthcare and the youngest, and M+ Grupa's decision to sponsor the Croatian National Theatre.

As Poslovni writes, in recent years, the topic of corporate social responsibility has become one of the most important topics for the image of an individual company. One of the constituent elements of social responsibility is corporate philanthropy.

Through the practical application of corporate philanthropy, companies can demonstrate their values and beliefs to employees, partners, clients, and the public. Through financial support or support through products and services, companies show that they understand the needs of the wider community. Philanthropy in the corporate sense has taken different forms throughout history, and now we can say that we live in the age of strategic philanthropy.

This phase refers to the entire business process and all ways in which a company is an active part of society. It is about an open and transparent business policy, keeping in mind the interests of shareholders, employees, the local community and the environment.

Giving in the sense of corporate philanthropy finds satisfaction in positive social change or support of a social value.

Gone are the days when a company's CSR needs could be met by diverting a certain amount of money to a certain humanitarian or social action. Even in Croatia, companies recognize that their CSR performance includes all their activities that affect society.

The impact on the community in which the company operates has become one of the central values for business entities. This also means that it must be aligned with other company values.

The social impact of business has become one of the key tools for retaining employees and attracting new candidates for open positions. This is particularly important for companies that need a large number of specialists with specific and deficit profiles or an extremely large workforce, especially in labor markets like the Croatian one, where almost all employable people are already employed.

Ways paved

Like entrepreneurship in a broader sense, corporate philanthropy in Croatia is still far from the desired level, but there are many bright examples.

One of the companies that certainly sets new standards in philanthropy on the Croatian market is the Adris Group. This group launched a unique program for the employment of young and educated people, Future in Adris, and since 2007 it has also been running the Adris Foundation, which has so far allocated almost HRK 60 million to diverse and valuable projects, as well as almost 400 scholarships.

The Adris Foundation supports projects and individuals that encourage innovation and knowledge development, creativity, preservation of Croatian natural and cultural heritage, and kindness and solidarity in Croatian society.

The example of the Adris Foundation is followed by other key players in the region, creating their own programs through which they integrate company values with social values.

In Croatia, INA stands out as a giant of corporate philanthropy, which has established a donation policy aimed at particularly sensitive parts of society, and as a company invests particularly in two key categories of social responsibility: the improvement of the health system in Croatia and the welfare of children.

At INA, they think about how the various negative challenges of today and global changes affect children, and they consider it their task to make efforts to reduce these negative influences to the minimum and ensure the well-being of children.

Last year alone, INA donated HRK 900,000 for the needs of children's departments at the "Sveti Duh" Clinical Hospital in Zagreb, "Dr. Ivo Pedišić" in Sisak, KBC Zagreb, KBC Split, KBC Osijek, KBC Rijeka, Clinic for Children's Diseases Zagreb and Special Hospital for Chronic Childhood Diseases in Gornja Bistra.

Guided by the principle that it is necessary to incorporate a part of itself into CSR activities, INA has developed a long-term cooperation program with the SOS Children's Village, thanks to which not only the children from the village received the funds necessary for their growth and development, but aINA employees also built friendships with employees and children from the village. This is precisely an example of greater social value resulting from CSR activities than the amount of the donation itself.

Half a million kuna

These days, news about the new main sponsor of the Croatian National Theatre (HNK) in Zagreb resonated strongly in the media. The National Theatre concluded a contract with M+ Group, a global player in the market of business process outsourcing services (Business Process Outsourcing) based in Zagreb.

The half a million kuna sponsorship for the leading Croatian drama, opera and ballet will be partly realized in the services that the M+ Group normally provides to the world's leading banks, telecommunications, technology, energy, logistics and other global companies. The current and future audience of the Croatian National Theatre will receive a user experience similar to that of the users of some of the world's strongest companies.

In this way, the company will help to seat some new generations of visitors in the seats of the HNK, as well as provide timely information about everything that is happening in the theatre to the current audience. It is an ideal example of incorporating the company's values into a socially responsible activity that included a form of CSR suitable for the 21st century.

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

Tuesday, 24 January 2023

Tankerska Plovidba Begins Zadar Turisthotel Company Takeover

January the 24th, 2023 - Following a successful 2022, Tankerska plovidba, a transportation company headquartered in Zadar, has begun the process of taking over the Zadar Turisthotel company.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, after taking over the largest individual share of 24.5% of the share capital in the Zadar tourism company in November last year, Tankerska plovidba is now starting the Zadar Turisthotel takeover process.

The company submitted a notice to the Zagreb Stock Exchange about the emergence of the obligation to announce the offer for the takeover of the Zadar Turisthotel company, by concluding an agreement on the transfer of shares with five shareholders of Turisthotel on January the 18th, 2023. Tankerska plovidba thereby acquired another 14.61% of the company's share capital, seeing them reach a total ownership share of 39.34% of the company's capital.

As was stated in the notification, the subject of the takeover offer will be all registered shares of the Target Company, series A, with an individual nominal amount of 580.00 kuna (76.98 euros).

It's worth noting that just one month ago at the open day for shareholders, the Zadar Turisthotel company announced investments of 113 million euros over the next five years, primarily in the renovation and construction of new accommodation facilities and other entertainment facilities.

The new investment cycle of the Zadar Turisthotel company will include the additional improvement and the raising of the quality of their existing facilities, new catering, hospitality and entertainment facilities, the complete revamping of the main street within the resort itself, the reconstruction of the remaining apartments from 3 to 4 stars, the construction and introduction of new facilities and content, and last but by no means least - the Aenona Park project, which includes a new campsite, hotel, sport and entertainment facilities in the northern part of the settlement in Zaton.

In the City of Zadar, there are also plans to build a new hotel located within the city's very heart on the site of the former Pobjeda (Victory) cinema, and to convert the Boutique Hostel Forum into another new hotel. According to those plans, Turisthotel will annually invest approximately 22 million euros into these and other new projects.

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

Tuesday, 24 January 2023

Varazdin Company Koka First to Receive Proven Quality Label for Poultry

January the 24th, 2023 - The Varazdin company Koka has become the very first company based in the Republic of Croatia to receive the Proven quality - Croatia (Dokazana kvaliteta - Hrvatska) label for its poultry meat.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Varazdin company Koka was the first to receive and use the aforementioned label for its poultry meat, which proves that the product was really produced within the framework of Croatian fattening capacities and the animals were fed with purely domestic grain.

Upon visiting the Varazdin company Koka's factory, Minister of Agriculture Marija Vuckovic noted that the first applicants for the same label were Croatian apple producers, followed by associated producers in the vegetable sector, egg producers, and those in meat processing.

"Producers in the pork sector are still in the process of getting their products marked with this label, and I'm looking forward to the readiness of our internationally recognised producer Vindija to take over and develop the Proven quality - Croatia label for domestically produced milk," said Vuckovic.

She also stated that the label that Koka's products carry from now on is indisputable proof that everything within that product has been produced right here in the Republic of Croatia according to exact and stringent specifications, from the breeding to the laying of the eggs to one-day-old chicks and their fattening up, all the way to the raising of the birds and food that they were fed on.

"It's a ''from field to table'' concept that promotes short supply chains and offers honest information about quality food to all consumers," emphasised Vuckovic, stating that slightly less than 700 million kuna has been contracted in the area of Varazdin County from the Rural Development Programme which offers funds for different investment projects and various types of support.

For more on Croatian companies and products, make sure to check out our dedicated business section.

Monday, 23 January 2023

Croatia Beats Bahrain, Needs a Miracle from Egypt for World Handball Championship Quarter-finals

January 23, 2023 - Croatia beat Bahrain 43:32 in their last match of the second round. They now need a miracle from Egypt tonight for a chance at the World Handball Championship quarter-finals. 

Croatia met Bahrain in their last match of the second round on Monday in Malmo, Sweden. While Croatia can only theoretically advance to the quarter-finals, a win was crucial for the Olympic Games qualifiers.  

Hrvoje Horvat's team needed a convincing victory against Bahrain to catch up to Denmark. And in addition to a win, Croatia also needs Egypt to beat Denmark tonight at 8:30 pm. Denmark currently has a goal difference of +39, and Croatia +17. 

It is important to note that Egypt has already secured a spot in the quarter-finals because it is in first place with eight points, while Denmark has a point less.

As mentioned above, with a victory of any kind, Croatia secures a place in the qualifying tournament for the Olympic Games. Croatia can thank their outstanding game against Denmark for that. 

Lineups

Croatia: Šunjić, Kuzmanović; Duvnjak, Gojun, Kraljević, Šarac, Karačić, Musa, Šebetić, Cindrić, Grahovac, Martinović, Šušnja, Šipić, Glavaš, Jelinić

Bahrain: Eid, Al Salatna, Al Samahiji, Ali, Isa, Qambar, Abdulredha, Fadhul, M. Ali, M. Ali, Alzaimoor, Mahfoodh, Ali, Mohamed, Mohamed, Al Sayyad

Match recap 

Bahrain scored the first goal of the game before Croatia equalized in the 2nd minute for 1:1. Martinovic scored for 3:3 in the 3rd and Sarac for 3:3 a minute later. Both teams had used every attack by the 5th minute - 4:4

Cindric and Martinovic made it 6:5, but Croatia's defense was having trouble. Bahrain was going goal for goal. While Bahrain went ahead for a few minutes, Karacic brought Croatia back to 8:8 in the 14th minute. 

And by the 17th minute, both teams were still equal - 11:11. 

Croatia finally went up by two goals in the 20th minute, but by the 22nd, Bahrain returned for 13:13. 

Croatia got it together in the final five minutes of the first half and was up by three goals in the 29th minute. But Croatia only went into halftime ahead by one goal - 17:16. 

By the 34th minute, Croatia went up by three goals again, and by the 39th minute, it was 22:19. Martinovic made it 24:19 in the 40th. 

It was 28:20 for Croatia in the 44th minute and 29:22 in the 46th. 

Croatia's attack was playing well, and Cindric scored for 31:23 with 12 minutes to go. 

Croatia went up by ten goals in the 51st minute and up by 12 goals with two minutes to go! It was 41:29 with a minute and a half left. 

The match ended 43:32 for Croatia. Martinovic was named the man of the match. 

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

Monday, 23 January 2023

Employment in Croatia on Record High Levels, Job Ads Popping up Daily

January 23, 2023 - Good trends in the Croatian labour market. One million and 617 thousand residents are currently working, with the level of employment in Croatia last being that high back in 2008. In addition, the country marks record low unemployment, equal to the average of the European Union: 121,189 residents.

However, as Poslovni / HRT report, long-term unfavorable trends are still present. The aging population and the outflow of working-age people to other European countries. The ratio between employees and pensioners is still unfavorable - the number of workers per pensioner is 1:1.32. The job market opportunities, though, are changing faster than ever before.

Living in Croatia and working remotely for an employer who may not even be in the same time zone is an increasingly popular form of work in the country. Globalization has also affected Croatia. Employers based in the country have fewer and fewer professionals at their disposal because it is more profitable for such workers to be self-employed and freelance.

Labour market

"This means significant support for foreign employers, who are not registered in the Republic of Croatia, which means that the high subsidies given for independent work should be abolished compared to work based on an employment contract," said Hrvoje Balen, the president of Algebra's Board of Directors and president of the Executive Board of HUP ICT.

The demand for labour is still very strong. For example, employers in tourism are starting to look for workers earlier every season. Last year, 120,000 permits were issued to foreign workers, while at the same time, we have an equal number of unemployed people.

"We certainly expect growth; I think this is a strong growth that will not be pronounced in the future; we expect an increase of twenty to thirty percent, it is difficult to estimate at this moment because a lot of these work permits are extended permits for people to stay and work in Croatia," said Ivan Vidiš, the State Secretary in the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development.

There are more and more job ads, with a 22 increase in their number compared to 2019 on the Moj Posao portal alone. However, job advertisements from foreign employers do not follow this trend.

"Unfortunately, our market is exhausted, and in principle, there is a reduction in foreign advertisements in Croatia. Simply, so many people have moved out of Croatia that now it is more difficult for foreigners to find them, and they are looking further south, further east, on other continents", said the director of the Moj Posao portal, Igor Žonja.

Experts expect that there could be a slowdown in economies this year, which will also affect the labour market.

"We can see a certain slowdown, a cooling of the economy, and the labour market will feel this trend with a small lag; maybe sometime in the spring, slightly lower demand for work will be felt. It all very, very much depends on how much this recession in our foreign partners will hurt Croatia, how deep it will be, and how long it will last", stressed Dr. sc. Marina Tkalec, Institute of Economics, Zagreb.

In addition, due to inflation, higher wages will be in demand. Although we have more money in our wallets, it is worth less because inflation has grown faster than wages.

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

Monday, 23 January 2023

The Future is Here: Insect Flour Approved for Sale in Croatia

January 23, 2023 - Some new, unusual products will start appearing on the shelves of Croatian shops from January 24. The European Food Safety Agency approved it, concluding that the consumption of insect flour is not only 100 percent safe but also healthy.

Can you imagine a grasshopper, a mealworm, or a house beetle on your plate? From next week, in the form of insect flour, you'll be able to find them on the shelves of shops throughout Croatia, writes Dnevnik.

The European Food Safety Agency has approved insects as a food product and included them in the "novel food" category. This approval could pave the way for other insects, such as grasshoppers, ants, crickets, flies, and larvae.

"First, we had to get approval at the level of regulatory status to call it a new food," explained nutritionist Darija Vranešić Bender and pointed out: "They contain a lot of protein, from 55 to 85 percent of protein in 100 grams, which would be significantly more than compared to meat, beef, chicken and so on.''

Aleksander Gavrilović is the owner of the first certified insect factory, and his flour is waiting to be sold. The taste, he says, can vary: "If you feed the animal with chocolate the day before, you will get a chocolate flavour. Give them chocolate, apples, blackberries - you'll get all those flavours. You can use the flour to make anything - pancakes, bread, cakes.''

It is quite powdery under your fingers, it looks similar to cocoa powder, and the smell is pure chocolate, Dnevnik Nova TV reporter Sara Duvnjak described her impressions.

Vranešić believes that no matter how traditional Croatian people are, they are becoming more and more open to new cuisines: "If we look at other civilizations, they have consumed such foods in abundance for quite a long time. We call it entomophagy.

In certain Asian countries, insects are used as a crunchy dessert that, most importantly, does not cause weight gain. The nutritionist explains why: "They are of a relatively favourable fat content, which is approximately 20 to 30 percent, and a lot of that are unsaturated omega-3 fatty acids, which are also beneficial for our health''.

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

Monday, 23 January 2023

Croatian Radio New York Launches Podcast Called Study in Croatia

January the 23rd, 2023 - Something new for the diaspora across the pond in the United States of America which aims to keep them connected to the homeland of their parents or grandparents. Croatian Radio New York's new podcast is likely to attract many.

Croatian Radio New York launches a podcast ‘Study in Croatia’. The aim of this podcast is to inform high school students, their parents, relatives and friends about the possibilities and admission processes for studying at the Croatian universities and colleges. During the first two podcasts, six higher education institutions were presented. Podcasts were hosted by Joseph Bogovic, senior at Townsend Harris High School in Queens, Srecko Mavrek, Croatian Radio NY host, Sara Skoda, college counselor at Townsend Harris High School in Queens, and Petra Pesa, Croatian Radio NY president and host. Boris Vilic, dean of the School of Professional Studies at Albright College in Pennsylvania, gave his introductory and final remarks to the podcast participants. He also introduced his voluntary work as a chair of the charitable foundation of the Association of Croatian American Professionals, ACAP, through which he led the creation of the Domovina Birthright Summer Program and several collaborations with institutions in higher education in Croatia.

Podcast Study in Croatia 1

Studying at the Rochester Institute of Technology Croatia (RIT Croatia) was presented by dean Don Hudspeth, a Canadian that has been with RIT Croatia since the beginning and lives with his family in Dubrovnik, and Ivan Smoljan, Recruitment and Enrollment Specialist. Valentina Vucenik, RIT Croatia freshmen, described her experience and student’s life in Zagreb.

Izabela Oletic Tusek, Head of International Department at the Faculty of Organization and Informatics (FOI) in Varazdin, and prof dr. sc. Violeta Vidacek Hains, Head of Student Research Symposium in collaboration with Universities in USA and College Professor, introduced studying options at the FOI. Students Jerry John Antolos and Erik Duranec described their views and excitement about studying at the FOI in Varazdin.

Dean Dr. Sc. Mato Njavro introduced the Zagreb School of Economics and Management (Croatian: Zagrebačka škola ekonomije i managementa, abbreviated as ZŠEM), which is a private business school located in Zagreb. Founded in 2002, ZSEM provides undergraduate and graduate education in economics, management, finance, marketing, and accounting. ZSEM has been voted the best business school in Croatia for five consecutive years, most recently in 2012, and is Croatia's largest private institution of higher education. In 2013, the Zagreb School of Economics and Management became the first business school in Croatia to receive AACSB accreditation. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, also known as AACSB International, is an American professional organization. It was founded as the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business in 1916 to provide accreditation to schools of business, and was later known as the American Association of Collegiate Schools of Business and as the International Association for Management Education. Ruzica Lipovac, student at ZSEM, was born and raised in New York. She moved to Zagreb and followed in her older brother’s footsteps to enroll in the Zagreb School of Economics & Management. As a former International Baccalaureate student, with all her studies being in English, she wanted to continue having a global learning experience. The knowledge obtained has given her the expertise to help run businesses in the US and Croatia.  

Lovre Kolega, ZSEM alumni, is from the USA, specifically Florida. He moved to Croatia in 2013 to attend high school and continued studies at the Zagreb School of Economics and Management - completing the undergraduate program in Economics and Management. During studies at ZSEM, with the support of ZSEM's Career Center he got an internship at Rimac Technology, where he was immediately hired after graduating and where he is currently continuing his career path as a Project Coordinator.

The University of Rijeka is in the City of Rijeka, the third largest city in Croatia and the main Croatian port. As one of the largest universities in the region, it comprises 12 Faculties and 4 Departments, which offer more than 172 accredited study programs. University of Rijeka welcomes international students through student mobility stays, degree study programs or research/guest activities. To support mobility, the University has signed more than 600 bilateral Erasmus agreements with 30 countries and takes part in various bilateral and multilateral ventures in higher education. Students who wish to enroll in full degree study programs at University of Rijeka have the possibility of choosing study programs in English and Croatian language, attainable on undergraduate, graduate, or postgraduate study level. Podcast speakers from the University of Rijeka were:

Prof Dr. Sc. Marta Zuvic, vice-rector for studies, students and quality assurance University of Rijeka

Marija Spoljaric  - Student International Business at Business College at University of Rijeka, student ambassador on the Ambassador Platform

Tyler Zanki – alumni born and raised in New Jersey to Croatian Parents. Graduated with a Bachelor's in Chemical Engineering in May of 2020. A year ago, he moved to Croatia, and now is studying at the Faculty of Chemical Engineering and Technology at the University of Zagreb. 

Aspira University College is a private college and a nonprofit institution, which organizes and conducts professional studies of Sport Management, Computer Science – Program Engineering, International Management in Hospitality and Tourism and Hospitality and Tourism Management. Aspira was presented by the following speakers:

Petra Mandac – Assistant Dean of International Cooperation

Josip Radic – International Relations Coordinator

Laura Mishevska - student

Algebra University College offers to the next generation of its students a possibility to study in English on validated bachelor study programs in the fields of computing, design and management and a unique chance to receive a Dual Degree from AUC and Goldsmiths, University of London. Algebra University College is the flagship of largest private educational organization in Republic of Croatia and the region (Algebra group), present today in more than 20 cities across Croatia. Founded in 1998, they currently have more than 150 full-time employees and more than 600 associated experts and higher educational faculties employed also in industry. Algebra is located in historic CUC campus in the heart of Croatian capital Zagreb, while adult education and training programs are conducted also in: Osijek, Pula, Rijeka, Zadar, Split, Varazdin and Dubrovnik, as well as in more than ten other smaller cities. Algebra University College was presented by:

Hrvoje Josip Balen – President of the Board of Trustees at Algebra University College   and

Lidija Šimrak - Head of the International Office at Algebra University College.

“It was a great pleasure to moderate this informative podcast together with Joseph, who is such talented young man. Valentina was also a great contributor to discussions. I strongly believe in a big potential of the young people. My hope is that studying in Croatia will strengthen the ties between Croatia and Croatian communities around the world and develop solidarity among Croatian youth from many diaspora communities and homeland”, said Mavrek.

Podcast Study in Croatia 3 2

For more on the Croatian diaspora, follow our lifestyle section.

Monday, 23 January 2023

Fantastic Donna Vekic Advances to Australian Open Quarterfinal

January 32, 2023 - Croatian tennis player Donna Vekic advanced to the quarterfinal of the Australian Open after defeating the 17-year-old Czech Linda Fruhvirtova in the fourth round with 6:2, 1:6, 6:3 after two hours and seven minutes of play.

As Index writes, Donna Vekic played the first set brilliantly against the young Czech, hitting winners from all positions, but in the second part of the game, there was a big drop in the game of this 26-year-old Osijek player.

She lined up with unforced errors, so the third set decided the winner. Before the final set, Vekic went to the dressing room and took almost ten minutes of rest, which had a positive effect. For Vekic, this is her second entry into the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam tournament after the US Open in 2019.

Her opponent will be fifth seed Arina Sabalenka, who knocked out Olympic winner Belinda Bencic 7:5, 6:2 in the fourth round. Vekic and Sabalenka have played six times so far, with the Croatian tennis player winning five times.

They met in the quarterfinals of San Diego (2022), at the Olympic Games (2021), in the semifinals of San Jose (2019), in the second round of Cincinnati (2017), and the first round of St. Petersburg (2016), and in the semifinals of the same tournament (2017).

"This is the first time I feel like I can win a Grand Slam"

Vekic knocked out Oksana Selehmetova, Ljudmila Samsonova, Nuria Parrizas-Diaz, and Linda Fruhvirtov on her way to her biggest success at the first Grand Slam of the season. Here is what Donna Vekic stated before the match with the Czech player:

"Everything started to fall into place at the end of last year. I played really well after the US Open; I improved a lot in Thailand and San Diego, where many wins inspired a lot of confidence. I saw that I could play at the top level again. After the surgery, it took me a year to get back to that level, and I'm glad it continues at the beginning of 2023."

"Perhaps because of all the difficulties I had with injuries, I now appreciate it more when I have the opportunity to play, especially in the biggest stadiums and tournaments. Of course, it's even better if I win; I have a clear goal in my head, tennis fulfills me, and I'm completely dedicated to achieving that goal," said Donna Vekic, then explained what that goal was.

"Every tennis player's goal is to win the Grand Slam, but the difference is that for the first time in my life, I believe I can do it," concluded the currently 64th player in the WTA ranking. The best ranking in her career was 19. She won three singles tournaments, where she earned almost 5.7 million dollars.

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

Monday, 23 January 2023

The Vegliot Dialect - The Krk Romance Language Extinct Since 1898

January the 23rd, 2023 - The Vegliot dialect, which is also often referred to as Vegliotic, is a now extinct Romance language once spoken on the island of Krk. The last speaker of the Vegliot dialect was Antonio Udina (Tuone Udaina), who passed away in June 1898. Little is known about the dialect named after the Italian name for Krk (Veglia).

We've explored many of the dialects, subdialects and indeed languages in their own right as some linguists consider them to be which are spoken across modern Croatia. From the Dubrovnik subdialect (Ragusan) in the extreme south of Dalmatia to Northwestern Kajkavian in areas like Zagorje, the ways in which people speak in this country deviate from what we know as standard Croatian language enormously. That goes without even mentioning much about old DalmatianZaratin, once widely spoken in and around Zadar, Istriot, or Istro-Venetian

A brief history of the Vegliot dialect

Of the now extinct languages once spoken on modern Croatian territory, we've looked into Istrian-Albanian, which became extinct in the nineteenth century after being introduced to parts of Istria by ethnic Albanians settled there by Venice who spoke in the Gheg (or Geg) variety of modern Albanian. Now we'll jump back into our linguistic time machine and head back into the island of Krk's past, during which the Vegliot dialect was spoken all the way until June 1898, when the last person to speak it died.

As mentioned above, the Vegliot dialect is named after the Italian name for Krk - Veglia, and its closest ''relative'' is believed to be Istro-Romanian, another Romance language once spoken more widely spoken across the Istrian peninsula, more precisely in the nothwestern parts near the Cicarija mountain range. There are two groups of speakers despite the fact that the language spoken by both is more or less absolutely identical, the Vlahi and the Cici, the former coming from the south side of the Ucka mountain, and the latter coming from the north side.

This language has been described as the smallest ethnolinguistic group in all of Europe, and without a lot more effort being put into preservation, the next few decades to come will almost certainly result in the complete extinction of the Istro-Romanians and their language.

A  Western Italian dialect of Dalmatic, the Vegliot dialect was once spoken by a group of Morlachs (pastoralists) who were engaged in herding. As each of these individuals passed away, the last remaining was speaker was the aforementioned Antonio Udina, who was often affectionately called Burbur.

Antonio Udina (Tuone Udaina)

Udina was born in 1823 on the island of Krk, and died on June the 10th, 1898, losing his life in a road mine explosion and taking the Vegliot dialect with him into the beyond. Nicknamed Burbur, Udina is deemed the last person to fluently speak in the Vegliot dialect, but he was in actual fact not a native speaker of this language. He had learned the dialect (or language, for argument's sake) from his parents who both hailed from the island of Krk and spoke it as their native tongue.

Well known Italian linguist Matteo Bartoli wrote a paper on Dalmatian/Dalmatic language(s) way back in 1897, in what was to be the final full year of Udina's life. At that time, Udina had not spoken in that language for around twenty years, and he had also suffered dental issues so severe they had affected the movements of his mouth and as such he speech, and on top of that - he was also deaf.

Despite being deemed the last speaker of the Vegliot dialect, he is not considered a reliable source in regard to this language owing to his health issues. That said, after Udina was killed in a road mine explosion, the Vegliot dialect also died and is unlikely to ever be heard again.

 

For more on the Croatian language and the many dialects and subdialects spoken across this small but diverse country, make sure to check out our lifestyle section. An edition on language is published every Monday.

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