Tuesday, 25 April 2023

Bankrupt Uljanik Shipyard to be Offered at a Public Auction

April 25, 2023 - Representatives of the state, the largest creditor of the bankrupt Uljanik Shipyard, decided that Uljanik Shipyard 1856 would be offered at a public auction after a meeting of creditors was held at the Commercial Court in Pazin.

As Index writes, this means that the proposal of bankruptcy administrator Loris Rak was accepted - to abandon the model of sale through a public tender.

The auction is expected in the first half of May when a 54.77 percent stake in Uljanik Shipyard 1856 will be offered at a price that will be higher than that offered by the Czech group CE Industries at the beginning of the year, EUR 20.57 million.

The bankruptcy administrator's proposal

The starting price of Uljanik is 20.73 million euros, which is 75 percent of the estimated value, and the initial proposal of the starting price was increased by the intervention of the representative of the state.

Bankruptcy administrator Loris Rak proposed that 54.77 percent of shares in Uljanik Shipyard be auctioned at an initial price of 20.57 million euros, i.e., 155 million kuna, which was offered by the Czech group CE Industries at the beginning of the year.

"We accepted the bankruptcy administrator's proposal to do a public auction. The state agreed with the proposal but requested a change in determining the initial price below which it could not be sold.

We reasoned that it would be 75 percent of the estimated value, so the initial amount of EUR 20.7 million or HRK 156.2 million was determined," said Deputy County State Attorney Nevenka Kovčalija.

"It's hard to do business when you belong to no one"

She added that the state proposed, and the bankruptcy administrator accepted, that interested business entities be obliged to attach a statement to the documentation that they will maintain the shipbuilding activity.

When asked why the price was changed after the potential buyer proposed EUR 20.5 million and the state EUR 20.7 million, Kovčalija pointed out that she cannot prejudge the buyer and who will apply for the auction and that the state determined that it should be 75 percent of the estimated value, as is usually done in bankruptcy proceedings if the national financial agency manages the sale.

The director of Uljanik Shipyard 1856, Samir Hadžić, stated that more than five months were wasted unnecessarily and that this model should have been used from the beginning.

"It is difficult to do business when you belong to no one, when you have been on sale for a long time, when all existing or future business partners are waiting to see who will be the new owner. We can't wait for this to be completed and to finally talk business," said Hadžić.

"It would be silly to play with a potential customer and add millions"

Asserting that after this decision, "there is light at the end of the tunnel," the head of the Pula office of the Independent Workers Union of Croatia, Boris Cerovac, stated that it would be silly to play with a potential buyer and add, as he said, "little millions".

"The state has obviously played its game and raised the price by HRK 1 million. However, at this moment, it is important to go to the auction in the first half of May and that everything goes well for the benefit of the workers, the shipyard, and the city," said Cerovac.

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

Tuesday, 25 April 2023

The British Telegraph Praises Slavonia as Loveliest Forgotten Destination

April 25, 2023 - The British Telegraph published a report on Slavonia, which the author Jane Foster presented as "the most wonderful secret region" that is worth visiting and experiencing with regard to its natural, cultural, and eno-gastronomic attractions.

The report titled "The little-known European region that's making wine for the King's Coronation" was created in collaboration with the London representative office of the Croatian Tourist Board and the editorial staff of the Telegraph after the author visited the region in February.

Slavonian cities, nature parks, and numerous well-known wineries that nurture traditional wine production along with the local gastronomic offer are part of the details the Slavonia report highlights, particularly emphasizing places like Iločki Podrumi and the Traminac wine variety.

As they note from the Croatian Tourist Board, that wine has traditionally been consumed at the British Court since the coronation of the late Queen Elizabeth II and will be served at the coronation of King Charles III in London, one of the most important events in recent British history. 


Copyright Romulic and Stojcic

"In 1953, Ilocki Podrumi supplied Traminac for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II; in 2011, they sent ice-harvest Traminac for the wedding of William and Kate; and in 2018, berry harvest Traminac for the wedding of Harry and Meghan. 

Tradition being tradition, they will be sending Traminac Principovac (a semi-sweet white wine, produced in a limited edition) as a gift to Charles III and Camilla for their coronation on May 6, 2023".

In her report, Foster praises the local wine tradition, cultural wealth such as the old city center of Osijek and Ilok, as well as the special features of Vukovar and the wealth of flora and fauna of the Kopački rit nature park.

The Croatian Tourist Board adds that "the synergy of rich cultural heritage, numerous events, and natural beauty makes Slavonia a winning destination with a luxurious tourist offer for all markets, including Great Britain." 


Copyright Romulic and Stojcic

They also note that the new direct Ryanair flight on the London-Osijek route, which will operate four times a week from June and contribute to the traffic availability of Slavonian destinations, will contribute to the additional attractiveness of Slavonia on the UK market.

And the data from the Croatian eVisitor system confirms positive trends from the British market, writes Poslovni. "Positive trends from the British market are also confirmed by the data of the eVisitor system, according to which tourists from that market have spent almost 153,000 overnight stays in Croatia so far this year, or 3 percent more than in the same period of record 2019," concludes Croatian Tourist Board.

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

Tuesday, 25 April 2023

Croatia Supports Kosovo Membership in Council of Europe

April 25, 2023 - Croatia supported the Kosovo membership application in the Council of Europe (CoE) at a meeting where Kosovo was given the green light to continue integration into the European organization. With 33 votes in favor, seven against, and five abstentions, the Committee of Ministers of the CoE supported the Kosovo application and sent it to the Parliamentary Assembly and the leading European organizations for the protection of human rights for a vote.

"We strongly supported the Kosovo membership application in the Council of Europe," the head of Croatian diplomacy told reporters. When asked about the Serbian boycott of the elections in the north of Kosovo, Grlić Radman said that the elections "were held in accordance with the constitution" and that they were legitimate, writes Index.

"A boycott is not a good solution; it is not a good model. It does not contribute to any solution to this issue," he added.

Grlić Radman, who participated in the meeting of EU foreign affairs ministers, said they also discussed the situation in Ukraine and Sudan, including the evacuation of EU citizens, the migrant crisis in Tunisia and Moldova, which the EU will help in the fight against cyber attacks.

The ministers spoke with their Ukrainian colleague Dmitr Kuleb and "again condemned the Russian aggression and looked for those instruments, ways that will make our condemnation even more restrictive," Grlić Radman said.

He added that out of about a hundred Croatian citizens, "everyone who wanted" was evacuated from Sudan, except one person he thinks is still on the way.

Grlić Radman thanked the European External Action Service, the Swedish Presidency, European embassies (French, Greek, etc.), and those outside the EU, such as the Saudi Arabian embassy, for their help.

As for Tunisia, Grlić Radman said that the situation in that country is worsening, and there is concern about a new wave of migrants.

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

Tuesday, 25 April 2023

Chiriboo Funderbeam Campaign Hopes to Target Slovenia, Serbia

April the 25th, 2023 - This newly launched platform's Chiriboo Funderbeam campaign hopes to target and successfully break into the markets of neighbouring Slovenia and Serbia.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Josipa Ban writes, the recently launched Chiriboo platform, the first regional digital tool for the presentation and sale of cars, has so far collected 48 thousand euros of capital through a crowdfunding campaign launched just a few days ago on the Funderbeam platform.

Currently, the largest investor is the company Commondo, Chiriboo's strategic partner, which invested 20 thousand euros. The rest of the investors are anonymous.

The aim is for the initiators of Chiriboo to collect between 100 and 200 thousand euros in the next fourteen days, which is the expected duration of this Chiriboo Funderbeam campaign. The money will then be invested back into the development of the platform and into regional expansion, and the first markets where Chiriboo plans to launch, after Croatia, are those of neighbouring Slovenia and Serbia.

Users and investors

The above was revealed by Marko Stojakovic, who is responsible for investments, finance and partnerships and the development of commercial products at Chiriboo, and is also one of the founders and director of the company Make IT Easy, which developed the MobilityOne software for fleet management.

Behind the Chiriboo project, namely, along with Stojakovic and the rest of the Make IT Easy team, there is a group of experienced experts from various fields. Among them is Juraj Sebalj, a rally driver, who is also one of the best connoisseurs of the automotive market and the general manager of Chiriboo, who plans to invest in a tool that should introduce digitalisation into the still very traditional automotive industry, where customers still prefer to see the vehicle "live" before making a purchase.

Stojakovic stated that with the new Chiriboo Funderbeam campaign, they plan to attract small and medium-sized investors who recognise the potential of the platform. Namely, it is a new platform that is aimed at users, that is, customers for whom it should make buying a car easier and more simple. The money they plan to collect will be enough, according to Stojakovic, for development and operations for the first year, after which they hope for a positive business result. So far, he said, they have invested 300,000 euros in software development alone, and they don't intend to stop there.

"The software and application (app) will be upgraded and we will continue to develop them both for years to come in accordance with the reaction of the market, that is, users and their comments and needs," Stojakovic pointed out.

The funderbeam experience

Currently, Chiriboo offers an overview of the prices, photos, technical data and equipment composition for more than 3000 models available on the Croatian automotive market. The main advantages of the platform's founders are two things - the smart "Search Engine" and the "Comparator". The smart "Search Engine" enables a simple search for models, and the "Comparator" enables their comparison. In addition to that, they have an enviable base of cars ready for quick delivery.

When asked why they decided to launch the Chiriboo Funderbeam campaign, Stojakovic replied that in general they have a good experience with the platform because they have already completed two rounds of crowdfunding on it with Make IT Easy.

For more, check out our business section.

Tuesday, 25 April 2023

Croatian ReversingLabs Enters into Strategic Partnership with PwC

April the 25th, 2023 - The Croatian ReversingLabs company has been going from strength to strength, and it has now entered into a strategic partnership with no less than PwC.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Josipa Ban writes, the Croatian ReversingLabs company, registered a software company which specialises in detecting and preventing attacks in the software supply chain, has now entered into a strategic partnership with PwC, a British consulting firm.

PwC's consulting services in combination with the Croatian ReversingLabs platform will provide organisations with much better protection against increasingly complex attacks on their software supply chains, according to ReversingLabs, a company that generates most of its revenue, 90 percent of it to be more precise, across the pond over on the American market.

“More than ever, vendors are dependent on software vendors, which creates a need for automation so that the risks arising from these relationships can be assessed quickly and at scale. The need is even greater when it is known that software suppliers rely on open source code, and that is increasingly being targeted by malicious actors," emphasised Mario Vuksan, the CEO of the Croatian ReversingLabs software company.

Penny Flint, a partner at UK PwC, added that this newly developed partnership will significantly help companies discover and understand the many risks that come from software. Benefits will also be found in the fact that customers of the combined service will be able to visualise the components in their software supply chain(s) and the risks they represent for their businesses.

They will be able to automate guarantees and will be given the proper tools and knowledge to protect their supply chains from start to finish. This will reduce the likelihood and effects of malware and tampering attacks throughout the entire software development and use cycle.

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

Monday, 24 April 2023

Istrian 2000-Year-Old Stage: Small Roman Theatre Opens in Pula

April 24, 2023 - The grand opening of the renovated Small Roman Theater will be marked by a two-day music and stage program, which, apart from the inauguration of the future summer stage, is also intended as a gift to the Pula public on the occasion of the City Day celebration

The grand opening of the Small Roman Theater in Pula will take place on Pula City Day, May 5 this year. The opening ceremony will be accompanied by a sumptuous music and stage program directed by Krešimir Dolenčić and Aleksandar Švabić. The following day, May 6, the stage of the Small Roman Theater will host Perpetuum Jazzile, a Slovenian musical attraction and one of the most recognizable vocal groups in the world. This will officially celebrate the restoration of the original function of an extremely important ancient cultural monument in Pula, whose reconstruction was carried out by interdisciplinary teams of architects, designers, conservators, archaeologists, and art historians.


"The complex renovation project of the Small Roman Theater is behind us, and we are proud to soon present one of the most spectacular concert, theater, and performance spaces in this part of Europe. As a community, we have an obligation to protect the rich cultural heritage and at the same time think of ways to integrate this valuable cultural heritage into the modern fabric of the city so that it serves today's needs in culture, and the public gets the opportunity to enjoy a space of unique monumental value, atmosphere, and acoustic quality", said Darko Komšo, director of the Archaeological Museum of Istria.

In the first century of our era, the Small Roman Theater served the cultural needs of the then-population of Pula. The renovated version can accommodate around 1,250 people today and, just like in ancient times, it will be a medium for encounters of the audience and artists, various performers of performing arts, and its devotees. It is important to point out that after almost two decades of neglect, the Small Roman Theater was renovated using a contrasting method, using steel and white concrete, whereby exceptional care was taken to ensure that the foundations of the new construction did not touch or endanger the Roman remains of the building anywhere. 


The grandstands were completely built without nuts and bolts so as not to disturb the acoustics of the space, and the height and depth of the stairs correspond to the original proportions, whereby the ratio 1:2 was respected, according to the instructions from the "Ten Books on Architecture" by the famous Roman architect from 1 century BC, Vitruvius.

Part of the Small Roman Theater of Europe project is the monumental, 330 square meters large screen that was placed on the facade of the Archaeological Museum of Istria. The reconstruction project of the Small Roman Theater received an honorable award at the Piran Days of Architecture and was also nominated for the "Bernardo Bernardi" architectural award.

The renovation of the Small Roman Theater was financed by the European Fund for Regional Development and the funds of the Ministry of Culture and Media, as well as the own funds of the Archaeological Museum of Istria.

Monday, 24 April 2023

Hotel Amfora Opens: the Season on Hvar Has Begun!

April 24, 2023 - All the ingredients are there for another fabulous season on Croatia's premier island, beginning with the opening of the largest hotel, Hotel Amfora.

I admit it, I fell in love with Hvar all over again this Easter.

Having lived there for 13 years full-time, Hvar will always be close to my heart, but it seemed the right decision to move back in 2016, and it was. But then when you return each time... 

Hvar in pre-season is among the best times to visit, and I thoroughly enjoyed the spectacular weather and the traditions of Easter. It really does have a unique atmosphere. And one of the best months of the year to be in Hvar Town is just around the corner - May. 


Back when I started writing about the island with the Total Hvar blog, May 10 was regarded as the unofficial start of the season in Hvar Town, for this is the Feast of St Prosper, the patron saint of the town, an occasion of processions, events and some fabulous food put on by the town's restaurants. It will be the start of a great week to be in the town, for five days later, May 15, is an important anniversary - 155 years since the birth of organised tourism in Europe with the founding of the Hvar Health Society back on May 15, 1868. The society catered to the needs of the convalescing Austro-Hungarian aristocracy on an island which had the nickname, the Austrian Madeira. The location of the first hotel is where luxury Palace Elisabeth Hotel stands today. 


If St Prosper used to unofficially hail the story of the tourism season back then, today there is a more practical indicator - the opening of Hotel Amfora, the largest hotel on the island and previously included in Conde Nast's top 30 resorts in Europe, and a great family getaway with its cascading pools and spectacular views. Part of the Suncani Hvar Hotels group, the opening of the hotel is closely related to bookings, and Hotel Amfora opened its doors this weekend for what promises to be a fantastic season.  

Monday, 24 April 2023

UEFA Youth League Dream Ends for Hajduk Juniors

April 24, 2023 - Hajduk Juniors failed to take home the UEFA Youth League title after losing to AZ Alkmaar in the final (5-0). 

It was a historic final for both teams. After beating AC Milan (3-1), Hajduk became the first Croatian club in history to reach the final of any UEFA club competition in any category. The Fair Cities Cup, won by Dinamo in 1967, was not a UEFA competition then. AZ also became the first Dutch team to play in the final of this competition. In the semi-final, they eliminated Sporting Lisbon on penalties.

Hajduk's juniors had incredible support from the stands. Over 10,000 fans occupied Geneva since morning, and the club's famous songs could be heard throughout the city.

Hajduk had a difficult journey on the way to this historic success. They kicked out Gabala and Apollonia without much difficulty before meeting European giants. Hajduk beat Shakhtar and Manchester City at Poljud and Borussia Dortmund away.

AZ Alkmaar also knocked out big teams on the way to the final, beating Eintracht Frankfurt (5-0), Barcelona (3-0), and Real Madrid (4-0).

The final tournament was initially supposed to be played in Nyon, Switzerland, but due to the great interest of the fans, UEFA moved it to Geneva and a stadium with 30,000 seats.


Hajduk: Buljan, Š. Hrgović, Vušković, Jurić-Petrašilo, Đolonga, Capan, Kavelj, Vrcić, Pukštas, Brajković, Antunović

AZ Alkmaar: Owusu-Oduro, Goes, Beukers, Mastoras, Addai, Kwakman, Schouten, Smit, de Jong, Poku, Daal

Match report

Buljan had to make his first save in the 2nd minute, and Hajduk played nervously in the first five minutes when they finally had their first corner. 

Hrgovic shot from 20 meters at the AZ keeper a few minutes later.

Buljan had to make another save in the 16th minute, and AZ had three attempts on target compared to Hajduk's one at this point in the match. By the 20th minute, AZ showed much more. They play maturely, organized, and controlled the game. Hajduk concentrated on defense and relied on counters. 

Another dangerous attempt by AZ in the 30th minute saw Buljan make another flying save to keep the result 0-0. And another close call just three minutes later. 

In the 44th minute, an unnecessary foul by Vuskovic in the penalty area resulted in a penalty for AZ and the 1-0 lead just before halftime. 

The second half started. Meerdink entered instead of Daal, while Hajduk made no changes.

Kavelj received a yellow card in the 50th and Hajduk had a great chance in the 54th minute. Vrcić broke through on the right side and played in the middle, but Pukštas couldn't get a shot off. 

AZ completely controlled the match and Hajduk waited for a counterattack. But that plan failed. Hajduk was down 3-0 by the 76th minute. And 4-0 by the 79th. 

The Hajduk juniors entered the final with high expectations, but the Dutch club was superior for the entirety of the match. In the end, they deservedly celebrated. Even though the final ended 5-0, this historic success is worth celebrating, and Hajduk's young side will be welcomed in Split at 6 pm. 

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

Monday, 24 April 2023

SuperSport HNL 30th Round: Gorica Beats Rijeka and Jumps to 9th Place

April 24, 2023 - The SuperSport HNL 30th round was played from April 21 to 23, 2023. This round saw Dinamo draw against Istra, Belupo beat Osijek, and Gorica defeat Rijeka to jump from 10th to 9th place in the standings. 

Lokomotiva - Sibenik (1-0)

Lokomotiva and Sibenik opened the 30th round on Friday, April 21, in Zagreb in front of 581 fans. 

The only goal of the match came in the 81st minute when Tuci found the back of the net for 1-0. Lokomotiva had 61% possession and 14 total attempts compared to Sibenik's four attempts. 


Lokomotiva is in 8th place with 37 points, and Sibenik has dropped to last place with 24. Lokomotiva plays Rijeka next weekend and Sibenik meets Belupo. 

Slaven Belupo - Osijek (2-1)

Belupo and Osijek met on Friday in Koprivnica in front of 3,590 fans. 

While the first half went without goals, Caktas made it 0-1 for Osijek in the 52nd minute. Two quick stoppage-time goals gave Belupo the win - Krstanovic scored a penalty in the 91st minute for 1-1, and Boras made it 2-1 in the 10th added minute. Belupo had 56% possession and 14 total attempts on goal, while Osijek had 20. Both teams had four shots on target. 


Belupo is in 4th place with 40 points, and Osijek is in 5th with 39. Belupo meets Sibenik next, and Osijek meets Istra. 

Istra 1961 - Dinamo (0-0)

Istra and Dinamo met on Saturday in Pula in front of 3,340 fans. 

The game ended without goals, though Dinamo had 57% of possession and a total of 8 attempts on target compared to Istra's 7. 


Dinamo remains in first place with 67 points, while Istra is in 7th with 38. Dinamo meets Varazdin next and Istra plays Osijek. 

Hajduk - Varazdin (2-0)

Hajduk and Varazdin met on Saturday at Poljud Stadium in front of 10,596 fans. 

Benrahou put Hajduk ahead in the 25th minute for 1-0 at the half. Sahiti scored a stunning far-post goal assisted by Benrahou in the 65th minute for the final 2-0. Possession was equal during this match, while Hajduk had 14 total attempts, of which eight were on target. 


Hajduk is in 2nd place with 57 points, while Varazdin is in 6th with 39. Hajduk plays Gorica next, and Varazdin meets Dinamo.

Gorica - Rijeka (1-0)

Gorica and Rijeka closed out the 30th round on Sunday in Velika Gorica in front of 2,362 fans. 

While Gorica's first goal in the 2nd minute was called offside due to VAR, Fucak made it 1-0 in the 63rd minute for the Gorica win. Rijeka had far more possession in the match at 63%, with 11 total attempts on target, too. 


Gorica has now jumped to 9th place with 26 points, while Rijeka is in 3rd with 41. Gorica and Hajduk meet next, while Rijeka meets Lokomotiva.

You can check out the HNL table HERE

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

Monday, 24 April 2023

Croatian Inflation Sees Less Spent on Investment But Fiscal Picture Improves

April the 24th, 2023 - Croatian inflation has seen certain investments shelved, with 6.8 percent less being spent on investments across the board, but aside from that, a better fiscal picture than previously expected has emerged.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Jadranka Dozan writes, like most other member states of the European Union and the Eurozone, Croatia ended 2022 with a better general government budget balance and a further decline in the level of national debt measured as a share of gross domestic product. The improvement of the Croatian fiscal picture was manifested in the realised surplus of 0.4% of GDP instead of the deficit recorded the year before (which was also planned for 2022).

The dynamics of the debt-to-GDP ratio, which was reduced by as much as 10 percentage points, down to 68.4 percent, proved to be better than expected, according to the first of two reports on the budget deficit and national debt that the national statistical offices submit to Eurostat during the fiscal year, under the supervision of the European Commission.

High levels of Croatian inflation contributed to the aforementioned outcome, and in addition to enterprises who were forced in most cases to increase their profit margins, inflation also "benefited" the state in certain ways, on the one hand by filling the state budget, and on the other by "devaluing" state debts in relation to nominal GDP.

The surplus of the consolidated general government reached almost 2 billion kuna last year, while a deficit of almost 11 billion kuna or 2.5 percent of GDP was recorded the year before that. The last time the state had a fiscal surplus was otherwise back during the pre-pandemic, record tourism year of 2019.

Bearing in mind the relatively generous fiscal incentives that last year were primarily motivated by the Russian aggression against Ukraine and its consequences on supply chains and price pressures, in such conditions (taking into account the beneficial effect of inflation on tax revenues such as those from VAT) the realised surplus could could indicate that Croatia's fiscal policy was actually relatively restrictive.

The Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) pointed out that the favourable balance of the state budget itself, which stood at as high as 11.6 billion kuna, had a big impact on the amount of last year's surplus. Taxes on production and imports were collected, they say, in the amount of 94.44 billion kuna (according to the time adjustment method) which represents a 13.6 percent increase compared to the year before, current taxes on income and wealth were collected in the amount of 37.4 percent more, and net social contributions poured in 12.8 percent more than they did back in 2021.

On the expenditure side, fiscal incentives were manifested through increased expenditures for subsidies. Last year, interest expenses reached a staggering 7 billion kuna, or about 250 million (3.5%) more than the year before. However, in the context of the achieved surplus, it should be noted that last year, there was a noticeable decrease in general government expenditures for investments, by 6.8 percent, to slightly more than 19.1 billion kuna, and some analysts believe that this speaks volumes about the weak investment activities of the City of Zagreb.

From the aspect of state finances and debt, it is certainly important that two tranches of EU grants for the National Recovery and Resilience Plan "settled" things a little bit more last year.

Croatian inflation might be what is making all of our wallets feel a little slimmer, but issues like this are very much in evidence across the EU, and when compared to the peak in 2020, marked by a sharp economic decline, in just two years, Croatia's debt ratio dropped by as much as 18.6 percentage points of GDP.

Among the EU member states, Greece (-23.3 points), Cyprus (-14.7), Portugal (-11.5) and Ireland (-10.7) also reduced their respective debt levels by more than 10 percentage points last year. However, while in the case of Ireland it fell below 45 percent of GDP, in Greece and Portugal, even with such reductions, their debt remains higher than their GDP (Greece is at 171 percent, and Portugal is 114 percent).

In relation to the countries of Central and Eastern Europe with which Croatia and the situation of ongoing Croatian inflation are usually compared, the level of the national debt of Croatia is still generally higher. For example, Slovakia's stands at 57.8 percent, Poland, Romania and the Czech Republic are all below 50, and Bulgaria at only 23 percent. In neighbouring Slovenia and Hungary, which still had lower level of debts, it is now slightly higher (standing at 70 and 73 percent respectively).

The lowest ratio of national debt to GDP was recorded in Estonia (18.4%), and it is below 40 percent of GDP in five other countries, including two from the "upper house" according to the level of development (these are Denmark and Sweden). Thirteen other EU member states exceed the "Maastricht" limit of 60% of GDP, and in six nations, the debt exceeds GDP, among which are some of the largest EU economies, such as Italy, France and Spain.

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

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