Thursday, 17 November 2022

Diary of a Croatian Lawsuit: Irish Newspapers & Belgian Radio

November 17, 2022 - It is more than 9 months since I have graced the inside of a Croatian courtroom, but Boy, was it worth the wait. The latest instalment of the Kingdom of Accidental Tourism v The Fat Blogger in Diary of a Croatian lawsuit, episode 7: Irish Newspapers & Belgian Radio.

In some ways, I am going to be very sad when my lawsuits from the Croatian National Tourist Board are finally resolved in 2063 or beyond. They add SUCH a surreal touch to an already insane way of life in Absurdistan, the lifestyle capital of Europe, with a sprinkling of Balkan insanity on top. Aka Croatia.

Today, I found myself taking the witness stand to defend myself in a lawsuit due to an article that I didn't write on a portal that I don't own which quoted me. Neither the jounalist nor the portal was sued, no request for a retraction was made, and the article is still live today as published, some 2.5 years later. You can read the article here.

To give you an idea of how I spent my morning, here are three of the questions the prosecution put to me during my cross-examination of almost an hour on the witness stand:

"How many Irish print newspapers did you read in 2020?"

"Do you speak French?"

"How close are you to Minister of the Interior Bozinovic?"

And a hundred other random questions, all carefully recorded for posterity. Perhaps now you can understand why I almost don't want these lawsuits to end. 

Another reason that I am in no rush to end them is the excellent time I have with my legendica extraordinaire lawyer, Vanja Juric, who really is a national treasure. After today's 2-hour plus hearing, she confided in me that my case is her favourite case in her portfolio. That really made my day. 

As much as Vanja is fun to hang out with (and she really is), she is the model professional and knows how to prepare her clients for the court. She suggested a meeting the day before the hearing.  

"Do you remember exactly on which points of the article you are being sued, Paul?" asked Vanja. 

It was so long ago, but I had it in the plan to check all before court, but I thought it wiser to let her explain. 


The first point was that I was openly critical of the tourist board for only targeting 7 countries in their first campaign during corona, with a press release on June 2, 2020, which you can see above and on this link. If we were trying to attract tourists by car rather than by plane, surely it would make sense to include Switzerland, Serbia and BiH, I argued. 

Looking at the press release 2.5 years later, I became even more confused. What was wrong with what I said, that it could cost me 50,000 kuna plus costs and all the distress (ok, I am making the distress up - ever since Vanja took the case, I knew I would be fine). 

My second alleged crime was to criticise the tourist board for failing to monitor international media, some of which was putting out incorrect information. When the Irish Times published a story saying that Irish tourists would not be allowed to go to Croatia, I published a story highlighting this as an example of the kind of headline that the tourist board should be on top of. I then went a little further, emailing the editor of The Irish Times with the correct information. 

The headline was changed within the hour. 

A reader then sent me a link to a similar story in Belgium. I suggested he contact the portal and get it changed. He did and it was. 

Two volunteers trying to help, while we have an organisation of 70 full-time employees who are paid to promote Croatian tourism, and nobody noticed. When asked about this in a previous hearing, a tourist board representative informed the court that they pay for a press clipping service, and the problem had been resolved by the time they got their clipping. 

Did I feel I was right to criticise the tourist board for not doing their job? Yes. The last time I checked, Croatia was still a democracy, and the right to free speech and voicing an opinion did not normally come with the threat of a 50,000 kuna penalty. 

I left Vanja's office feeling much better about taking the witness stand, but a lot more confused and a little angry at why I was actually being sued at all, if these were the two points. 

And so the day arrived... 

After the prosecution had called two witnesses in the last hearing, now it was our turn. Vanja called the former Communications Director of the Office of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia, Kresimir Macan, and luxury tourism consultant, Zoran Pejovic, who was also quoted in the article - but not sued. Indeed, as we learned previously, I was the only media person that the Croatian National Tourist Board sued in the whole of 2020 - and they sued me twice.

One of the things you learn when you are being sued in Croatia is to expect the unexpected. Will the hearing even take place, or will it be postponed at the last minute? So far, I am into my third calendar year with these lawsuits, and hearings have been postponed no less than four times, often due to the prosecution lawyer double booking his time and then not noticing until shortly before the hearing. Despite having a law practice with no less than 50 lawyers, it seems that my case is so complicated that it can only be handled by one dedicated senior partner. 

And so we gathered outside room 219 of the Zagreb Municipal Court for our 09:00 hearing. Zoran, bless him, had woken up very early to get the first flight from Split and then flew back straight after the hearing. It was his first time in the witness box. 

09:00 and no sign of their lawyer. Had it been postponed again?

We entered the court only for the judge to say their lawyer had called to say that he was running late, but that the show would go on. And on it went. 

First up, Kreso Macan, who gave a very good account of events as they were. As co-founder of the Total Croatia Travel INFO Viber community, as well as having excellent relations with the police and other institutions due to his job and life in the political scene, he probably had the best overall picture of anyone in the country of the situation at the time.

Next up Zoran, for his first taste of Croatian justice close up. Zoran confirmed that he was happy with the way that he had been represented in the article, as well as endorsing my work and then spent a rather surreal few minutes answering questions on how tourists came to Croatia from Ireland before the pandemic - by car, plane or train. 

The questions were incessant, and I started to wonder if their lawyer was being paid by the number of questions asked. 

Zoran was free to go, and it was my turn.

As the defendant in a case in Croatia, you are allowed to make a statement, and then you are subjected to questions from the prosecution and then from the defence. Even though it was not directly relevant to the charges of the case, I wanted the judge to understand the timeline, as well as to document it for this Diary of a Croatian Lawsuit. Looking back at the timeline more than two years later, it just seems crazier than at the time. 

Here we go. 

January 25, 2020 - First corona article on TCN.

February 2020 - the start of the TCN Daily Travel Update, documenting borders, air, road, train, ferry, and permit information. It was not long before CNN was linking to this page as the only real source of information in English. 

February 25 - first corona case in Croatia.


March 9 - first corona map of Croatia, by TCN.

Almost TWO months later, May 6, the Croatian Ministry of Tourism had absolutely NO mention of coronavirus on its website. 


And the corona travel advice from the Croatian National Tourist Board was epic. If you couldn't find what you were looking for in the gobbledygook below, the advice was to email the ministry, not the tourist board. The same ministry where corona did not exist.


What a difference a few days make, as the Croatian media reported after I wrote an article on the subject. 


Not to be outdone, the Croatian National Tourist Board upgraded their information to something vaguely useful, as you can see below.


May 13 - Croatia partially reopens, but there is confusion as to who can actually come in, and under which conditions. 

May 17 - I suggested to Macan that we go to the Slovenian border to see the situation on the ground. We were shocked to see people being turned back at the border, Slovenian tourists desperate to get to the sea but unaware that they needed a paid reservation. Official information was zero. And so Macan suggested we start the Total Croatia Travel INFO Viber community. It was a project that took up half of my summer, earned me zero kuna, won 7 international awards (mostly for crisis management), and taught me more than any project in my life. 

May 19 - The Total Croatia Travel INFO Viber Community is launched. 

June 2 - The Croatian National Tourist Board launches its campaign in 7 markets. 

June 12 - An article criticising official tourism promotion efforts appears in, quoting me.

The blue letters from the Zagreb Municipal Court start to arrive, and the rest is history. 

After I finished, the questions began. So many questions. My favourite was

How many Irish print newspaper articles did you read in 2020?

How much news did you watch on Irish TV? Or on Irish radio?

Knowing that I was to be cross-examined on my relationship with Belgian radio, I put it on record for the court that the only media I follow was online media, in an effort to reduce the number of questions. 

My assertion that I had an excellent relationship with MUP, with whom we cooperated superbly (MUP was THE only effective tourist info provider at one point, and it was their staff, not the 319 tourist boards that were answering the barrage of tourist questions, with help from TCN and our Viber Community) led to questions of the closeness of my relationship with the Minister, who I have met twice in my life. 

My French language proficiency was apparently relevant to see if I had understood the corrected article mentioned above from Belgium. There were lots of questions about my knowledge of the numbers of tourists from certain markets, which borders were open in Croatia in certain months, and many more questions I can no longer recall, but eventually, some two hours after the hearing started, the questions finally stopped. 

The judge announced that the case will go into its fourth calendar year, but that there will be a verdict, which will be given on January 13, 2023. 

Win or lose, I will see a little less of Vanja, which will make me a little sad, but the highlight of the day remains that I am her favourite case. 

Stay tuned for the next episode of Diary of a Croatian Lawsuit. With three active lawsuits against me, there is still plenty to write about. Check out the dedicated section to this madness for the latest.  


Thursday, 17 November 2022

Croatian Returnee Stories: Tonci Petric, from Stuttgart to Zagreb

November 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 Tonci Petric, who moved from Stuttgart to Zagreb.

Hi! My name is Tonči Petrić. I am a returnee from Germany. I was born in Stuttgart, the capital of the automotive industry in Germany and the headquarters of Mercedes-Benz and Porsche. Originally, I am from the island of Hvar, where my roots and my family came from. I have now been living in my new home in Zagreb fo 6 years. I am working as a journalist, blogger and news anchor for the national broadcasting company HRT, presenting international news in the German language. In my free time, I produce the podcast Green Deal Hrvatska.

My motto is: “Fill your life with adventure, not things. Have stories to tell, not stuff to show.”


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.

It took me quite a long time to take the plunge and move to Croatia, although I've always wanted to live in Croatia. This decision-making process took place in stages (see below). I was already considering moving to Croatia after high school, but then I said to myself that I would like to complete my university education in Germany. After my bachelor's degree, I did internships in Germany and Croatia. After that, I decided to finish my studies in Germany.

At the same time, I also wanted to see the world after my studies. So, I went to New Zealand and Australia for half a year, and I travelled to other countries in the region. After HRT offered me an interesting job vacancy, I said to myself; I'll try Croatia now. There is never a perfect time for such kind of decision, but you have to act according to your own gut feeling.


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

I think they supported me. Nobody was against my decision. They had known that I somehow always wanted to go back to Croatia. So, I think they were not so surprised by my decision. I think a lot of my friends or people who know me could understand my decision and see me somewhere else, but not in Stuttgart or Germany.


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

I took part in n European pilot project called „ENAIP „between Croatia and Germany, where I was used to learning „Business-Croatian“, and I did a one-month internship in Zagreb. This gave me my first real experiences and ideas of life in Croatia. A few years later, I got a one-year scholarship from the Croatian government for the "CROATICUM" program, and I could improve my Croatian language skills at the Faculty of Philosophy in Zagreb but also catch more contacts and experience in Croatia. After this one year, I did a second internship in Zagreb. I worked for several months for the Croatian-German chamber of commerce and gain more professional experience in Croatia.


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

Would I find a proper job in my job field? Would I be happy with the salary, and could I survive financially? What are the possibilities later if I would like to change my career maybe? The more you are proactive, entrepreneurial, flexible or creative the more you will be successful and happy in Croatia.


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?

Time before I arrived: Nice lifestyle in Croatia, being home, sunny and warm. Nice people, in many things not well-developed and corrupt but also high potential. Uncertainty in the matter of finding a proper and good job and having a regular good income

The reality today: more flexible and possibilities for myself than I thought - I can live in Zagreb as well as in Hvar. It's possible to find a good job in Croatia - you have only to be more proactive and entrepreneurial. I have got more of a sense of freedom and satisfaction as well as that I think that I really do what I love. Higher life quality than I thought.


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 appreciate the feeling of being really at home in my country, surrounded by a similar mentality and people like yourself.

I love to go for Coffee whenever and wherever I want with friends to hang around and communicate with people or go alone and read newspapers (nobody will look at you like a stranger for that!)

What I also appreciate is the fact that everything is close and reachable for me in Croatia: The sea, the mountains, and the interior are not so far from Zagreb or other European capitals, and I can do my work as a journalist but also can go for a couple of days to Hvar to pick some olives for example.

From a German perspective, everything is far away. In Germany, I always had the feeling that I was like a bird in a gold cage. I didn't miss anything, but everything was over-restricted and less possible. In Croatia, meanwhile, I am feeling like a bird flying in freedom.

The point I really don't like is the passiveness of the people in Croatia. Things in Croatia can be better if we struggle for it or try to change it or show our dissatisfaction as citizens than just sitting in coffee bars and complaining and doing nothing. 

Another negative thing is the bureaucracy in Croatia, or I would better say the unmotivated and incompetent people who are working in administrative departments or agencies. You have to deal with them, knowing that it will be frustrating, and in the end, you have to do their job.


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

Be open and flexible. Be aware that you maybe will not work in your specific field and that you were used to working in your host country. But in my opinion, Croatia offers a lot of potentials where everybody could find a niche for himself. If you know German, this is a big plus in Croatia. It is useful in each segment of the job market in Croatia.

Try to inform yourself before you go to live in Croatia. At best, try to get your information on the ground, try to contact people in Croatia and go for a coffee with them, Be socially able and spread out your network and connection. Go for a coffee, go for a coffee, go for a coffee...

In my view, everybody with a good school education and knowledge of the German language can find a proper job in Zagreb. You have to be more proactive and have initiative and rely less on the state and society.

With new internet technologies, you have far more possibilities to work on something and earn a salary. You can live nowadays as a digital nomad. Find an employer other than the internet in Germany, but live your life in Croatia.

And the end, no risk – no fun. Just try it. If it’s not worked out for you, you can later say I tried at least, and you will not regret it.



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

Provide better and adequate information about Croatia and the job opportunities for somebody who is willing to return to the homeland. Reduce uncertainty. Try to make this move for them easier and more comfortable. More practical information, for example: How to deal with health insurance in Croatia?

The CROATiCUM institute should not only be a language centre, but it should also be an information point with practical advice and help for returnees as well. As it could be a cultural centre in the world for promoting Croatian culture in general, similar to Goethe Institute in Germany.

Maybe get a special adviser from the city of Zagreb or from some Croatian ministry to give assistance to returnees.


Thanks, Tonci, and good luck with


You can follow the TCN Croatian Returnees series here.


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 is now available on Amazon in paperback and on Kindle.


Thursday, 17 November 2022

KBC Split First in Croatia to Successfully Perform New Hemodialysis Method

November 17, 2022 - KBC Split was the first clinic in Croatia where hemodialysis by puncturing an endovascularly formed arteriovenous fistula (endo AVF) was successfully performed, all under the supervision of mentor Karen Tullett from Great Britain.

As Index writes, in a 34-year-old patient, on September 22, a percutaneous natural connection of the artery and vein of the forearm was successfully formed for the needs of hemodialysis procedures, with the use of the 4F WavelinQ system, which proved to be safe and effective. The success of the formation of the hemodialysis access with the new method is due to the excellent cooperation of the Department of Nephrology and Dialysis of the Clinic for Internal Diseases and the Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology headed by Dr Dijana Borić Škaro and Prof. Dr Krešimir Dolić, members of the team for vascular access in charge of endoAVF interventional radiology assistant Dr Ivana Štula, nephrologist Dr Alena Srdelić and Dr Ivo Jeličić, with the assistance of an instrument technician and a radiological technologist.

Careful selection of candidates

Candidates for this method are carefully selected after excluding potential contraindications, with personal consent after detailed information about the procedure and after ultrasound "mapping" of the blood vessels, which confirms the anatomical suitability of the vasculature for the specified procedure.

Hemodialysis is a treatment method for patients in the final stage of kidney failure. Hemodialysis requires successfully designed and functionally adequate vascular access. Due to the low risk of infection and thrombosis, arteriovenous fistula is the first method of choice (compared to arteriovenous graft and central venous catheter) in most patients. Fifty years ago, an arteriovenous fistula (a connection between an artery and a vein) was formed surgically.

In recent years, with the development of percutaneous endovascular techniques, fistulas are also created by a non-surgical method, minimally invasive, without a visible postoperative scar, which has a high rate of technical success and functionality and a low risk of complications.

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

Thursday, 17 November 2022

Split Advent Starting on 23 November, Featuring 1st New Year's Ball

November 17, 2022 - The Split Advent will begin on the 23rd of November 23 on the frozen Prokurative. As for the New Year 2023, the residents of Split and their guests will welcome it with Vojko V and Severina.

As Index writes, according to the director of the city company Žnjan d.o.o., Ante Šunjić, together with the City of Split and its Tourist Board is organising this year's advent, entertainment and catering facilities will be set up in three places - in Prokurative, Mertojak, and Šperun. In a private organisation, an exciting programme is also expected in Stari Plac and Perivoj.

"In the city organisation, we will have approximately 750 square meters; at Prokurative we will enjoy a little more than 500 square meters of the ice surface. Similarly, at Mertojak, we will have about 250 square meters; at Prokurative, we will have nine catering houses and, of course, an entertainment programme from the 23rd of November," said Šunjić, adding that the Split New Year's concert will cost around HRK 600,000. Another half a million will be added for the ice rink.

At Mertojak, the Split Advent programme will start on the 26th of November, focusing on the youngest in the morning, while in the evening, a programme for adults will be organised.

First-ever New Year's Ball

For the first time, a New Year's ball and a performance by opera singers will be organised, said Alijana Vukšić from the Split Tourist Board, emphasising that the entire programme is aimed at fellow citizens to repay them for all their efforts during the tourist season.

"Eight shops and three sweet shops will be on the Riva. They will not serve drinks but desserts such as fritule, uštipci and pancakes. We do not have ice rinks in Đardino, but we will set up figurines for the children with ambient music and lighting. Important points for us are "Trg Gaje Bulata, as well as HNK Split and Hrvatski dom Split, where we prepared an entertainment programme in cooperation with our cultural institutions," said Vukšić.

The deputy mayor of Split, Bojan Ivošević, said that through the revival of the city in Advent, there would be increased consumption, and everyone will benefit - from citizens to entrepreneurs and the city itself.

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

Thursday, 17 November 2022

Nevera Reaches 412km/h, Becomes Fastest Serial Electric Car in World

November the 17th, 2022 - The stunning Nevera made by Mate Rimac's company has become the fastest serial electric car on the planet, reaching an incredible 412 km/h.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Rimac's amazing Nevera has successfully reached a top speed of 412 km/h, making it the fastest serial electric car in the entire world. The record-breaking feat continues after Nevera's independently verified quarter-mile acceleration record of 8.582 seconds was set back in 2021, making it the fastest-accelerating production car in the world.

On this occasion, the Rimac team specifically looked for an oval-shaped track with straights long enough for the Nevera to reach its absolute top speed, and in the end they decided to verify the speed at the Automotive Testing Papenburg track in Germany. The track makes it possible to reach a speed of more than 400 km/h but this isn't a common sight because it is very rare that a car can even reach such a high speed.

The Nevera was placed in its so-called Top Speed ​​mode, creating an aerodynamic profile that balances both drag and downforce to ensure stability at high speeds. Fitted with road-legal Michelin Cup 2R tyres, and under the supervision of a Michelin technician who checked their condition, the Nevera was ready to set a real speed record.

At the wheel was Miroslav Zrncevic, the main test and development driver. His challenge was to achieve a perfect flat entry from the curved sections of the track to ensure the best possible opportunity to reach top speed. Coming out of the oval part of the track from the incline, traveling at around 250 km/h, Miroslav unleashed the full power of the Nevera to reach a speed of 412 km/h – exactly as simulated at the start of the Nevera project.

The posted speed therefore makes the Nevera the fastest production electric car on Earth, and it is the fastest speed ever recorded on Germany's Automotive Testing Papenburg circuit. The speed ​​was measured using the Racelogic V-Box, a high-precision GPS-based measuring device. A top speed of 412 km/h was the goal set by the Rimac team. It has now been reached.

Miroslav Zrncevic, chief driver for testing and development at Bugatti Rimac commented: "Travelling at a speed of 412 km/h means travelling at a third of the speed of sound. Achieving that speed in a road car is an incredibly complex process, but with the Nevera we managed to create a car that can cover long distances on a single charge, can tackle tight and twisty race tracks and can drift, as well as break acceleration records, reaching speeds of over 400 km/h. I've driven the Nevera since the beginning and to see the finished car as it is today is a really emotional moment. The most important thing I learned when driving at top speed was just how well-composed and stable the car was – which confirms that our aerodynamics and vehicle dynamics teams have done an incredible job.”

The Nevera is otherwise delivered to customers with a limited top speed of 350 km/h, but can reach a top speed of 412 km/h at special customer events with the support of the Rimac team and under tightly controlled conditions. Since the tires are under huge stress during such speeds, most precautions are aimed at keeping the tires properly fitted for it. The production of the Nevera is currently underway at Rimac's headquarters in Jankomir in Zagreb, and the first cars are already with their new owners around the world.

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

Thursday, 17 November 2022

Wine Tourism in Slavonia and Baranja: Interest Surpassing Capacities

November 17, 2022 - Although wine tourism in Croatia has excellent potential among domestic tourists, and it is a niche that generates great added value and links the development of other segments of the economy, this potential is poorly utilised.

As Poslovni writes, there are no wine hotels, museums, entertainment facilities, or wine roads. However, the interest of potential guests is high, according to an extensive survey conducted by the Improve agency with the consulting firm BlueRock (BRC) this September.

An excellent example of Austria

The research will also be used for the new Strategy for developing wine tourism in Slavonia and Baranja, which BlueRock is working on for the association Graševina Croatica, the largest association of winemakers in Slavonia and Baranja, confirmed Emanuel Tutek, a partner in BRC. "Wine tourism is one of the leading tourist products in Croatia, and at the same time, no Slavonian county has got any strategic document for the development of this product, although the wine business is one of the aggregates for the development of value-added tourism. At the same time, wine tourism is an important lever for the development of winemaking itself and agriculture, as shown by the example of Austria, which successfully connected these two segments, but not without large investments. Wine tourism and winemaking then promote the export component,"  said Tutek for Poslovni Dnevnik.

Until now, there was no qualitative data on the potential market, i.e., guests who are users or are interested in wine tourism. Of the total number of foreign guest arrivals in Croatia, it is not known precisely how many are wine tourists, that is, those whose primary motive for coming is wine and wine experiences.

There are only estimates for Istria, the leading tourist region with 21.7 million overnight stays in 2021, of which foreign guests make up 85 percent. Istria also has the most developed wine tourism.

It is estimated that wineries in Istria have around 290,000 visitors per year, among whom 30-35% are local, which means that the share of local visitors in Istrian wine tourism is twice that of their share in total arrivals.

BlueRock commissioned research that pointed to additional potential from the domestic guest segment. The study was conducted using an online survey, and respondents were recruited from the ImproveOnline panel.

The research showed 71 percent of respondents were not wine tourists in the last two years. On the other hand, 74 percent of respondents have an interest in wine tourism.

"Therefore, there is a significant market potential that has not yet been used; that is, there is a lack of supply. It is basic, and its development can address potent consumer segments. Visiting wineries is the most common form of wine tourism in Croatia, as are tours of the wine roads. Wine tourism activities, especially with greater added value, such as wine education and workshops, are popular among younger ages (25-34 years) and those with above-average incomes. At the same time, wine events and attractions are better attended in continental Croatia," the analysis states.

The survey also showed that 56% of wine tourists visited the regions of continental Croatia, which is influenced by the proximity of Zagreb. Tutek sees even greater significance in the hilly wine regions north of Zagreb and Slavonia, their current focus.

For the development of wine tourism, the tourist value chain is also necessary, which means that accessibility should be increased, and all necessary infrastructure should be provided, from accommodation, restaurants, museums, and interpretation centers to the development of destination management companies. Tutek notes that this is not the winemaker's job, although it most often boils down to that, as shown by the example of Plešivica near Zagreb.

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

Thursday, 17 November 2022

Infobip Enters World of Fashion With Techno Hoodies

November the 17th, 2022 - Just when you thought the remarkable Croatian technology company Infobip had done everything, it turns its hand to fashion. Techno hoodies, to be more precise.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Josipa Ban writes, many would assume that a successful combination of fashion and high technology is impossible, the two couldn't be more different, right? Wrong. Apparently. The Vodnjan-based Infobip has definitely made sure that technology has no limits, and also now that it can be combined with fashion. It recently presented its very own technologically advanced hoodies.

According to Infobip, these impressive techno hoodies were made in collaboration with IUTD Studios and a young Canadian designer with Croatian roots, Joshua Cirjak.

This leap into the world of street fashion for the most famous domestic cloud communication platform will certainly delight all lovers of hoodies, but at the same time disappoint them because the series is limited to only 300 pieces.

They decided on this move, they say from Infobip, because they want to strengthen their image among developers and in the wider technological community which is, rather surprisingly to many, somewhat dominated by hoodies of all things.

"Developers absolutely love hoodies, and almost every tech company has promotional items which belong to it. However, at Infobip we decided to make a limited edition fashion piece. In addition, we have added some advanced technology to the hoodies," said Ivan Burazin, a member of the Infobip Management Board for developer experience.

"Each hoodie also contains a special NFC chip that, when scanning it, gives the owner the possibility to own it in both of the parallel worlds in which we live - the physical one and the digital one," explained Joshua Cirjak, the creative director of IUTD Studios.

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

Wednesday, 16 November 2022

How to Croatia: Practicing and Mastering the Art of Produzeni Vikend

November 16, 2022 – Croatian people work very hard. When they do. But when they take time off, they like to make it count. And they’ll work even harder for that. Introducing the national sport, the art of produzeni vikend.

With today’s busy lifestyle, any extra time off is beneficial for the nation’s well-being. In some European countries, the systems have adapted to provide people with such, like bank holidays in the UK. Without long weekends scheduled, the working people of Croatia had to become creative in their planning. And they did not lack proper leadership. If you’ve ever had to deal with bureaucracy in Croatia, a phenomenon in its own right, you might have noticed that your local institutions had different or non-existent office hours on the days adjacent to public holidays.

Introducing the national sport, the art of produzeni vikend. This beautiful tradition has become a part of the Croatian lifestyle. A way to deal with the stress of always trying to catch up. Naturally, people with children plan their holidays around school, and most other people also try to use their summers to enjoy some beach time. Once most people are steadily back to work, with Christmas and New Year lurking behind the corner, it is time to plan for the following year. Might as well do it right.

To do it right the Croatian way, you will need the calendar of mandatory public holidays, and the school calendar could come in handy if you have children. If the holidays fall on Fridays, that’s your job done for you; sneak out of work early on Thursday and enjoy your long weekend. The next step is locating the holidays that fall on Tuesdays or Thursdays. Book your Mondays or Fridays off, and you will successfully produce your own produzeni vikend (eng. long weekend).

While this is excellent material for plenty of jokes, this tool, if you like, is a precious one. So much so that even Croatian news portals have started publishing summaries of calendars to indicate which dates would work best each year. Poslovni published the list of public holidays in 2023:

January 1, New Year's Day - Sunday

January 6, Epiphany - Friday

May 1, Labor Day - Monday

May 30, National Day – Tuesday

June 8, Corpus Christi – Thursday

June 22, Day of Anti-Fascist Struggle - Thursday

August 5, Victory and Homeland Thanksgiving Day and Croatian Veterans Day - Saturday

August 15, Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Tuesday

November 1, All Saints' Day - Wednesday

November 18, the Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Homeland War and the Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Vukovar and Škabrnja - Saturday

December 25, Christmas Day - Monday

December 26, Saint Stephen – Tuesday

Now, the moment you didn’t know you’d been waiting for. For the ultimate convenience, let us introduce and fully endorse Laknerad, where you can find it all in one place. The website name is a wordplay: kalendar = calendar; lak nerad = easy slacking off. Our favourite feature is the Holiday Efficiency Class rating, which is B for the year 2023.

And to round it all off, we share this Twitter gem with our full support.


In English: Can we have a national holiday commemorating the opening of the Pelješac bridge? We can call it Spojevo, and it should always fall on a Thursday so that we can ✨merge✨ it with the weekend. 

arn*Spojiti = to connect, merge; Spojevo is a wordplay on many Croatian holidays ending in -evo/-ovo.

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

Wednesday, 16 November 2022

Israeli Brown Hotels Group Takes Over Jadran Hotels, Rebranding to Follow

November the 16th, 2022 - The Israeli Brown Hotels group has taken over the Rijeka-based Jadran Hotels, becoming the new majority owner of the company which boasts numerous hotels and other facilities. Ambitious plans are now in the works.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Israeli investor Brown Hotels Group is officially the new majority owner of Jadran Hotels from Rijeka, which includes seven hotels, two restaurants and a campsite in the wider Kvarner area, including Rijeka, Kostrena and Kraljevica.

The investors intend to carry out a comprehensive rebranding process at all seven locations where facilities owned by Jadran Hotels are currently located. This is otherwise their second investment in the Republic of Croatia, they are the owners of Trogir's Brown Beach House Hotel, and they bought Jadran Hotels from Ivan Franolic and Zoran Lustica.

"The potential of Rijeka as a city are absolutely enormous, we are convinced that it can become an important tourist centre in both the Croatian and global contexts and a destination that will attract tourists from all over the world. This is strongly supported by the significant investments made by foreign investors in the wider Rijeka area," stressed Leon Avigad, the founder and co-owner of the Israeli Brown Hotels Group, which also operates in Germany, Cyprus, Greece and of course outside of Europe in Israel.

In the coming period, the Israeli Brown Group will implement its model of lifestyle, cultural and nightlife attractions, along with bringing in internationally famous restaurant chefs, attractive rooftop bars, clubs, swimming pools, spa zones and other similar recreational activities.

The first focus of the new owners will be on three hotels: Continental, which will be renamed Brown Continental Rijeka, Jadran, which will become Brown Beach Jadran Rijeka, and Neboder, which will become Brown Lighthouse Rijeka.

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

Wednesday, 16 November 2022

Croatian Project in Competition for Title of Best European Project

November the 16th, 2022 - One Croatian project is in the running for the title of best European project as we approach the marking of the anniversary of the Regiostars award.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the European Commission (EC), the executive body of the European Union (EU), will mark the fifteenth anniversary of the establishment of its popular Regiostars award on Thursday in the Portuguese city of Evora. The Regiostars award works to promote projects co-financed by EU funds.

At the ceremony, the European commissioner, Portuguese Elisa Ferreira, will present a special award to one of the projects that has already been awarded since the establishment of "Regiostars" back in 2008. Among the fifteen candidates, who could be publicly voted for until Tuesday on the Regiostars website, is the Croatian project, e-school.

With it, 151 primary and secondary schools across the country received IT equipment and digital teaching aids, which accounted for 10 percent of all schools across the Republic of Croatia. The initiator of this pilot project is CARNET, a public institution that operates in the field of information and communication technology in this country.

Back in pandemic-dominated 2020, this Croatian project received the "Regiostars" award in the Belgian capital of Brussels, based on votes collected over the internet. Previously, CARNET had applied for that tender. With its cohesion policy, the European Commission tries to reduce inequalities between different parts of the EU, so through funds filled with taxpayers' money from 27 member states, it co-finances projects in the maximum amount of 85 percent. The rest is provided by the member states in which the projects themselves take place.

In the elementary school in Velika Ludina, which is around 30 kilometres from Sisak, students solve math problems on tablets and the smart board in the classroom gives the correct answers by itself.

"Just a decade ago, things looked completely different. If the professor wanted to visualise something, he had to be good with chalk and a blackboard, and the students learned exclusively from books," said Croatian journalist Boris Abramovic, the author of a five-minute film about the Croatian project that will be presented in Evora.

"In just seven years, the classic classroom has turned into something that the previous generation only saw in science fiction movies," adds Abramovic about that school in the north of Croatia. Damir Belavic, the professor of mathematics in the school in question in Velika Ludina, says that he himself has an "online notebook".

"Students have online notebooks, so even those who aren't at school can follow what is being done. On top of that, everything remains stored in these notebooks, so it's easy for me to distribute materials to students. I direct them to various links and we do various online exercises,'' he explained.

Classic paper notebooks, however, are still used. Juraj Bilic, the deputy director of CARNET, says that this Croatian project proved to be successful, but that it is not finished yet and more plans are in the works.

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

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