Monday, 1 May 2023

Seafood Expo Global: Croatian Companies Present Products in Barcelona

May the 1st, 2023 - Croatian companies were present exhibiting their fish products at the recently held Seafood Expo Global in Barcelona. The Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK) which organised the visit, has stated that it is doing all it can to aid Croatian companies in internationalisation.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, just like over the past several years, the Croatian Chamber of Commerce organised the joint presentation of Croatian companies from the fishing sector at the Seafood Expo Global international fair, which was held from April the 25th to the 27th in Barcelona. At the fair, 2,078 exhibitors from 87 countries exhibited on approximately 50,000 m2 of exhibition space.

The following Croatian companies presented their various fishery products at this important fair: Arbacommerce, Conex Trade, Cromaris, Jadran tuna, Mislov, Orada Adriatic, Pelagos Net Farma, PP Orahovica, Sardina and ZMH Horvat. The most important products they presented were white fish, tuna, salted small blue fish, frozen small blue fish, canned food, freshwater fish and various fish-based processed products.

"The fundamental determinants of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce are the strengthening of exports and assistance to Croatian companies in the internationalisation of their business operations. Therefore, I'm particularly pleased that with the help of HGK, ten of our members, who derive a significant part of their income from export sales - 55 to 85 percent to be more precise - exhibited their fishery products at this most important international fair. In the new programme period until 2027, HGK will continue to support the export efforts of our members, and promote the sustainability of Croatian fisheries and the consumption of fish and products from Croatian cultivation and catch through the implementation of the Fish of Croatia Eat what it's worth EU project,'' said HGK president Luka Burilovic.

For PP Orahovica, the largest domestic producer of freshwater fish, this fair was an opportunity to present its products of the Panona Mare brand to business visitors and potential customers.

"We attracted the attention of visitors as the only brand with a ready-to-eat breaded freshwater fish programme. These are products that are adapted to the needs of the modern consumer, simpler to prepare and tastier to consume, and with which we're already present on the domestic market and are preparing for placement on the European and world markets. As one of the most important events in the fishing sector, this fair is an excellent platform for business meetings with target customers in the B2B segment, but also an opportunity to further build the image of our Panona Mare brand,'' said Katica Petkov, the marketing manager of PP Orahovica.

The Mislov company has otherwise been participating in this fair for a number of years now. "We believe that it's the best platform for presenting our products to new customers, but also an opportunity to meet our long-term partners. This fair is important to us because we can learn about the latest trends and innovations in the world of fishing and the opportunity to try to follow them," said Marina Spralja from Mislov.

The very well known Cromaris, as the leading producer of Mediterranean white fish here in Croatia, presented its wide range of products to those present at the Barcelona fair. This year, a special focus was placed on organic fish, so innovations in production were presented. Visitors to the fair were able to taste various delicacies made from Cromaris fish prepared by chef Mladen Krizanovic, and the sushi was especially attractive to those present.

The export of fishery products in 2022 compared to 2021 recorded a growth of 14 percent and amounts to 312.5 million euros, which represents an increase of 38.5 million euros. The surplus last year amounted to 64.7 million euros, and the coverage of imports by exports was 126 percent. In the structure of exports in 2022 by product group, fresh or chilled fish are the most represented, accounting for 51.6 percent of the total export value, fish products and preserves (16.5%) and dried, salted or brined fish and smoked fish (11.1%).

Products from Croatian companies operating within the fisheries sector worth 211.4 million (67.6%) were placed on the market of EU countries last year. Looking at exports individually by country, in 2022, the first export market was Italy with 104 million eutos (33.3%), followed by Japan with 39.7 million euros (12.7%) and Spain with 36.7 million euros (11.7%).

Since way back in 2004, HGK has been sending Croatian companies to the world's largest fish fair, Seafood Expo Global. For a number of years now, the performance of Croatian companies has been financed through the aforementioned EU project which is aimed at promoting fishery products and increasing exports of the Croatian fishing sector.

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

Monday, 1 May 2023

Hvar Boat Renters Want Certain Permits Abolished for Tourists

May the 1st, 2023 - Hvar boat renters want certain permits that tourists must get in order to operate small vessels abolished, and want the Ministry of Maritime Affairs to introduce a different approach.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Hvar boat renters are quite adamant in their demand for the aforementioned ministry to abolish the necessity of obtaining permits for tourists to operate boats up to five metres in length and with an engine power up to five kilowatts. They claim that in the European Union, with the exception of the Republic of Croatia, the only other country which seeks permits for the smallest vessels is Portugal. They propose that the Ministry allow Hvar boat renters to provide the training and issue the one-day permits themselves, as reported by HRT.

Zeljko Kustera of the Split Port Authority told HRT Dnevnik that the initiative had already started and that it was going to a public hearing.

"We deal more with security, and we deal with the economy. It's legitimate for people to ask for their work to be simplified and for them. We recognise 53 licenses from various countries, from Australia, Canada, America, Brazil... so these licenses can be used," he added.

Safety in navigation

"In order to be able to assess whether the initiative will threaten the safety of navigation, an accurate projection is needed. We must have an accurate projection. We have to take into account all the reasons for and against. The time to change the rules isn't just before the summer season. We work on navigation safety all year round, not just in the summer. As soon as the number of vessels increases, the possibility of maritime accidents also naturally increases," Kustera said.

Boat rentals are popular on the island of Hvar, as there are many islets and coves that can only be reached by boat

"They rent a boat to themselves for the whole day from 09:00 to 18:00, and during that period they're alone on that boat, they don't have any skipper, they have their privacy and enjoy themselves on that boat," said Ljudevit Karkovic from Hvar for HRT Dnevnik, who believes it's ridiculous to expect that a tourist will spend a day getting a permit for a one-day boat trip.

"Boats that go five miles per hour are very slow and in all these 40 to 50 years of renting them out, there has never been an accident with a major consequence, or an injury, let alone a death," said Mate Novak from the Association of Craftsmen of the Island of Hvar.

Permits for the smallest category of vessels are obtained anyway without the need for any practical training, only with a short oral exam. "When a man comes and tells me that he has a license, I have to show him everything again, how to start the engine, how to drop the anchor, how to tie the boat up," said Prosper Barbaric from Hvar.

One-day permits could be a practical solution for all

"There's a possibility, if there is a will, to open a branch so that these people themselves can bear responsibility for all the consequences of the vessels, and that they take a short course," explained Damir Visic, a court expert for maritime accidents.

Minister Oleg Butkovic does not support this initiative in principle because Croatian entry into Schengen will further increase the number of vessels in the coastal zone.

"It opens up the possibility for an increased number of accidents on the coast, so this decision is very delicate, I know, I'm familiar with it all and we will see, my position is not firm, I am always in favour of conversation and compromise,'' said Oleg Butkovic, Minister of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure.

For more, check out our news section.

Sunday, 30 April 2023

Dinamo Becomes 2022/23 Croatian Football Champion after 0-0 Draw at Poljud

April 30, 2023 - With a 0-0 draw against Hajduk at Poljud, Dinamo becomes the 2022/23 Croatian football champion, defending the title four rounds before the end of the 2022/23 SuperSport HNL season. 

Dinamo currently has 71 points, 12 more than the second-placed Hajduk, who cannot theoretically reach Dinamo this season. Dinamo has thus secured their sixth consecutive and 24th overall national championship title.

A draw at Poljud was enough for Dinamo to become the Croatian champion once again. Dinamo maintained a 12-point advantage over second-placed Hajduk four rounds before the end, and since they have a better head-to-head this season, it is unattainable for Hajduk to catch them. 

Two of the best Croatian clubs played an even game at a packed Poljud, though both teams were left without a serious chance to score.

The biggest excitement happened in the 23rd minute when Melnjak snatched the ball from Špikić about 30 meters from Dinamo's goal and then brilliantly played past Mlakar, who was at the top of the penalty area. Mlakar beat Livaković with an excellent shot into the back of the net, putting Poljud into a trance. However, the ref took his time and decided to consult VAR, which ultimately ruled the goal offside, and the game stayed 0-0. 

Hajduk had more chances in the second half and was hungrier, while Dinamo was happy to play for a draw, knowing it would bring them the title. Hajduk had 47% possession compared to Dinamo's 53%, both teams had only one shot on target, with 5 total attempts for Hajduk and 8 for Dinamo. 

Dinamo thus secured the Croatian Championship title with 71 points. Hajduk is safe in second place with 59 points, given that they have 14 points more than Osijek in third and 15 more than Rijeka in fourth. 

The 32nd round still features Rijeka-Slaven Belupo and Lokomotiva-Gorica, who will play tomorrow. On Saturday, Istra beat Sibenik 3-0 and Osijek beat Varazdin 3-1. 

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

Sunday, 30 April 2023

Feliks Lukas, WTA Makarska Open Director, Knighted in Vienna

April 30, 2023 - Feliks Lukas, the sports manager and leader of the WTA tournament in Makarska has received a prestigious personal award, reports Dalmatinski Portal.

Feliks Lukas, known to the public as a successful sports manager and director of the WTA tournament in Makarska, is a new knight of the Order of St. George. This order was founded in the 14th century by the Austrian Habsburg dynasty and Pope Paul II, with the aim of preserving the traditions of the countries of Central Europe, most of which were part of the Habsburg Monarchy. At the head of the Order of St. George, which is based on the idea of Central Europe as a Christian, cultural, intellectual and ethical center, is still today the direct heir of that line of Karl von Habsburg-Lothringen.

The solemn ceremony of announcing the new knights of the Order of St. George was held on April 22nd in Vienna, and after swearing to act in accordance with the principles, values and goals of the Order, Feliks Lukas was personally knighted by Archduke Karl von Habsburg-Lothringen himself. Particularly attractive was the parade of knights through the streets of Vienna to the most beautiful baroque cathedral Karlskirche, where the ceremony took place.

"In Croatia, there are about twenty members of the Order of St. George, while there are only about 700 of them in the world. Being a part of this order that works humanitarian and supports a number of activities in the field of economy and culture is a matter of prestige. Not everyone can approach him, but the future knight must be proposed by one of the respected members,' says Lukas, and he was recommended by two well-known noble families, Count Markus Paar from Austria and Count Mario Festetics de Tolna originally from Hungary. After the initiation process and the final decision to enter their Order, the knight title was officially confirmed at a solemn ceremony.

By the way, Lukas, in addition to successfully leading the WTA tennis tournament for years, which was moved from Bol to Makarska last year, is also highly respected outside sports circles. So recently, as the only sports manager from Europe, he participated in the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington with US President Biden.

Appointment as a knight of the Order of St. George is another valuable personal recognition for him on the eve of the WTA spectacle, which will be held in Makarska from June 5 to 11 and will gather around forty of the best female tennis players from Sweden, the Netherlands, Belgium, Slovakia, Montenegro, Italy, China, Luxembourg, and Serbia, Slovenia, and Croatia.

You can learn more about this year's Makarska Open WTA tennis tournament on the tournament website.

Sunday, 30 April 2023

Confessions of Croatian Teachers: "Student Stole, Father Threatens to Get Me Fired."

April 30, 2023 - The relationship between teachers and parents has certainly changed over the last few decades. Some worrying findings by Matea Celebija of

After the first major survey in Croatia on the relationship between parents and teachers showed that more than 93 percent of educators encountered inappropriate behaviour from the parents of their students, we spoke to primary and secondary school teachers who told us about their unpleasant experiences with parents.

All of them experienced some kind of accusation or threat from their parents, and some both. They say that parents often yell at them, accuse them of their children's bad grades, and often threaten them with calling for an inspection and even firing them. Given that the inspection has so far not found any irregularities in their work with students, the teachers we talked to believe that, as in other countries, there should be penalties for unfounded and false reports by teachers.

Author of the study: "There are no longer norms of behaviour in the relationship between parents and teachers"

The research in which 2,811 teachers participated was carried out as part of the Pulse of the School project, which was jointly initiated by a team of scientists from the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Zagreb and the textbook publisher Profil Klett with the support of the Croatian Teachers' Union (SHU) and the Independent Union of Secondary School Employees ( NSZSŠ). Among other things, the research showed that 93.5 respondents encountered at least one inappropriate behaviour or action by the parents of their students in the last 12 months.

The results showed that in one year, the surveyed teachers experienced, on average, almost nine different forms of inappropriate behaviour or actions by parents towards teachers or teachers or in relation to the child's school obligations.

Research leader prof. Ph.D. Dragan Bagić said on that occasion that the relationship between parents and teachers has changed significantly and that there are no longer clear norms and rules of conduct.

"School is a complex system in which there are numerous social relationships. Some of these relationships are quite strictly regulated, even by formal acts, such as teacher-student relationships, but for some of these relationships there are no norms of behaviour, or they have changed over time or been lost.

This research shows that the relationship between parents and teachers is just such a relationship, which has changed and today there are no longer clear norms and rules of behaviour in that relationship. Given that the traditional norms that regulated that relationship are clearly no longer valid, it is necessary to develop new norms of behaviour in that relationship," commented Bagić.

The research showed that 29.7 percent of teachers experienced violent, physical or verbal behavior from parents, and 85 percent of respondents considered such situations to be the biggest problem in their relationship with parents.

In addition, 40 percent of teachers experienced pressure to increase grades, and even 72 percent of them encountered parents who put an inappropriate amount of pressure on their child because of grades, and 52.4 percent of them with parents who expect teachers to be constantly available.

Below we present several confessions of teachers who were threatened by parents of students or behaved inappropriately in other ways.

"The son of the principal at the school where I work stole glue, which I reported. His father threatened to get me fired."

"We had workshops in the library and four students misplaced glues during the break. I saw this and went after them and asked them to return the glues or else I will write a note in their e-diary. Three students returned it, while one did not. He pretended not to know what it was about. After that I wrote him a note in which I wrote that he did not comply with my request, thus he showed me disrespect.

After that, chaos ensued. One day I was not at school and upon my return the student came to me and said that he demanded that I delete the note, to which I told him that I would not because it was not right according to the three students who listened to me and that everything was up to the class teacher.

After that he asked me once more to wipe it, I said I wouldn't and then he told me: 'You'll see, we'll go all the way.' By the way, this is the son of the director of the school where I work. She was not at school at the time, and I explained everything to her in an e-mail because she was on a business trip at the time. To this day, I have not received an answer from her.

In the meantime, a letter from the father arrived in which he claims that his son did not steal the glue, that I am falsely accusing him, and that if I do not delete the note and write a public apology in the e-diary, he will activate his lawyer and the ombudsman.

He threatened me that they would work to get me fired. By the way, this is not the first problem with that student. He normally brags around the school, as witnessed by other teachers, and in elementary school he blew up a toilet bowl with a firecracker. Considering that his mom is the principal, everything was covered up."

"The student filmed me and threatened me with death. He has the support of his parents."

"This school year, we got a new student. To him, the school means nothing, he has all the units, but the situation did not culminate because of that, but because of his cell phone. He was constantly making problems and going to the teacher. He was filming me, putting his cell phone in my face, refused to put it down, and his parents supported him in this.

They were interviewed at school, but their attitude is that their son has no reason to take a mobile phone, that it is his property. According to them, the whole school should adapt to their son. In the last lesson, I took his cell phone and took it to the teacher, at which he got angry.

He was with the teacher for a while, and then he returned to class to get cigarettes. After that, he calmly came to class and said in front of the class that he was going to shoot me. What worried me the most was that he didn't say it in an affected way, but completely calm. I later found out that he hit a student that day, and earlier he stole 50 euros from the janitor, which his mom returned and begged the janitor not to sue her son.

Meanwhile, the student continued to steal. He also stole a large amount of money from a female professor's bag. I reported my case to the police. I asked for protection and a restraining order. However, I was told that the school is powerless there, that he cannot be removed from the school and that it is not possible for me not to teach him anymore because another teacher refuses to teach him.

The parents had an interview with the pedagogue and the principal. They justify and fully support their son. They asked for a special approach towards him, i.e. to let him out of class whenever he wants, so that he asks to leave every class, and an unjustified class cannot be written to him because he leaves at the beginning of the class and comes back at the very end.

He is not in class at the moment, but he will come to take the exam. I was told that I won't get a restraining order because the State Attorney's Office didn't even ask for it, even though they said they would."

"The student had all the units, and after he failed the class, the mother came to the school for the first time and insisted that I give him a pass"

"I teach a vocational subject and one student had all the units from it for the whole year. Therefore, the average is 1.0. He had to fail the class and complained about the unit that I concluded for him. I questioned him in front of the committee and I asked him questions at the elementary school level.

He answered every question with 'I don't know'. The committee agreed that this grade was insufficient and the student failed the class. The next day, his mom came to school, asked for an interview and insisted on concluding a positive grade, but the committee's grade was final.

I told her that according to the law, she can come to school for an interview with the teacher until June 1st. Classes had long ended, and during the school year she never came for a conversation, information or parents' meeting, even though the student had units throughout the year, and they live a hundred meters from the school. After that, she sent an inspection to my school, which found no irregularities."

"The mother does not want to accept the fact that her child has a problem, so she accuses me of abuse"

"At school, we have a student who has developmental difficulties that his mother does not want to face. The mother first sent inappropriate e-mails to the professional service and then to me. She insulted my expertise.

At my insistence, she came to school, where she shouted at me and insulted me again. She thought that I was not doing my job well, that is, that I was abusing her child. She told me on several occasions that I am not normal, that I work outside the law, that I am not a teacher, that I am arrogant and cold.

She explicitly emphasized that I was to blame for every unit of her son and for every failure of his homework. She told me that her son doesn't come to remedial classes because I insult him there, which is a complete lie.

The principal and everyone else who was at the meeting were appalled by what they heard. It is clear to everyone what kind of situation we are in, but nobody can do anything about it. So far we have not had such a case. The child has various difficulties that the mother does not want to accept.

She threatened me with an inspection, and she knows that she can send as many inspections here as she wants, because in Croatia, unlike other countries, there is no penalty for falsely accusing teachers. She was extremely aggressive towards me and was not interested in my explanation. She told me she didn't want to hear my explanation because she studied my profession and knows everything about it."

"The student's father yelled at me because she had all the units"

"The parents came for information and at first everything was normal. After I showed them their daughter's tests and grades, all of which were units, the father started to get angry with me. In the meantime, we also called his daughter until she came from class and explain your complete lack of interest in school.

She explicitly emphasized that I was to blame for every unit of her son and for every failure of his homework. She told me that her son doesn't come to remedial classes because I insult him there, which is a complete lie.

The principal and everyone else who was at the meeting were appalled by what they heard. It is clear to everyone what kind of situation we are in, but nobody can do anything about it. So far we have not had such a case. The child has various difficulties that the mother does not want to accept.

She threatened me with an inspection, and she knows that she can send as many inspections here as she wants, because in Croatia, unlike other countries, there is no penalty for falsely accusing teachers. She was extremely aggressive towards me and was not interested in my explanation. She told me she didn't want to hear my explanation because she studied my profession and knows everything about it."

The student was correct, she admitted that she did not study for any test and that she never wrote any homework. However, my father did not like it and at one point he snapped and vented his anger on me.

He towered over me and roared. I got up and went to the choir room, whereupon he ran towards me and started shouting that no one would turn their back on him, insulted me and said that I would see my own. The whole school heard him. He threatened me with an inspection and said that in the future he would talk to me through the court. In the end he just left, and I was in shock and under a lot of stress."

Sunday, 30 April 2023

Marko Rakar: About Legitimate Interest and the Biggest Banking Secret

 April 30, 2023 - The King of Data is back, as Marko Rakar spearheads an initiative to help thousands affected by the Swiss Franc bank loan affair, offering hope of compensation.

Several thousand debtors with loans taken out in Swiss francs received an offer from the company Druga Foundation to their home addresses in recent days, an offer to take over their claims against the banks. The media announced that consultant Marko Rakar and economist Vuk Vuković are behind the initiative, as well as a dozen other lawyers, experts, mathematicians and bankers.

Here is Marko in his own words on the subject. 

My general thinking is that you shouldn't spend too much time on sponsored articles, but a few days ago (and again today) I was called out in one such sponsored content, so it's time to look back on it. The first few paragraphs are an introduction to the story, and only then do the details about GDPR and banking secrets begin.

In creative ways, with the frequent use of quotation marks and a lot of question marks, the article stretches out the superficial understanding of law and elementary logic, and problematizes the action carried out by the Second Foundation, of which I am the director. That trading company was founded with a very simple and clear goal, which is to help an extremely large and, in my opinion, tormented social group to use their legal right to compensation for the damage caused to them by the banks when contracting and then collecting loans and leasing that were denominated in Swiss francs. A lot has been written about this entire issue in the last fifteen years, laws were passed to at least partially solve the problem, the state sued the banks (and probably lied in its answers before international bodies), and speculated in secret settlements.

However, when everything is added up and subtracted, according to the numbers known today, we know that there are around 120,000 citizens who were damaged in the process and who are entitled to compensation from the banks. Banks at the same time (totally wrongly but very persistently) repeat the untrue mantra that the conversion of CHF loans into EUR is at the same time compensation. What is true is that the Supreme Court in December 2022 made a legal understanding that injured consumers who have converted their loans are entitled to compensation on the basis of default interest; more precisely, "the consumer/user of the loan has the right to the payment of the corresponding default interest on the overpaid amounts that the bank charged to the consumer when calculating the conversion of the loan.". Ultimately, this legal understanding did not pass the court record and a new decision is expected literally days before the statute of limitations begins, so there is a real possibility that the Supreme Court's decision will be different (hopefully more comprehensive and favorable to the injured citizens).

Croatia is not the only country where a problem with loans in Swiss francs has appeared. In other countries, the courts ultimately made decisions about the total nullity of the contract (therefore it is considered that the deal did not happen at all, the effects of such a solution can be written in even bigger and longer texts), the latest example of this is Slovenia, where the nullity was recently declared. Our position here is somewhat specific, because at the time when loans were issued in CHF, we were not part of the European Union, and it seems that our Government played a not necessarily clean game on this topic by siding with the banks at a time when a dispute was raised before the EU bodies.

Land registers, GDPR and legitimate interest
Banks (through the association of banks) and a native journalist from Večernji, as expected, question our use of data, but what we have done is based on laws and regulations.


(Article 7 of the Law on Land Registry.)

To begin with, attention should be drawn to the Law on Land Registers, namely in Article 7. It clearly states that land registers are public in their entirety. This means that any person can, without stating a reason (legal interest), have unlimited access to land registers. Public availability of data from land registers, among other things, ensures legal security in real estate transactions and protects the transfer of rights to real estate from possible risks. Protection of the public availability of land registers is one of the fundamental principles of land register law. The principle of public in the material sense implies that land registers, extracts and transcripts from them enjoy public faith that their content is complete and true, while the principle of public in the formal sense means that land registers are public because their content is available to everyone. Anyone can request an inspection of the land register and all auxiliary lists and obtain extracts and transcripts from it. The right to inspect the land register is completely unlimited, neither for obtaining an inspection of the land register nor for viewing them, as well as for requesting printouts, transcripts and extracts from the land register, it is not necessary to prove or make probable the existence of a legal or any other interest (details on you can read about it in the scientific-professional paper here). Public availability of land registers is not a Croatian specificity, it is simply a European asset and in a similar way you can access land registers (almost) anywhere in the world.

Therefore, there is no doubt that our data source is not only legitimate, but also completely legal, but also in full compliance with the spirit and intent of the law.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) regulates how it is possible to collect and process personal data of citizens. The fundamental principle we are interested in here is the legal basis we use, which is called legitimate interest. We believe that the information on the right to compensation is 1001% in line with the protection of the rights of the injured party and the legitimate interest of CHF loan users, whose rights are not limited or jeopardized by this type of processing, but part of their rights are fulfilled, which, given their interest, have priority over others and possibly "other people's" rights. There is simply a legitimate interest of the Second Foundation, as a data processing manager, to try to establish or establish on the basis of public data sources contact with respondents in order to exercise their rights, protect them by providing them with information, advice - without the obligation to enter into a business relationship. On the fact that the legal basis of legitimate interest is applicable in this case, read the opinion of AZOP from December 2022.

Furthermore, Article 6 of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR Directive) prescribes and states which legal bases may be applied for data processing. Thus, we can also say that processing through the register of land registers is legal because:

  • is necessary in order to protect the interests of natural persons, specifically, citizens damaged by banks through disputed loans in CHF,
  • because it protects the public interests of the Republic of Croatia and all citizens to exercise their right to compensation, and at the same time the Republic of Croatia does not suffer damage nor will it inflict damage on its own citizens by violating their fundamental rights,
  • provides information and advice to citizens in order to further inform them about their rights, given that they are not given to them by other institutions, and which does not endanger other rights of citizens or put them in a disadvantageous position, on the contrary, it enables them that if they wish to exercise rights they did not know about,
  • is not prohibited by any law of the Republic of Croatia,
  • processing is also enabled by the PSI directive.

Banning the processing of such data would create a disproportionate benefit for banks (at least EUR 330 million), to the detriment of citizens. Moreover, it would be a disproportionate benefit of the banks in a case that has been proven in numerous court proceedings as a violation of the banks to the detriment of a large number of citizens. And finally, the use of data is in accordance with the European PSI (Public Sector Information) directive, which encourages the reuse and creative use of data from public sources.

However, let's imagine for a moment that this processing is not allowed, then several unsustainable situations would arise:

              • citizens harmed by banks through disputed loans in CHF would be denied the possibility to be offered information, advice, or a business relationship for the transfer of compensation by any natural or legal person who
                observe this information through the register of land registers,
              • any natural or legal person who in their activity
                searches the register of land registers for the needs of his business would not
                may no longer use that data. This includes banks and agencies for
                collection of services that use that register in their regular work business without asking the permission of each person whose data is
              • searched,
              • citizens would be deprived of a whole range of services based on
                the use of data collected through the public land registry
                books, and are also based on the provision of information, services, and
                business relations based on data from the register of land registers
                (such as real estate companies),
              • insight into the potential corruption of politicians, public
                of employees and banks would be difficult or completely impossible if the protection of CHF data from the register of land registers is not allowed,
                there would be a conflict with the legislator's intention to provide public
              • data through the register of land registers, provide citizens with protection their rights (in this case, the rights of citizens injured in the Frank case to be helped in obtaining compensation in situations where they are not sufficiently informed about their rights or do not have the knowledge or skills or financial prerequisites to exercise the right to compensation).

To simplify, the Association of Banks and the native journalist of Večernji List claim that it is not allowed to inform citizens that they have the right to compensation. Imagine you drop your wallet in a mall parking lot, I noticed it, picked up the wallet and the moment I tried to open the wallet to try to find your address or phone number to notify you and return your money and wallet, the parking attendant (aka employee of a shopping center, probably at heart a PR person or a marketer) shouts over the loudspeaker that GDPR forbids me to open my wallet!

The biggest banking secret
The reason why we started the Second Foundation in the first place is the conclusion that many injured citizens do not even know that they have been injured and that they have the right to compensation from the banks that have given them credit. Although a lot was written about the issue of CHF loans (as well as leasing), due to the obvious asymmetry between the banks' PR departments and the few injured citizens who spoke about it (where the Frank Association undoubtedly played the biggest role). In the public discourse, it is common opinion that citizens are also compensated by the banks by the act of conversion and have no other right. If you read the statement of the bank association, they repeat that claim like a parrot, even though they know very, very well that it is absolutely incorrect and in conflict with judicial practice, and especially with the legal position of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia from December last year. In the past few days, we have received hundreds of messages from people who realized for the first time that they are entitled to compensation.

The information campaign that we are carrying out is an action that the banks had to carry out independently and offer their clients compensation in accordance with court practice, or an action that the state should have carried out in such a way that, for example, FINA transfers money to the accounts of citizens at the expense of the banks, this is all that stands between the injured citizens and banks are the Franak Association and the Second Foundation (each with its own approach to the problem).

Data on how many citizens are entitled to compensation is very difficult to find (in the annual reports of banks, this data, as well as data on initiated disputes, settlements and completed disputes, are not published because "their public publication could have material effects on the banks' operations", but it is public information that about 120,000 loans were issued that were denominated in Swiss francs. About seventy thousand of them related to non-purpose loans (adaptations, cash, car loans), while the remaining fifty thousand loans related to the purchase of real estate. The other foundation contacted only these about fifty thousand who had registered CHF mortgages, and that's because they are the only loan beneficiaries that can be identified from public sources, but if you are in this second group, we also want to hear from you.

According to current judicial practice, these fifty thousand families are entitled to compensation, which, according to our estimates, is at least 330 million euros. Unfortunately, even with this compensation, our fellow citizens will not be in any profit because for many of them, the unilateral behavior of the banks in the past years caused permanent and irreparable damage and destroyed human lives. The banks are protesting because we made public the secret they have been carefully hiding these years and informed fifty thousand people that they are entitled to compensation, and that a few weeks before the statute of limitations (June 16, 2023).


(CNB report in which users of CHF loans are called "subprime".)

In a CNB document from 2015, loan users in the Swiss are called "subprime" (remember the American movie "Big Short"), subprime loan holders are those who can reasonably be assumed to have difficulties in repaying the loan. At the moment when the Swiss central bank decided to remove the indexation with the EUR (our Kuna was indexed in the same way from the first to its last day), loan installments often doubled and became unrepayable overnight. The motivation for loans in the Swiss was the interest rates, but the devil is in the details, mortgage loans are taken out over many years and the repayment plans are arranged in such a way that at first the monthly repayment is largely due to the interest, a smaller part to the principal, and that balance would change over time. If you wanted to buy a property worth EUR 100,000, due to the accumulation of interest costs over a long period of time, with a higher interest rate on EUR loans, you could, for example, borrow for only EUR 70,000, while the same loan repayment plan, but in CHF, could provide money for the full value of the property. The bank looks at the value of the collateral (the property you are buying) and your repayment options. CHF loans were an option for you to buy the property you wanted within your repayment capacity (or you bought a bigger property for what you thought was the same money).

Until the middle of 2016, as many as 63% of loans in Swiss francs were of "impaired quality", which translated means that as many as 63% of all loan holders had problems in repayment (which the banks ingeniously tried to solve by unilaterally raising interest rates to reflect the increased risks). Delinquency was nine times higher than with EUR loans, if you need a definition of "subprime", that's it.


However, the biggest banking secret that we were all convinced of is that the Conversion Act is a big victory for the "little man", while in nature it was a maneuver by the banks to save themselves in the situation surrounding the dramatic growth of risky placements denominated in CHF.

The violent reaction of the banks is understandable and expected, they were barely saved by the law on conversion, with incredible PR efforts they managed to preserve the myth that "conversion is compensation" all these years and only a few weeks before the statute of limitations, the Second Foundation messed up their accounts, and if the bankers do something what they don't like is that someone touches their bonuses and management contract extensions that are suddenly questionable. All the warning signs were there all along, hidden in the footnotes of the banks' annual reports or the reports of the credit rating companies (read, there are interesting details in the footnotes, especially of the Austrian banks, maybe I should write about that too).

And lastly, to address two recurring details. A series of headlines incorrectly states that we "buy out claims", the Second Foundation is a company whose function is to provide injured citizens with the right to compensation - we are literally the opposite/antithesis of any "claims collection agency".

Some ask why we don't sue for the complete nullity of the contract instead of compensation on the basis of default interest? My life practice has taught me that one should be honest and take care not to promise anything to anyone that I am not reasonably sure I can deliver, and therefore the offer of the Second Foundation is limited to what we believe we can deliver on this day. Of course, we have developed and prepared legal tactics for every foreseeable situation, including a possible nullity decision. Of course, we want to collect and maximize any compensation as quickly as possible, but that does not mean that we want to collect a large number of contracts at any cost with an unobjective or naive approach to the problem and excessive promises. Our offer is non-binding, everyone must make their own decision by consulting with people and experts they trust. If you are one of the recipients of our letter and have decided to exercise your right independently, that is absolutely OK and every euro you collect from the banks is our small victory.

Thought of the day:
An election is coming. Universal peace is declared, and the foxes have a sincere interest in prolonging the lives of the poultry.

This article originally appeared on Marko Rakar's blog,


Sunday, 30 April 2023

Exploring Zadar: Hidden Neighborhood of Arbanasi Visited by 2 Presidents

29 April 2023 - Occasional TCN contributor Albert Anthony on Arbanasi, an idyllic slice of Zadar and meeting point of two presidents this week.

ZADAR - Though many people may know of Zadar because of its sea organs & salute to the sun, they may not yet have stumbled upon some of its quaint, hidden neighborhoods such as Arbanasi, a world of its own by the sea.

Croatian-American tech & business columnist Albert Anthony writes to TCN this week after attending the official state visit to this small, quiet neighborhood on April 28 by both the presidents of Croatia and Albania, two countries that have been strategic partners in many segments. 


" The two presidents talked about historical & cultural topics relevant to this coastal region, particularly around the theme of how many residents of Arbanasi can trace their heritage to a migration from Albania to Zadar that occurred during the Venetian era of the 1700s.  As someone whose mother & several relatives went to grammar school in this neighborhood, it is certainly one of cultural & historical value but also has a personal connection to me.  Because the local grammar school overlooks the sea, I imagine it was a childhood similar to growing up in those small seaside towns in America or the UK,"  Albert Anthony writes. 

Increased Attention on the Coastal Region.

This month is a busy one for Zadar.  Besides two presidential visits in one day, recently was the opening of the World Sports Tourism Congress last week, and next week is the Adriatic Sea Defense & Aerospace Exhibition (ASDA), which was in Split last time.


"In my opinion, Croatia's coastal region is becoming of strategic importance in terms of trade & culture, and could be one of Europe's key strategic regions.  As we see, it is not just beaches & good seafood, but also a center for large-scale business events and diplomatic visits,"  he continued. 

Small Coastal Neighborhood, Global Impact.

Many locals in Croatia and those in the diaspora are familiar with several singers with roots in the Arbanasi neighborhood, including Đani Maršan, Tomislav Ivčić, and Mladen Grdović, to name a few, whose concerts reached as far as the US and Australia as far back as the 1980s.  But it also is the neighborhood where sports greats from the golden era of basketball and soccer call home, including Giussepe Pino Giergia and Josip Bepo Bajlo.


"Only a forty minute walk from the old town center, hugging the coast, you can reach this hidden neighborhood, take a sea dip, sit in a local cafe overlooking the Adriatic, or peruse the narrow streets that seem like they are from a time long ago, and yet you are still in a city and region that is more modern by the day.  To really know the Croatian coast, you ought to know its many neighborhoods and their contribution to the history, culture, & economy of the region,"  Albert Anthony reiterates.

Sunday, 30 April 2023

Croatian Experts on Energy Transition: Customer Protection from High, Unstable Prices Essential

April 30, 2023 - Association XEnergy - Network for the promotion of women in the energy transition gathered leading energy experts in one place for the first time who presented 5 key guidelines for the successful implementation of the energy transition in Croatia but also emphasized the importance of adopting new regulations with the aim of achieving the energy and climate goals of the EU

After the European Commission proposed the Regulation governing the reform of the electricity market model in March 2023, before the European Parliament and the member states is the period of drafting a legal framework that should encourage greater use of renewable sources, prevent large fluctuations in energy prices, and make the industry cleaner and global more competitive. On this occasion, some of the leading Croatian experts from the public and private energy sector gathered in Zagreb at the round table "New models of the organization of the electricity market to accelerate the energy transition".

A stable regulatory framework that will enable investment in electric power networks and the flexibility of the system and its users, the meaningful use of location criteria when calling for tenders, the removal of administrative obstacles for the development of energy sharing, the coordinated creation of strategic documents and the simplification of the issuing of permits, and the coordination of stakeholders in the implementation of public calls and tenders throughout the year is key to the successful implementation of the energy transition. Those are the five guidelines that emerged from the round table organized by the Network for the promotion of women in the energy transition XEnergy.

To achieve the EU energy and climate goals and to stabilize electricity prices, the member states must define concrete measures and activities, and Ph.D. Kristina Čelić, director of the Directorate for Energy at the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development, pointed out that the Croatian administration is working on this, and invited all stakeholders in the sector to get involved with proposals.

Members of XEnergy who participated in the panel discussion are Ph.D. Lahorko Wagmann, director of the Electricity Sector of Croatian Energy Regulatory Agency (HERA), Ph.D. Minea Skok, Hrvoje Požar Energy Institute, president of the Scientific Council, Tina Jakaša, Petrol, head of energy product development, Martina Biondić, secretary of XEnergy, Darjan Budimir, Croatian Energy Market Operator (HROTE), deputy director, Saša Jovičić, Wolf Theiss, partner, Antun Andrić, The independent Transmission System Operator in Croatia (HOPS), director of the market sector and Martina Vajdić, CROATIAN POWER EXCHANGE Ltd., market manager. The proposal intends to promote investments in renewable sources, encourage flexibility of consumption, facilitate energy sharing, increase protection against price volatility, strengthen the position of end customers on the electricity market, and improve the competitiveness of the EU industry, said Ph.D. Lahorko Wagmann.

Consumer protection from unstable and high electricity prices, ensuring the stability of market supply and systematically encouraging investment in renewable energy sources are key factors in the energy transition are the topics that were discussed on the panel.

"Extreme price volatility and short-term interventions may seem to slow down investment waves in renewable energy sources, which may consequently jeopardize the achievement of the EU's decarbonization goals. The new electricity market model will increase the shares of wind and solar in the electricity mix, and will accelerate investments in flexibility, solid production capacities, and energy storage. All this should along with investments in the power grid, which will also be needed to face new system challenges, such as an even greater number of distributed energy sources, rapid response to demand, less predictable electricity flows with intermittent production patterns ", said Martina Biondić, secretary and one of the founders of XEnergy.

EU has had an efficient and well-integrated electricity market for more than 20 years, where the energy supply is ensured, the decarbonization process is encouraged, and consumers can realize economic benefits from the single energy market. The energy crisis triggered by the situation in Ukraine pointed to the need for rapid adjustment of the electricity market to better support the green transition and provide energy consumers – both households and businesses – with broad access to affordable electricity from renewable sources.

"In response to the new geopolitical reality and the situation in the energy market, the EU decided to drastically accelerate the transition to clean energy, which, among other things, implies a significant acceleration of the construction of renewable energy sources. The REPowerEU plan from May 2022 thus requires that by 2030, renewable sources make up 2/3 of electricity production. For end customers today, it is no longer unknown to produce electricity, but what we need to work on is to strengthen their active participation in the energy transition, to the mutual benefit of both the customers and the power system as a whole", said Ph.D. Minea Skok, president of the Scientific Council of the Hrvoje Požar Energy Institute.

The process of acceptance of the Regulation by the European Parliament and the Council, in which the Republic of Croatia has representatives, is expected in the following months.


"XEnergy has people with great knowledge and experience that we can offer Croatia in that process, in which women will also play a big role. The association will work to be a support for women, a mentor and guide at the beginning of their career, but also a kind of platform for the exchange of knowledge and experience", stressed Nina Dusper Sušić, vice president of XEnergy, adding that the task of the association is to bring the energy sector closer to young girls and show them how it is possible to be successful in such a STEM industry thanks to the knowledge and support of the network with which they share the same values.

"The proposal of the new model instructs the members to define their goals and measures, therefore we believe that it is very important to immediately start thinking about and communicating the best solutions for the Croatian economy and end customers. With events like this, the XEnergy association wants to make its contribution through the discussion of important issues and challenges and thus help a sustainable and socially just energy transition", stated Nela Vlahinić Lenz, president of the association XEnergy.


Laws and the regulatory framework, both at the EU level and in Croatia, should be able to follow all these changes for the system to be stable, efficient and flexible and to provide enough energy at optimal prices for end consumers. There is no doubt that this is an extremely current and important topic because market organization models will have a key impact on the accelerated integration of renewable sources and stable electricity prices, thus contributing to the green transition and sustainable development goals, the participants concluded.


Network for the promotion of women in the energy transition XEnergy is a non-profit organization that gathers all participants in the energy transition and encourages the affirmation of women in the sustainable development of the economy and society as a whole. It acts as a platform for strengthening the role and visibility of women in energy and other sectors through interdisciplinary networking and the synergy of the work of its members, and provides support to women from the private and public sectors in the field of energy transition through networking, mentoring, counseling and education.

Sunday, 30 April 2023

Looking for a Job in Croatia? This Week's Top 10 from (April 30, 2023)

April 30, 2023 - Looking for a job in Croatia? A new weekly feature on TCN, in partnership with leading job site agency,, who present a selection of weekly job listings.

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

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

This week's top 10 jobs from

PLIVA Hrvatska d.o.o. is hiring a Senior Manager for Purchase-to-Pay (P2P) programs (m/f). Workplace Zagreb. Minimum of 3 years of previous experience in strategic sourcing, category management and supplier relations is desirable. Send complete applications via link by May 4th.

Thermo Stone d.o.o. is hiring a person for the position of Head of sales area (Istria and export markets). We offer a company car for business and private use. Send complete applications via link by May 25th.

Kempinski Hotel Adriatic (Skiper hoteli d.o.o.) is hiring a person for the position of Cluster Sales Manager (m/f). Place of work Savudrije (Umag). Send complete applications via link by May 20th.

Metro Cash & Carry d.o.o. is hiring a person in the position of METRO Potentials Management Trainee Program (m/f). Place of work Zagreb. Send complete applications via link by May 4th.

Strabag BRVZ d.o.o. for services is hiring a person in the position of IT Security Analyst (m/f/d). Place of work Zagreb. You will have the opportunity to play an active role in our IT Security division and to build up the division together with the very international team, which is located in various countries and cities. Send complete applications via link by May 7th.

KWS Group is hiring a person for the position of Global Key User Finance (m/f/d). Place of work Berlin, Germany. Attractive remuneration and flexible working hours. Send complete applications via link by May 18th.

MED-EL Elektromedizinische Geräte GmbH is hiring a Software Developer (m/f/d). Place of work Innsbruck, Austria. Salary will be determined based on professional experience; the formal minimum salary according to the Collective Bargaining Agreement is € 41,691.44. Send complete applications via link by May 18th.

Sunce Hoteli d.d. / Bluesun is hiring a Junior CRM Specialist (m/f). Place of work Zagreb. Possibility of additional prizes and bonuses. Send complete applications via link by April 30th.

iC artprojekt d.o.o. employs a person in the position Graduated electrical engineer (m/f). Place of work Varaždin. The possibility of advancement and lifelong education. Send complete applications via link by April 30th.

Ziegler d.o.o., Kutina is hiring a person in the position of Program engineer - electrical engineer (m/f). Place of work Kutina and Zagreb. The possibility of constant improvement and advancement. Send complete applications via link by May 5th.

For more career options and job listings, visit


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


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Friday, 28 April 2023

Croatian Nurses and Medical Staff to Start Protests Next Week

April 29, 2023 -  Croatian nurses and other medical staff have announced protests starting next week, demanding better regard for their rights, including pay. They emphasize the importance of all medical staff who aren't doctors. Croatian doctors have recently negotiated improved conditions for themselves as well.

After the Croatian Professional Union of Nurses and Medical Technicians announced protests for next week, the same was confirmed today by the Independent Union of Health and Social Care. "Together with the sister union, we will start protest activities. We demand equality and dignity for all workers in the system, and we ask that the minister and the prime minister finally recognize that there are other workers in the health system besides doctors. These are health and non-health workers who are needed by the system and patients," said Stjepan Topolnjak, president of the Independent Union of Health and Social Care, report HRT/Index.

Commenting on the government's recent decision to increase the coefficients in health care, Topolnjak said that it is an increase only for doctors and "the return of the coefficients that were reduced by 3 percent for bachelor's degrees and intermediate professional training in primary and secondary health care in 2013".

"We are asking for at least 10 percent for all workers in the healthcare system," he emphasized.

He announced that "peaceful protests will now be organized during the break that everyone has the right to." They will start with protests on Wednesday in front of hospitals in Split, KB Dubrava, and OB Dubrovnik and will go on every day until May 10.

Croatian nurses and medical technicians will then organize a larger protest rally on Ban Jelačić Square in Zagreb on May 12, on International Nurses Day. First, however, they need to agree on this with other unions and the Chamber.

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

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