Thursday, 6 October 2022

Korčulanske Pjatance: the Korčula Foodie Festival, First Time in Autumn

October 6, 2022 - The organisers would like to invite you to join the celebration of the traditions and food on the island of Korčula, the festival called Korčulanske pjatance, this year held in October for the first time, in the weekend of 20-23.

The unique island gastro story was started in 2017, and this year's festival will be the fifth edition. The festival is held all over the town (and some locations on the island, outside of the confines of Korčula town), and this year they are offering a variety of visits by famous chefs, lectures, workshops, just hanging out with the people in the industry, exhibitions, fairs and thematic evenings, and you will also get to discover the secrets of the autumn on the tastiest island in the Mediterranean.

Some traditions are tastier than others, and the autumn on the plates of the people of Korčula is a good enough reason to visit. Previously, the festival was held in the spring, but the brief autumn version of the festival held (courtesy of the pandemic) in 2020 led the organisers to explore the season of grape and olive picking again this year. This year, the restaurants involved in the festival are Fillipi, Radiona, Lešić Dimitri, Cupido, Nigra, konobas Mate and Škafetin and traditional producers Eko škoj.

If you're following the scene in Korčula, you might recognize that there is a restaurant with a Michelin star on the list (Lešić Dimitri restaurant), with two other Michelin-recommended establishments from Korčula also participating in the festival: Fillipi and Konoba Mate. The effort to brand the island on the national and global scene, with restaurants supporting each other in their work and cooperating in the organisation of such a festival can only be applauded.

Thanks to the Pjatance, the island of Korčula has seen a lot of education in terms of the most recent trends in modern gastronomy. In the last four festivals, most of the star chefs in Croatia held workshops or shared their experiences, including David Skoko, Hrvoje Zirojević, Dino Galvagno and Rudolf Štefan, chocolate maker Stiv Kahlina and many others.

This year's opening on the well-known Rotonda will bring together the islands of Hvar, Brač, Šolta and Vis, and their products will be offered at the fair, organized in cooperation with LAG 5. The cult restaurant Planjak in Korčula, a locals' favorite, will try to teach the visitors the island art of "marendavanje" (translating "marenda" is not easy. Words marenda and gablec are used in different versions of Croatia for basically the same thing, a meal that can be compared to what would be called "brunch" in English, but it's definitely NOT that. You need to come to Korčula to learn if you want to know more). The masterclass lectures will be held by the famed chef Igor Jagodić and pastry chef Tea Mamut, and there will be a workshop on collecting the herbs on the island, led by the curator Sani Sardelić. There will be a few wine workshops held, as well as lectures on olive oil, protecting and branding of various island products, beekeeping etc.

Daniela Jelinčić, PhD of the Institute for development and international relations will present her scientific findings to the public for the first time, in her lecture on the science and art of the experience of food. And, this year, after being closed for many years, a part of the festival's program will be held in the newly renovated Blue Club nightclub/bar, which will be open to the public after many years.

Themed dinners will be held in many restaurants with affordable prices: Kevin Bonello, a chef from Malta will work with Marko Gajski from Lešić Dimitri, and Igor Jagodić and Tea Mamut will also work together. There will also be an exhibition of works by Tisja Kljaković Braić in the Town Park in Korčula, mostly dedicated to the food.

To find out more, visit the website, FB page, or Instagram.

Thursday, 6 October 2022

Croatia Airlines to Get Six Brand New A220 Planes by 2026

October the 6th, 2022 - Croatia Airlines is set to get six new aircraft by the year 2026, replacing their fleet with planes manufactured by Airbus to increase competitiveness in the post-pandemic period.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Croatia Airlines (CA) has decided to replace all of its existing aircraft by 2026 with a new non-listed "single type" jet-powered fleet, and for the renewal of the fleet they have chosen an Airbus 220 type aircraft, manufactured by the European manufacturer Airbus.

The national airline decided on the above in accordance with its wider post-pandemic strategy which was initially adopted back in August 2021, all with the aim of renewing the fleet, increasing the efficiency of operations and further strengthening their overall competitive ability. When it comes to competitive ability, there was a lot to be desired for, especially with the arrival of the Irish budget carrier Ryanair at Zagreb Airport.

The replacement of the Croatia Airlines fleet will be realised through the order of six brand new A220 aircraft, which were contracted as an addition to the existing contract concluded by the company way back in 2008, then signed for A319 aircraft, which were then replaced back in 2015 with the new A320 type.

They have stated from Croatia Airlines that when making this decision, special attention was paid to trends in the highly competitive aviation market, fuel prices as we continue to live through inflation and CO2 emissions, the goals of the European Union's green policy, as well as the obvious being passenger requirements.

"The new and higher-quality A220 aircraft, with a capacity of 148 and 127 seats, will ensure a better response to the specific needs of our passengers and deliver a more efficient business model, thanks to which additional opportunities will open up within our business, ensuring sustainable development for our passengers, our owner, the Republic of Croatia, and our employees," Croatia Airlines said in a statement.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated travel and business sections.

Thursday, 6 October 2022

How Many Croatian Hotel Employees Were Lacking in Tourism This Year?

October the 6th, 2022 - Just how many Croatian hotel employees did this first post-pandemic tourism season actually lack? The numbers are now in, and they're concerning to say the least.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, over this past summer tourist season, around 7.5 thousand seasonal workers were missing in the accommodation sector, and workers were missing in 86 percent of tourist companies from the latest survey of the Association of Employers in the Croatian Hotel Industry (UPUHH).

If this extremely worrying trend continues, more than 8,000 Croatian hotel employees and the like will be missing next season, UPUHH director Bernard Zenzerovic revealed at a recent meeting with journalists. The sector is therefore appealing to strengthen education and training programmes for Croatian workers, to speed up work permit processes for foreign workers with MUP and more.

A survey in which 39 companies which employ 45 percent of all workers in the country's accommodation sector took part, revealed that due to the lack of workers, as many as 42 percent of companies were forced to reduce the scope of their operations or services. This is significantly better than the situation was last year, when business was reduced by 65 percent, but it is still a very high number, explained Zenzerovic. This is especially true because the public health crisis which rocked the world for the past two years wasn't an issue during the summer of 2022.

Because of all this, this year 37 percent of companies will have a reduced income this year, in contrast to last year when two thirds of companies reported this.

The survey also revealed that as a result of the global coronavirus pandemic, when many Croatian hotel employees and others engaged in similar jobs left the sector or even the country, the share of seasonal workers in the total workforce increased. In these companies, the share of seasonal workforce stands at around 70 percent. The turnover of workers also increased, that is, the number of workers who came to a certain company for the first time increased, and the share of permanent seasonal workers decreased by as much as 17 percent in just one single year.

"This shows that the permanent seasonal measure has now had its day and needs to be adjusted, because it's obviously no longer as attractive as it was before," said Zenzerovic.

Within the UPUHH, they propose to increase the amount of salary compensation that seasonal workers receive from the state during the months in which they don't work. As a good example of the sector's cooperation with state institutions, he cited the employment of pupils and students, which increased by around 21 percent this year, which is the result of an increase in the tax limit.

When it comes to foreign workers, the UPUHH pointed out that it is necessary to start working on measures that will speed up the processes involving stay and work permits and MUP's engagement as soon as possible. They propose to reduce the security check procedure for returning workers, which they rather ridiculously have to repeat every year, and given the fact that these returnees make up about 50 percent of the total number, it is an unsustainable way of doing things going forward.

They are advocating the digitalisation of the process of issuing work permits for foreigners at the level of the whole country, and they are asking the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to speed up the issuance of visas for the minority of workers who need them, and to increase the capacity of the services that process applications for stay and work permits for third country nationals within MUP.

"We need to actually realise that it isn't just Croatia which is fighting for these workers, the whole of Europe, Austria, Germany... they're all looking for them, and we have to do everything we can to remain competitive, because we now need to be aware that we can't meet our needs for workers here on the Croatian market," concluded Zenzerovic.

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

Thursday, 6 October 2022

Zagreb Z Centre Shopping Centre Introduces "Swapping" of Plastic Bags

October the 6th, 2022 - The Zagreb Z Centre (Centar) shopping mall has introduced a praiseworthy and very environmentally aware move by which people can come and swap their harmful plastic bags for material ones which can be used repeatedly.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Zagreb Z Centre is allowing people to become a concrete part of the green transition and has been doing so since the end of September. It will allow people to engage in the eco-action called ''replace your bag/vrecicu zamijeni'' until October the 9th or until supplies run out.

With this commendable campaign, everyone who brings in ten plastic bags to the Zagreb Z Centre will receive an eco cotton bag as a gift, the design of which is by a 12-year-old girl, Lara, a member of the much more environmentally conscious generation.

With the mentorship and support of Jelena Lasic, a qualified designer who completed her design studies at the renowned Parsons School of Design in New York and throughout her career collaborated with huge international names such as Dolce&Gabbana, Donna Karan and Cavalli, the newly created Zagreb Z Centre canvas bag is a unique example of collaboration between generations.

"With this project, we wanted to encourage people to come and be an active part of the change because plastic waste is increasingly polluting the seas and, according to research, there could be more plastic than fish in our seas and oceans by 2050. Today, there are more than 150 million tonnes of plastic dumped in our seas, and 730 tonnes of waste are thrown into the Mediterranean alone every single day. As much as 49% of the waste in the seas is single-use plastic such as plastic bags, plastic cutlery, plastic bottles, etc. As plastic represents a serious blow to the health of our planet, we thought that we should try to put an end to it with our example - even if it only involves small steps taken within each household,'' explained Mirna Cavrak Talapko, the marketing manager of the Zagreb Z Centre.

According to her, the plastic bags collected in cooperation with the Vestigium Association will be given a new life. More specifically, they will be turned into seating pads intended for younger visitors to the children's shows often organised within the Z Centre, and in addition, in accordance with the principles of sustainability in business, the facility also plans to reduce the use of plastic through all future activities, especially regarding the creation of decorations inside the shopping centre specific to changes in scenography during different occasions and seasons.

In this year's first campaign, people can freely join in by bringing in ten clean plastic bags of any size to the Zagreb Z Centre and exchanging them for a reusable cotton designer bag. The exchange will take place with the employees located on the ground floor of the ''North/Sjever'' building near the elevator, from Monday to Friday from 17:00 to 21:00 and twice on Saturdays and Sundays - from 10:00 to 14:00 and then from 16:00 to 21:00.

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

Thursday, 6 October 2022

Croatian Euro Coins Available for Purchase as of December 1, 2022

October the 6th, 2022 - Brand new Croatian euro coins will be made available for both people and business entities to purchase as of the 1st of December, 2022 as official Croatian Eurozone accession is set to occur on the 1st of January, 2023.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, approximately 420 million Croatian euro coins with national motifs weighing as much as 3.7 tonnes are currently being produced, and they will be offered to all people and business entities from December the 1st, 2022.

The one euro coin features the image of a wood marten, which is an animal similar to a ferret or mink and which is the name of the current Croatian currency (the kuna), the two-euro coin is decorated with a geographical map of the Republic of Croatia, the 50, 20, and 10 euro cent coins feature the image of Nikola Tesla, while the 5, 2, and 1 euro cent coins feature the letters H (for Hrvatska/Croatia) and R (for Republika/Republic) written in Glagolitic script, the oldest known Slavic alphabet, according to a report from Danica.

The Croatian National Bank (CNB) explained that all of the necessary quantities of Croatian euro coins with the aforementioned features will be minted by December the 1st this year. They will be sorted into 1.2 million packages for people to purchase and 200,000 packages for business entities to purchase.

Therefore, from the very frist day of December this year, people will be able to purchase a maximum of two packages containing 33 different Croatian euro coins worth 13.28 euros at the Croatian National Bank, as well as from branches of Fina and Croatian Post (Hrvatska posta). Each package will cost 100 kuna.

For more on Croatia's upcoming accession to the Eurozone, make sure to keep up with our dedicated politics section.

Wednesday, 5 October 2022

Entrepreneurial Mindset Conference Presenting Unbreakable Cro Entrepreneurs

October 5, 2022 - Unbreakable - that is the subheading of the Entrepreneurial Mindset conference, which will be held on Wednesday, October 12, 2022, in Zagreb's Lauba.

As Poduzetnik writes, at a moment when the world is afraid of the scale of the new crisis, the conference that gathers the most successful Croatian entrepreneurs every year, brings to the stage those behind whom there is an indestructible spirit, a spirit that bravely fights against the obstacles that open up on its entrepreneurial path. They are entrepreneurs who invested enormous energy in achieving their goal and who transferred their passion for what they do to others - members of their families, employees and society.

Among them are certainly Miljenko Borščak and Stiven Toš (Bomark Pak), who received the EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2021 award in Croatia, and Nikola Anđelković (Anđelković AI), who received the award in Serbia two years earlier. 


The list of speakers about the strong and unstoppable development in the Croatian ICT sector includes Ph.D. Stjepan Orešković (M+ Group), Nikola Kapraljević (Infinum), Zlatko Hrkać (Sofascore) and Jakov and Juraj Urbanke (HSM).



I can, I want, I know - this is the topic of the conversation that Ana Radišić will lead with Dajana Mrčela (Director of Saponia Management) and Maja Šuput Tatarinov, a singer and presenter, who achieved extremely successful marketing cooperation with Saponia and Kandit.


Lada Tedeschi Fiorio (Atlantic Grupa) will look at female leadership, serial entrepreneur Jako Andabak will reveal his entrepreneurial secrets and challenges in a conversation with Božo Skoko, and Davor Tremac (Fonoa) will explore the topic of how to live locally and work globally.



On behalf of the hosts, Ognjen Bagatin (Media platform Poduzetnik) and Berislav Horvat (EY Croatia) will give opening speeches, and Petar Pavić (Star Digital Group) will close the conference.



"We believe that the participants of the conference will inspire many with their stories! We are talking about people who did not sit idly by even when things were most difficult for them. They knew that no one would serve them anything on a platter. They got up from the floor after multiple falls. We want Croatian entrepreneurs to inspire the rest of our society. They are innovators, visionaries and leaders! We need exactly such people in the times that are knocking on our door." Ognjen Bagatin, owner of the Poduzetnik media platform.

Get your tickets for the conference Entrepreneurial Mindset: UNBREAKABLE here.

The conference is organized by the media platform Poduzetnik in cooperation with Algebra and program partner EY Croatia.

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


Wednesday, 5 October 2022

Croatia Presented at SITEV International Tourism and Travel Fair in Algeria

October 5, 2022 - For the first time, Croatia participated at the International Tourism and Travel Fair SITEV in Algeria. The Croatian stand was extremely popular and additional tourist brochures were requested. Many questions were asked about Croatia, which showed that there is great interest for our coast, as well as continental destinations. It's no secret that Algerians consider Croatia a friendly country, they admire its coast and warm sea, they know a lot about Dubrovnik, Luka Modrić and Croatian football.


"Nothing comes by chance. At the end of last year, our Minister of Foreign Affairs Gordan Grlić Radman visited Algeria. The reception was exceptional and they opened the door for cooperation wide. They decided to develop their tourism, and Croatia can help them in every way, from nautical tourism to hotel industry. We consider our participation in the fair to be the opening of Croatia to their market
which could be a "win-win" situation. I am grateful to the Minister of Tourism who supported the idea of ​​going to the fair, as well as the Croatian Tourist Board", highlighted Ilija Želalić, the ambassador of the Republic of Croatia in Algeria.


Photo: Slobodan Kadić

He is especially pleased that Croatian tourists are also visiting Algeria, specifically, recently about fifteen people visited the Sahara via Croatian agencies, and it is precisely this area that they want to promote as a tourist destination. Two years ago Croatia and Algeria exchanged the text of an agreement in the tourism segment that could be signed quickly, and after that many things will happen faster.  Višnja Letica, the advisor of our ministry and the delegation from the Croatian Tourist Board all travelled to Algeria for the 21st SITEV. They made sure that our stand looked beautiful and handed out traditional Licitar hearts.


Photo: Slobodan Kadić

"Algeria has opened the doors of cooperation for us, and through Algeria we can also go to the west coast of Africa. They will build a high-speed railway to the border of Niger, Mali and Senegal... Our products could be exported there, and there is always the possibility of a free trade market among African countries, just as we, in addition to the EU, also have agreements with some countries from before. This is an advantage that many do not know about or show no interest in. Regarding obtaining Croatian visas, not every traveller is a potential migrant. Many Algerians travel around the world, have Schengen visas, and we would very much welcome such clientele. This is how they promote our tourism, which encourages others to come and enjoy our sea and its beauty", concluded Želalić, stressing that in the future it will be possible for investors from Algeria to invest money in tourist facilities and marinas.


Photo: Slobodan Kadić

This year's SITEV was the 21st in a row and lasted from September 29 to October 2, 2022, and is considered the largest international tourism fair in the Maghreb countries. Alongside with several neighboring countries, Turkey participated. We are witnessing excellent growth of tourism after the coronavirus epidemic, and Croatia's participation in fairs of this type is a step forward in the additional promotion of our ever-improving tourist offer.

Croatia is in fashion

"Wherever I went, Algerians would say that Croatia is in fashion. They watch a lot of French television, and there are countless travel series about Croatia. They know a lot about Plitvice, Dubrovnik, Split and our football. A friendly soccer match between Algeria and Croatia had also been arranged, but since they were eliminated by Cameroon and are not at the World Cup, instead of playing against them, we will play against Saudi Arabia. Algeria is a promising country and I am convinced that we can achieve a lot in cooperation", said Ambassador Želalić.

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

Wednesday, 5 October 2022

Croatian Returnee Reflections: Mike Simundic, from British Columbia to Dalmatia

October 5, 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 Mike Simundic from British Columbia, Canada to Dalmatia (Editor's note: being a Dalmatian, Mike is going slow with the full move, but has been building up to it with longer stays over the last two years). 

My name is Mike (Marijan) Šimundić; I was born and raised in British Columbia, Canada, and am the son of Croatian emigrants. My work is in the technology sector, but my exact job is hard to explain; not even my parents fully understand what I do. The best explanation I've read so far is "Mike does mysterious things that nobody can fully understand. He just pushes a few buttons, makes a few phone calls, and bam, things get done".

As the son of Croatian emigrants from Split-Dalmatia County and as a foreign-born Croatian I have three parallel identities. I am a Croatian, a Dalmatian, and as my family is from a small village that is part of the Imotski area, I’m also an Imoćanin. From what I’ve seen and been told, there’s always someone from that area, and I’m fortunate to be among them. 

My parents left during the SFRJ times to start a family in a more stable environment, which ended up being Canada, and I'm very grateful to my parents for making the choices they did so I could grow up to write this piece. However, I often wonder what my life would be like had I been born in and grew up in Croatia, if only for a little while. Fortunately, over the last 10 years, my affinity for Croatia has intensified, and I've experienced that intangible feeling of 'home' every time I visit, which I rarely feel anywhere else.


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.

Since 2012 I started having idle thoughts about making the move to Croatia as I slowly felt more like I was not where I belong. In 2012 I submitted my citizenship application as I saw potential with Croatia’s ascension to the EU and imagined what I could do with my life. During a work trip to Ottawa in 2013, I was able to visit the beautiful Croatian consulate thanks largely to a family friend Zvonimir Aničić, who is the Vice President of Croats Abroad, which is an advisory board for the Croatian Government. Serendipitously, while speaking to the Ambassador to Canada, one of the consular officers asked me to repeat my name as I introduced myself using my Croatian name to keep me thinking in Croatian. This time, I stated my legal name, and as if by magic, she produced my ‘rješenje’, and the few consular officials that were present congratulated me as from that moment on, I was a Croatian citizen. It was one of the happiest moments of my life.

Switching countries is no easy task. I'm a planner, and as a planner, I need to think through as many aspects of what I'm trying to do before making decisions that I cannot unmake. For context, what started as idle thoughts in 2012, turned into soul searching in 2020, and now in 2022, there is no alternative for me, only progression towards my goal. I've mostly figured out what options I have on where I can live vs. where I want to live, what jobs I can do vs. what jobs I want to do, etc., however, the part that I'm missing and still struggling with is finding a job in the technology industry in Croatia that is a fit for me. I'm not going to give up, as it’s a matter of time.


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

Generally speaking, my family in Canada and Croatia admire my tenacity to make my dream a reality. Although, I'm sure they quietly question why I would make such a move. It's unusual, but not uncommon for someone who was born and raised in a western country (with an Eastern European upbringing) to want to return home, where things won't be so easy and as a non-native speaker of the language, there will much I won't understand, but I'll have to learn. I've subconsciously regarded my trips to Croatia over the years as pilgrimages that I considered essential and nourishing, which collectively (re)built my very strong sense of 'home' as soon as I get off the plane in Zagreb or Split. 


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

I've been visiting Croatia on and off between 1994 and 2013, then more consistently since 2013 for vacations to see family and learn more about how things 'worked' in Croatia, and I always left feeling a little smarter. I was also fortunate to spend a total of 9 months over the last two years in Croatia, specifically in Split, which gave me lots of perspective on day-to-day life and allowed me to pretend to live in Croatia while tending to family matters. It wasn't easy as my work schedule went from 15:00 to 01:00 most days, sometimes later, to fulfill my commitments to my current company, which was kind enough to allow me to work internationally for a period of time I was in Croatia tending to family matters. Living in Croatia is more different than it is the same. However, I was impressed by some of the modernization of payments and services, especially through the e-Građani portal. However, I also learned that renting a flat was not straightforward, nor was it easy, and I was very fortunate during my last trip, that my aunt knew someone, that knew someone who had an empty apartment that fit my needs precisely, otherwise, I would not have been able to visit like I did. Proof that relationships are an essential part of daily life 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?

Starting over is never easy, and fortunately, I had to do that recently, so I have some experience. However, starting over in another country will be different. I've spent years and decades forming solid relationships with friends, professionals, and the like, which allowed me to have a solution/contact for any problem that came up. When I'm able to make the move, I'll have to start over again and seek out new friends (some of which I've already made, thankfully) and professionals to support me when I need help with something that is not in my 'wheelhouse'. I wouldn't say I have any fears about doing this, but I'm not excited about leaning on other people's connections when I need to as I prefer to make my own. However, to learn how to find the right people, you have to start with good people around you, and that's something I'm looking forward to. I will have to un-learn to be stubborn and do things the hard way and instead not be apprehensive about asking for help from others when they're more than willing to help you at a moment's notice.


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?

When I first remember visiting Croatia as an adult, my knowledge of Croatian wasn't the greatest; I didn't know where I was going exactly, how I was getting there, etc. Someone came to pick me up, I stayed with family, didn't eat anywhere but with family, and was transported everywhere, which was nice but didn't give me much exposure to how things really were. This reality was rather jarring as my perception was based on spotty childhood memories in the village, and I didn't know exactly how everything worked and how different it was from Canada. After getting some exposure, staying on my own when visiting, and improving the language skills I learned: always bring cash, don't just nod your head and pretend to understand what people are saying, and always assume the people you're talking to know something you don't.


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.

Things I love about Croatia:

  • The food
  • Bura
  • Other Croatians

Things that don't excite me about Croatia

  • Tourist season because of the crowds and crazy prices
  • Always having to carry cash
  • Showering in a bathtub 


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

Try not to overthink it and talk yourself out of doing it. Pretend like it's your only option and really consider all options with the guiding principle of 'what do I want vs. what can I live with'. It won't be perfect; it's not meant to be. You'll need to learn to do more with less, but in the long run, it'll teach you to be more minimalistic, which I don't think is a bad thing. There are lots of groups on different platforms that contain tons of helpful people that want to help. Join these groups and use them to plan your departure from your current country, and I promise you'll meet some great people who may even turn into close friends. Don't downplay the value of learning the language if you're like a native English speaker and me. You'll likely speak Croatian with an accent, but don't let that discourage you. Persevere, and you will enjoy the pleasure of speaking the language which you can use to help yourself and others. 


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

Generally, I think Croatia is doing ok in assisting those who are looking to return home. I would personally like to see the citizenship verification process sped up through the consulates if at all possible and continue to digitize processes and procedures both domestically and abroad. More language options for non-native speakers through consulates or options at universities in the major cities would likely be warmly welcomed as well. I personally would attend these to strengthen my foundational knowledge and unlearn certain words like 'fonat' and 'povakumat', which everyone gets a good laugh over when I accidentally use in a sentence.  Finally, job placement/opportunities are an area in which I would love to see some improvement, selfishly, however, I know there can't be an improvement if there are minimal job openings in the first place. Perhaps more incentives for companies to open up shop in Croatia would stimulate job postings and in turn, applicants, or a cultural shift in how jobs are posted and salary transparency. Times are tough all over, and knowing if you can afford to apply for and be accepted to a job in advance is becoming crucial in people's job searches, especially with the rising prices of the basics in Croatia. 


Thanks, Mike!

You can follow more stories in the Croatian Returnee Reflections series in our dedicated TCN section.

Would you like your returnee story - positive or negative - to be featured in this series? Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Subject Returnee.


What's it like living in Croatia, and where can you get the best survival tips? TCN CEO Paul Bradbury and TCN Editor Lauren Simmonds have teamed up to publish Croatia, a Survival Kit for Foreigners.

Follow Paul Bradbury on LinkedIn.


Wednesday, 5 October 2022

Croatian Highlander Takes to USA, Turning Point Marked With Move

October the 5th, 2022 - The Croatian Highlander brand which started right here in Croatia and refers to itself as the ''Adventure of a lifetime'' and a ''global series of long-distance hiking events which will take you on hikes to some of the most iconic mountains'' has crossed the pond.

This Croatian-made event which centres around physical fitness and giving yourself a true challenge has taken many countries by storm, and now it has headed across the Atlantic Ocean and found a home in the United States of America as well, marking an important step forward for the brand.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Mladen Miletic writes, the Croatian Highlander brand, which is already very well known among walkers and hikers now, entails mountain adventures which aim to connect man and untouched nature. As touched on above, it has already very successfully managed to spread to fifteen countries around the world, and for the first time it was successfully held on the trails of the stunning Big Bear Lake located in the mountainous region of Southern California.

The first arrival of the Croatian Highlander brand in the wild and beautiful nature of the United States was marked by the performance of 260 participants in sections of 60, 30 and 15 miles. Many brought of these keen hikers had their dogs join them on the walk, the youngest participant was a seven-month-old baby, and the oldest was a 65-year-old woman who managed to hike the 60-mile-long trail in a five-day adventure.

"The United States of America is the world's largest outdoor market and our arrival here is a major milestone for the brand and the fulfillment of our wishes," said Highlander CEO Jurica Barac. The next adventure is scheduled for October the 28th 2022 much, much closer to home on Zagreb's Medvednica.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated Made in Croatia brand.

Wednesday, 5 October 2022

Croatian Brand Miret Earns Prestigious Certificate for Their Shoes

October the 5th, 2022 - The Croatian brand Miret has earned prestigious recognition on the global stage which will further shine the spotlight on this ecologically-aware producer.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Josipa Ban writes, the well-known Croatian brand Miret which designs and creates ecological trainers has received the OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certificate for their complete product. Miret's shoes have as such become the only tennis shoes in the entire world that have a certificate confirming that they don't contain any harmful chemicals, meaning that nothing in the product poses a risk to human health.

It's important to note that other brands do carry this mark, but only for certain parts of trainers, where as the Croatian brand Miret's certification is for the entire shoe. The standard 100 marks represent the "eyes of the consumer", explained Domagoj Boljar, the co-founder and director of Miret.

"Given that footwear production often takes place far from the eyes of the consumers themselves, with this certificate, they get an accurate insight into what is happening in places that are invisible to them," Boljar pointed out.

Proof of quality

In order to be awarded with this certificate, they had to undergo rigorous testing of every single component and material incorporated into their product, and the whole process, which the certifier went through for the first time, lasted about a year, they explained from the company, which was founded a mere four years ago by the brothers Domagoj and Hrvoje Boljar.

Domagoj Boljar emphasised that it is a process that is much more complex than the certification of other items of clothing, because footwear is made from a dozen different materials and components, unlike clothing which typically only actually has two or three materials in it. Obtaining this certificate is extremely important for the Croatian brand Miret because this is just one in a series of confirmations of the foundations of their praiseworthy project.

"We're quite radical when it comes to our product and we like to take care not only of the ecological footprint but also of people's health. Now we've received an independent certificate that confirms the quality of the product and the positive impact on human health,'' emphasised Boljar, announcing that they plan to continue to prove their high ecological standards.

With that said, they should soon present the results of their research on the biological composition of tennis shoes and the CO2 footprint. Ultimately, they are convinced, all of this will have a positive impact on their business because they're now scientifically proving their story about ecological trainers. This, in turn, contributes not only to recognition, but also to the credibility of this Croatian brand, and as far as recognition is concerned, Miret seems to earn it rather quickly. This is confirmed by their revenue, which in just two years, from 2019 to 2021, grew by 179 percent to 1.1 million kuna.

However, according to Domagoj Boljar, further growth is still to come because so far they have been mostly focused on product development, the establishment of their infrastructure and growing the right team.

"Now that we've properly organised the business, we will focus on growth, certification and expansion of our offer,'' the men behind the Croatian band Miret explained.

Much like other Croatian entrepreneurs, the business path of the Boljar brothers was far from easy because they worked hard for six years on the development of their ecological trainers with partners from nine other European countries. Therefore, it wasn't easy to replace traditional materials such as leather and plastic with more sustainable and environmentally friendly materials, all while maintaining the quality, durability and modern and attractive design of the shoes.

This quality is mostly recognised by foreign markets, because 90 percent of Miret's shoes are exported to other European countries, such as the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and then to the Scandinavian countries, Norway, Finland, Sweden and Denmark.

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