Saturday, 18 February 2023

Looking for a Job in Croatia? This Week's Top 10 from Posao.hr (February 18, 2023)

February 18, 2023 - Looking for a job in Croatia? A new weekly feature on TCN, in partnership with leading job site agency, Posao.hr, 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 Posao.hr, who kindly took the time for this excellent interview overview.  

This week's top 10 jobs from Posao.hr:

Studenac d.o.o. is hiring a Senior specialist in organization and data management (m/f). Place of work Omiš. We offer you support from colleagues and managers and a pleasant working atmosphere. Send complete applications via link by March 6th.

Senso IS d.o.o. is hiring a person in the position Junior engineer for business applications (m/f). Place of work Zagreb. We offer fixed and incentive income based on achieved results. Send complete applications via link by March 1st.

Bridge Personal & Service d.o.o. is hiring a person in the position of Software development / Software developer (m/f). Place of work Celton Austria. Minimum salary per KV 4,500.00 EUR GROSS/MONTH for full-time work. Send complete applications via link by March 13th.

Strabag BRVZ d.o.o. for services is hiring a person in the position of Senior Backend Developer (m/f/d). Place of work Zagreb. We offer you innovative, technologically challenging projects in an international environment. Work with us in a friendly, competent team of 70 developers. Send complete applications via link by March 12th.

Intra Lighting d.o.o. is hiring a person in the position Lighting designer (m/f). Place of work Zagreb. We offer participation in professional seminars in Croatia and abroad. Send complete applications via link by March 4th.

EMBL European Molecular Biology Laboratory is hiring a person for the position of IT Support Engineer (m/f). Place of work Heidelberg, Germany.we offer you the opportunity to work with the latest technology, being exposed to a fast-growing big data environment operating over 350 petabytes of scientific data and high-end computing across multiple centers to support science at EMBL. Send complete applications via link by March 9th.

Kempinski Hotel Adriatic (Skiper hoteli d.o.o.) is hiring a IT coordinator (m/f). Place of work Savudrija (Umag) - Croatia. We offer incentive income and additional bonuses for work. Send complete applications via link by March 1st.

Pfizer Inc is hiring a person for the position of Medical Affairs Scientist Croatia (m/f). Place of work Zagreb. Send complete applications via link by March 3th.

Skiper Hoteli d.o.o. is hiring a person in the position of IT coordinator (m/f). Place of work Savudrija (Umag) - Croatia. We offer incentive incomes and additional work bonuses. Send complete applications via link by March 1st.

Workforce, for a client, is hiring an IT Application Specialist (m/f) for remote work – within Croatia. They are looking for a good level of English, experience with ERP systems as a key user, and advanced knowledge of MS SQL. Send complete applications via the link by March 1st.

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For more career options and job listings, visit posao.hr.

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

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What is it like to live in Croatia? An expat for 20 years, you can follow my series, 20 Ways Croatia Changed Me in 20 Years, starting at the beginning - Business and Dalmatia.

Follow Paul Bradbury on LinkedIn.

Croatia, a Survival Kit for Foreigners is now available on Amazon in paperback and on Kindle.

Saturday, 18 February 2023

Croatian Returnee Stories: Ian Paligoric, from Dublin to Split

February 18, 2023 - 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 Ian Paligoric, who moved back from Dublin to sunny Split.

A 26-year-old who lived (studied and worked) in the UK, Spain and Ireland from 2015 to 2019 (returned right before the pandemic took over). A marketeer and creative writer at heart, born and raised in Split, but always thought that the grass was greener over the fence, blaming "the system" for all the woes. The experiences abroad allowed me to broaden my horizons (my, my, what a cliche, eh?) and discover that not all things are as they seem. Currently, I'm working as an Automation Marketing Specialist at Adriatic.hr and am a sole-trader (owner of an "obrt" doing marketing as well).

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1. You made the switch to Croatia. Tell us a little about the decision process and how long it took for you to get on the plane?

It's 2019, and I'm working in Dublin, paying an exorbitant amount of money on rent and working in a dead-end corporate job where it's transparent to anyone but the psychopathic middle managerial class that everyone is unhappy, the job is a sinecure, and there's no way to rise up the ranks without sucking up to the higher-ups. Also, for a young man, working in a "top 10 consulting firm in the world" is actually a waste of time. The meme is real. Anyway, I was unhappy.  At the time, I just thought it was because Dublin didn't sit well with me, having moved there from the UK, so I went back to England. It didn't scratch that itch, and I realised for all its faults, (spoiler alert), Croatia isn't necessarily bad, and that the lifestyle is, I dare say, superior. I do miss a great many things about those countries, and I cherish the memories I made there, but I'm happier as it is now.

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(Photo Josip Svalina DUMP) 

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

Family? Greatly disappointed. They didn't understand that the nature of my work would eventually allow me to work remotely, which I tried to tell them. Not only that, but it was they who encouraged me the most to make the move, as they thought that I'd succeed more in life if I was abroad; in retrospect, it's from them that I might have had such a negative perception of Croatia. Anyway, it's 2023, and they still haven't come to terms with my return. Truth be said, they still didn't come to terms with me having only a bachelor's degree and saying that pursuing further education is a waste of time considering that, in my experience, the work market is oriented more towards those with skills and work-experience. As for friends and the local community, they were... Ambivalent, to say the most. Before I left, they kept saying "it's better out there"; when I returned, they said: "no place like home." 

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

I was still connected with my friends who were studying and working all over Croatia, and it's from them that I knew what was happening (also, I've read the news as well, for what is was worth). When I shared my experiences, including how at times I felt unsafe walking the streets of Dublin or any English town, even during the day, they couldn't believe me. "You're a tall guy, what the hell do you have to worry about?" was their common reaction. They didn't get it, and having some close calls even with my friends, that's when my realisation that the grass isn't greener over the fence. I mean, the house I lived in in Derby (England) back in 2018 was burgled — the burglars got away with loads of expensive equipment. We had the tracking on, but even with their location, the police said it was a low-priority case and that they wouldn't pursue it. It was a major blow, and the first time my disillusionment became clear.

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

I was still in junior positions when it came to work and as such, I didn't have the option to work remotely. That meant working for Croatian employers in Split where marketing isn't as developed as in Zagreb or the UK & Ireland. Despite being extremely nervous about finding a job in my field and growing in one niche, I still made the switch. It was a difficult journey, especially with the epidemic happening in the meantime, but hey, I think I'm doing well for myself so far.

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(Photo credit DUMP) 

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?

Well, when I left Croatia, I had a relatively negative outlook on absolutely every aspect of life here (except the weather). Having returned, I truly became optimistic about its growth and the possibilities it will open for skilled young people. It's got a long way to go, its property market is a mess and the salaries are still barely catching up, but having returned, I truly began to appreciate the safety Croatia offers and the way of life here. The people themselves seem happier. To sum it up, I was well aware of all the things as before, just the appreciation for them changed. 

6. You are still here, so obviously the pros outweigh the cons. Tell us about some of the things that you love about being in Croatia, as well as some of the things you don't like.

I'm a marketeer. As my skills and experience grow, my opportunities widen as well. My full-time employment is with Adriatic.hr where I've been given the opportunity to truly explore the niche area of marketing in which I'm interested in, and it's that kind of work I was actually afraid I wouldn't be able to find once I returned. Also, the relative proximity of everything is truly wonderful. Split is a walkable city. Except for Zagreb and perhaps Rijeka, I'd say in most towns you can get from one end to the other in half an hour on foot. Nonetheless, being employed in the tourism industry, it's a tad ironic that I dislike the wild tourism going on here (especially with the coast). It's unplanned, unstructured and I think there's a lot of room for structured growth here (we all know whose responsibility it is as well). The property market is too expensive for the common people. That, and obviously the bureaucracy should be better, but hey, with things moving slowly to e-Građani, life is becoming easier (I opened my obrt fully online after all).

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(Photo credit Ivan Capin) 

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

If you've got a remote job, then you shouldn't worry much. Just make sure you read everything with regards to the bureaucracy (you know, getting papers and visas if need be), and make sure your landlord won't kick you out during the summer season if you're somewhere on the coast.

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

Honestly? Optimise the bureaucracy and make the processes simpler. "A gde je pečat" meme should become a distant memory. If our government wanted to, they have really nice examples set across Western Europe on how it should be set up.

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Thanks, Ian, and enjoy your time in Croatia.

You can follow the TCN Croatian Returnees series here.

If you would like  to contribute your returnee story, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Subject Returnees

You can subscribe to the Paul Bradbury Croatia Expert YouTube channel here.

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What is it like to live in Croatia? An expat for 20 years, you can follow my series, 20 Ways Croatia Changed Me in 20 Years, starting at the beginning - Business and Dalmatia.

Follow Paul Bradbury on LinkedIn.

Croatia, a Survival Kit for Foreigners is now available on Amazon in paperback and on Kindle.

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Saturday, 18 February 2023

Zagreb Traffic Infrastructure Improvements Announced by Mayor Tomasevic

February 18, 2023 - Works worth around three million euros, mainly financed from the EU Solidarity Fund, will be carried out to improve Zagreb traffic, Mayor Tomasevic pointed out.

As Poslovni writes, Tomislav Tomašević, together with his deputies, Danijela Dolenec and Luka Korlaet, and the President of the City Assembly, Joško Klisović, toured the works on the reconstruction of Aleja Matije Ljubeka of the Jarun Recreation and Sports Center, which should be completed by April, and are being carried out by Zagrebačke ceste - a branch of Zagrebački holding.

Wider and safer bicycle paths

"Since the Universiade, for almost 40 years, this road has not been thoroughly restored or reconstructed," he pointed out, adding that this is why it was in such a (bad) condition. Like many other roads, this road was damaged in the Zagreb earthquake. He thanked the Ministry of Construction for its cooperation in applying for the project of the Solidarity Fund.

Tomasevic announced that traffic would be improved so that bicycle lanes would be much wider and safer.

"This will not only be a renovation, not only a better asphalt and a better surface but also an improved quality for recreational users, especially those who use bicycles around Jarun", he said.

He announced that in the coming weeks, he will talk more about temporary and permanent traffic regulation, as some details are still being finalised. He also said that the final solution would be better for the citizens.

"The revitalisation of Jarun has begun," said the President of the City Assembly, Josko Klisovic (SDP). He pointed out that Jarun will return to the glory he had in 1986 and 1987 when it was made for the Universiade.

Klisovic said that the works will be carried out in several phases, now the first one is in progress - the complete renovation of Aleja Matije Ljubeka, and after that, the City Assembly has already tasked the mayor with the proposal of the SDP to also carry out desilting of the water, and removing the water lilies and sediments, so that citizens can bathe in the clean Jarun and athletes and recreationists can use it.

In the third phase, the training grounds will be renovated, but this, he added, is a minor undertaking.

Sarajevska Street will be the new entrance to Zagreb from the south

Mayor Tomasevic also said they have an agreement with the Ministry of Transport to build a new access to the city from the south, using Sarajevska Street. He said that HŽ-Infrastruktura, Croatian Roads, the Ministry of Transport, ZET and the City of Zagreb are also important for this project.

He explained that a new junction from the bypass would connect with an overpass over the entire Shunting Railway Station to Sarajevska Street, where the road will be widened, and a new tram line will be connected to Most Mladosti.

"In this sense, we will have a road solution, a solution for public transport and the relief of this western entrance to the south of the city", said Tomasevic.

He reported that the City is currently working on expropriation, resolving property-legal relations on the route of Sarajevska street and believes that this phase could finish at the end of the year. In parallel, public procurement for the tram line and for roads will be conducted. The roads will be financed half from the state budget or EU funds and half from the city budget.

When asked by a journalist about the problem of "illegal water meters", the mayor said that public procurement is in progress, for which it is crucial that more than one company can apply because the problem is that in the public procurement since May, the specification was such that only one company could get that job in Croatia. It is currently being appealed to the state commission for public procurement control, and he hopes it will be resolved as soon as possible because it is in everyone's interest.

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

Saturday, 18 February 2023

Croatian Ports See Traffic Increase over 10 Percent Compared to 2021

February 18, 2023 - More than 342.7 thousand ships or 10.4 percent more than in 2021, entered Croatian ports last year, and there were 33.8 million passengers or 23.8 percent, which is still fewer passengers than in pre-pandemic 2019, by 4.9 percent, according to the data of the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS). The total turnover of goods in seaports from January to December 2022 increased by 9.1 percent compared to 2019 and amounted to 23.6 million tons.

According to data from the CBS for the fourth quarter of last year, seaports achieved growth in the number of ships and passengers annually - 62.98 thousand ships or 4.9 percent more arrived than in the last quarter of 2021, writes Index.

The most passenger traffic recorded in Split

In the fourth quarter of 2022, 4.3 million passengers were boarded and disembarked in Croatian seaports, which is a 17.1 percent increase compared to the same period in 2021. However, statisticians note that compared to the fourth quarter of 2019, there was still a drop of 3.9 percent.

4.1 million passengers were transported on ferries and passenger ships in the fourth quarter of 2022, which is 14.5 percent more than in the same period of 2021.

Passenger traffic in seaports in the fourth quarter of 2022 was the highest in Split, with 707.7 thousand passengers or 21.9 percent more than in the last quarter of 2021. The port of Zadar followed with a total traffic of 423.2 thousand passengers or 15.7 percent more, and the third was the port of Preko (on the island of Ugljan) with 353.7 thousand passengers or 8.5 percent more than in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Increase in the number of vehicles on ferries

Data from CBS show that in the fourth quarter of last year, compared to the same period of the previous year, seaports also recorded an increase in the number of passenger vehicles and buses that were loaded and unloaded from ferries - more than 772 thousand passenger vehicles, an increase of 5.6 percent, while the number of buses increased by 16.3 percent, to 5,412.

Statisticians also note that of the total number of passengers in seaports, 168,000 of them were disembarked from cruise ships, which compared to the last quarter of 2021, is an increase of as much as 126.8 percent. According to data from CBS, the total turnover of goods in the fourth quarter of 2022 was 5.8 million tons, an increase of 6.3 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2021.

Growth in freight traffic

The CBS explains this with the growth of liquid cargo turnover by 21.8 percent (with a share in the total turnover of goods of 48 percent) and turnover of dry bulk goods by 2.6 percent (a percentage of the total turnover of goods of 29 percent) compared to the same the period of 2021. At the same time, on an annual level, tons of goods in containers decreased by 14 percent (with a share in the total turnover of goods of 15 percent).

Of the five ports that realise 90 percent of the total turnover of goods in seaports, statistics registered a noticeable increase in the fourth quarter of 2022 compared to the same period in 2021 in the ports of Omišalj, by 28.4 percent (to 1.7 million tons). , and Ploče, by 17 percent (to 1.3 million tons).

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

Saturday, 18 February 2023

Young Croatians Opt for Casual Relationships More and More, Study Shows

February 18, 2023 - Young Croatians choose the traditional pattern of dating just as often as they do engaging in modern, more flexible kinds of relationships, while trying to avoid long-term relationships until they stabilise their careers, according to the results of a recent study.

As Index writes, the study "Modern forms of dating among young people aged 18 to 25", conducted by Lucija Šutić from the Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation, Margareta Jelić from the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Zagreb and Ana Krnić from the College of Algebra used the method of qualitative research characterised by a small but targeted sample and direct interviews with members of the focus group.

The scientists spoke to 28 people with an average age of 23, among whom there were 13 women and 15 men.

15 of them were students, six were employed, and seven were unemployed. Thirteen participants were single, and none of the unemployed participants were in a relationship. Two male participants described themselves as gay.

Invitation to sex and one-night stands

The traditional way of starting a romantic relationship between two young people began to change. They used to go on classic "dates", through which they first developed emotional and then physical closeness.

Under the influence of various social changes, including the emergence of social networks, young people are opting for modern, casual forms of "dating" that include open relationships, friendships with benefits, no-strings-attached sex, and one-night stands.

Those who follow traditional patterns usually meet their partners in everyday situations or through a mutual friend and start going on casual dates. Another way is to develop a romantic relationship from a friendship.

Modern relationship partners usually meet in clubs, on social media, or on dating apps and immediately start chatting or hooking up.

This can lead to occasional romantic relationships, i.e. an open relationship of friendship with privileges, sex without obligations, invitations to sex and one-night stands, the authors point out in the article published in the new issue of the journal Revija za sociologiju.

The conclusions suggest that there may be no cultural differences between the dating scenarios of Croatian and American adults, although some research shows that Croatian society is still more collectivist, the authors say, adding that "millennials" probably grew up under the influence of individualistic values.

Another important finding of the study is that young people believe that long-term relationships lead to marriage and/or cohabitation, so if they want to finish their education and build a career, they will try to avoid long-term love relationships and postpone marriage.

Because they still have sexual needs or a need for intimacy, they try to develop casual relationships that will satisfy their specific needs, the authors say.

Fun and relaxation

Casual relationships with sexual relationships are characterised by moderate to high levels of passion, and low to moderate levels of intimacy and low levels of commitment.

The findings, as well as previous studies abroad, identify sexual pleasure as the main reason why young people engage in casual sex, and when this is the only motive for entering into a relationship, a person will settle for something more casual.

What's more, these relationships can be fun and relaxing, as well as help partners practice their skills and learn what they want from their future long-term relationships, the article explains.

The authors note that modern relationships can be confusing because different people define them in different ways and accordingly have different expectations from their partners. When they do not follow a traditional dating scenario, respondents are not sure what the specific norms of behavior are.

A third of women who entered into a relationship experienced ambiguity regarding the status of their relationship, and two thirds of women experienced ambiguity regarding their friendship with the person with whom they "hooked up." This ambiguity can result in anxiety, jealousy, frustration, anger, as well as the breakup of friendships.

Study contributions and limitations

The study was carried out using the method of qualitative research, which, unlike quantitative research, implies a sample with a smaller number of participants, with whom the researchers conduct direct interviews, so the authors also stated several limitations of this study.

The Croatian study included 28 people, while for comparison, a similar American study included 77 participants. The Croatian data are in line with the American research, but its results should be tested in a larger quantitative study, the authors point out.

The participants were included primarily through personal networks and were people living in a large urban area, so although some of them stated that they grew up in rural areas, the results might have been different if the sample had been more heterogeneous, they point out.

Nevertheless, the study expands the understanding of romantic relationships among young people, and as one of the first Croatian studies on this the topic, it is assessed, makes an important contribution in the field of partner relations research.

It can serve not only as a reference for future research, but also as a basis for the development of preventive programs that will strengthen romantic competences and develop communication skills in young people in the emerging adulthood period, they conclude.

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

Saturday, 18 February 2023

Mario Romulic's Čudesna Šuma Eco Estate Now Producing Miracle Creams

February 18, 2023 - Mario Romulic from OPG Čudesna šuma is one of the most creative gardeners we know. On his self-sustaining eco farm, Mario practices ecological food production according to biodynamics and natural farming principles. 

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Mario Romulic is a Croatian photographer who became recognised for his "wildlife" photos, and because of the incredible shots he took in Kopački rit, he was called its "good spirit". During the pandemic, Mario replaced his old job with the Čudesna Šuma (Magical Forest) eco estate, located not far from Bilje, in the vicinity of Osijek. Because of this, his life is less stressful today and filled with health, peace, tranquillity and happiness, writes Green.

Serious health problems prompted Mario to start studying the food we buy in shops, and because of this, he started growing food in his small garden six years ago. "I decided I have to produce my food if I want to eat healthily," says Mario.

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At the beginning of cultivating his garden, he learned about permaculture; later, he discovered biodynamic agriculture and fully devoted to it. "Biodynamics is perhaps the most extreme form of ecological food cultivation. The food obtained with such an approach is considered a medicine, it is so healthy and full of vitality. By consuming such food, I transfer its life force to myself."

Seeing how well the food he grows affects his health, Mario decided to go one step further and recently started producing natural cosmetics, i.e. organic creams to treat pain and varicose veins, as well as anti-acne creams.

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"The creams are made from our plants, which I grow using biodynamic cultivation. We use herbs such as medical hemp, lavender, aloe vera, fennel and habanero pepper. They are obtained through an ultrasonic process to extract plants," said last year's winner of the Green Prix award in the Greenlider category.

 To make creams, Mario bought a laboratory. It contains ultrasound and a machine for evaporating tinctures. "We extract the alcohol from the tincture of the dry hemp flower; then we use it to get an extract from the plant and obtain an oil that we later mix into creams. We finish the entire production process with an ultrasonic process, which is, let's say, the most modern and highest quality way of producing the extract. The sound penetrates the cell and reaches the plant's extract, i.e. its best properties," explains Mario.

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As he said, he started making creams for himself and his health problems. "I make the recipes in collaboration with different doctors of Chinese medicine; we check which extracts are the best and how to make a product that will satisfy all needs as much as possible. I tested the first products on myself and my family members. My children had acne problems, I had joint pain, and my wife suffered from varicose veins. The creams proved to be excellent for all our problems".

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When he announced on his Facebook profile a few days ago that he had started producing creams, he encountered a wave of positive reactions from loyal followers who pre-ordered Mario's organic creams in the comments. "The interest is huge, but we do not make creams in large quantities. They are small batches, but those who have had the chance to try them are delighted. You wouldn't believe the changes they felt after just a few uses".

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Unfortunately, we will have to wait for some time for the miraculous creams to reach everyone who needs them, but since Mario succeeds in everything he sets his mind to, we believe that he will succeed in proving the magical and healing power of nature to people all over Croatia very soon.

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

Friday, 17 February 2023

NK Osijek Fans Counting Down Days for New Pampas Stadium (VIDEO)

February 17, 2023 - The completion of Osijek's new Pampas Stadium is getting closer!

The new NK Osijek stadium, which will be the most modern in Croatia, will have a capacity of 13,005 seats. The entire complex will also include a club camp with several pitches in the same location, both natural and artificial.

Within the stadium, there will also be a club shop and cafe for Osijek fans to socialize. Pampas will also be the first fully covered stadium in Croatia. This means that there is a roof over all four stands. 

 

At the moment, a lawn is being laid on the grounds, which suggests that Osijek fans are counting down to the days to the end of the works. Like many of the world's top football stadiums, Pampas will have a hybrid turf made of synthetic and natural fibers. First, two special artificial grass injection machines will sew up the field. It will take them about ten days. After that, laser-guided fibers, about 18.75 million of them for one lawn, are placed on the substrate, and then natural grass grows between them.

In addition to the pitch, work is also being done on the sound system, which will soon blare Osijek fan songs. 

While the stadium construction is finally nearing its completion after more than four and a half years, games won't be played there anytime soon. Recently, a member of the Osijek Management Board, Vladimir Čohar, stated that it is most realistic to expect that Osijek will play at Pampas at the beginning of the next season.

Thus, for a few more months, Osijek will host their home games at City Garden, and then move to the northwest to Pampas Stadium.

Originally, Pampas was supposed to be finished by the end of 2020, but the deadlines were pushed back several times. The final deadline should be this April. After that, the 13,005-seat stadium needs to get all the necessary permits and host test matches before NK Osijek can play in its new home. 

Source: Gol.hr

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

 

Friday, 17 February 2023

Meet Hrvoje Juric, a Slavonian Cycling to Europe's Northernmost Point

February 17, 2023 – One of the most rewarding parts of writing on TCN is the people we meet and the stories we hear. It’s all that much better when they come from eastern Croatia and are living proof that Slavonia really is full of life, 365. We are excited to finally publish one of our favourite interviews, featuring one man, one bicycle, and two dogs. Hrvoje Juric has cycled the world, written a book, and helped trace cycling and hiking trails in Croatia. He has done many other amazing things, and now he is on a 2,300-kilometre journey to reach Europe’s most northerly point. On an electric bicycle. In the winter.

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Tell us about yourself.

My name is Hrvoje Juric, I am 36 years old, and I come from Vrbica, a small village between Đakovo, Vinkovci, and Osijek. I am a wasn’t-meant-to-be economist, and I have been travelling since 2011. Then, completely inexperienced and with very few funds, I set out on my first trip, from Vrbica to Pula and back. I traveled by bicycle, and it all happened quite spontaneously. The bike was the only means of transportation I had, and it was also the cheapest way to travel. I liked this way of travelling, and I felt like I was living life to the fullest, so I kept doing it. The following year, I went on a trip around Europe, about which I wrote the travel novel "Marijanov put" (Marijan’s Journey). After that came the first journey to Nordkapp, a journey of 5,000 kilometres to the northernmost point of Europe. It was followed by a trip through the Alps, then one from London to Istanbul, and then one around Croatia. Later I realised that all these trips and experiences led to one thing - a trip around the world.

Tell us about the area where you come from.

Vrbica is a small village in the Đakovo area, in the municipality of Semeljci, and it is a plain. I often jokingly say that the overpass over the highway is the highest mountain we have. I grew up there, my friends and family are there, and I lived there until recently. As a lot has happened in the last couple of years, and now only on paper am I still in Vrbica.

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Tell us about your lifestyle, what you do, and what inspired it.

This year I changed my life drastically when I sold the house where I grew up and lived for 36 years. I didn't do it out of necessity, in the sense that I needed the money. I did it because everything simply led to that. Since I started travelling, with my first trip, I realised that this way of life would not be easy, but compared to everything else, it is ideal for me. There is a lot that I had to adapt to, and yet somehow, I remained myself. Of course, this shaped me, but I think I kept the direction I wanted my life to go.

What did it require to take the plunge and pursue your passion?

I think the main reason was dissatisfaction with the direction my life was going. When you know that you are not made for what you do and work takes up a large part of your time in this world, it is necessary to change things. By chance, it was my job; it could have been something else. I would dare to say that if you want to change yourself, if you want to follow your passion, or even just figure out what the hell you want in life, you will encounter a very unpredictable time full of trials and difficult moments. Emotional, financial, it doesn't matter in what sense. For me, that included spending more time travelling hungry than on a full stomach, but I knew that I must not give up on my dreams. Along the way, I lost some people, some literally, in the sense that they passed away (parents, which was a big and heavy burden for me), and some simply distanced themselves from me. It doesn't even matter if it's my fault, theirs, or both. Such situations build a person and often what we become is not a beautiful picture, but I think that everyone deserves a second chance if they are honest and if they learn from their (mis)deeds.

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What keeps you going?

Desire for research, learning, progress. Every time I come to a new place or return to a place I haven't been in years, I absorb everything like a little child. It’s all new to me: new smells, new sights, new people and their characteristics. This desire to explore others to get to know myself, I think is one of the main motives.

What were your favorite projects?

The trip around the world was unique, and the preparations for that lasted about three years. I can hardly compare that trip to anything else, but I had a great experience and a lesson out of it. The Slavonia hiking trail, where Ena, Max, and I hiked all 300 kilometres and visited all 35 checkpoints, was another one of my favourite projects. It is also the first project we did together. The Slavonia hiking trail offers a lot, especially to hikers who are beginners on long routes.

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What is your current project?

I am currently on the "Giant World Tour: Norway" project, which is a continuation of the "Giant World Tour", a trip around the world by electric bicycle that I did in 2019 and thus became the first person to travel around the world on an electric bicycle. The idea with this series is to test Giant electric bikes in different, dare I say, extreme conditions. To prepare for the project, I found an apartment in Gorski Kotar and spent two months preparing for the conditions in the north. Hiking, cycling, and spending time in the fresh air and in the rain were all part of the preparations. We travelled to Oslo in a Dacia Duster, which had my bicycle and all the equipment needed for the trip, including a trailer for Ena and Max. I departed from Oslo in early February. I don't have a specific time in which I plan to finish the 2,300 kilometres to Nordkapp, but roughly 35 days should be enough. After the trip, Tin Borovšćak and I will work on a documentary film (filming has already started). Along with the film, a photo book will be released that I will promote around Europe, with an emphasis on Croatia and Norway.

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Favourite moments and hardest moments of your travels.

I would put it this way - my favourite part of travelling is when I meet people, specifically people with whom I can share my thoughts. Regardless of whether they agree with me, or if we have the same or different views on life. When we "click". Be they in Russia, Norway, or Australia. It is because of people that a certain country is the way it is; they directed their country towards exactly where it is right now by living and working there. Through other stories, I learned a lot, mostly about myself. How to remove prejudices and embrace differences.

The most difficult moments, and there were some, were mostly related to lack of money and the inability to afford a decent meal or a meal at all. As I have already stated, the first couple of years were really difficult, had a couple of friends not helped me, I might have given up. Then, just as things were starting to get better, family tragedies happened. First my father died, and then a couple of years later, my mother. They had just turned 53 years old. It left a big mark on me, and at some moments, I didn't know what would happen to me. All those difficult life moments shook me up but also forced me to sort out my life and move on.

Tell us about your furry sidekicks.

Ena and Max, or as Twitter nicknamed them, Niprije (long story...) are a very important part of this slightly different family. I often like to say we are a pack because, frankly, we're not far from it. I adopted Ena a little over five years ago when she was 10 months old. She was quite scared, especially of new people. My friend Adela took her off the street, an association that takes care of abandoned border collies cleaned her of parasites and sterilised her, and then I showed up. At first, of course, she didn’t trust me, but very quickly, she stretched out on her back and seemed to want to say - ok, let's go! I didn't have much experience with dogs, and thanks to friends who have dogs, as well as daily walks, Ena and I learned about each other. So much so, that after travelling around the world, I decided that I no longer wanted to do projects without her.

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So, we set off on "Via Adriatica Bike", where I traced the cycling version of the "Via Adriatica Trail", a long hiking trail that connects the two most distant land points in Croatia - Prevlaka and Cape Kamenjak. It was on that wonderful trip, which was the first project after the round-the-world trip and my, i.e., our new beginning, that we met Max. On the penultimate day of the trip, we went down to Plomin harbor and literally recorded their first meeting with my camera. That moment, the way they jumped around each other, you can still see happening daily. It's as if they just met. It's fascinating to me how everything came together, how the two of them bonded. Max was the cherry on top and the last piece of the puzzle of the whole picture that you can see today.

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We know that you are a promoter of Slavonia. What is life like there, what is the situation in tourism, and why should everyone visit at least once?

Slavonia is still an unspoiled pearl of continental Croatia, and in the last few years, I must say that tourism is starting to happen to us. Especially during and just after the pandemic, people turned to nature a lot more. Of course, not all of them kept that lifestyle, but still, many of them realised that life offers more than shopping malls and that it is smarter and healthier for them and their children to stay in the mountains, hills, in nature in general on the weekends and every other free moment. That's how the Jankovac trail became super popular, but Slavonia has a lot more to offer. I think that the Slavonia Hiking Trail, the first mountain ring trail in Croatia (from 1957), is not sufficiently "used" and that it should be the flagship of tourism and the development of outdoor activities in Slavonia.

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I am also thankful to the Slavonia cluster, the association of county tourist boards, with whom I laid out a cycling route that connects all five counties, and largely follows the Slavonia Hiking Trail. This means that outdoor enthusiasts can use the "bike and hike" activity – cycle a part of the trail, then store their bicycle in a lodging, hike, for example, the Ivačka Glava peak (one of the most beautiful viewpoints on Papuk), then reward themselves with an excellent lunch in the mountain lodge before finishing the trail. This is just the foundation, but an important and healthy foundation on which other activities can be built on.

Many thanks to Hrvoje for sharing his inspiring story, and we wish him the best of luck in all his endeavors! Check out TCN's Instagram for updates, and stay tuned for part 2 coming somewhere in the middle of Hrvoje’s northern journey.

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

Friday, 17 February 2023

As Many as 87 Zagreb Streets to Temporarily Lose Electricity Today

February the 17th, 2023 - As many as 87 Zagreb streets are set to lose electricity for a few hours today, here's a full list. If you live here in Zagreb, it might be worth checking if yours is on it.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, here's a full list of Zagreb streets and households/numbers where the electricity supply interruption has been announced for today (the 17th of February 2023) due to ongoing HEP works.

HEP teams are monitoring the current electricity works on a daily basis, and they're busy repairing and maintaining the electric power network throughout the Republic of Croatia, including right here in the City of Zagreb. As a result, there are unfortunately frequent outages being experienced. Numerous temporary electricity shutdowns have been announced for today in the area covered by Elektra Zagreb. During the morning, households, companies and other buildings in as many as 87 Zagreb streets will be without electricity, writes Vecernji list.

Let's get to the point - from 09:00 to 13:00, there will be no electricity at many of the following addresses located on Zagreb streets:

  • Ulica Dubrava 120-144 par., 148, 154-156 par.,
  • Bakaračka 4, 1-5 nep.,
  • Barbatska,
  • Beketinečka,
  • Belišćanska,
  • Belišćanski odvojak I. i II.,
  • Beljska,
  • Bogdanovačka,
  • Cerička,
  • Čagljinska,
  • Čikatska,
  • Diljska 2-38 par., 1-29 nep., 29/A,
  • Dragozetička,
  • Đurđevečka,
  • Garćinska,
  • Glavotočka,
  • Gračačka 2-6 par., 6/A, 1-3 nep.,
  • Gračački odvojak,
  • Gradinska,
  • Gradiška,
  • Hlebinska,
  • Hlebinski odvojak 2-4 par., 8-10 par., 18-do kraja par., 1-do kraja nep.,
  • Ivankovačka,
  • Ivanjska 2-26 par., 26/A, 1-27 nep.,
  • Jadarska,
  • Jarminska,
  • Javorinska,
  • Jurandvorska,
  • Kajkavska 2,
  • Kanarinska 62/A, 64-do kraja par., 59-do kraja nep.,
  • Kapuncinska 34-42 par., 46-48 par., 52-do kraja par., 47-do kraja nep.,
  • Kijevska 7,
  • Kloštarska,
  • Kobaška,
  • Košljunska,
  • Kurilovečka,
  • Kutjevačka,
  • Ulica Sjtepana Lacka 2-20 par., 1-19 nep.,
  • Legradska,
  • Limska 2-do kraja par., 1-17 nep., 17/A, 21-do kraja nep.,
  • Lipovljanska,
  • Medvejska,
  • Mejska,
  • Mikanovečka,
  • Mrzlopoljska,
  • Nemetinska,
  • Okućanska,
  • Opatovečka,
  • Osječka 2-8 par., 12-28 par., 34-36 par., 50-114 par., 1-47 nep., 51-89 nep.,
  • Osorska,
  • Otočačka,
  • Pitomačka,
  • Pivska,
  • Pleternička,
  • Podgoračka,
  • Podvežićka,
  • Povljanska,
  • Prugovečka,
  • Rajička 2-26 par., 1-23 nep.,
  • Rudopoljska 2-16 par., 1-do kraja nep.,
  • Sevnička,
  • Sibinjska,
  • Slavonska 2-36 par., 40-72 par., 1-47 nep., 61,
  • Slavonska-odvojak,
  • Sokolovečka,
  • Sopnička 2-24 par., 24/A, 1-13 nep., 13/A, 19-21 nep.,
  • Sotinska,
  • Suhajska,
  • Šatorska 2-16 par, 1-19 nep,
  • Šljivoševečka,
  • Štefanovečka 54-80 par, 81-97 nep,
  • Tarska,
  • Tovarnička,
  • Valpovačka,
  • Vardarska 2-20 par, 24-54 par, 1-31  nep, 37/A, 37/B,
  • Vinodolska 8-68 par, 68/A, 7-15 nep, 15/A, 17-23 nep, 37-71 nep,
  • Virovitička,
  • Voćinska 6-18 par, 18/A-18/C par, 20-50 par, 1-11 nep, 23-49 nep,
  • Vratnička,
  • Vrhovinska,
  • Vrpoljska,
  • Vukovarska 2-10 par, 14-28 par, 32-26 par, 36/A, 9-21 nep, 27-29 nep, 29/A, 31-35 nep,
  • Zametska,
  • Zlobinski odvojak

From 10:00 to 12:00, there will be no electricity available at the following addresses/in the following areas:

  • Omedini
  • Jačkovečki Klanec
  • Brežanska

''On the topic of electricity, it's worth noting that however irritating this is to deal with, no drastic disruptions are expected in terms of prices. The Republic of Croatia and the rest of Europe are more experienced than last winter and will welcome the next one much more prepared,'' said energy expert Daniel Srb. He analysed the trends in the electricity and gas price market a little more than a month before the expiration of the government's measures for the protection of households and the domestic economy, which, among other things, set a fixed price for electricity and gas, which will remain valid until March the 31st of this year. In the spring, when the measures do expire, the figures expressed on our energy bills aren't going to come as a shock to us,'' concluded Srb.

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

Friday, 17 February 2023

Lawsuits Against Croatia Submitted by European Commission to EU Courts

February the 17th, 2023 - The European Commission (EC) has submitted two lawsuits against Croatia to the EU courts for failing to implement waste directives. Hungary and Portugal also have cases against them.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, on Wednesday, the European Commission submitted two lawsuits against Croatia to the EU courts, one for not transposing the directive on energy from renewable sources, and the other for not complying with an earlier court ruling regarding an illegal landfill in Donje Biljane (close to Benkovac).

On that same day (Wednesday) as part of the package of violations of European Union law for this month, the European Commission referred to the lawsuits against Croatia, as well as to those cases against neighbouring Hungary and also Portugal with a request to impose financial sanctions for not transposing the EU Directive on energy from renewable sources into the national legislations of those member states.

The EU member states in question, including the Republic of Croatia, were all obliged to transpose the directive by June the 30th, 2021, but Croatia, Hungary and Portugal have not yet duly reported on the specific transposition of all of the necessary provisions of the aforementioned EU-wide directive into their national legislation.

The European Commission thus decided to re-refer the lawsuit against Croatia because it has failed to fully comply with the Court's judgment from back on May the 2nd, 2019. It found that Croatia failed to fulfill its obligations from the Framework Directive regarding waste in connection with the illegal landfill close to Benkovac referred to above.

Around 140,000 tonnes of residue from ferromanganese and silicomanganese processing since way back in 2010 have been dumped directly in this illegal waste dump, less than 50 metres from the houses themselves. The court confirmed that the stone aggregate dumped there should be considered waste, and not a mere by-product.

The court further established that the waste must be managed in a way that does not endanger people's health or cause damage to the surrounding environment. In addition to the two lawsuits against Croatia, the country also received a few more official warnings, which is the first step in procedures initiated against European Union member states.

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

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