Sunday, 15 January 2023

2023 World Handball Championship: Croatia Back on Track, Beats USA 40:22

January 15, 2023 - After losing to Egypt on Friday, Croatia found their rhythm and beat the USA 40:22 in the second match of the 2023 World Handball Championship.

Croatia was after their first victory against the USA in Group G of the World Handball Championship on Sunday in Sweden. Recall Croatia lost to Egypt in the first round on Friday 22:31. 

The USA defeated Morocco 28:27 on Friday to earn its first World Championship win, breaking their 25-game losing streak.

Before tonight's game, Croatia played one match against the USA at the World Championship, in 2001 in France, when they won (41:12).

Losing to Egypt did not threaten Croatia's chance for a spot in the second round of this competition, but it made the path to the quarter-finals a bit more difficult, which was the first goal of this new Croatia team.

Josip Šarac was in the lineup for tonight's match, while Zvonimir Srna watched the match from the stands. 

Match recap

The USA did not take advantage of their first attack, but Croatia did. Karačić scored for 1:0. Blanco leveled the score for 1:1 in the 3rd minute. 

Musa scored after a nice assist from Šarac. Ian Hueter scored, but Šarac quickly countered. The USA took the lead at 4:3 in the 6th minute. 

Musa made it 4:4 two minutes later. After goals from Jelinić, Šarac, Glavaš, and Karačić, it was 9:5 for Croatia in the 12th minute. And it was 12:5 for Croatia in the 14th minute. 

After a few goals from the USA, it was 13:7 for Croatia in the 17th minute. Glavaš scored a penalty for 14:7 in the 19th minute. 

Jelinić scored for 15:7 in the 22nd minute. In the 26th minute, Šarac made it 17:8. Cindrić scored his first goal of the game in the 29th minute. 

The first half ended 20:10 for Croatia. 

A nice play and goal by Karačić opened the second half. Šarac scored his 5th goal of the game in the 34th minute and scored again for 25:12 in the 36th minute. 

Mihićev scored his first goal of the game one minute later. Karačić scored his 5th goal in the 43rd minute for +15 - 30:15.

With 10 minutes to go, Croatia was up 32:18. 

Karačić scored for 33:18 in the 52nd minute. With this result, Croatia has mathematically secured their spot in the second round. 

With five minutes to go, Croatia led 37:20. 

And with a minute left, it was 39:22 for Croatia. Mihić scored the final goal for the game for 40:22. 

Croatia's next game is against Morocco on Tuesday, January 17, at 20:30. 

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

Sunday, 15 January 2023

International Supermarket Tourism: More than Lidl near Bregana Border

January 15, 2023 - Niche cross-border tourism doesn't get much publicity, but Schengen and the euro have brought a new type to Slovenia from Croatia - international supermarket tourism.

For decades it was known (to me at least) for only two things - the largest border crossing befween Croatian and Zagreb (where I and many others have spent hours in border queues), and the only place I knew that had a pub with the bar in one country and the toilets in another (you can read about that in Fortress Europe? Meet Slovenia's Open Schengen Crossing with Croatia.

Bregana. Just 20 minutes from Zagreb, the Slovenian border town now has a new lease of life with its open border with Croatia and more affordable shopping - international supermarket tourism. 


I first came across niche cross-border tourism a few years ago in Baranja close to the Hungarian border, where an enterprising ice-cream vendor with a Dinamo Zagreb ice cream parlour was doing a roaring trade with Hungarian clientele. Not one for Hajduk fans perhaps, but Slasticarnica Dinamo in Baranjsko Petrovo Selo is located just 2km from the Hungarian border. The ice cream is so good (and it really is) that many Hungarians come over for an ice cream. And that was before the borders were without checkpoints. 

But Bregana is already doing a roaring trade with a steady stream of cars from the Croatian capital popping over the border to shop at the Lidl supermarket in nearby Brezice. The introduction of the euro in Croatia has enabled consumers to compare prices in the same supermarket chain in stores in Croatia and Slovenia. There have been several articles on the subject, with a shopping basket of 100 euro in the Lidl store in Croatia being 20% more expensive than its Slovenian counterpart, this despite the average salaries in Croatia being significantly lower than in Slovenia. As previously reported on TCN, Lidl Croatia Explain Why the Same Products are Cheaper in Slovenia.

But if Bregana and its open border is now reinventing itself as a gateway to cheap supermarket option for Croatian consumers, why not encourage Croatian consumers to learn more (and spend more) in the town itself? A rather enterprising article promoted by the Slovenian Embassy in Zagreb which appeared in Jutarnji List highlights 12 things to check out in nearby Brezice while on your next Lidl trip. I, for one, had no inkling of Bregana and the surrounding area other than a border crossing town, but there is plenty to investigate in Brezice apart from Lidl, it seems. Learn more in the original Jutarnji article



Sunday, 15 January 2023

Croatian President Milanovic: What Should We Be, American Slaves?

January 15, 2023 - Croatian President Milanovic with some forthright views on several current issues, reports

PRESIDENT Zoran Milanović participated in the commemoration of the 31st anniversary of the international recognition of the Republic of Croatia and the 25th anniversary of the end of the peaceful reintegration of the Croatian Danube region in Vukovar. At the beginning, he commented on the refusal of SDSS representatives to come to the celebration of the anniversary of peaceful reintegration, reports N1.

"I think they should have come, even though I know it's not easy. This was a conflict between two sides, and now there is peace and things are moving forward somehow. I know they can't have an attitude like mine, but I don't expect that either," said Zoran Milanović.

"Plenković spits on Croatian citizens in foreign media"

The president then commented on Prime Minister Andrej Plenković's interview for the French media, in which he touched on his statements on the issue of training Ukrainian soldiers in Croatia. "You spit on Croatian representatives and Croatian citizens in the French media," he said and added: "Never insult the democratic representatives of your citizens and your citizens in foreign media. That is the minimum etiquette."

Plenković told the France 24 channel yesterday that the decision of parliament members that Croatia does not participate in the European Union's mission to support the Ukrainian army (EUMAM) was a "historically wrong choice".

Milanović said today that the decision on the training of Ukrainian soldiers or any involvement in the war should be the choice of Croatia, which should not do what the bigger powers impose on it. "Washington and NATO are waging a proxy war against Russia through Ukraine. And vice versa. However, if you don't have the ultimate goal, if you don't have a plan, then it ends up like Afghanistan," Milanović said.

The president, who previously opposed Croatia's participation in the mission several times, repeated that it is "legally very doubtful". "The decision is that for the first time in its history, the EU is participating in a war. And this is against the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU, because it only foresees missions outside the territory of the EU," Milanović said.

"The plan cannot be to remove Putin"

"The plan cannot be to remove Putin. The plan cannot be sanctions. This is nonsense. We will not achieve anything. They didn't even break Milosevic with sanctions. They go from war to war. What should we be? American slaves?" he added.

The president was also asked about rounding off, i.e. increasing prices after the introduction of the euro.

"They should have hired an entire army of inspectors to look around. However, the prices have been displayed in euros and kunas for months. We don't live in the Soviet Union. I would expect someone to tell the government. It is the customer who has the most power. He should say : 'You're underestimating me, you're underestimating my intelligence and I'm going to someone else,'" he said.

Sunday, 15 January 2023

Exploring Croatian Traditions: Vinkovo, Saint Vincent Blessing Vineyards

January 16, 2023 - If it's sunny on Vinkovo, then " into the barrels abundant wine will flow". If a sparrow bathes in a puddle on that day, winemakers will "bathe" in wine in autumn. If it's a dry day, there won't be any wine either. There is a direct correlation between how much wine the winemakers drink and how fruitful their grapes will be. Those are some of the beliefs associated with the feast of one of the most beloved saints among winemakers. St. Vincent found his place in the calendar on January 22. As Croatian tradition clearly and long has stated, a visit to the vineyards is non-negotioble on the day, regardless of the winter weather conditions.

As Agroklub writes, many traditions are tied to Vincekovo, Vinceška, Vincelovo, Vinkovo... as this holiday is called in different parts of continental Croatia, but the most common one is the blessing of vines.

A blessing for a more fruitful harvest

In a prayer with the priest, winemakers with their friends invoke God's blessing "for bountiful harvests and abundant fruits of all kinds, above all rich grapes" in the coming year, but also protection of the vines from frost, hail, disease, pests... in short, anything that can cause damage.

In the east of Croatia, holy water is sprinkled or blessed wine poured over a vine on which kulen, sausage or schvargl are hanged. This will ensure that the year's clusters of grapes are at least the same size as the meat.


Steve Tsentserensky

In some places, the host consecrates the vineyard by sprinkling holy water on all four sides or pouring blessed wine in its four corners. In the northwestern parts of the country, a prayer is said to God to protect the vine and keep it safe from hail and frost, and to St. Vincent for a good year ahead. The traditional prayer in Croatian: "Dragi Bog čuvaj trsa mog, evo Ti zrelog vina da bu dobra godina. Oblake razmakni, sunce primakni, mraza zgoni, na tuču zvoni. Se bum obdelal da bi v jesen popeval. Rozgvu si bum zel i vu vodu del. Sv. Vincek pokaži svetu kak bu vu novom letu".

And just as this prayer says, the host then takes a pair of scissors and with the first cut of the vine marks the beginning of the year's pruning and thus symbolically starts the new season. A cut off branch is taken into the house, where it buds in a warm place, and based on the number of buds, the hosts can predict how fruitful their crop and the year's harvest will be.

Kulen for the Vincilir (Vineyard Master)

Traditionally, after the "official" part, many guests toast with good wine to a successful start of the year, cheerfully singing, next to an open fire. And where there's fire, there's bacon or sausage roasteing on sticks, maybe some shepherd's or wine bean stew cooking. The crowd also enjoys the kulen that hanged on the blessed vine. Traditionally, though, this kulen would be given as a reward to the Vincilir, the man who looked after and cultivated the vineyards 'as if it were his own'. This stems from times when Vincilirs had to travel by horse-drawn carriages from the Slavonian villages to the vineyards, which took a lot of time and energy.

In some Croatian regions, this celebration is exclusively for men,since according to another popular belief, the presence of children or women would invite hail.

In Moslavina, on the other hand, beliefs dictate that there should be enough wine at the celebration to last until the evening, because otherwise (again) hail would destroy the vineyard. If water leaks from the eaves on the day, the year will be wet and the harvest rich. To protect themselves from evil spells, people there hang a wreath of garlic on the porch.

Some winemakers also open their cellars for the blessing of young wine, so on that day fans of this elixir can have a long celebration with a spontaneous tour of several cellars along a wine road. It is practically unimaginable that any host who cares about their reputation does not host everyone who comes by on that day.


Steve Tsentserensky

Five "commanded" holidays

It is interesting that the 'wine saint' does not really have any concrete connection with vineyards or wine, if this clarification is sought in a religious sense. According to his biography, this early Christian martyr, deacon Vincentius lived in Spain, today's Saragossa, in the 4th century, during Diocletian's persecution of Christians. In order to renounce his faith, the proconsul Dacian subjected him to terrible torture and threw his body to the beasts. According to the legend, his tortured body was saved by a raven, so he was thrown into the sea with a stone around its neck, but the sea washed his body ashore. He is commemorated on the day he died in 304, and his relics are preserved in Lisbon.

It is to be assumed, therefore, that the connection can be sought with some pre-Christian or pagan ritual of farmers, given that it is in the calendar part of the year when the beginning of the new vegetation and the new cycle of agricultural work is expected. Some associate the celebration of Vinkovo St. Vincent with the god Dionysus, who was celebrated in ancient Greece at the beginning of February. Barrels with new wine would be opened, all to be drunk, thus marking, just like Vinkovo, the awakening of nature.

Most people support the simplest interpretation, according to which they began to worship this saint as their patron because the root of his name in many languages is 'wine'.

All in all, Vinkovo is one of the five "commanded" holidays of winemakers rooted in Croatian tradition. There are also St. Juraj (April 23), St. John the Baptist (June 24), St. Michael (September 29) and St. Martin (November 11). Traditions dictate that for Jurjevo new vines should be planted, while pruning, fertilizing and digging of the old vines should be completed. For St. John the Baptist, the vines are should be weeded and sprayed for the second time. After this memorial day in the vineyard, the vines are plucked and regular spraying is done, then Miholje awaits, which marks the beginning of the harvest. Active work ends, and winemaking begins for Martinje, when young wine, freshly produced must is blessed.

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

Saturday, 14 January 2023

Looking for a Job in Croatia? This Week's Top 10 from (January 14, 2023)

January 14, 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.  

Ines has kindly agreed to work with us on a new weekly feature on TCN - a weekly selection of 10 job listings, as chosen by  Details and links to the job opportunities below in the latest edition of this feature.

The Zagreb School of Economics and Management is hiring a person for the position of Director for executive education programs (m/f). Place of work Zagreb. Send complete applications via link until Jan 23th.

Iconis d.o.o. is hiring a person in the position of React.js developer (m/f). Place of work Rijeka / Zagreb or remote. Salary from €1,500 to €2,900 and bonus for the end of the year up to €330. Send complete applications via link by Jan 19th.

dotSource is hiring a DevOps Engineer (f/m/x). Place of work Rijeka. Your work-life balance is important to us – flexible working hours, home office and fitness incentives. Send complete applications via link by Feb 11th.

Gi Group Staffing Solutions is hiring a Junior Architect (m/f). Place of work Zagreb. Previous experience in a similar work field will be highly appreciated. Send complete applications via link until January 20th. is hiring a sales consultant (m/f). Place of work Zagreb. The possibility of receiving a salary bonus. Send complete applications via link by January 16th.

Tesla is hiring a person in the position of Mechanical / Electrical Technician (m/f). Gigafactory location Berlin - Brandenburg, Germany. Support for moving and traveling to work. Send complete applications via link by February 10th.

Lindner Montage + Service GmbH is hiring a person in the position of Structural Engineer / Construction Designer (m/f). The place of work Arnstorf / Leipzig (Germany) or the surroundings of Zagreb (Croatia). For this position we offer you comprehensive training, a long-term perspective, work from home and a dynamic work environment. Send complete applications via link until Jan 24th.

Scalable Global Solutions d.d. is hiring a person in the position of C#/.NET Software Developer (m/f/d). Workplace Zagreb. Experience in the development of software for real-time systems or embedded systems. Send complete applications via link until Jan 31th.

Rittmeyer AG is hiring a person for the position of Project Manager IT (a). Place of work Baar, Switzerland. We also offer attractive employment conditions and are a well-positioned company in a market environment with future potential. Send complete applications via link by Feb 3th.

Eumetsat is hiring a Remote Sensing Scientist – Hyperspectral Infrared Level-2 Products (m/f) for work in Darmstadt, Germany. The company is offering an excellent salary of up to 7.500 € net per month, flexible working time, private medical coverage, and much more. Apply via this link by Feb 2nd.


For more career options and job listings, visit


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


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

Follow Paul Bradbury on LinkedIn.

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

Saturday, 14 January 2023

Free Guided Tours in Over 40 Croatian Cities - Get to Know Your Country

January 14, 2023 - "Get to know your country" is a project of the Croatian Tourist Board of free guided tours organised in more than 40 Croatian cities on Sunday, January 15, for the Day of International Recognition of the Republic of Croatia, the Association of Croatian Tour Guides announced on Wednesday.

As Gloria writes, the tours will be provided all over Croatia, and in almost all cities, they will start at noon. There are a couple of exceptions where the programme will be coordinated with other celebration protocols, such as Vukovar marking peaceful reintegration, or Cres, where the tour will happen a day early due to the start of the carnival.

The association of guides implemented the project in cooperation with the Croatian Tourist Board (HTZ), several partners, and with the support of many museums, historical units, and cultural institutions.

The campaign has been carried out since 2018; the president of the Association of Croatian Tourist Guides, Kristina Nuić Prka, reminds Hina and points out that it has received a great response from the local citizens, which she expects this year as well.

Hidden stories

There was a break in 2021 due to the pandemic; in 2022 it continued, and this year a large number of citizens are expected to join.

"In the first year, we included 60 cities, there were more than five thousand participants, and though it is difficult to say how many will participate this year, the interest is great. It is important that people know about their cultural and historical heritage because in the age of globalisation when national identities are lost, this is our wealth in difference", said Nuić Prka.

In addition to national identity and cultural heritage, this, as she emphasizes, once again points to the importance of tourist workers and guides for Croatia's international reputation.

"We invite all citizens to learn about cities across Croatia and discover the hidden stories with their tourist guides. Every citizen of Croatia can be a promoter and ambassador of their homeland, and it is good to know its history, culture, and other details", believes Prka Nuić, who thanked fellow guides and volunteers, thanks to whom the project costs nothing but provides a lot.

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

Saturday, 14 January 2023

Red Wine & Goat Milk Festival: Biklijada in Vrgorac (VIDEO)

January 14, 2023 - A video appreciation of a festival that even most Croats have never heard of - the outstanding Biklijada young red wine and goat milk festival in Vrgorac. 

Croatia does niche, local and authentic festivals like no other in my experience, with many of these festivals little known outside the local area. Croatia also has some of the best wine in the world, and some of the strangest wine-drinking practices.

Put all the above together, and are we surprised that there is a drink called Bikla, which is a mix of red wine and goat milk, and a festival to celebrate Bikla? I checked it out in September 2022, and I got way more than I bargained for, including having to send my videographer into another country to film the only available goat, while I was treated to a ride in Tito's former limousine which he used from Split Airport to his Split villa to a quite extraordinary place I had never heard of.

Never heard of bikla? Curious to know what happens at a bikla festival? Fasten your seatbelts and enjoy the latest video from the Paul Bradbury Croatia Expert YouTube Channel. 

Having experienced some rather unusual local festivals in my time here, I am on the lookout from some unusual local festivals to cover, such as Biklijada. The edible dormouse festival on Hvar was another memorable one. If you know of any interesting and unique festivals and would like to share, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Subject Festivals. 


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.

Subscribe to the Paul Bradbury Croatia & Balkan Expert YouTube channel.

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



Saturday, 14 January 2023

Croatian Stores to Send Their Price Lists to Government Often?

January the 14th, 2023 - The price increases we've witnessed up and down the country ever since the euro was introduced on the first day of this year have been rather astonishing. While most people expected prices to go up a little bit, what has been happening is ''pure profiteering'' as Plenkovic himself described it. The government has stepped in with some measures, and it seems Croatian stores are being put well and truly under the radar of the authorities.

Economy Minister Davor Filipovic has been very vocal about the measures set to prevent Croatian stories from taking advantage of not only inflation but of the introduction of the new currency, and it appears that the idea of Croatian stores having to send their price lists to the government every two weeks for the foreseeable future is now on the table.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the deadline given by the government to all those who raised their prices unjustifiably to return them to what they were back before Croatia entered the Eurozone (December 2022), or sanctions would be imposed expired just a couple of days ago. Economy Minister Davor Filipovic repeated in an interview with Media Servis that either freezing the prices of a wider number of products or cancelling subsidies entirely is currently being considered in an attempt to combat this situation.

When asked why he was going off an the initial idea of having blacklists on which Croatian stores and service providers who had unjustifiably raised their prices would be placed, he replied that his ministry had sent a letter to the ten largest retail chains with the request that they provide the government with their respective price lists for about 80 products for the whole of last year.

"We've asked that they continue to deliver their price lists to us every two weeks, which we will put on the Internet and enable everyone to watch the price movements in the largest retail chains in one place. I'm not going to say that it is a black list, but if people can see it all and make a comparison in one place, it can be observed in that context,'' said Filipovic of the move.

"The State Inspectorate established that there was an increase in prices of food products from 6 to 20 percent, and that includes bakery products as well,'' he added.

You can read more about the scrutiny Croatian stores and other service providers have been placed under from the powers that be, which includes all authorities from the Tax Office to Customs and the State Inspectorate in our most recently published Week in Croatian Politics article, which discusses the topic at length.

Saturday, 14 January 2023

Croatian Wage Growth Most Visible in Companies Paying Lowest Salaries

January the 14th, 2023 - Croatian wage growth has been most visible in the companies which typically pay out the lowest salaries to their employees over the last year.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, as many as 60% of respondents of the Mojaplaca (MyWages) service have a lower salary than the average Croatian net salary, but last year, a higher growth of lower-ranked salaries compared to higher-ranked ones was also observed.

According to data from the MojPosao (MyJob) portal, the net salary including salary supplements throughout 2022 increased by 5% compared to the previous year, standing at 7,522 kuna (998 eutos), while the median salary of 7,000 kuna (929 euros) also saw higher growth, more specifically of 8%.

"Compared to the previous year, salaries grew the most within those companies which pay out the lowest salaries, that is, in the smallest; an average of 6%, while in large companies compared to 2021, Croatian wage growth stood at 4%", they stated in the analysis, which highlights significant differences in the salaries taken home by workers depending on a number of different factors.

There has been slight increase in the number of workers to whom their employer also provides certain benefits, most often reimbursements for travel expenses and public transportation costs, a mobile phone for personal use and a hot meal, which has the highest growth. Employers have been covering the costs of private pension insurance less often, however.

"Education and experience bring with them a higher salary, just like everywhere. Employees with a postgraduate degree or a business school (MBA) have an average 63% higher take home salary than the average,'' they stated, adding that studying is worth it because people with higher education diplomas have around a 17% higher salary than the average.

The highest average salaries were recorded in the City of Zagreb (11% above the national average), and the highest paid occupations are those in the field of technology and development (+78%), information technology (+38%) and telecommunications (+17%).

For more on Croatian wage growth and the domestic economy, make sure to keep up with our dedicated news section.

Saturday, 14 January 2023

Dalmatian Prosciutto Production Could be Threatened by Lack of Bura Winds

January the 14th, 2023 - Dalmatian prosciutto production could well be threatened by higher than normal temperatures and a lack of bura wind, with more and more producers across the Dalmatian hinterland turning towards controlled, artificial methods instead of traditional smokehouses.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, due to the unusually high temperatures that unfortunately caused spoilage, a lot of prosciutto was thrown away en masse in the Dalmatian hinterland during the month of December. The first bura winds to arrive finally created some more suitable conditions for Dalmatian prosciutto production, without which it is difficult to imagine any celebration for very many Croats, writes.

An abnormally warm December led to many of those engaged in Dalmatian prosciutto production to simply throw away part of the meat they had already prepared for drying. Salting the prosciutto is done at temperatures of two to eight degrees, otherwise a lot of spoilage occurs. Instead of December, more favourable temperatures for the proper preparation of one of Croatia's favourite delicacies arrived in the hinterland of Dalmatia only with the first bura winds of this winter season.

Because of this lack of reliability, unfortunately more and more manufacturers are having to turn away from traditional methods of preparation and production, replacing their smokehouses with plants which can guarantee controlled conditions, and which are co-financed by the European Union (EU).

"We all work more or less in a traditional way. It's just that we are a little better technically equipped. With these technical possibilities, we have reduced the risks that can arise when unusual weather conditions cause us issues. There can be a little more fat on the meat, or a little less, as far as taste and smell are concerned, there are thankfully no deviations,'' concluded Mijo Zizic from Brstanovo.

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

Page 9 of 3743