Tuesday, 20 December 2022

Croatian Gaming Studio Gamepires, Creator of SCUM, Acquired by Jagex

December the 20th, 2022 - The Croatian gaming studio Gamepires is set to become part of the large and very well known global game developer and publisher Jagex, which announced the acquisition of the Zagreb company describing it with superlatives.

The Croatian gaming scene has come on leaps and bounds over the last five years or so, with the unlikely location (in the opinion of many) of Novska in continental Croatia becoming the very heart of the Croatian gaming scene. Many companies and studios have since popped up all over the country, and slowly but surely Croatia is becoming as recognised for its gaming potential as it is for that of its blossoming IT and tech scene.

''We're extremely excited to see how we can continue to build on everything we've achieved with SCUM so far and refine the game to its full potential,'' the leadership behind the Croatian gaming studio Gamepires stated, which created the wildly popular game SCUM. As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, they stated the above when recently discussing what they're calling very big news for the gaming industry in this country as a whole.

"We are delighted that Gamepires is joining our family, and its founders Tomislav Pongrac and Andrej Levenski both built a fantastic approach to gaming. Now we will support their vision to take SCUM to an even higher level," said Jagex's CEO Phil Mansell of the acquisition of the Croatian gaming studio Gamepires, which is otherwise headquartered here in the City of Zagreb.

Gamepires is otherwise known for reaching an extremely impressive 250,000 sales in first 24 hours of SCUM's release, as well as over one million sales in a mere three weeks, making it the fastest selling new game ever on Steam.

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

Tuesday, 20 December 2022

Osijek Airport: Direct Connections to Six Destinations for Advent

December 20, 2022 - If you've always wanted to visit the east of Croatia but hesitated because it's been a bit far, your time might have just come. The Osijek airport is now directly connected to six destinations: Zagreb, Split, Rijeka, Dubrovnik, Pula, and the Croatian Gastarbeiter mecca, Munich.

As Jolie.hr writes, Advent is the right time to visit continental Croatia. And Osijek Airport provides direct flights to this Eastern Croatian metropolis from the Croatian cities. You can also visit Osijek by direct flight from the Bavarian capital of Munich. Osijek Advent was declared the best in Croatia in 2021, and this year it shines with the glow of thousands of lights. Take a walk along the path of holiday magic from the art nouveau European Avenue to the fairytale Fortress, where you will find an abundance of smells and tastes of Christmas.

A rich cultural and entertainment program at the Fortress

This year's Advent is a real opportunity for family quality time, where everyone can find something for themselves. The youngest will be able to enjoy fairy tales in the Great Winter Story Room, watch cartoons in the Christmas Cinema, and write letters to Santa Claus! Concerts, lectures, exhibitions in the Archaeological Museum, and gastronomic mornings have been prepared for the big ones. Celebrated chef Rene Bakalović will create New Slavonian cuisine for visitors, preparing the most delicious Slavonian dishes in a modern way.

The ice fairy tale of the ice rink at Sokol offers unforgettable moments to young and old lovers of winter joys, and after showing off your skating skills, you will have the opportunity to warm up with mulled wine or dance to Christmas hits. And if you are not of an adventurous spirit and enjoy walking around the city more, explore the hidden parts of the city whose every corner breathes holiday magic and a Christmas atmosphere.

The most beautiful view from 35 metres

An essential part of Advent this year is the "panoramic wheel" that will take you high above the city’s rooftops. The largest Ferris wheel in Croatia is located at the Baroque Fortress, where you can enjoy a wonderful view of the city. The daytime ride places the fairy-tale city below your feet, and the night ride provides a view of thousands of lights. This year's Advent programme lasts until the 30th of December, and if you decide to spend the craziest night of the year on the streets of Osijek, the band Crvena Jabuka will count you down into the New Year on the central town square.

Visit the beautiful Baranja and the Danube region

Along with the Osijek Advent tour, you can visit the Vukovar Christmas market or the restored Eltz manor museum. After the New Year's celebration, you can enjoy the rich gastronomic offer of Baranja. Go on a tour of the wine cellars and enjoy traditional Baranja delicacies. The Slavonian metropolis has never been closer - visit Osijek and see why it won the title of the most successful continental city tourism destination! More information on the Osijek Airport website.

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


Tuesday, 20 December 2022

Euro Croatia: What to Expect During the Dual Circulation Period

December 20, 2022 - Euro Croatia: from the 1st of January 2023, the official currency in Croatia will be the euro. From January 1 to 14, 2023, there will be a dual circulation period, where kuna and euros can be used for cash payments.

As SiB / Net.hr write, on January 1, Croatia will enter the eurozone, and the euro will become the official currency. Although preparations for the euro are already in full swing, Croatian citizens will be able to pay with kuna even after the New Year. From January 1 to January 14, 2023, there will be a dual circulation period, where kuna and euros can be used for cash payments.

In the dual circulation period, citizens still have to pay attention to certain things. For example, a merchant or payee is not obliged to accept more than 50 kuna coins in one transaction. The payee is obliged to apply the regulations on preventing money laundering and terrorist financing, which refer to the limit of the amount that can be paid in cash.

The change will be returned in euros, but it is possible to do so in kuna. The Law on the Introduction of the Euro provides that as an exemption from the application of the dual circulation rule if the business entity is not objectively able to return the rest of the amount in euro cash. In that case, they can return the remaining amount in kuna or kuna and euros.

As stated on the euro.hr page, which contains all the information related to the changeover to the euro; the dual circulation period starts on January 1, 2023, at 00:00 and ends on January 14, 2023, at 24:00.

CNB recommends citizens use debit cards as much as possible in transactions in the first days of 2023. "Furthermore, to facilitate cash transactions in the first days after the introduction of the euro, from the beginning of December 2022, citizens will be able to obtain starting packages of euro coins, which will enable them to pay in the new currency from the first day of 2023. With the same goal, In the first months of 2023, ATMs will have to be stocked mainly with euro banknotes of smaller denominations (of 10 and 20 euros)," according to the euro.hr website.

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

Monday, 19 December 2022

Zagreb Tourist Board CEO Martina Bienenfeld Reflects on 2022, the Return of Tourism

December 19, 2022 - It has been a great year for tourism in Zagreb after the pandemic challenges of 2020 and 2021. TCN catches up with Zagreb Tourist Board CEO Martina Bienenfeld to reflect on a successful year.  

Advent in Zagreb 2022 - it feels like the pre-pandemic world of 2019, and a great way to finish the year. Are you happy with the reaction to this year's event?

During the whole year, we were exposed to various extraordinary situations, starting with the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, and then the war in Ukraine and the energy crisis and inflation, so I am very happy that, with all our partners, we managed to organize this year's Advent Zagreb. The reactions of our guests are very positive. They are very satisfied with the Christmas decorations of the city, the rich and varied cultural and other programs, the holiday atmosphere, and currently they only criticize the rain - the only factor that, unfortunately, we cannot influence. I hope that the temperatures will drop a little more and bring us snow for the complete winter atmosphere.

Zagreb has been hugely successful over the last 6 years with its award-winning Advent, and you were one of the few cities to keep the tradition going during the pandemic. Tell us about the challenges of making that happen.

The last Advent and the one before it, were organized during the pandemic, which was a completely new challenge and situation. However, we managed to adapt and develop a hybrid Advent concept that had a lot of online events, but also outdoor events that were organized respecting all the COVID measures. But now, we're happy to be back to normal and, in contrast to 2020 and 2021 when trips and events were mostly limited, this year we are noticing a strong recovery in tourist supply and demand.


The world has changed, and so has tourism, with new trends and opportunities. One of the biggest successes of Zagreb in the last 2 years has been its prominence as a top global digital nomad destination. Tell us more about that.

In the last 2 years, Zagreb paved its way as one of the best destinations in Europe on a digital nomads’ map. In 2021, we organized Zagreb Digital Nomad Week, then the Digital Nomad Ambassador program which lasted six months and in December we had Digital Nomad Jolly Wrap Up. This year, actually 2 weeks ago, we hosted Zagreb Digital Nomad Very Merry meeting which attracted numerous participants to our city during weekend. The dynamic fusion of workshops, presentations, social and tourism activities focusing on the key themes, provided a comprehensive and stimulating content for anyone engaged in the digital nomad lifestyle. All these activities helped to make Zagreb a digital nomad hub and the results of the NomadList survey, where Zagreb took 2nd place as the most popular destination for digital nomads, proved that we’re doing a good job. The British platform Reassured also published its research, and our city took 5th place as the best city for digital nomads. Research like this confirm that Zagreb is very well perceived in the world of digital nomads as a city with optimal value for money, quality infrastructure, growing industry, hospitality of the local population and colorful events, which enable digital nomads to conduct business efficiently and easily throughout the year.


Having lived in Zagreb for 18 months now, I am constantly surprised at how there is always something going on somewhere, especially in the parks, streets and squares. It seems that there has been a lot more focus on developing the city as a year-round destination for art and culture. Tell us a little more.

In the last few years, Zagreb has become an increasingly dynamic and interesting tourist destination that offers its guests a number of cultural, sports, gastronomic, entertainment, MICE and business events throughout the year. Zagreb Tourist Board, together with the Zagreb tourism industry, develops year-round tourism and, as a result, Zagreb has a developed, sustainable, balanced, and responsible tourist offer. In particular, Zagreb Tourist Board, in cooperation with partners, designs, sets up and develops projects such as the Festival of Lights Zagreb, Zagreb Classic, Artupunktura and Advent Zagreb, which encompass all four seasons and complement our year-round offer. We also support various cultural, artistic and creative projects which make Zagreb always interesting. The tourist results confirm that Zagreb is a year-round destination, and the months when we have the most visitors are from April to October and, of course, during Advent. However, this does not mean that there are no visitors in January, February or November. Moreover, Zagreb records excellent results even in those months, which is also a characteristic of the city-break destinations. We also conduct comprehensive online and offline, summer and winter marketing campaigns, which, for the purpose of promoting our city as an attractive tourist destination and informing potential visitors, are responsible, among other things, for the results Zagreb has.

The arrival of a budget airline has opened up Zagreb to many destinations. How much has that been a factor in developing tourism, and can you share any information about new flights/airlines in 2023?

Zagreb is the main cultural, university, scientific and technological center of Croatia, connected to Europe and the world with more than 50 airline routes, as well as a modern road network, which also puts it in the position of a year-round tourist destination. Half of the guests come to our city by plane, and a large number of them come from long-haul destinations such as the USA. The presence of low-cost flights is certainly important for the development of the city break segment, but today almost all airlines offer special tariff classes. As for new flights, for the moment, we have only confirmed news from our national carrier Croatia Airlines which will maintain services to fifteen European destinations (excluding domestic routes) out of its main hub in Zagreb. A total of 120 weekly rotations are planned or 240 weekly flights.

It has been a very busy 2022 for Zagreb after the last two crazy years, and there are many positives to reflect on. What were the highlights for you?

The changes in global trends and social values in the last two years have been extremely intense and volatile, and this created an additional possibility for Zagreb's tourism to be even more competitive and attractive. However, the highlight in 2022 for me was to see how quickly tourism recovered and travelling blossomed. Let’s not forget that we started this year with wearing masks and strict COVID measures and now it all seems like a long-gone history.

And what can we expect in Zagreb in 2023?

It’s difficult to predict what future holds, but with entering the Eurozone in 2023 and Croatian membership in Schengen, we should definitely see the positive aspects of deeper integration of Croatia into the EU. Both events should strengthen the Croatian economy and enable the free movement of people and goods which will for sure foster tourism of whole Croatia and its capital, as well.

Follow the latest news from Zagreb in the dedicated TCN section

Monday, 19 December 2022

Croatia, the Tiny Country Which Consistently Delivers

December 19, 2022 - The heroes are home, with some 80,000 cheering the returning Vatreni to Zagreb with their third World Cup medal in just 6 tournaments.

There can be few places better during the World Cup than Croatia. The tiny country which dared to dream is transformed into a sea of red and white squares, as seemingly every member of the population possesses their own version of the national football shirt. A tiny nation of just 4 million people, and yet one which consistently delivers on the international stage at the big tournaments when it matters. Third place in 1998, the first World Cup of a newly-independent nation. Runners-up last time in Moscow, and one more bronze this time round, as Croatia overcame Morocco 2-1 in the third-place playoff, having succumbed to Argentina 3-0 in the semi-final. 

You will find plenty of people telling you how the referee was against Croatia against Argentina, much less of them who will reflect on Croatia's biggest friend in the tournament, a Belgian striker called Lukaku in the group stages. Did that unfair penalty change the game? Perhaps. Had Lukaka scored one of the many open goals from one metre out, there would not have been a discussion about Argentina. At the end of the day, what matters are results.


(Photo: Slobodan Kadic)

And when it comes to results, few can compare to the success of the tiny country which dared to dream. Three medals in 6 World Cups in 24 years is a phenomenal achievement for any country, even more so for one so small, with a shrinking population of less than 3.9 million. What is additionally impressive, to me at least, is just how much of this is as a result of home-grown talent, which has been nurtured back in the Homeland. Livakovic was unquestionably the goalkeeper of the tournament, whatever the official decision, and in Gvadiol, Croatia and one of Europe's biggest clubs, have one of the centre-backs of the world for many years to come. 

And there is plenty of home-grown talent that went on to shine on the international stage elsewhere, none more so than talisman captain Luka Modric, who started his journey at Dinamo Zagreb. I read somewhere that in the days of former Yugoslavia, players were not allowed to play abroad until they were 28. This no doubt strengthened the Yugoslav league at the time. Such a rule does not apply in Croatia, and the Croatian National League is fairly weak as a result, but the sheer number of talented stars that emerge from such a tiny country is breathtaking indeed. 

And many of those stars were on show on Zagreb's main square of Ban Jelacic lat night, as the Vatreni returned home to a waiting crowd of 80,000 fans who had braved the December cold weather to welcome back their heroes. The timing was somewhat ironic, coming around the same time as the actual World Cup Final back in Qatar. But for many in Zagreb, the true champions of the tournament were the Croatian team on the main square. It was quite a party, not quite as crazy as the 550,000 who turned up in the summer of 2018 to welcome back the sliver-medal winning team from Moscow, but understandable given the time of year. Croats do celebration so well. 

Congratulations to Croatia and all my friends here on another great success. It has once more been very impressive to watch. 

Now, if only we could channel this passion, positivity, and success into changing things in this country... 


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.



Monday, 19 December 2022

How Much Will Croatian Clubs Earn From Croatia's World Cup Performance?

December the 19th, 2022 - We've seen how much FIFA will give to HNS and how much each player on the Croatian national team will take home from the government for their time spent representing the country in Qatar this year, but what about the Croatian clubs themselves?

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Croatian national team performed incredibly under the guidance of the much loved Zlatko Dalic, remaining in the game at the World Cup for the second time in a row until the very end (the last time being back in 2018), which greatly benefits Croatian clubs whose players also play for the Croatian national team.

Dinamo Zagreb, which sent five of its players to Qatar - Dominik Livakovic, Josip Sutalo, Mislav Orsic, Bruno Petkovic and Sadegh Moharrami, will earn the most of all of the Croatian clubs (HNL). Croatian clubs will all receive 10,000 dollars for each player for each day spent at the World Cup in Qatar. In translation, Dinamo Zagreb will earn 50,000 dollars per day from this alone for its players having been on the pitch over in Qatar.

This amount is paid out by FIFA for as long as the selected national team remains in the tournament, and the Croatian clubs themselves are compensated for the fact that the players had to undergo short preparations before the tournament.

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

Monday, 19 December 2022

From Czech to Ruthenian - Minority Languages in Croatia

December the 19th, 2022 - Minority languages in Croatia are either given no attention or are quite controversial, and with such a rich and tumultuous history which involves some of their speakers, some are given more rights under the Croatian Constitution than others.

We've explored many of the dialects, subdialects and indeed languages in their own right as some linguists consider them to be which are spoken across modern Croatia. From the Dubrovnik subdialect (Ragusan) in the extreme south of Dalmatia to Northwestern Kajkavian in areas like Zagorje, the ways in which people speak in this country deviate from what we know as standard Croatian language enormously. That goes without even mentioning much about old DalmatianZaratin, once widely spoken in and around Zadar, Istriot, or Istro-Venetian

What about minority languages in Croatia, though? While some of the above might seem as if they themselves are minority languages, with so much controversy about whether they're languages or mere dialects has unfortunately caused many to not even be given a proper protected status. It's true that some are even on UNESCO endangered languages list, but they're still not categorised by the Croatian powers that be in the same way that the likes of Czech, Hungarian or Slovakian are in this country.

Let's look into what exactly is deemed to be a minority language in Croatia and how that functions within the Croatian Constitution. 

Minority languages in Croatia are the mother tongues (first languages) of national and ethnic minorities living across modern Croatian territory. In addition to personal and intra-community use, minority languages in Croatia are used in different ways and to varying extents in both official and public areas.

The Croatian Constitution defines the Republic of Croatia as the nation of the Croatian people, the country which belongs to all its citizens, including traditional autochthonous communities, which the constitution refers to as national minorities. The minorities explicitly listed in the constitution are; Serbs, Czechs, Italians, Hungarians, Slovaks, Jews, Germans, Ukrainians, Ruthenians, Austrians, Bosniaks, Slovenes, Macedonians, Russians, Montenegrins, Bulgarians, Poles, Romanians, Turks, Roma, Vlachs and Albanians.

Article 12 of the Croatian Constitution states that the official language in Croatia is what we now call standard Croatian, while for some local self-government units (cities and municipalities) another script may be introduced into official comparative use.

Now we've seen who the national minorities are, how do minority languages in Croatia stand under the law?

The use minority languages in Croatia is regulated on the basis of competent national laws, international conventions and agreements which the country has signed. The most important laws at the national level are the Constitutional Law on the Rights of National Minorities, the Law on the Use of the Language and Script of National Minorities and the Law on Education in the Language and Script of National Minorities. The most important international agreements related to minority languages in Croatia are the European Charter on Regional or Minority Languages and the Framework Convention on the Protection of National Minorities adopted by the Council of Europe. The members of national minorities have acquired certain rights in this country over time through interstate and international treaties and agreements, such as the Erdut Agreement and the Rapala Treaty.

It's unfortunate to say but must be said regardless, that the Croatian public and in many cases the authorities don't always have much of a positive attitude towards issues experienced by minorities in this country, and as such minority rights, but Croatia's EU membership has had an overall very positive impact on the affirmation of the official use of minority languages in Croatia, and things in that respect continue to stabilise as time goes by.

There are several Croatian municipalities in which what are deemed to be official minority languages are spoken today.


The National Association of Danube Swabians, which is the largest minority association of the German Community, strongly advocates for German language use in the Eastern part of the country, particularly in and around Osijek where it holds a form of traditional status. In modern Croatia, spoken German is primarily the first or second foreign language someone has, and it is also recognised as the official minority language of both Germans and Austrians living in Croatia.


Over 6000 people living in the continental Croatian county of Bjelovar-Bilogora have declared themselves to be members of the Czech national minority. 70% of these individuals say that Czech is their mother tongue. Back in 2011, MP Zdenka Cuhnil pointed out that based on their acquired rights, the Czech minority in Croatia has the right to equal use of the language (alongside standard Croatian) in nine local self-government units.


The Ruthenian dialect spoken in both Vojvodina and modern Croatia became standardised back during the first half of the 20th century, with Ruthenian publications having been being published since the 1920s. While in Ukraine, the Ruthenian community isn't officially recognised as being a separate nation, minority status and language rights outside of Vojvodina and Croatia were recognised and began to develop only in the post-Cold War period.

The Ruthenians living in the area of Eastern Slavonia don't differ from the Ruthenians living in Vojvodina culturally or linguistically. It is worth noting however that Ruthenian spoken in this area does differ from the speech of other Ruthenian communities located elsewhere, and is characterised by a significant number of loanwords from Croatian as we know it today. The use of the Ruthenian language on the whole began to decline after the Second World War, and the process accelerated even more following the end of the Homeland War (Croatian War of Independence).

Romany (Roma language)

While the Croatian Parliament formally recofnised the Day of the Roma Language (May the 25th) back in 2012, the Central Library of Roma in Croatia, which is also the only Roma library in all of Europe, was on;y opened back during the summer of 2020, so not long ago at all when you consider the length of time the Roma people have been present in this country and the wider region. The Roma people are among those who experience a lack of help when it comes to the authorities, and issues between this community and the general public are rife for a multitude of reasons.


A magazine called Pramen is published in the Slovakian language by the Union of Slovaks in Croatia. This was achieved thanks to cooperation with the Slovak Cultural Centre (located in Nasice). Back in 2011, over 500 students in the Eastern part of the country were taught Slovakian twice per week from the first grade of elementary school onwards.


The Ukrainian community present in Croatia publishes the following publications in the Ukrainian language - Nova Dumka, Vjesnik, Nasa Gazeta, Vjencic (aimed at kids) and Misli s Dunava. Since way back in 2001, the Department of Ukrainian Language and Literature has been in function at the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Zagreb. Following the outbreak of war in Ukraine following shock Russian invasion back in February 2022, Ukrainian presence has been far stronger in Croatia thanks to its very welcoming stance towards Ukrainian refugees fleeing Russian onslaught in their homeland. As a result, it's likely that the language will be heard much more.

Hebrew and Yiddish

The library of the Jewish Municipality of Zagreb actually doesn't (yet, anyway) have the status of one of the central minority libraries of Croatia. In addition to the library in Zagreb, the Hugo Kon Elementary School, founded in 2003, is also in operation. The Festival of Tolerance - The Jewish Film Festival was founded back in 2007 by the well known Branko Lustig with the aim of preserving the memory of those lost during the Holocaust and promoting tolerance going forward so that such horrors are never repeated.


When it comes to higher education institutions in Croatia, Hungarian can be studied at the University of Zagreb, the Josip Juraj Strossmayer University in Osijek, and most recently at the University of Rijeka. To turn the wheels of time back a little, it's worth remembering that much of Croatian territory was once under the reign of the former Austro-Hungarian empire, and aside from being our neighbours, Hungary and as such Hungarian language has had quite the influence on this country over the centuries. Now classed as one of the official minority languages in Croatia, Hungarian has been advocated for in many ways here. Back in 2004, representatives of the Hungarian national minority called for the introduction of Hungarian into official use in Beli Manastir, referring to the rights acquired by Hungarian nationals before 1991 and the complications which arose due to the outbreak of war. In the same year (2004) the Hungarian minority made up 8.5% of Beli Manastir's resident population.


I've written numerous articles on the array of dialects and subdialecs spoken across the Istrian peninsula, most of them deriving in some way from Venetian. These dialects (and some linguists would argue them to be languages in their own right) come from the complex and very long history Italy and Istria share, as the two are deeply historically, culturally and as such linguistically enmeshed. As such the Italian minority in Croatia achieved a significantly wider right to use their own language than all other minority communities in the country. La Voce del Popolo is a daily newspaper published in the Italian language that is published in Rijeka. On top of that, we also have the likes of Istro-Venetian, which is sparsely spoken in comparison to standard (modern) Italian, and you can learn more about it here.


By far the most controversial of all, and for obvious reasons, is the Serbian language as one of the Croatian minority languages. I probably don't need to go into the ins and outs of why it is controversial in comparison to the others, as that would be an article of its own. Instead, I'll just list some facts. 

Education in Serbian was made possible in the territory of the former self-proclaimed Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and western Srijem on the basis of the aforementioned Erdut Agreement, which created the preconditions for the peaceful reintegration of the Croatian Danube region. In this region, teaching is conducted according to Model A of minority education, in which the entire teaching takes place in the language and script of national minorities - in this case it is Serbian. Schools in Podunavlje, for example, do organise classes in Croatian or in another minority language if the minimum number of students to enroll in a class according to a certain model are present.

Critics see the continuation of the Croatian-Serbian conflict in the Danube region in the model of divided classes, while the official representatives of the Serbian minority see the negative attitude towards the Serbian departments as pressure in the direction of denationalisation. In either case, the use of the Cyrillic script on road signs, on buildings and indeed elsewhere in parts of Croatia which were ravaged by Serbian onslaught back during the nineties are far from popular and have remained a burning issue ever since the Homeland War drew to a close.

Of the other languages, one which is sadly dying out at an alarming rate is the Istro-Romanian language, which is listed in UNESCO's own Red Book of Endangered Languages as seriously endangered. With Istro-Romanian likely to follow the same path as Istrian-Albanian and become extinct within the next few decades, if not sooner, little is being done to preserve it for generations to come.

For more on Croatian languages, history, minority languages and dialects, follow our lifestyle section.

Monday, 19 December 2022

How Much Cash Will HNS Get from FIFA? How Much Will Players Earn?

December the 19th, 2022 - Following an absolutely incredible performance at 2022's World Cup over in Qatar, the Croatian national team arrived home this evening to a packed Ban Jelacic Square and a welcome home celebration reminiscent of scenes from 2018 - which they thoroughly deserved. With football fever now over for another four years, just how much will HNS get from FIFA, and how much will Croatia's players earn from the government?

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Croatian national team (or the Vatreni, if you prefer) played an absolutely fantastic game of which we can all be very proud, they defeated Morocco 2:1 and pocketed the bronze medal. Thanks to them having showcased Croatia's enormous sporting spirit, they will all also receive handsome amounts of money, but how much does it all amount to, precisely?

HNS will receive a cheque for 30 million dollars (Morocco will receive one worth 25 million dollars) from FIFA for coming third place, and this sum will later be divided between the federation itself and the Croatian national team in a ratio of 60-40 or 55-45 percent. It will be carried out in whichever manner the two parties agree.

Of the amount that will go to those who deserved it the most, 80 percent will be paid directly into the Croatian national team players' personal bank accounts, and 20 percent to the members of the team's dedicated coaching staff.

That's not all, because all members of the Croatian national team will all also receive 120,000 kuna each from the government, as this is according to the regulation for awards to athletes in Olympic sports for medals won at world championships held every four years, i.e the World Cup, as published by tportal.

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

Monday, 19 December 2022

3 Croatian Cities Ready to Dip Feet in Pool of Almost 700 Million Euros

December the 19th, 2022 - Three Croatian cities are the most ready of all to dip their feet in the proverbial pool of almost 700 million euros provided by the European Union (EU) through the Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes, through the Ministry of Regional Development and EU funds, the EU has provided a massive 681.3 million euros to be spent on increasing the quality of life and the green transition of Croatian urban areas, and most Croatian cities have plans for projects that they will apply under this particular programme.

22 Croatian cities are entitled to access funds from the Integrated Territorial Programme (ITU mechanism), and Bjelovar is one of only three Croatian cities that already have prepared all of the necessary documentation ahead of time.

If we're to include municipal projects, there are fourteen priority projects in Bjelovar alone, with Mayor Dario Hrebak highlighting the restoration of the old prison building in the centre, a protected cultural property whose restoration is demanding and cannot be submitted to other tenders, as well as the revitalisation and furnishing the building for the needs of the student dorms.

"Bjelovar and the neighbouring municipalities of Veliko Trojstvo, Stefanje, Rovisce and Kapela have all acquired the right to a financial envelope of 22 million euros from the ITU mechanism, with Bjelovar receiving 70 percent and the municipalities 30 percent of that amount," says Hrebak. In addition to the revitalisation of the old prison, they also list some other projects in Bjelovar; a digital innovation centre, the Jabuceta business incubator in the municipality of Kapela, the Rovisce development centre, the proper arrangement and equipping of the social centre in Narta, pedestrian and bicycle paths with storm drainage in Gornji Plavnice, the revitalisation and equipping of the student dorms,Terme Bjelovar, and much more.

"Bjelovar currently has prepared documentation for investments worth 1.2 billion kuna in total. I expect that through the ITU mechanism, the National Recovery and Resilience Plan and all other sources of funding available to us, we'll manage to realise 80 percent of these projects over the next four years. Equally, we expect that the participation of Bjelovar in this will stand at 250 million kuna", explained Hrebak. In order to realise the projects from the ITU mechanism, Bjelovar established the Administrative Department for the implementation of the ITU mechanism.

Rijeka also has a horse in the EU funds race. Back during the period from 2016 to 2021, during which the implementation of several projects important for the development of the City of Rijeka and the city's agglomeration was contracted, and this included public transport.

"The preparation of projects for the period until the year 2027 is currently underway, and they'll be presented only after the decision of the Coordination Council as the governing body of the Agglomeration, and we believe that in January 2023 we will be able to state which projects we're talking about. There is no doubt, however, that the newly proposed projects must be shaped within the established priorities, that is, the specific goals on which the Integrated Territorial Programme for the period 2021-2027 is based, and they are; the industrial transition of Croatian regions, strengthening green, clean, smart and sustainable of city traffic and the development of urban areas through the rehabilitation and revitalisation of brownfield areas, the restoration and presentation of cultural heritage for the development of sustainable tourism, and the development of green infrastructure, etc, they explained from the City of Rijeka, headed by Mayor Marko Filipovic.

Of the other ''most ready'' Croatian cities, Osijek also started preparing for the ITU financial period 2021-2027 last year with the establishment of the Osijek Urban Agglomeration. The territorial scope of the Osijek Urban Agglomeration consists of ten local self-government units: the City of Osijek and the municipalities of Antunovac, Bilje, Bizovac, Cepin, Erdut, Ernestinovo, Petrijevci, Vladislavci and Vuka.

As they revealed from Administrative Department for Finances and EU Funds of the City of Osijek, during 2021 and 2022, the establishment of the Urban Agglomeration of Osijek took place alongside the establishment of the Coordination Council. The drafting of the Osijek Urban Agglomeration Development Strategy, a strategic document that defines development goals and is a precondition for the use of funds from the ITU mechanism, has now been started. For this purpose, on November the 22nd, 2021, all local self-government units from the scope concluded an agreement on cooperation on the development and implementation of the Osijek Urban Agglomeration Development Strategy 2021-2027.

For more, check out our news section.

Sunday, 18 December 2022

Croatian Team Welcome Party in Zagreb - What You Need to Know

December the 18th, 2022 - The Croatian team welcome party in the very heart of Zagreb (Ban Jelacic square) is set to take place this afternoon when the team lands back home from an incredible performance in 2022's World Cup in Qatar. Here's what you need to know.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, after returning from Qatar, the members of the Croatian national football team will land at Zagreb's Franjo Tudjman International Airport shortly after 17:00, after which they will head to Ban Jelacic square along the same route they took four years ago when they returned from Russia as runners-up in the 2018 World Cup.

The Ministry of the Interior (MUP), in cooperation with HNS, has published numerous tips on its official website, in addition to maps with the route that the vehicles carrying the members of the national team and professional staff will take as they make their way towards the very heart of the city.

You can see official and detailed photos of the route from the airport to Ban Jelacic square by clicking here.

From the airport, the buses will run along Ulica Rudolfa Fizira, turn onto Zagrebacka Ulica towards Buzin and then head along SR Njemacka Ulica onto Avenija Dubrovnik. Then, they'll travel along Ulica Hrvatske bratske zajednice until they reach Vukovarska Ulica, from which they will turn onto Savska, extend to Frankopanska and then onto Ilica, and end their journey at the main stage, which this time will be located on the west side of Ban Jelacic square, more precisely in front of the Zagrebacka banka branch office located there.

For more, make sure to keep up with our dedicated Croatian news section.

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