Tuesday, 21 February 2023

No More Croatia, Full of Life: New Slogan Sought

February 21, 2023 - The Kingdom of Accidental has announced a competition for the selection of the umbrella communication concept - Big Idea and the new visual identity of Croatia as a tourist destination.

Not so many people know that the reason I moved to Croatia was due to the Croatian National Tourist Board. Back in 2002, I had just sold my house in the UK and was working in northern Somalia. I was looking for a place to buy on the coast in Europe outside of the UK, when this 30-second commercial came on CNN - Croatia, the Mediterranean as It Once Was. 

What an advert, what a slogan. I was hooked, and 3 months later, I became the proud owner of a home in Jelsa on the island of Hvar - you can watch the video of that story on my YouTube channel below. 

And then somehow, the Croatian National Tourism Board morphed into the Kingdom of Accidental Tourism, and I have witnessed more than a decade of interesting tourism promotion reporting on this fair land. When the Mediterranean as It Once Was was retired, its replacement was the insipid and meaningless Croatia, Full of Life, a slogan which has been a large part of my life after the Kingdom sued me for turning into a meme, Croatia, Full of Uhljebs. You can read more about that in our mini-blog series, Diary of a Croatian Lawsuit.

And, as Marija Crnjak of Poslovni writes below, it seems that soon Croatia will no longer be Full of Life, as the Kingdom has announced a tender for something called a 'Big Idea, coupled with a new visual identity. 

I would like to apply, but I never have much success in tenders with State institutions for some reason, so here are my two slogan suggestions. If anyone likes them and wants to take them forward to the tender, you are very welcome.

My two slogan suggestions would be

Croatia, Your Safe, Authentic Lifestyle Destination - which actually sells 3 of Croatia's most attractive assets.


Croatia, Why Aren't You Here? - a hashtag I have been using for a couple of years now, and it has gained considerable traction. 

If anyone has a good knowledge of how the tender system works in Croatia, I would like to follow and report on this whole process, taking a look at the finalists and the winners. It could be an interesting process in this transparent EU land. Anyone interested, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Subject The Kingdom. 

Here is the Poslovni article:

The Croatian Tourist Board has announced a competition for the selection of the umbrella communication concept - Big Idea and the new visual identity of Croatia as a tourist destination. As we unofficially learn, the Croatia Full of life slogan will be valid this season, and the new slogan and concept should be ready by the time of the WTM London tourism fair, that is, for communication with the market for 2024.

As explained by CNTB, the procedure will have two phases, the first phase includes the pre-selection procedure that refers to the delivery of documentation that proves the ability of potential bidders, while the second phase refers to the delivery of the bids of the selected bidders. Also, as part of the competition, two project tasks are planned, namely the creation of an umbrella communication concept for which up to five bidders will be selected, and the creation of a visual identity for which up to 10 bidders will be selected.

"It is a tender that will define the key promotional and communication determinants of Croatian tourism, that is, which will be the bearer of the realization of the new vision of Croatia as a tourist destination defined by the new Strategic Marketing and Operational Plan of Croatian Tourism.

In other words, through this competition we want a new, fresh and creative approach that will hold attention, intrigue, stimulate the mind and evoke emotions in the target audience. The roof communication concept must be unique, but simple and easy to understand, and at the center of it should be the concept of beauty, given that research confirms that this is one of the key advantages of our country and one of the most important motives for tourist trips to Croatia", said Kristjan Staničić, director of the Croatian Tourist Board, emphasizing that through the competition they want to collect proposals for creative solutions from highly specialized bidders with many years of relevant experience.

Read more... 10 Things I Learned from my SLAPP Lawsuits in Croatia.


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

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


Tuesday, 21 February 2023

Can Enfeebled Brodosplit Be Rescued from Apparently Fated Bankruptcy?

February the 21st, 2023 - Can the constantly troubled Split shipyard Brodosplit be saved from its apparent destiny of bankruptcy? The company has been engulfed in turbulent times for a considerable amount of time now, as has the entire Croatian shipbuilding industry.

As Suzana Varosanec/Poslovni Dnevnik writes, for Brodogradjevna industrija Split (Brodosplit), which, through its daughter company is currently participating in the largest military technology fair in Abu Dhabi, "D-Day" is marked out on the calendar as March the 24th, 2023. This is the looming day on which the Commercial Court in Split will finally convene a decisive hearing on the matter of bankruptcy.

Along with the statement on the proposal to open bankruptcy proceedings against this debtor, the question of whether all of the proper prerequisites for bankruptcy are there will also be discussed.

On the part of Brodosplit, legal representatives Tomislav Debeljak and Tomislav Corak have been invited, meaning that the future of a company that has been struggling to keep its head above water for a while now will soon finally be clarified. As far as the blockade is concerned, in mid-February, the massive sum amounted to around 23 million euros, so as the last olive branch of salvation for Brodosplit, hopes are currently being placed in an American hedge fund that allegedly visited the shipyard several times in the past.

The fund is familiar with Brodosplit's overall capacities, claim the insiders, but the decision of the fund managers, more specifically whether they are ready to lend money to the Split shipyard or not, remains completely unknown as yet.

According to the bill of costs that is burdening the company, there is a loan worth about 100 million euros which would remove Brodosplit's blockade, pay off the debts to its creditors and finish numerous already started projects. It would also close the loan owed to a Russian creditor in the total amount of about 57 million euros. The owner has assured that the operation will take place by the said hearing, and the only other option for Brodosplit is unfortunately bankruptcy.

The aforementioned hearing was convened after the appeals court rejected Brodosplit's appeal as unfounded, while at the same time confirming the decision of the first-instance court from back in November 2022.

This is otherwise a decision that rejected the debtor's withdrawal of the proposal for opening pre-bankruptcy proceedings as untimely, while the debtor's withdrawal of the proposal for opening bankruptcy was rejected as inadmissible.

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

Tuesday, 21 February 2023

Virovitica IT Company Factory Introducing Free IT Education

February the 21st, 2023 - The Virovitica IT company Factory is introducing totally free IT education once again, and anyone who wants to bump up their level of knowledge about certain aspects of IT can apply.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Josipa Ban writes, the Virovitica IT company Factory is launching the fourth programme of free education for IT so far. This time, participants will learn about backend development, and the entire programme is being conducted online, a statement from the company says.

As stated above, the programme is aimed at quite literally anyone who wants to upgrade their knowledge of backend development can apply to the Factory Academy to learn more. As the Virovitica IT company Factory has stated, all would-be participants need is motivation, a computer and a stable Internet connection. It's worth noting that this company is actually the only IT company in all of the Republic of Croatia that has the status of a strategic Pimcore partner.

The educational programme lasts for four weeks, and will be attended by four selected candidates who will have the support of a mentor the whole time. The number of participants, who can apply until March the 5th, 2023, is limited so that the mentors can provide them with the highest quality support, they explained.

"Over the years, we've come to realise that there are a lot of people who have reached a certain level of knowledge in the field of development and have as such found themselves facing a wall of sorts because they still don't have enough knowledge to get a job in the field. Through our academy, they will receive not only support, but proper direction,'' Marko Cuckovic from Factory pointed out.

Cuckovic also added that the company is very much open to hiring the best candidates as employees, and it's worth noting that the Virovitica IT company Factory has held three such academies in the past, and the average rating they received is a very impressive 4.9 out of 5.

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

Tuesday, 21 February 2023

Rudjer Boskovic Institute Develops Nanostructures for "Labs on a Chip"

February the 21st, 2023 - The Rudjer Boskovic Institute is no stranger to invention and innovation, and they've now been busy delving into the waters of developing nanostructures for the creation of a "laboratory on a chip".

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the remarkable scientists from the Rudjer Boskovic Institute (IRB), in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Zagreb's Faculty of Science and Mathematics (PMF) and the Catalan Institute for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology from Barcelona, have developed nanostructures that could be used in new generation diagnostic devices.

The resulting nanostructures combine exceptional stability with the ability to detect molecules at very low concentrations.

The high technological and industrial demand for higher quality materials and their derivatives led to the development of materials at the nanoscale level. Such materials with improved properties are used in numerous fields, including medicine, ecology, industry, and the list goes on.

The development of sensors and diagnostic devices is moving in the direction of reducing their overall dimensions, with the aim of making the so-called lab on a chip, i.e. small, portable devices that perform tasks for which an entire laboratory used to be required.

Such devices, for example, would enable doctors to conduct various different diagnostic tests when with the patient (usually referred to as point-of-care testing), wherever the patient might be at the time the tests are performed. Small and portable sensors must be long-term stable, regardless of the conditions, and they must also have high sensitivity, in order to ensure the quality of the detection of whatever is being sought at the time.

Therefore, scientists from Zagreb and Barcelona created sensor elements that meet both conditions. The Rudjer Boskovic Institute's talented team consisted of Matej Bubas, Ivana Fabijanic, Vesna Janicki and Jordi Sancho Parramon.

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

Monday, 20 February 2023

Exploring the Croatian Language - The Buzet Dialect

February the 20th, 2023 - If you're into linguistics, you've more than likely heard of Chakavian, which is one of the main dialects of standard Croatian as we know it today, and which was officially declared a language back in 2020. What about a dialect of Chakavian itself, such as the Buzet dialect, however?

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

The Buzet dialect is just one of a multitude of dialects and subdialects spoken in and around the region of the Istrian peninsula, which was dominated by Italian for a very long time owing to the formerly powerful Venice. Contrary to popular belief (and what the bilinguial signs across Istria might have you believe), there is far more than just Italian spoken alongside standard Croatian in this part of the country. Istro-Venetian, Istriot, Istrian-Albanian (now extinct), Istro-Romanian... the list goes on. All of these dialects, which some linguists consider to be languages in their own right, showcase the sheer amount of culture and foreign influence that has come and gone in Istria throughout the many centuries gone by, and as you can see - it stretches far beyond the realms of Italian and the former Venetian Empire.

A brief history of the Buzet dialect

The Buzet dialect, a dialect of the much more widely spread Chakavian, is particularly interesting as it is believed to represent the transition of Chakavian towards the dialects spoken nearby, just across the border in neighbouring Slovenia. It is precisely this linguistic relationship which provides the Buzet dialect with (in many cases) very obvious Chakavian-Kajkavian dialectological features.

Owing to the presence of these transitional features of Kajkavian (and not only Chakavian), which actually represent a transitional line between the Chakavian and several Slovenian dialects, numerous linguists once thought that this separate part of the Kajkavian dialect had found itself in the northern part of Istria and in Buzet from the wider region of Gorski kotar. It was even considered to be a marginal Slovenian dialect in the past. This is now deemed to have been a mistake made by the Slovenian linguist Fran Ramovs.

Who was Fran Ramovs?

Born in the Slovenian capital city of Ljubljana, this prominent linguist studied and explored the various dialects of the Slovenian language in Vienna. 

Where is the Buzet dialect spoken?

Well, the name likely gives it away. It is spoken in and around the area of Buzet, but it spreads considerably across the northern part of Istria as well.

The background of this dialect now considered to undoubtedly be Chakavian, there are still some features that make it stand out it from the rest of the Chakavian dialects spoken in the modern day, and one of those features are its consonants and how they've developed. Delving a little deeper, even the Buzet dialect, which is a dialect of Chakavian (which was also once considered a dialect!) can be divided into two separate subdialects; the southeastern subdialect, which is an apparent transition towards North Chakavian, and then the rest of it which is more widely spoken and which doesn't show as many North Chakavian transition points.

In the wider division of Chakavian into its northwestern and southeastern dialects, the Buzet dialect is considered to be northwestern.


For more on the Croatian language, from its dialects, subdialects, history and even learning to swear, make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle section. An article on language is published every Monday.




Monday, 20 February 2023

4,000 Croatian Euro Coins Created by Machines in One Minute

February the 20th, 2023 - Around 4,000 Croatian euro coins are producted in one single minute by the responsible machines, an impressive feat indeed.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, owing to the introduction of the euro at the beginning of this year, the Croatian Mint has had to produce a total of 650 million coins, about two-thirds of that work was carried out last year, and the remaining part - about 200 million Croatian euro coins in total - should be completed this year.

In the modernly equipped mint, which is owned by the Croatian National Bank (CNB/HNB), highly sought-after numismatic gold and silver Croatian euro coins are produced, and preparations are also being made for the possible production of euro coins for other member states of the European Union (EU) as well.

About four thousand Croatian euro coins come out of the machines in one single minute. In just over five months last year, the Croatian mint minted as many as 405 million coins. Work was carried out in three shifts, 24 hours a day, Roman Husta, director of production at the Croatian Mint, explained during his appearance on Dnevnik HTV.

"This year, we have basically the same amount of forging per minute, about 4 to 4.5 thousand coins is the average, but considering the reduced amount of forging tiles we've been receiving from our suppliers, we've been working at a slightly reduced pace," Husta added.

The plan is to mint another 200 million Croatian euro coins

This year, the plans are to mint around 200 million more Croatian euro coins in order to reach the planned amount needed for the complete exchange of the former currency (the Croatian kuna) into euros. However, he noted, it's currently difficult to estimate what the regular need for these euro coins will be over the coming years.

Estimates are currently being made of what the needs will be for next year. "We're entering a large market as a small country. Each country has different experiences. We hope that there will be some kind of need that will make it possible to finance the continued life of this factory", said Damir Bolta, President of the Management Board of the Croatian Mint.

In addition to money for circulation, numismatic coins, silver coins and gold coins are also produced in the mint on modern machines and tools. The latest Hum gold coin has attracted special attention from the public. Much like the Istrian destination after which it is named (the smallest city in the world) the coin is the smallest coin in the world, measuring even two millimetres in diameter.

"It was a challenge for us to show, in addition to making euro coins, that we're capable of doing something more in other areas as well. So the idea was, why don't we make the smallest coin, and so it was made. A happy solution for the motif is Hum in Istria, which has the status of the smallest city in the world," said Bolta.

The Croatian Mint has entered the narrow European circle of only seventeen accredited institutions for the production of euro coins, so it's possible that in the future it will apply for tenders to create coins announced by other member states of the European Union,'' it was explained on HTV.

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

Monday, 20 February 2023

Indigo Spajalica - Osijek Company Develops Pet Matchmaker App

February 21, 2023 - On February 14, on Valentine's Day, the company Collective Mind DEV released a new special edition mobile application on Google and Apple Store - the Indigo Spajalica (Indigo Matchmaker).

As SiB writes, the team from Collective Mind, an IT company with German roots that offers the development of ready-made software solutions (web and mobile), digitalization of business processes, UI/UX design, and branding, with an office in Osijek, decided to celebrate their 5th birthday in a unique way, by offering their services pro bono to an association of their choice.

They selected Indigo, an association for the welfare and protection of animals from Rakitje near Zagreb. The planning of the project started quickly and soon resulted in a great idea. It was to create a mobile application that will facilitate the adoption process for current and future adopters through a questionnaire that connects the characteristics and life habits of the adopters with the characteristics and needs of dogs and cats. And that's how the Indigo Spajalica (Indigo Matchmaker) was born. A mobile application through which you can find your furry soulmate.

In addition to matching foster pet parents with their furry soulmates, the application provides users with information on how they can help Indigo's pets, how to support the work of the association, and is a place where foster parents can share their experiences and beautiful moments with their pets through short posts.


Play Store

What does the app provide?

Happy stories - sharing photos and thoughts of adopters and caretakers from temporary accommodation, of volunteers taking the Indigo snouts for walks along Lake Rakitje, or former Indigo snouts from their forever homes.

Snouts - get to know the snouts that are looking for their soulmates.

Spajalica – a survey based on which the Indigo algorithm picks one (or more) furry soulmates. The user just needs to contact Indigo for the first date!

Aunts/uncles guardians - submitting applications of aunts and uncles guardians to provide a temporary home to the snouts while they wait for their forever home.

Fairies and elves - submitting applications for financing/godmothering of the little snouts until they find their forever home.

In addition to the above, all details about the Association, volunteering, and contact information for any questions can be found in the app.

The application is available on Google Store and Apple Store.

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

Monday, 20 February 2023

Croatian Company DOK-ING Sends Two Robots to Aid Ukraine

February the 20th, 2023 - The Croatian company DOK-ING has sent two robots to Ukraine's aid, seeing them handed over to the representatives of the Ukrainian State Administration for Emergency Sisutations by Marijo Grgurinovic, DOK-ING's main man.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the handover of two out of a total of eight robotic systems designed for humanitarian demining to war-torn Ukraine took place at the headquarters of the Croatian company DOK-ING company a few days ago. The president of the DOK-ING Management Board, Marijo Grgurinovic, personally partook in the exchange.

As explained in the company's press release, the robots were donated by an American donor, and senior representatives of the Directorate of Civil Protection and the Centre for Testing, Development and Training (CTRO) also took part in the handover to Ukrainian officials.

Neven Karas, coordinator for civil protection affairs of the Directorate of Civil Protection, pointed out that, unfortunately, the Republic of Croatia has had to endure a similar experience as what Ukraine is currently going through, but thanks to it, the country gained rich experience in mine action.

"As Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic pointed out at the last meeting with President Zelenski, an agreement on cooperation in the field of mine action between Ukraine and Croatia will be concluded, and one of the most important segments of this cooperation and assistance is precisely the delivery of our equipment and machines for humanitarian action. We've repeatedly pointed out that we have rich experience, we have knowledge and we have all of the proper resources,'' added Karas.

Marijo Grgurinovic stated that he is glad that the Croatian company DOK-ING has had trust placed in it and has once again been recognised as the world leader in demining robots, where it holds 80% of the global market.

"DOK-ING has sold its machines in about 40 countries around the world, and while we have world fame and attention, we're glad when we're visited in Zitnjak, where the very development and production of our robots takes place, where you can essentially see and feel the lifeblood of our innovation laboratory, and which is backed by top engineering experts", said Grgurinovic.

Alina Kozlova, a representative of SESU Ukraine, added that these robotic machines really do work to save human lives thanks to their remote controls and many multi-functionalities.

As a reminder, the Croatian company DOK-ING's robotic systems are used all over the world by armies, civil protection units, members of police forces, commercial operators and international non-governmental organisations in all kinds of demining operations.

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

Monday, 20 February 2023

Croatian Innovator Mate Rimac Appears on Hit British Show Top Gear

February the 20th, 2023 - Croatian innovator Mate Rimac is constantly showcasing what can be done with grit and determination, even in Croatia, which isn't known for its kindness to budding entrepreneurs. His recent appearance on the beloved British show Top Gear saw him reveal more about his passion - cars.

Rimac and Top Gear are hardly strangers, with Richard Hammond once infamously crashing one of his cars and ending up in a coma, almost losing his life. Still, not everything linking Croatia's ''modern day Tesla'' or ''the Elon Musk of the Balkans'', as the German media once referred to him, and Top Gear is so bleak.

Having impressed all and sundry in the world's automotive sector, this inventor keeps on surprising us with what he comes up with next, and his choice of dream cars might come as quite the surprise to those who are better acquainted with what he does, too.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, talented Croatian innovator Mate Rimac was a recent guest in the Top Gear studio with host Jack Rix. He appeared alongside some of the world's strongest automotive names – Christian von Koenigsegg, Gordon Murray and John Hennessey.

Among other things, the presenter asked them what their dream cars were, and Rimac's answer probably surprised many.

"I'm a petrolhead," Rimac said, adding that 99 percent of his dream cars are actually petrol-powered, which is quite the opposite of what his famous supercars run on. Rimac named the BMW M3 E30 as his top dream car. He also added that he has one in his own personal collection and that in his opinion it is one of the most beautiful cars ever created.

You can watch the video by clicking here.

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

Sunday, 19 February 2023

Croatia, Full of Colour: Rijeka Carnival 2023 Photo Special

February 19, 2023 - There is no street party quite like a Rijeka street party. A photo special from Rijeka Carnival 2023, with photos by Steve Tsentserensky. 

I am still recovering from my last night out in Rijeka three years ago. 

The 2020 Rijeka Carnival coincided with the opening of Rijeka 2020, as the city became the European City of Culture in that ill-fated year of 2020. None of us knew what was ahead of us on that fabulous opening night, and you can read about how Rijeka threw one of the best parties in my 20 years in Croatia in Rijeka 2020 Opening Party: Bold, Controversial, Brilliant - a Foreign Resident's View.

The Rijeka Carnival is the biggest in Croatia and one of the biggest in Europe. It is a fantastic event, and this year, we dispatched American digital nomad Steve Tsentserensky off to the Kvarner coast to take a few photos for TCN. 

Thanks Steve - looks like an amazing day, and interesting to see that they traditional  effigy for burning this year contained the squabbling President and Prime Minister of Croatia, Zoran Milanovic and Andrej Plenkovic.  
























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