Saturday, 1 May 2021

Croatia Commemorates 26th Anniversary of Operation Flash

ZAGREB, 1 May 2021 - Croatia today commemorates a combined military and police operation, dubbed Operation Flash, by which it regained control of the Serb-occupied Western Slavonia region during the Homeland War 26 years ago.

In a lightning offensive launched on 1 May 1995, in less than 32 hours about 7,200 Croatian soldiers and police officers liberated about 600 square kilometers of the Croatian territory that had been under occupation for four years.

The commemoration began in the morning at the monument in Okučani, about 130 kilometers southeast of Zagreb, with the reading of the names of those killed in the operation.

Wreaths were laid by President Zoran Milanović, Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, and their delegations as well as by delegations of veterans' associations and families of those killed.

For more about the homeland war in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Tuesday, 23 March 2021

Ludbreg City Day Celebrated with Special Ceremony

March 23, 2021 - According to a document of Pope Leo X dated March 19, 1513, Ludbreg City Day is celebrated on that very date.

As Večernji List reports, with the holy bull or the papal scriptures, Pope Leo X declared Ludbreg as the shrine of the Precious Blood of Christ, which is why he made a pilgrimage to this small town in Podravina for more than six centuries at the beginning of every September.

Given the global pandemic and the measures in place, Ludbreg City Day was marked in a more modest but again appropriate way. Although there were no major events, cinemas filled with laughter while watching theater performances, concerts, and the like, a solemn session was held at which appropriate awards and recognitions were presented to deserving individuals.

The city of Ludbreg is about to open a new tourist attraction in the heart of the city - Iovia Archaeological Park, and the Island of Youth is being arranged, which is becoming an increasingly popular gathering place for residents of all generations. Ludbreg is also a green city that rehabilitated a landfill a few years ago, underground and semi-underground containers have been set up in the city and settlements, and in 2019, it finished tenth in terms of allocations for agriculture. The economy also plays an important role in all this, and the mayor of Ludbreg, Dubravko Bilić, spoke about it at a solemn session.

''Investment in the economy and figures are often mentioned, so it should be said that over 150 million euros have been invested in the Ludbreg economy over eight years, both European and local. Today, Ludbreg is an important center of economic development of the county and does not stop in that development because we expect another important investment soon. We have created an optimistic, safe, and supportive climate for all who are willing to invest and develop good business stories and thus make Ludbreg a recognizable economic environment. We have received many awards for these efforts, but the most important recognition is the record low unemployment in the city and the highest average salary in the industry in the area," says Ludbreg Mayor, Dubravko Bilic. Speaking about the reforms, he especially emphasized changing the model of local committees' work.

"We have tackled the reforms ourselves, and by changing the work model of local committees, we have invested more than 14 million kuna in the balanced development of all settlements. Almost 3 million kuna has been invested in the new project model of civil society organizations, and around 20 million kuna has been invested in sports, which are still awaiting reforms,' says Bilić and adds that he is especially proud of two things.

It is a socially sensitive community of all generations, intertwined with the care of children and young people from kindergarten to student age, where the return of a high school to Ludbreg is especially important as a link between education and the needs of the economy. Almost 38 million kuna was invested in this sector. The second is investing in social programs such as support for newborns, scholarships, cooperation with our retirees, and all those who found themselves in trouble, in which an additional 6 million kuna was invested.

 "We recognized the concern for environmental protection and the importance of ecology for the future of Ludbreg. We removed landfills from the city center and invested 50 million kuna in green transformation, placing us among the 10 most successful cities in Croatia in environmental protection. In this green transformation, we recognize the opportunity for new investments in solar and geothermal power plants and the production and application of green hydrogen as the fuel of the future for public transport, municipal and truck transport, and industry, but also floriculture and vegetables. This is the most important reform that we must embark on as a city in order to ensure a healthy future for our children," emphasizes Mayor Bilić.

Champion of EU funds

The biggest backbone for years is certainly European projects, thanks to which most of the projects have been realized. In 2019, the city of Ludbreg won the title of champion in the category of EU funds. From 2013 until today, 115 million kuna has been invested in various sectors of society through projects.

"We turned to serve our city, where politicians and institutions need to serve their fellow citizens democratically. The mayor and city services turned to EU projects, the results of which are visible. From 2017 to 2020, EU projects covered 2,512,646.45 kuna for salaries, almost a one-year amount for all employees," said Antun Šimić, President of the City Council of Ludbreg.

At the solemn session on the occasion of the City Day, Varaždin County prefect Radimir Čačić also addressed the gathered people.

''Here there is a clear picture in the awareness that when you take leadership somewhere and are responsible for the betterment of others then there is one important message: No one is able to light a fire for another if he cannot for himself. In other words, you have to feel that power in yourself, which can then be passed on to other people. If you manage to skip your dimension then it deserves recognition. This city is small, it cannot be what it is not, but in any case, it has results that exceed a certain dimension, it is achieving its shifts. Ludbreg is a city that proves its ability in many parameters, especially when we talk about European projects. We will cooperate very well this year as well, because the north deserves to be even more influential, to direct state political decisions. For that, of course, instruments and people with knowledge are needed," said prefect Čačić.

The most developed small town in northwestern Croatia

The session was also attended by Melita Mulić, Advisor to the President of the Republic for Human Rights and Civil Society and an envoy of the President of the Republic of Croatia.

"When we talk about Ludbreg, its long history, and great tradition come to the fore, which in comparison with the rapid technological development of modern civilization is becoming increasingly important. She is our anchor with lasting values, ​​to which we can always return and be inspired to face contemporary challenges. In particular, they came to the fore in the era of the coronavirus pandemic, which not only changed our established life and habits but also forced us to reconsider the current way of managing society and nature. More than anything, we need content that is optimistic and stronger social cohesion, and I do not mean only the past but also the future. The city of Ludbreg has clearly defined its contents of the future and has become the most developed small town in northwestern Croatia," said Melita Mulić.

Ludbreg City Day is always an opportunity to thank prominent individuals. Dr. Tajana Pleše from Zagreb was declared an honorary citizen of the City of Ludbreg. The City of Ludbreg Award was given to Vitomir Namjesnik and Štefica Pavković. The plaque of the City of Ludbreg was awarded to the Children's Salon "Pinocchio" and the association "Women from the Center of the World". Letters of thanks from the City of Ludbreg were presented to Ivan Črepinko, Tomislav Horvat, Zlatko Hrelja, Vladimir Katalenić, Đurđa Kokanović and Ivica Vidović. The best students, Dea Busija from the Elementary School Ludbreg and Diana Laura Jantol from the High School Ludbreg, were also awarded.

"Preparing for this letter, I tried to see what connects all the winners. In addition to contributions to the development, promotion, and reputation of the City of Ludbreg, reading the nominations of this year's and previous winners, it became clear to me that all of us, regardless of the field in which we work - from humanitarian work, sports, crafts, culture or heritage - and unconditional commitment to the same goal; a better life for Ludbreg's men and women. By erasing the boundaries of working and private time with their engagement, the results were achieved, which the City of Ludbreg recognized and decided to award with these high recognitions," concluded Pleše.

You can find the original article here.

More information on the City of Ludbreg official site.

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