Friday, 21 January 2022

Plenković and Gotovina Pay Tribute to Defenders Killed in Operation Maslenica

ZAGREB, 21 Jan 2022 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenković and retired General Ante Gotovina on Friday paid tribute to the Croatian soldiers killed in 1993 Operation Maslenica.

"This is an opportunity to remember all Croatian defenders, soldiers, and police, who gave their lives for the freedom of Croatia and the Croatian state, which had been desired by generations of Croats for centuries and which we now have," Plenković said during a ceremony at the monument near Maslenica Bridge in Zadar County.

"Croatia is now a free, democratic, and developed member of NATO and the European Union, and all this would not have been possible without the defenders. Once again, on behalf of the government, ahead of tomorrow's anniversary, I wish to thank them and their families for everything they did for Croatia," the prime minister said.

Gotovina said that the purpose of Operation Maslenica was to push the Serb forces as deeply as possible into the hinterland to ensure the free flow of traffic, put Zadar's Zemunik airport into operation, and put the Peruča dam under control.

"The operation was completed and its goals were achieved. We had 180 personnel killed several hundred wounded, and we paid our respects to those people. It is thanks to them that today we have a sovereign state, a safe country, and a free society," Gotovina said.

For more, check out our dedicated politics section.

Friday, 6 August 2021

Pelagos Net Farma: Ante Gotovina Increases Number of Employees

August the 6th, 2021 - Homeland War hero Ante Gotovina's company, Pelagos net farma, has not only grown in the business sense but also in terms of employees. Gotovina's company has significantly increased its number of employees and the 2020 crisis which rocked the world barely touched it.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the tuna business that General Ante Gotovina has been involved in for the past eight years has not felt the coronavirus crisis, unlike the vast majority of other companies across not only Croatia and Europe but the rest of the world. His company, Pelagos net farma, has continued to grow throughout the global pandemic in terms of revenue and solid earnings, while significantly increasing its number of employees.

Pelagos net farma's total turnover last year amounted to a very impressive 94.4 million kuna, which is as much as 20.4 million kuna more than the company recorded back in pre-pandemic 2019. Ante Gotovina's successful tuna enterprises also made a net profit of almost 7 million kuna, according to a report from tportal.

Pelagos net farma farms expensive bluefin tuna and mainly sells it abroad, primarily on the distant Japanese market. Located close to Murter and located 11 nautical miles from the logistics headquarters in Gazenica, Pelagos net farma boasts a capacity of 1500 tonnes in 12 breeding units.

Immediately after its establishment, a strong investment cycle was launched in which, with the help of HBOR loans and European Union (EU) funds, Pelagos net farma acquired its own fishing fleet and built modern refrigerators with a capacity of 2,000 tonnes and an anchovy processing plant with a capacity of 1,000 tonnes.

Last year, Pelagos net farma helped out the Croatian economy when it needed it the most and hired 25 additional employees, seeing their number of employees rise to 131. Their average monthly salary is around 6,000 kuna.

For more on Croatian companies, investments and products, make sure to follow our dedicated business section.

Tuesday, 3 August 2021

General Ante Gotovina Has Name Proposal for Peljesac Bridge

August the 3rd, 2021 - Croatian General Ante Gotovina, a hero of the Homeland War, has stepped forward with a name proposal for Peljesac bridge, which has finally and historically connected Croatian and European Union (EU) territory.

Peljesac bridge was a long time coming, and with Chinese workers hard at work constructing it day and night, the bridge has been completed, finalising an enormous strategic Croatian project which has connected the extreme south of Dalmatia with the rest of the country, eliminating the need for a border crossing into neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina (through the coastal town of Neum). 

The move has, as mentioned, also been of strategic importance to the European Union, which provided a huge percentage of money in non-refundable EU funds for the bridge's construction, as Bosnia and Herzegovina's small piece of coastline which broke up Croatian territory, remains a third country.

Potential names for the bridge, which has always been simply known as Peljesac bridge until now, have been flying around, and General Ante Gotovina has his own suggestion.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, General Ante Gotovina was asked what he would say to the Croatian people during the days of pride and glory of the celebration of Operation Storm (Oluja), General Gotovina said:

"As you can see, tradition is something we have to keep close to us. Security and freedom are a necessity every day, for those who care about it. This is found in our National Security System and within our Croatian Armed Forces. And for the rest of it - we need to work and work!

We have managed to bring a lot of strategic projects to fruition, we've met a lot of strategic goals since the end of the Homeland War. Much has been done. One of these is now the connection of the extreme south of Croatia with the rest of Croatia via the already famous Peljesac bridge. As the flag of the City of Dubrovnik says - Libertas! It would be nice to call that bridge Libertas. It represents freedom,'' Gotovina told IKA.

For more, follow our lifestyle section.

Saturday, 8 August 2020

Ante Gotovina's Company Sees Growth, Plans New Investments

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Suzana Varosanec writes on the 7th of August, 2020, the Zadar-based company Pelagos net farma, co-owned by Croatian General Ante Gotovina, as a major tuna exporter, is also coming into focus due to its investment-related plans.

Ante Gotovina's company claims that it hasn't really suffered as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the devastating effect it has had on the global economy. Given the company's annual report, it seems that despite this new situation in which we all find ourselves and in which many companies are struggling and even going bust, they are in fact facing a new wave of investments, which, in addition to the well-established tuna business in the Balabra farm near Murter, intends to expand into the area of ​​blue fish.

According to the annual report of the Management Board for 2019, signed by President Nenad Horvat and member of the Management Board Leo Mandic, Pelagos net farma will continue to modernise its business throughout the remainder of the year 2020, with the aim of increasing efficiency and improving the achieved results, regardless of the difficult economic situation that has taken hold.

However, in addition to new investments in the continuation of the modernisation of business processes, additional investments are planned regarding the purchase of new ships for Ante Gotovina's company.

While one vessel will be used for mariculture work, the other will be involved in catching small blue fish. The amount of investment in question isn't specified in the report, so it remains to be seen in practice the pace of investment as well as the relationship with the plant that the company already has for processing anchovies with a maximum capacity of 1000 tonnes.

Former General Ante Gotovina's company is doing well and boasts a respectable number of employees - there were 106 at the end of 2019, and at the same time, the company is reaching its maximum profit levels, thus achieving close to 8 million kuna in net profit, which marks an encouraging 10 percent growth when compared to the previous year. Back in 2019, the company realised impressive total revenues amounting to 74 million kuna, ie 35 percent more than was realised in 2018.

For more, follow our business section.

Wednesday, 5 August 2020

Gotovina: We Are Stronger and Better people, Ready to Work for a Better Tomorrow

ZAGREB, Aug 5, 2020 - Retired lieutenant general Ante Gotovina said during the celebration of the 25th anniversary of Operation Storm in Knin on Wednesday, that by learning lessons from the past Croatians have become stronger and better people, ready to think optimistically and work today for a better tomorrow.

Speaking as a representative of veterans, he congratulated those present and underscored that Operation Storm, which took place a quarter of a century ago, had determined the country's future and marked the beginning of the end of the war and the establishment of peace.

"The courage, sacrifice, determination, and unity of our people from the start of the Homeland War and under the leadership of the first Croatian President Franjo Tudjman, wartime defence minister Gojko Susak and all the commanders of the General Staff were crucial for us to build a Croatian army is particularly unfavourable and difficult war circumstances, ready and capable of defending itself, putting an end to an imposed war and creating preconditions for lasting peace," said Gotovina.

Horrors of war in the collective conscience of the people and foundation of Croatian statehood

Gotovina added that the horrors of war and years of suffering of innocent people, the sacrifice of young soldiers, and those who lost their lives and health, were part of the collective conscience of the Croatian people, having been built into the foundations of Croatian statehood.

"It is with pride and sorrow that we remember our friends, fallen and deceased comrades in arms. I greet you, dear families, with profound respect," he said.

Gotovina said that 25 years of living in peace and security, Croatia is developing into a modern European democracy, a socially just state that cares for the smallest and most needy, a state in which all people, regardless of their differences, enjoy safety and freedom, equal rights and equal obligations.

"With the unity of all of us, from the first at the helm to the smallest, we will achieve the objectives and know how to respond to all the challenges of the time that we live in," concluded Gotovina.

Asked by reporters later to say why members of wartime HOS forces and some other war units were not allowed to attend the ceremony in the main square in Knin, Gotovina said that "discipline has to exist in everything, even in freedom."

Asked whether he was glad that Deputy Prime Minister Boris Milosevic from the ranks of the Independent Democratic Serb Party (SDSS) had attended today's event, Gotovina said that the celebration was dignified and "that is good."

Sunday, 12 January 2020

Croatian Filmmakers Vrdoljak: Debts for Failed 'General' Film

Goran Navojec and Mustafa Nadarević are among the most famous names on a list of people and companies to whom the producers, Antun and Andrija Vrdoljak, of the failed Croatian film and TV series ‘General’ are indebted.

Navojec agreed to speak publicly in a written statement to Vladimir Matijanić/Index on January 10, 2020; and Mustafa Nadarević confirmed his claims.

Unpaid production debts are dragging on for ‘General’ even though producers had a massive budget compared to other Croatian productions. Croatian Radio Television (HRT) alone gave them 9.6 million HRK (1.3 million EUR), the Croatian Audiovisual Center provided 4.2 million HRK (565,000 EUR), and Index wouldn't dare assume how much the Ministry of Defense and numerous local government units, which are credited in the series, paid them or how they provided assistance. Index also contacted the Ministry of Defense regarding the cost of filming ‘General’ and will provide their response if and when they receive it.

It’s worth pointing out that that Vrdoljak was credited as a screenwriter, director and co-producer. Second in line is Goran Višnjić, who enjoyed considerable success in the United States and played Ante Gotovina in the film and series. The executive producer is Antun's son, Andrija Vrdoljak, and the series and film were credited to Kiklop film, along with Croatian Radio and Television. According to court records, the owners of Kiklop film are also Antun and Andrija Vrdoljak, the latter of whom is credited as director.

Navojec: My Relationship with Producers Will End in Court

Here's what Navojec wrote to Index about Vrdoljak's debts.

"My relationship with the producers of the movie and TV series ‘General', or Kiklop film, will unfortunately finish in court because two-and-a-half years after filming ended, and an equally long payment deadline, I still have not been paid a portion of my fees. I was paid a part of my fee after a two year wait. My esteemed colleague and friend, Mr. Mustafa Nadarević, veteran of Croatian cinema and theater, is still waiting for his payment. There are also others waiting too and they are not actors: Gripfilm company, in charge of stage effects; Mario Knezović, co-producer in Bosnia and Herzegovina; and Ivan Maloča of Interfilm, whose cameras filmed ‘General,’” Navojec wrote to us.


"It's About Croatian Taxpayer Money"

"It is incomprehensible to me that those in charge of the HRT and HAVC publicly funded joint project, which at one time had received a designation of project of state importance, treat their associates this way by not paying them. Because taxpayer money is involved, I think it is time to speak up regarding this topic. Neither HRT nor HAVC are legally responsible for this situation because we all signed a contract with Kiklop film, but the responsibility of the producer is in question as well as the mechanism for monitoring the spending of public funds.

“If they release my work into the public domain at home and abroad without fulfilling my financial obligations, or the obligations of those without whom there would have been no final product, then we are all in serious trouble. After two years, and in good faith, I communicated regularly with the producer and patiently considered their reasons for the late payment, which were mainly directed towards HRT and HAVC. The producers were supposedly expecting a payment of settlement funds from them, but I eventually decided to resolve the issue through legal means and filed a motion for payment enforcement based on a credible document. An enforcement order was issued and then the producer lodged an unfounded complaint on the same grounds, solely because of the reason for payment delay," Navojec writes in a statement.

Index contacted everyone mentioned in Navojac's statement and they have confirmed his allegations. Nadarević agreed to allow Index to mention his name, while Knezović, Maloča and Siladi from Gripfilm provided more specific details. Knezović received 20,000 EUR from the Bosnian Cinematography Foundation and spent 48,000 EUR which the producers were aware of. He eventually had to cover the excess costs himself. Gripfilm claims an unpaid bill of 420,000 HRK (56,500 EUR) and has initiated foreclosure proceedings, but Maloča refused to say how much the Vrdoljaks owe him, "certainly more than 100,000 HRK (13,400 EUR)," he claims.

Vrdoljak Team and HAVC Won’t Talk, HRT Saying Little

Index sent Andrija Vrdoljak an email which he did not respond to. They also called him, but he didn’t answer, just like his father, Antun Vrdoljak. So far, the Croatian Audiovisual Center (HAVC) has not responded to Index's emails, and Index has asked whether the producer of ‘General’ has provided them with a final financial report. HRT, however, decided to provide a short reply:

"HRT has nothing to do with the relationship between the producer of Kiklop film and HAVC. HRT fulfilled its obligations to an independent producer and acquired the right to use the work and broadcast the work in accordance with the acquired rights. The independent producer provided a spending statement," which indicates that they are the only party who doesn’t have an objection to ‘General’.

HRT Claimed that ‘General’ Would be ‘Very Well Received by Audience’

Just over three years ago, people from HRT were much more talkative. Their website also contains information on signing the contract with Kiklop film for filming the movie and television series ‘The General’, based on the screenplay by Antun Vrdoljak, which is based on the book by Nenad Ivankovic ‘Warrior, Adventurer and General’. The contract was signed by Andrija Vrdoljak and Siniša Kovačić, then acting director-general of HRT.

Kovačić remarked that, upon his arrival at the helm of HRT, "for some reason this project was not among the most important, but during our initial meetings we decided to change that. This is an extremely important project for us," Kovačić emphasized, and the visionary predicted that ‘General’ would "be very well received by the audience because of the strong writing team behind the script and direction team, which have already produced numerous blockbuster films and TV series."

Kovačić left HRT, in the meantime, and ‘General’ has proven to be a total artistic and financial failure. And HRT, regardless of that failure, is still broadcasting it during prime-time hours.

“This is Croatia,” Index concludes.

Check out our Lifestyle page to follow the releases, successes, failures and unpaid debts of films made in Croatia.

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

Split Premiere of Film About General Ante Gotovina Held on Victory Day

August 6, 2019 - The film General about General Ante Gotovina premiered in Split at the Bačvice Summer Cinema on Victory Day.

“I am glad to be here at the promotion of General, and I am glad that such a movie about the Homeland War, about the people at war, was finally made. I believe it is good,” Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense of the Republic of Croatia, General Damir Krstičević, told Slobodna Dalmacija before the Split premiere. The Dalmatian spectacle of Antun Vrdoljak’s latest film was held at the Bačvice Summer Cinema, organized in cooperation with the 65th Split Summer Festival, the Pula Film Festival, and Kino Mediterranean.

“I am really pleased that the premiere of the film is all over Croatia, and especially in Split, today, when we celebrate the Victory and Homeland Thanksgiving Day and the Day of Croatian Defenders.

Split, and all of Dalmatia gave a lot in the Homeland War, especially in the defense, and later in the liberation of all of Dalmatia and Croatia.

Split is the home of the 4th Guards Brigade and is also the home of other military units in the area. Once again, a huge thank you to Croatian veterans for winning the Homeland War, and the greatest gratitude to the families of our fallen, dead and missing Croatian veterans,” Krstičević added. 

There were many well-known faces at the premiere of the film, including many political figures like Split-Dalmatia County Mayor Blaženko Boban, Split Mayor Andro Krstulović Opara, Split-Dalmatia County HDZ President Ante Sanader, but also music manager Ivan Bubalo and painter Zvonimir Mihanović. 

“The interest in the film is great. Gotovina is a symbol of the Homeland War. It is one thing that every war has to have - heroes. We can be grateful to Vrdoljak for making this movie. Because, he remains, like a movie screen. Everything you write and film is something that remains. This is certainly very important for the young and new generations and for creating patriotism in Croatia. The premiere on this date is just as big a deal. Congratulations to the organizers who made it today,” Sanader said. 

The film's director Antun Vrdoljak also attended the Split premiere.

“When Ante Gotovina was arrested, in your naivety you think, like, I can help with a movie in The Hague.

But as long as you do the work, you believe in it. And here it is, Ante is back, and we made a movie about it. To my credit, I'm also a brigadier. So one rank less than a general.

The friendships of war last a very long time and are very deep. There is one sentence in the movie ‘life is important in war’. And she asks him ‘Your life?’ He replies, ‘no.’

This is exactly the whole point of the movie,” Vrdoljak noted.

Shortly before the screening, the audience was addressed by Srećko Šestan, director of the 65th Split Summer Festival and the HNK intendant in Split.

“It is my pleasure that, after a brief interruption in screening the best films from the Pula Film Festival, Split will once again become the center of our excellence in cinema. I want to thank everyone who helped us launch three evenings with Croatian premieres. It is a special pleasure to thank Mr. Antun Vrdoljak, my dear friend,” Šestan emphasized.

Translated from Slobodna Dalmacija

To read more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Sunday, 14 July 2019

Film about General Ante Gotovina Opens 66th Film Festival in Pula

ZAGREB, July 14, 2019 - The film General by director Antun Vrdoljak was premiered at the start of the 66th edition of the Pula Film Festival on Saturday evening after the opening ceremony which included a fireworks display in Pula's landmark of Arena. Vrdoljak's film is about the life of Croatian war hero general Ante Gotovina who had a crucial role in the 1995 military and police operation Storm when Croatia liberated the largest part of its occupied areas which used to be under the control of rebel Serbs since 1992.

After the showing of the film, President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, who delivered a speech at that opening ceremony, said that she found the film very emotional. The 2.5-hour film features Goran Višnjić, a Croatian American actor and producer, in the role of General Gotovina.

Before the screening, in her opening speech, the president said that she believed that the film "is not a story of just one deserving man – a general of the victorious Croatian Army Ante Gotovina – this is a story about the Homeland War, but above all the story of the Croatian struggle for human and national freedom."

"This long historical story of ours has many protagonists and deserves many more quality movies," the president concluded, declaring the festival open.

In her speech she also emphasised that "the lasting value of the Pula Film Festival lies in its presentation of contemporary Croatian film production, its diversity and versatility." Therefore, the president awarded the festival the Charter of the Republic of Croatia, for its current work and as an incentive to persevere in the future.

Artists presented themselves and their works on this location, they were judged by experts, but above all by you, the audience of Pula, whose voice always has special importance and value, she added.

At a news conference before the opening ceremony, the Director of the Public Institution Pula Film Festival Gordana Restović thanked all the associates and the Culture Ministry, City of Pula, and the Istria County for their support and assistance to the Festival.

She also said that 110 films would be shown cross 17 venues until 21 July. The Croatian programme includes eight films.

More news about Ante Gotovina can be found in the Politics section.

Thursday, 11 July 2019

Meet General Ante Gotovina at His Tuna Farm at Diaspora Conference G2.5

July 11, 2019 - Planning for the 5th G2 Croatian diaspora conference is in its advanced stages. One of the undoubted highlights is the chance to meet General Ante Gotovina. 

Connections between Croatia and its diaspora are strengthing. One of the pillars bringing entrepreneurs from the Homeland and Croatian communities abroad is the G2 conference, which will take part for the fifth year later this year:

This year, the fifth Meeting G2 conference will be held in November. Please mark this down in your calendars from the 4th to the 6th of November and make the most of the time to investigate business opportunities and potential business partners. Last year, more than 200 participants attended the event, including more than 70 representatives of Croatian owned businesses from all around the world. This year, we expect an even larger turnout to attend the event to voice their opinions on the goals of the Conference, build a great atmosphere and create a story that connects all Croatians around the world. We will brief you about the conference program and early bird prices.

The schedule is still being finalised, and we will publish it as soon as we get it, but here is an interesting special offer to add a little spice to G2.5:

Don't miss the opportunity to meet our celebrated Croatian Army General Ante Gotovina at this year's Meeting G2 Conference. Gen. Gotovina will host participants of the conference starting 6th November 2019 at his company Pelagos net farma d.o.o. in Zadar. 

A few years ago, Gen. Gotovina founded a company harvesting wild tuna, breeding them under controlled conditions in underwater cages, and his business has been booming. All interested will have the opportunity to watch live production operations and meet the celebrated general, who is today a very successful entrepreneur.

Get an Early Bird 40% discount if you register before 15th of July for this year's conference. For more information, see the Fee Discount article.

Tickets are limited, so please indicate your interest in the trip to see Gen. Gotovina in your application. For online registration, visit online discount.

To follow the latest from the Croatian diaspora, follow the dedicated TCN section.  

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Šibenik-Knin County Financing Film About General Ante Gotovina

Ante Gotovina is much more than just a household name like that of an actor or a singer. This hero of the Homeland War was proclaimed innocent at The Hague and released back in 2012. He returned to Croatia and embarked on a normal life before becoming somewhat of an entrepreneur. Thesedays, Gotovina no longer dons a general's uniform, but instead deals in the raising of tuna through his own company.

As Gotovina enjoys the quiet life now, the stories of his heroic past in the face of war have never faded, and a film about him is set to be filmed with Šibenik-Knin County's very welcome financial support.

As Morski writes on the 28th of May, 2019, Šibenik-Knin County Prefect Goran Pauk has signed a co-financing contract for a feature film and the "General" TV series.

"This contract stipulates that Šibenik-Knin County is obliged to provide financial support in the amount of 100,000 kuna to the project of a feature-length film and drama television series called "General'', by the screenwriter and director Antun Vrdoljak in the production of Kiklop filma d.o.o. and Croatian Television,'' reads a quote from Šibenik-Knin County.

In the explanation, it is argued that the theme of the film and TV series is the Homeland War, to which Croatian cinematography still owes a lot, given the historical achievement of the creation of the democratic and independent Republic of Croatia, the fulfillment of a centuries-old dream of the Croatian people.

The film and TV series covers the the war and the life of General Ante Gotovina and his generation of Croatian defenders, detailing both the good times and the extremely bad ones.

"Most of all, because of those who have given us and all future generations the liberty that we've inherited today, the Croatian Defense Forces," they argue in their clarification of their decision to fund the film on Gotovina's life and deeds.

To briefly recall, filming was completed in Šibenik on January the 30th this year, and Šibenik native Goran Višnjić plays General Ante Gotovina.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for much more.

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