Sunday, 24 October 2021

Experts at Catholic Social Week Warn About Croatia’s Demographic Crisis

ZAGREB, 24 Oct, 2021- The Sixth Croatian Social Week, which was organised by the Catholic Church in the country, on Saturday adopted a declaration which underscores that Croatia is in a deep demographic crisis and calls on the authorities to take measures to halt negative trends.

The declaration, adopted at the end of the event that brought together about 200 participants, warns about a demographic failure in Croatia due to the intensive decrease in the number of newborns and demographic ageing.

The document says that the country lacks a long-term strategy and a supra-party policy to address the issue.

The declaration recommends that the population strategies should encompass pro-natalist and moderate migration policies.

The participants in the event concluded that in the future Croatia would have to cope to a greater extent with the issues regarding migrations.

They also call for more attention to be paid to expats coming back to Croatia.

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Thursday, 22 July 2021

Dugopolje Municipality Tackling Demography Issue with Higher "Newborn Sums"

July the 22nd, 2021 - The Dugopolje Municipality near Split has decided to raise the cash sum it gives to new parents in an attempt to encourage the birth of more children in the area.

Croatia's demographic crisis didn't come about with the coronavirus pandemic, which has seen many people take the plunge and head abroad in search of more stability following lockdowns and restrictions within the tourism industry, on which many jobs rely. It wasn't even new when the country finally joined the European Union back in July 2013 and when borders opened for the Croatian labour force.

Waves of emigration are very common for Croatia, with a huge number of people leaving during the 70s, 80s and 90s, typically, at least back then, for political reasons. Now, while politics certainly continues to play a significant role, it isn't the only deciding factor for most. The desire for a country with more economic stability, less red tape and a more forgiving system is what drives most people outside of Croatian borders, and the demographic crisis didn't even wane when travel restrictions were harsher last year, with many Croats still leaving to the likes of Ireland and Germany without looking back.

While the typically overlooked region of Eastern Croatia has always been dominant in this trend, with villages and towns emptying out at a worrying rate, the demographic crisis has spread further, with even ''richer'' areas where jobs were usually far easier to come by such as Dalmatia seeing people hop on planes and coaches with one way tickets. The Dugopolje Municipality has, as a result, opted to up the cash fee given to parents for each child born in the area.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Perica Bosancic, the mayor of Dugopolje, a municipality with about 3,500 inhabitants close to Solin (formerly Salona) took to Facebook to post about the increase in fees for newborn children in the Dugopolje Municipality.

As he wrote, the fee for the first born child will be 5,000 kuna, instead of the previous 3,000 kuna, and for the second 10,000 kuna instead of the previous 5,000 kuna.

''We announced this back on the 18th of April, and on July 20th, we kept our promise. We increased the benefits for newborns from 3,000 kuna to 5,000 kuna for the first child, from 5,000 kuna to 10,000 kuna for the second, and for the third, we increased the benefit to 15,000 kuna. Each subsequent child will see the parents paid an additional 15,000 kuna (meaning that the fourth child is is 30,000 kuna, the fifth is 45,000 kuna, etc.…). I'd like to thank the councilors for unanimously supporting this proposal,'' Bosancic wrote on Facebook.

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Friday, 19 February 2021

People also ask Google: What is Croatia Famous For?

February 19, 2021 – What is Croatia Famous For?

People outside of the country really want to know more about Croatia. They search for answers online.

Here, we'll try to answer the popular search terms “What is Croatia famous for?” and “What is Croatia known for?”

Most of the people looking for answers to these questions have never been to Croatia. They may have been prompted to ask because they're planning to visit Croatia, they want to come to Croatia, or because they heard about Croatia on the news or from a friend.

What Croatia is known for depends on your perspective. People who live in the country sometimes have a very different view of what Croatia is famous for than the rest of the world. And, after visiting Croatia, people very often leave with a very different opinion of what Croatia is known for than before they came. That's because Croatia is a wonderful country, full of surprises and secrets to discover. And, it's because internet searches don't reveal everything. Luckily, you have Total Croatia News to do that for you.

What is Croatia known for?

1) Holidays


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Croatia is best known globally as a tourist destination. Catching sight of pictures of the country online is enough to make almost anyone want to come. If you've heard about it from a friend, seen the country used in a TV show like Game of Thrones or Succession, or watched a travel show, your mind will be made up. Following such prompts, it's common for Croatia to move to first place on your bucket list. If it's not already, it should be, There are lots of reasons why Croatia is best known for holidays (vacations).

a) Islands


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What is Croatia famous for? Islands © Mljet National Park

Within Croatia's tourist offer, its most famous aspect is its islands. Croatia has over a thousand islands - 1246 when you include islets. 48 Croatian islands are inhabited year-round, but many more come to life over the warmer months. Sailing in Croatia is one of the best ways to see the islands, and if you're looking for a place for sailing in the Mediterranean, Croatia is the best choice because of its wealth of islands. These days, existing images of Croatia's islands have been joined by a lot more aerial photography and, when people see these, they instantly fall in love.

b) Beaches


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What is Croatia famous for? Its holidays are famous for their beaches © Szabolcs Emich

Croatia has 5835 kilometres of coastline on the Adriatic Sea - 1,777.3 kilometres of coast on the mainland, and a further 4,058 kilometres of coast around its islands and islets. The Croatian coast is the most indented of the entire Mediterranean. This repeated advance and retreat into the Adriatic forms a landscape littered with exciting, spectacular peninsulas, quiet, hidden bays, and some of the best beaches in the world. There are so many beaches in Croatia, you can find a spot to suit everyone. On the island of Pag and in the Zadar region, you'll find beaches full of young people where the party never stops. Elsewhere, romantic and elegant seafood restaurants hug the shoreline. Beach bars can range from ultra-luxurious to basic and cheap. The beaches themselves can be popular and full of people, facilities, excitement and water sports, or they can be remote, idyllic, and near-deserted, accessible only by boat. Sand, pebble, and stone all line the perfectly crystal-clear seas which are the common feature shared by all.

c) Dubrovnik


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What is Croatia famous for? Dubrovnik © Ivan Ivanković

As a backdrop to Game Of Thrones and movies from franchises like Star Wars and James Bond, Dubrovnik is known all over the world. Everybody wants to see it in person, and that's why it's an essential stop-off for so many huge cruise ships in warmer months. But, Dubrovnik's fame did not begin with the invention of film and television. The city was an autonomous city-state for long periods of time in history, and Dubrovnik was known all over Europe – the famous walls which surround the city of Dubrovnik are a testament to a desire to maintain its independent standing for centuries while living in the shadow of expanding, ambitious empires.

d) Heritage


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What is Croatia famous for? Heritage. Pula amphitheatre is one of the best-preserved Roman amphitheatres in the world

The walled city of Dubrovnik is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Croatia's rich architectural and ancient heritage. Diocletian's Palace in Split is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and still the living, breathing centre of life in the city (that people still live within it and it is not preserved in aspic is one of its most charming features and no small reason for its excellent preservation).

Having existed on the line of European defence against the Ottoman empire, Croatia also has many incredible fortresses and castles. The fortresses of Sibenik are well worth seeing if you're visiting Sibenik-Knin County and its excellent coast. A small number of Croatia's best castles exist on the coast, Rijeka's Trsat and Nova Kraljevica Castle is nearby Bakar being two of them. Most of Croatia's best and prettiest castles are actually located in its continental regions which, compared to the coast, remain largely undiscovered by most international tourists.

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Many spectacular castles in the country's continental regions are, for these parts, what is Croatia famous for

Pula amphitheatre (sometimes referred to as Pula Arena) is one of the largest and best-preserved Roman amphitheatres in the world. A spectacular sight year-round, like Diocletian's Palace, it remains a living part of the city's life, famously hosting an international film festival, concerts by orchestras, opera stars, and famous rock and pop musicians. Over recent years, it has also played a part in the city's music festivals.

e) Music Festivals


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What is Croatia famous for? Music festivals © Khris Cowley

There is a very good reason why the city of Pula leapt massively up the list of most-researched online Croatian destinations over the last decade. It played host to two of the country's most famous international music festivals. Though the music at some of these can be quite niche, the global attention they have brought to the country is simply massive. Clever modern branding and marketing by the experienced international operators who host their festivals in Croatia mean that millions of young people all over the world have seen videos, photos and reviews of Croatia music festivals, each of them set within a spectacular backdrop of seaside Croatia.

f) Plitvice Lakes and natural heritage


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What is Croatia Famous For? Plitvice Lakes, national parks and natural heritage

Known for its chain of 16 terraced lakes and gushing waterfalls, Plitvice Lakes is the oldest, biggest and most famous National Park in Croatia. Everybody wants to see it. And many do. But that's not the be-all and end-all of Croatia's stunning natural beauty. Within the country's diverse topography, you'll find 7 further National Parks and 12 Nature Parks which can be mountain terrain, an archipelago of islands, or vibrant wetlands.

2) Football


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What is Croatia famous for? Football. Seen here, Luka Modric at the 2018 World Cup © Светлана Бекетова

The glittering international careers of Croatian footballers Luka Modrić, Ivan Rakitić, Ivan Perišić, Mario Mandžukić, and others have in recent years advertised Croatia as a factory of top-flight footballing talent. They helped put Croatia football on the map with fans of European football. Football fans in Croatia have a very different perception of just how famous Croatian football is to everyone else in the world. If you talk to a Croatian fan about football, it's almost guaranteed that they will remind you of a time (perhaps before either of you were born) when their local or national team beat your local or national team in football. 99% of people will have no idea what they are talking about. The past occasions which prompt this parochial pride pale into insignificance against the Croatian National Football Team's achievement in reaching the World Cup Final of 2018. This monumental occasion brought the eyes of the world on Croatia, extending way beyond the vision of regular football fans. Subsequently, the internet exploded with people asking “Where is Croatia?”

Sports in general are what is Croatia known for

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Croatians are enthusiastic about sports and engage in a wide number of them. The difference in perception between how Croats view the fame this gets them and the reality within the rest of the world is simply huge. Rowing, basketball, wrestling, mixed martial arts, tennis, handball, boxing, waterpolo, ice hockey, skiing and volleyball are just some of the sports in which Croatia has enthusiastically supported individuals and local and national teams. Some of these are regarded as minority sports even in other countries that also pursue them. Croatians don't understand this part. If you say to a Croatian “What is handball? I never heard of that,” they will look at you like you are crazy or of below-average intelligence.

3) Zagreb


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What is Croatia famous for? Its capital city Zagreb is becoming increasingly better known

Over relatively recent years, the Croatian capital has skyrocketed in terms of fame and visitor numbers. Tens of thousands of people from all over the world now come to visit Zagreb each year. Its massive new success can be partly attributed to the rising popularity of international tourism in some areas of Asia (and Zagreb being used as a setting for some television programmes made in some Asian countries) and the massive success of Zagreb's Advent which, after consecutively attaining the title of Best European Christmas Market three times in a row, has become famous throughout the continent and further still. Zagreb's fame is not however restricted to tourism. Zagreb is known for its incredible Austro-Hungarian architecture, its Upper Town (Gornji Grad) and the buildings there, an array of museums and city centre parks and as home to world-famous education and scientific institutions, like to Ruder Boskovic Institute and the Faculty of Economics, University of Zagreb.

4) Olive oil


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What is Croatia famous for? Olive oil

Croatian olive oil is the best in the world. Don't just take out word for it! Even the experts say so. In 2020, leading guide Flos Olei voted Istria in northwest Croatia as the world's best olive oil growing region for a sixth consecutive year. Olive oil production is an ancient endeavour in Croatia, and over hundreds of years, the trees have matured, and the growers learned everything there is to know. Olive oil is made throughout a much wider area of Croatia than just Istria, and local differences in climate, variety, and soil all impact the flavour of the oils produced. Croatian has no less than five different olive oils protected at a European level under the designation of their place of origin. These and many other Croatian olive oils are distinct and are among the best you're ever likely to try.

5) There was a war here


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What is Croatia famous for? A relatively recent war left its mark on the country © Modzzak

Under rights granted to the republics of the former Yugoslavia and with a strong mandate from the Croatian people, gained across two national referendums, Croatia declared its independence from Yugoslavia in 1991. Yugoslavia was a multi-ethnic country, with each republic containing a mixture of different ethnicities and indeed many families which themselves were the product of mixed ethnicities. Ethnic tensions and the rise of strong nationalist political voices in each of the former republics and within certain regions of these countries lead to a situation where war became inevitable. The worst of the fighting was suffered within Croatia, Bosnia, and Herzegovina and the part of southern Serbia which is now Kosovo. The Croatian War of Independence (known locally as the Homeland War) lasted from 1991 – 1995. The Yugoslav wars of which it was a major part is regarded as the deadliest conflict in Europe since World War II. In many cases, this war pitted neighbouring houses or neighbouring villages against each other and sometimes members of the same family could be found on opposing sides. The war left huge damage on the country and its infrastructure, some of which is still visible. Worse still, it had a much greater physical and psychological impact on the population. Some people in Croatia today would rather not talk about the war and would prefer to instead talk about the country's present and future. For other people in Croatia, the war remains something of an obsession. If you are curious about the Croatian War of Independence, it is not advisable to bring it up in conversation when you visit the country unless you know the person you are speaking with extremely well. It is a sensitive subject for many and can unnecessarily provoke strong emotions and painful memories. There are many resources online where you can instead read all about the war, there are good documentary series about it on Youtube and there are several museums in Croatia where you can go and learn more, in Vukovar, Karlovac and in Zagreb.

6) Wine


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What is Croatia famous for? Its wine is some of the best you'll ever try © Plenković

Croatia is not really that famous for wine. Well, not as famous as it should be because Croatia makes some of the greatest wine on the planet. Croatian wine is only really famous to those who have tried it after visiting – you'll never forget it! A growing cabal of Croatian wine enthusiasts are trying their best internationally to spread the word about Croatian wine. However, there isn't really that much space in Croatia to make all the wine it needs to supply its homegrown demands and a greatly increased export market. Therefore, export prices of Croatian wine are quite high and even when it does reach foreign shores, these prices ensure its appreciation only by a select few. There's a popular saying locally that goes something like this “We have enough for ourselves and our guests”. Nevertheless, Croatian wine is frequently awarded at the most prestigious international competitions and expos. White wine, red wine, sparkling wine, cuvee (mixed) and rose wine are all made here and Croatia truly excels at making each. You can find different kinds of grape grown and wine produced in the different regions of Croatia. The best way to learn about Croatian wine is to ask someone who really knows about wine or simply come to Croatia to try it. Or, perhaps better still, don't do that and then there will be more for those of us who live here. Cheers!

7) Croatian produce


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Drniš prsut
is protected at a European level, one of 32 products currently protected in this way and therefore what is Croatia famous for © Tourist Board of Drniš

To date, 32 agricultural and food products from Croatia have attained protection at a European level. These range from different prosciuttos, olive oils and Dalmatian bacon, to pastries and pastas, honey, cheese, turkeys, lamb, cabbages, mandarins, salt, sausages, potatoes and something called Meso 'z tiblice (which took a friend from the region where it's made three days to fully research so he could explain it to me at the levels necessary to write an informed article about it – so, you can research that one online). While some prosciutto, bacon, sausages, olive oil and wine do make it out of Croatia, much of these are snaffled up by a discerning few of those-in-the-know. The rest, you will only really be able to try if you visit. And, there are many other items of Croatian produce which are known which you can also try while here

Truffles


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What is Croatia known for? Truffles © Donatella Paukovic

By weight, one of the most expensive delicacies in the world, truffles are a famous part of the cuisine within some regions of Croatia. They feature heavily in the menu of Istria, which is well known as a region in which both white and black truffles are found and then added to food, oils or other products. Truth be told, this isn't a black and white issue - there are a great number of different types of truffle and they can be found over many different regions in Croatia, including around Zagreb and in Zagreb County. But, you'll need to see a man about a dog if you want to find them yourself.

Vegeta


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What is Croatia known for? Vegeta

Having celebrated its 60th birthday in 2019, the cooking condiment Vegeta is exported and known in many other countries, particularly Croatia's close neighbours. It is popularly put into soups and stews to give them more flavour. Among its ingredients are small pieces of dehydrated vegetables like carrot, parsnip, onion, celery, plus spices, salt and herbs like parsley.

Chocolate


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What is Croatia known for? Chocolate is a big export© Alexander Stein

Though making chocolate is only around a century old in Croatia, Croatian chocolate has grown to become one of its leading manufactured food exports. Some of the most popular bars may be a little heavy on sugar and low on cocoa for more discerning tastes. But, lots of others really like it.

Beer


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What is Croatia famous for? Its beer is becoming more famous internationally © The Garden Brewery

The exploding growth of the Croatian craft ale scene over the last 10 years is something that is likely to have passed you by, unless you're a regular visitor to the country, a beer buff or both. Most of the producers are quite small and production not great enough to make a big splash on international markets. However, even within a craft-flooded current market, Croatian beer is becoming more widely known – in one poll, the Zagreb-based Garden Brewery was in 2020 voted Europe's Best Brewery for the second consecutive year

8) Innovation


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What is Croatia famous for? Pioneers, inventors and innovation. Nikola Tesla was born here

From the parachute, fingerprinting, the retractable pen and the tungsten filament electric light-bulb to the torpedo, modern seismology, the World Health Oganisation and the cravat (a necktie, and the precursor to the tie worn by many today), Croatia has gifted many innovations to the world. The list of pioneers - scientists, artists, researchers and inventors - who were born here throughout history is long. And, although innovation is not currently regarded as experiencing a golden period in Croatia, there are still some Croatian innovators whose impact is felt globally, such as electric hypercar maker Mate Rimac.

9) Being poor


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What is Croatia famous for? Being poor. Yikes!

The minimum wage in Croatia is among the lowest in Europe. Croatian language media is constantly filled with stories about corruption. There is a huge state apparatus in which key (if not most) positions are regarded to be politically or personally-motivated appointments. This leads to a lack of opportunity for Croatia's highly educated young people. Many emigrate for better pay and better opportunities. This leads to a brain drain and affects the country's demographics considerably (if it usually the best educated, the ablest and the youngest Croatian adults who emigrate). Many of those who stay are influenced by the stories of widespread corruption and lack of opportunity and are therefore lethargic in their work, leading to a lack of productivity. A considerable part of the Croatian economy is based on tourism which remains largely seasonal.

10) People want to live in Croatia


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What is Croatia famous for? People want to come and live here. No, really.

Yes, despite many younger Croatians leaving or dreaming of leaving and despite the low wages, many people who are not from Croatia dream about living here. Of course, it's an all too familiar scenario that you go on holiday somewhere and while sitting at a seafood restaurant in sight of a glorious sunset, having had a few too many glasses of the local wine, you fall in love with Miguel or however the waiter is called who served it and Miguel's homeland. But, with Croatia, this is actually no passing fancy, no idle holiday dream. People do decide to move here. And not just for the sunset and Miguel (nobody in Croatia is called Miguel - Ed).

Croatia may be known for being poor, but it also has one of the best lifestyles in Europe. That it's cafe terraces are usually full to capacity tells you something about the work to living ratio. Croatians are not just spectators of sport, many enjoy a healthy lifestyle. This informs everything from their pastimes to their diet. There are great facilities for exercise and sport, wonderful nature close by whichever part of the country you're in. You can escape into somewhere wonderful and unknown at a moment's notice. The country is well connected internally by brilliant roads and motorways, reliable intercity buses and an international train network. The tourism industry ensures that multiple airports across Croatia can connect you to almost anywhere you want to go, and major international airports in Belgrade and Budapest, just a couple of hours away, fly to some extremely exotic locations. There are a wealth of fascinating neighbour countries on your doorstep to explore on a day trip or weekend and superfast broadband is being rolled out over the entire country. This is perhaps one of the reasons Croatia has been heralded as one of the world's best options for Digital Nomads. In a few years, when we ask what is Croatia famous far, they could be one of the answers.

What is Croatia famous for, but only after you've visited

Some things you experience when you visit Croatia come as a complete surprise. Most would simply never be aware of them until they visit. They are usually top of the list of things you want to do when you come back to Croatia.

Gastronomy


fritaja_sparoge_1-maja-danica-pecanic_1600x900ntbbbbb.jpgGastronomy is only one of the things what is Croatia known for only after you've visited © Maja Danica Pecanic / Croatian National Tourist Board

Despite a few famous TV chefs having visited and filmed in Croatia over the years, Croatian gastronomy remains largely unknown to almost everyone who's never been to Croatia. That's a shame because you can find some fine food here. Croatia has increased its Michelin-starred and Michelin-recommended restaurants tenfold over recent years. But, perhaps the bigger story is the traditional cuisine which varies greatly within the countries different regions. From the gut-busting barbecue grills and the classic Mediterranean fare of Dalmatia to the pasta, asparagus and truffles of Istria to the sausages and paprika-rich stews of Slavonia and the best smoked and preserved meats of the region, there's an untold amount of secret Croatian gastronomy to discover.

Coffee


restaurant-3815076_1280.jpgWhat is Croatia known for? Well, to locals, it's famous for coffee - not just a drink, it's a ritual

Croatians are passionate about coffee and about going for coffee. It's a beloved ritual here. Going for coffee in Croatia is often about much more than having coffee. It's an integral part of socialising, catching up and sometimes being seen. It doesn't always involve coffee either. Sometimes, you'll be invited for coffee, only to end up ordering beer. It's not about the coffee. Although, the standard of coffee in Croatia, and the places where you drink it, is usually really good.

The misapprehension: What is Croatia known for (if you are a Croatian living in Croatia)

Handball, music

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Sunday, 31 January 2021

Much Anticipated 2021 Croatian Census Now Postponed Indefinitely?

January 31, 2021 – Long in preparation and last undertaken way back in 2011, media reports that the much anticipated 2021 Croatian census may now be postponed indefinitely

Preparations for the 2021 Croatian census have been long in the making. Plans have been ongoing since 2016. The last census was undertaken back in 2011 and the population has been impacted by both immigration and emigration since then. But, nobody is exactly sure by how much. This information was just some of the vital data people had hoped would be delivered by the 2021 Croatian census. But, now that may not happen. Some Croatian media is now saying the Croatian census has been postponed indefinitely.

Just one month ago the director of the Central Bureau of Statistics, Lidija Brković, said before the Parliamentary Committee for Local Self-Government that all preparations were being carried out with a view to the Croatian census taking place as scheduled. In an interview with N1 at the beginning of December, Boris Milosevic, Croatia's deputy prime minister (in whose department the Croatian census lies), also said the same.

But the census will not begin as planned on 1st April 2. N1 is currently reporting that it has been postponed indefinitely.

The coordinator for the census in the Central Bureau of Statistics, Damir Plesac, said that the main reason is the coronavirus. The Central Bureau of Statistics does not yet know for how long the Croatian census will be postponed because, as Plesac says, it will depend on epidemiological measures and the decision of the government and parliament, which must change the Census Act.

Croatian media ascertain from his answers that the census might not be expected to be completed before June 2021. To the question “is it weeks or months of delay?” Mr Plesac answered that it would be months.

Most of the Croatian census will therefore be moved until after the local elections in May. In their coverage of the census's indefinite postponement, the national portal Index reminds that some campaigning taking place in the run-up to these elections is focussing heavily on the numerical and demographical information that the Croatian census would provide.

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Sunday, 8 September 2019

Istrian War Veterans Saddened by Croatia's Demographic Crisis

As Glas Istre/Borka Petrovic writes on the 7th of September, 2019, Deputy Prefect of Istria County, Fabrizio Radin, and Deputy Mayor of Pula, Robert Cvek, recently hosted a reception for members of the 119th Croatian Army Brigade on the occasion of the 28th anniversary of its founding in Istria, Croatia.

Radin said the County and the City are actively participating in these anniversaries every year, and he pledged his support to continue. He said they were open to talks, not just about anniversaries, but about all other current affairs. He noted that as of next year, Istria County is taking over the affairs of the state administration, which involves issues related to the issues of war veterans (branitelji).

''If we've been closely linked so far in terms of cooperation, then by next year, we will surely be even more linked,'' Radin stated.

Mayor Cvek congratulated the 119th Brigade, saying that Istria must be and is proud of all that the brigade members accomplished in the defense of Croatia during the Homeland War, and especially that their war paths were honourable and free of any ''stains''.

The 119th Brigade's Roberto Fabris recalled that the brigade was founded on September the 7th, 1991, and that it covered the whole of Istria with four battalions - one in Umag, one in Pazin, and two in Pula. He recalled that a large number of JNA members were still stationed in Pula at the time and that the most important task was to try to preserve the peace.

The brigade made its way to Lika, was in Slavonia and even down south in the Ston area, and the highlight of their operation was certainly the military-police operation Storm (Oluja), Fabris said, recalling that seven members of the brigade were killed in war operations, and 82 were in some way wounded.

''Istria must be proud of its 119th Brigade, as well as all other units in the area. Our brigade is proud of everyone because it carried out all the tasks that were put before it without stains,'' Fabris said in an emotional speech, explaining that he could not hide his strong emotions because he had spent as many as 1,700 days in the brigade. He entered at the age of 25, and came out at the age of 30. He had left his entire young life on the battlefields, he said.

''Almost 90 percent of the members returned to their jobs and ordinary lives after the war, but we're proud of what we've achieved and will not let our journey be forgotten. The only thing that hurts me personally, and I believe hurts others, is that our children today are leaving the land we created. But I believe in a better future,'' Fabris concluded.

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Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Dalmatians Saving Croatian Population: More Births On Coast

In only eleven Croatian cities and 47 municipalities out of a total of 566, were there more births than deaths, but most children were born in the coastal counties.

As Morski writes on the 23rd of July, 2019, Croatia's demographic picture continues to be bleak, and what might seem like a dying nation is being kept above water mainly by Dalmatians, which act as a bright spot on the demographic map of this country, where, as mentioned, out of a total of 566 Croatian cities and municipalities, only eleven cities and 47 municipalities were there more births than deaths last year.

In 2018, Split-Dalmatia County had the largest municipalities and cities with a positive natural population increase, included are four towns, Kaštela, Sinj, Solin, and Vrgorac, and ten municipalities, Baška Voda, Bol, Dugopolje, Klis, Podbablje, Podgora, Podstrana, Postira, Prolog, and Zadvarje, all of which had more births than deaths. This has been proven by the latest data from the Central Bureau of Statistics, Večernji list writes.

As stated, the Croatian cities and municipalities with a positive natural increase are mostly coastal counties, in Split-Dalmatia, Zadar, Istria, with one continental Croatian exception - Međimurje County.

52,706 people died in 2018 in Croatia, and 36,945 babies were born, in as many as 492 Croatian towns and municipalities and the City of Zagreb, there was a population decrease and only five municipalities and cities had the same number of births and deaths.

Although 389 more babies were born in 2018 than in 2017, that's merely a drop in the ocean, and a worrying one at that, when it is a well known fact that Croatia had more than 7,500 more births back in 2009 than today.

Demographer from Ivo Pilar Institute, prof. dr. Nenad Pokos, points out that the number of live births compared to deaths was recorded in only 58 Croatian municipalities and cities, or just 10.2 percent of their total number.

''Of the positive examples in the first place, it's certainly worth mentioning the town of Sinj, where there were 15 more people born last year than died, while in 2017, there were 42 more deaths than births.

In Sinj, the number of live births is larger than it was 2015, by as many as 34 births, and then compared again to 2016 where there 25 births, so in Sinj's case, we can rightly say that it is one of the few places to have recorded a baby boom.

In the Split area, the number of municipalities and towns with a natural increase is higher as Solin, Kaštela, Dugopolje, Klis and Podstrana are located here, while in Dugi Rat there is an equal number of live births and deaths.

The number of places with natural population growth in the Zadar region (Biograd, Bibinje, Galovac, Pakoštane, Poličnik and Tkon) is relatively high, while once again, Zadar has a natural decline as it also did last year, although during the period between 2011-2017, there were 355 more births than deaths.

In the Rijeka area, the record holder for natural population growth is still the Municipality of Viškovo, where the younger population has been coming and settling for the past few decades due to the possibility of easier employment in the immediate vicinity, as well as lower land prices and cheaper living costs than in Rijeka itself.

In Omišalj, there are more births than there are deaths, which is due to the proximity of Rijeka, the Rijeka suburbs, and Kostrena, stated Pokos.

More than births than deaths have also been recorded by ten towns and municipalities in Istria County, but they are very low numbers because only Poreč and the municipality of Tinjan have more births, more precisely five more, than deaths.

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Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Croatian Emigration to Germany and Ireland Slows, Grows for Sweden

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 17th of July, 2019, according to data from Destatis, the German statistical office, 51,197 people who hold Croatian citizenship moved from Croatia to Germany in 2018. This is the first time that a drop in emigration from Croatia to Germany has been recorded, Večernji list writes.

Judging by the data from Germany and Ireland, emigration from Croatian citizens coming from Croatia has actually slowed down. The latest figures from the German and Irish statistics offices show that in the first half of this year, for the first time since Croatia's EU accession, the number of immigrants from Croatia has decreased.

According to the aforementioned German statistical office, this is the very first time that a drop in emigration from Croatia to Germany has been recorded and this has halted the trend that, according to the same data, has lasted for ten years, long before Croatian membership of the EU.

During 2017, 52,791 Croatian citizens moved to Germany, while in 2016 it was a record, when 57,155 Croatian citizens moved from Croatia to Germany. However, when it comes to this office, it is important to point out that two types of data are being published for Croats, which can cause confusion and different interpretations by media, as well as by experts.

"When we talk about Croatian citizens, we differentiate between emigration actually from Croatia and the emigration of all those who just have Croatian citizenship but are coming from other countries, especially those outside the EU. Of them, 51,197 have moved to Germany since last year, while the total number of those who just have a Croatian passport in Germany numbered 57,724 The difference of 6,527 people means that they came from a third country outside of the EU,'' the German office told Vecernji list.

However, historian and political scientist Dr. Tado Jurić of the Croatian Catholic University says it isn't true that the trend of Croatian emigration to Germany is dropping. In April 2019, when the disinformation began to spread significantly about the drop in emigration to Germany, he warned that the figures that were being put out by the media about emigration were far from real. He has claimed that this may be a deliberate misrepresentation of data, or simply a lack of statistical reading methodology.

''According to data from the Federal Migration Office (BamF), which provides final immigration data and which is always used by the German Parliament, back in 2016, there were 51,163 immigrants from Croatia, in 2017, there were 50,283, and last year, there were 51,197 according to Destatis. Destatis takes all people with Croatian citizenship into consideration, and BamF includes immigrants and returnees from Croatia and is therefore more precise,'' according to Jurić. BamFa's data for 2018 will be announced in October this year.

Jurić believes that the number of Croatian returnees will increase in the next few years.

The jump in Croatian emigration was of course most visible after the country joined the EU and adopted the four fundamental freedoms of the single market, one of which is the free movement of labour.

Back in 2008, 8,418 Croatian citizens moved to Germany, in 2013, the year Croatia joined the EU, 24,845 of them went to Germany, in 2014, 43,843 of them went to Germany, and in 2015, when the German labour market became fully open to Croatian citizens, 57,996 Croatian citizens moved there. The second destination to which Croats tend to emigrate - Ireland - recorded a fall in arrivals from Croatia for the first time in 2018.

The Irish Central Statistical Office estimates the number of immigrants according to the number of Personal Public Service Numbers (PPSN), an identification number similar to the Croatian OIB used for employment and social benefits.

In the first six months of 2019, 1,648 numbers were issued to Croatian citizens, while in the same period last year, as many as 2,119 Croats received a number. The same trend is seen in Ireland as in Germany - in 2009 only 60 PPSN numbers were issued, and a significant jump is seen upon Croatia's accession to the EU. From 483 to 2,103, the number jumped up to 2,091 in 2014, and doubled a year later to 4,342, and peaked in 2016 with 5,312 issued PPSNs.

By 2017, the number fell slightly to 4,908, and the decline continued last year when 4,346 Croatian citizens received a PPSN number, this year, a reduction of nearly a quarter has already been seen in Ireland. However, in Sweden, the number of immigrants from Croatia is climbing - there are now 1,150 Croatian citizens legally there, there were 1,084 back in 2017, and for years before that the number was always around 1,000.

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Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Irish Dream Shatters for Croatian Woman: ''I Cried Every Day''

The Croatian demographic crisis is becoming more and more concerning as time goes on. The fact that some don't actually announce their departure to MUP and other relevant bodies when leaving the country tends to cloud the true number of people who have left Croatia in search of a new life abroad, a negative trend which has increased enormously, posing a serious threat to the domestic economy, since Croatia joined the European Union in July 2013.

Upon joining the EU, Croatia entered the single market, one of the fundamental four freedoms of which is the free movement of labour. Barriers to the labour markets of other, wealthier European countries in the West, such as that of Ireland, fell, and with that so did Croatia's numbers.

While it cannot be argued that Western European countries such as Ireland and the United Kingdom are more desirable in an economic sense, anyone who has spent any time in those countries (I spent 21 years of my life in the UK), will be quick to tell you that the rivers aren't flowing with milk and honey, and that landing employment and a living wage isn't that easy at all. Still, many hungry for a good wage and better conditions are blind to these warnings, and cheap one-way Ryanair tickets to Dublin are almost too difficult to resist.

Not every story ends in success and happiness, and despite what many Croatian publications tend to claim, there are numerous people who have realised that The Good Life in countries like Britain and Ireland is just as plagued as anywhere else, and they do make the trip back to Croatia. Here's one such story from Poslovni Dnevnik/VLM on the 16th of July, 2019, which is more than worth paying attention to.

''I got the impression that it was amazing for everyone who went there - people were buying cars, living well, they were managing to save money. Overnight, I decided to go to Ireland and told myself I'm going to do something with my life,'' says Adrijana from the continental Croatian town of Virovitica.

As stated, emigration has become one of the burning topics in Croatian public life during the last few years. Many in search of their daily bread, and more of it for their work, went off to wealthier European countries like Germany, the UK and Ireland. Some adjusted and liked their lives there, some didn't, some decided to pick their battles and stay for work, to save, but there are also many who came back.

Among the latter is 40-year-old Adrijana Ružička, a Virovitica-native from Zagreb, who told Deutsche Welle just why she returned from the emerald isle to Croatia.

"I left with assurance that I'd be better off, but then I realised what my priorities in life were. When you leave your country and make your way yourself abroad, when you're separated from your family and friends, you realise that you just miss it all far too much and you don't need the money to be happy. I realised that my home and my family were a source of personal happiness and that I didn't want to have a separated family and miss my son's diploma, and then today, or tomorrow, his marriage and the birth of my grandchildren. I missed my husband and son so much that my heart broke and every day I cried. In addition, I'm an only child, and my parents are old, so it wasn't acceptable for me to not be in a position to be there and help them when they needed it,'' Adrijana said.

Before leaving Ireland, she worked as a bookkeeper, which she continues to do now, but with better financial terms. The main reason for going to Ireland was of course, money, she had a low salary, and lived as a sub-tenant. Her husband was due to come and join in several months.

Adrijana, who ended up in Killarney, south of Dublin, was quickly disenchanted by the stark reality of becoming a foreigner in a strange (and rainy) land, and was hired as a maid at a hotel. The Irish dream was fading, and fast.

Her salary was far higher than the one she received in Croatia, but it turned out that for the usual Irish conditions, she was actually working for minimum wage. Her gross income was 1,600 euros, her net earnings were 1,420 euros, and her apartment and utilities sucked up 850 euros...

After everything was paid for, as well as food, 200-300 euros remained in her pocket, and as she says herself, life in Ireland can be very expensive. Still, she says she is not sorry she went to Ireland because she is richer for the experience, learned a lot, and that Ireland taught her what is important, and how to save.

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