Thursday, 7 May 2020

Beware the Croatian Inspector: 13. Complaining Brings More Problems

May 8, 2020 - Beware the Croatian inspector - a new series courtesy of Glas Poduzetnika (Voice of Entrepreneurs), highlighting a Croatian business reality that helps kill growth, profit, and entrepreneurship. Complaining Brings More Problems.

I have seen them operating all over the country over the last 18 years, the most feared visitors to Croatia's cafes, restaurants, and other businesses - the Croatian inspector. 

As with many corrupt countries, the role of the inspector should be to make sure that the rules are being adhered to in the particular area they specialize in - sanitary, fiscal, etc - but in reality, the prime motivation is to find ways to fill the State coffers and their own. Allegedly. 

I heard SO many stories of inspections where perfectly run businesses end up paying thousands in fines, some of it justified, much of it grossly unfair. And there is an old truism here:

If the Croatian inspector comes to visit, he will find something, even if there is nothing there. 

It is a subject that I have wanted to cover for years, but I never had quite the right material. Until now. 

Huge thanks to those very proactive chaps at Glas Poduzetnika, who are really becoming a force for change to be reckoned with. A really great initiative. In one of their latest moves, they have been collecting some of their members' experiences with the Croatian inspector, to highlight the issue and the realities of doing business in Beautiful Croatia.

Story #13: I Know How Complaints Go, You Will Just Get Yourself in More Trouble

Some 3 years ago, while my wife was a co-owner, that is, a buddy in a joint venture (self-employed) with her brother, and I, jack of all trades, took the opportunity to fall into a frequent trap in the sense that I hired an employee on a familiar line. The employee was appointed as the clerk behind the counter of a travel agency.

To frequent complaints from a client, and her coworker, with whom she shared her workplace, I was forced to frequently have conversations with the problematic employee, all to normalize a healthy relationship with clients and her coworker. My relationship and that of her coworker with her were extremely correct, and the problematic employee did not incur any harm, materially, nor morally. For her superciliousness, she reported me to the labor inspection.

The labor inspection came while my wife was not at the location of the activity, and while I was on an all-day trip with clients outside the site of the travel agency.

The inspector called me on the phone (while my clients were next to me all day, and when I couldn't hold a conversation for more than 20 seconds or at all) tried to convince me that I committed a violation by getting a troubled employee in an employment relationship on 15th June, while she was in the agency for the first time on 14th June.

I tried in vain to explain that on 14th June it was, in fact, her colleague who was on a shift which could be seen from both the fiscalized accounts and our internal records and that the problematic employee at that time was only as a person to whom, as a senior employee, her colleague sought to pass on her knowledge and experience, and had nothing to do with the clients or the responsibilities that she takes on with the 15th June.

The next morning I called the inspector and asked her why they were doing this, what was the point? I got a response that what I did is not legal and that I should have registered the problematic employee on 14th June. By the way, she added that she would advise me to pay the fine immediately because if I pay promptly, the penalty will be lower. She also said that she did not encourage me to appeal it in any way because she knew how complaints go and that I would just get into more trouble that way (look at that rhetoric). Paid the racket to be in peace.

Please do not take the accuracy of the specific dates into account, they were just an example, I didn't feel like going through the registrators looking for papers for exact dates and amounts. I believe the paid amount was around 3,500 kn, and full amount 5,000—6000 kn. I tried to forget everything as soon as possible, but for you, from UGP, I remembered it again. There are more of these experiences, perhaps for another time.

Beware the Croatian Inspector is a new daily series (yes, there really is that much material) which you can follow here.

If you have a Croatian inspector story you would like to share with the Glas Poduzetnika team (in English or Croatian), you can do so via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Subject TCN inspector. 

You can follow the 55,000+ others on the Glas Poduzetnika Facebook page

Thursday, 7 May 2020

Beware the Croatian Inspector: 12. Do You Have The Money or Not?

May 7, 2020 - Beware the Croatian inspector - a new series courtesy of Glas Poduzetnika (Voice of Entrepreneurs), highlighting a Croatian business reality that helps kill growth, profit, and entrepreneurship. Do You Have The Money or Not?

I have seen them operating all over the country over the last 18 years, the most feared visitors to Croatia's cafes, restaurants, and other businesses - the Croatian inspector. 

As with many corrupt countries, the role of the inspector should be to make sure that the rules are being adhered to in the particular area they specialize in - sanitary, fiscal, etc - but in reality, the prime motivation is to find ways to fill the State coffers and their own. Allegedly. 

I heard SO many stories of inspections where perfectly run businesses end up paying thousands in fines, some of it justified, much of it grossly unfair. And there is an old truism here:

If the Croatian inspector comes to visit, he will find something, even if there is nothing there. 

It is a subject that I have wanted to cover for years, but I never had quite the right material. Until now. 

Huge thanks to those very proactive chaps at Glas Poduzetnika, who are really becoming a force for change to be reckoned with. A really great initiative. In one of their latest moves, they have been collecting some of their members' experiences with the Croatian inspector, to highlight the issue and the realities of doing business in Beautiful Croatia.

Story #12: Do You Have The Money or Not?

A warm greeting from Krapina, where everything seems picture perfect on a postcard while it's the worst possible environment for someone who is apolitical and trying only to work and get somewhere.

My experiences with inspectors are everything but pleasant, racket, and fictitious situations where inspector the lies in court and makes deals with the judge, punishing me with a big smile on their faces. It's been almost a month since my premise was sealed with the blessing of some local party feeder, even though I had a registered fast-food, pizza, and bakery activity.

However, they arbitrarily wrote on MTU (Bureau for Minimal Technical Conditions) that I would serve simple dishes. Hence, it's OK to write that too. During the greatest crisis, instead of helping you, they seal you up with no remorse, repeating the nonsense that this is not in their interests.

This is a recent situation. When I first opened, the inspector asked me, "Do you have money or not?" My staff just looked at each other. not believing what they just heard. Situation number two from the same inspector. "For this same reason, I punished Foodbar XXX, but I won't punish you because you are "hometown boys." And the fake profiles they look forward to barking from are a particular story.

Beware the Croatian Inspector is a new daily series (yes, there really is that much material) which you can follow here.

If you have a Croatian inspector story you would like to share with the Glas Poduzetnika team (in English or Croatian), you can do so via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Subject TCN inspector. 

You can follow the 55,000+ others on the Glas Poduzetnika Facebook page

Tuesday, 5 May 2020

Beware the Croatian Inspector: 11. Liquidation Due To 344 kn of Non-fiscalized Invoices

May 6, 2020 - Beware the Croatian inspector - a new series courtesy of Glas Poduzetnika (Voice of Entrepreneurs), highlighting a Croatian business reality that helps kill growth, profit, and entrepreneurship. Liquidation due To 344 kn of non-fiscalized invoices.

I have seen them operating all over the country over the last 18 years, the most feared visitors to Croatia's cafes, restaurants, and other businesses - the Croatian inspector. 

As with many corrupt countries, the role of the inspector should be to make sure that the rules are being adhered to in the particular area they specialize in - sanitary, fiscal, etc - but in reality, the prime motivation is to find ways to fill the State coffers and their own. Allegedly. 

I heard SO many stories of inspections where perfectly run businesses end up paying thousands in fines, some of it justified, much of it grossly unfair. And there is an old truism here:

If the Croatian inspector comes to visit, he will find something, even if there is nothing there. 

It is a subject that I have wanted to cover for years, but I never had quite the right material. Until now. 

Huge thanks to those very proactive chaps at Glas Poduzetnika, who are really becoming a force for change to be reckoned with. A really great initiative. In one of their latest moves, they have been collecting some of their members' experiences with the Croatian inspector, to highlight the issue and the realities of doing business in Beautiful Croatia.

Story #11: Liquidation Due To 344 kn of Non-fiscalized Invoices

My daughter's company was liquidated because of an unpaid fine after the supervision by an inspector from the tax administration of Zagreb, all because of an overdue fine of 5,000 kn.

The fine was not given for the control that day, everything was in order, but because that gentleman concluded that five months before that supervision five invoices had not been fiscalized within 48 hours, with the total amount of 344 kn.

She did not harm anyone, because she was not in the VAT system, only the tax service did not know about this amount on time.

She did not insist that this was not a violation, but she asked if she could get a warning for that, considering she did not have any other violation until or after then. She reached out to everyone from the Ministry of Entrepreneurship to the Tax Authority manager, who didn't even bother to respond. Nothing happened. After that, she went to America, she has her own company, and she is now filling the American state budget.

Beware the Croatian Inspector is a new daily series (yes, there really is that much material) which you can follow here.

If you have a Croatian inspector story you would like to share with the Glas Poduzetnika team (in English or Croatian), you can do so via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Subject TCN inspector. 

You can follow the 55,000+ others on the Glas Poduzetnika Facebook page

Tuesday, 5 May 2020

Beware the Croatian Inspector: 10. The Great Dutch/Hungarian Sponge Deception

May 5, 2020 - Beware the Croatian inspector - a new series courtesy of Glas Poduzetnika (Voice of Entrepreneurs), highlighting a Croatian business reality that helps kill growth, profit, and entrepreneurship. The Great Dutch/Hungarian Sponge Deception

I have seen them operating all over the country over the last 18 years, the most feared visitors to Croatia's cafes, restaurants, and other businesses - the Croatian inspector. 

As with many corrupt countries, the role of the inspector should be to make sure that the rules are being adhered to in the particular area they specialize in - sanitary, fiscal, etc - but in reality, the prime motivation is to find ways to fill the State coffers and their own. Allegedly. 

I heard SO many stories of inspections where perfectly run businesses end up paying thousands in fines, some of it justified, much of it grossly unfair. And there is an old truism here:

If the Croatian inspector comes to visit, he will find something, even if there is nothing there. 

It is a subject that I have wanted to cover for years, but I never had quite the right material. Until now. 

Huge thanks to those very proactive chaps at Glas Poduzetnika, who are really becoming a force for change to be reckoned with. A really great initiative. In one of their latest moves, they have been collecting some of their members' experiences with the Croatian inspector, to highlight the issue and the realities of doing business in Beautiful Croatia.

Story #10: The Great Dutch/Hungarian Sponge Deception

I've collected a bunch of these stories over 30 years of entrepreneurship. I am currently in court, already in my third hearing, for an unproven and ridiculous sin worth less than 200 kn. I was also in the process for a declaration that, according to the inspector, did not cover the country of origin Netherlands because the goods came from Hungary (it was an international company that has factories in several countries). The declaration moved and on it stated one country, while below was shown another. So I was deceiving consumers who find it very important, whether the dish sponge is from a particular EU country. So I was in court with a threat to have the vehicle seized because the driver had loaded a meter of wood in the official car, etc. I was also punished by customs for 400 kn of non-existent debt (even though we pay hundreds of thousands of customs VAT and customs duties per month), I also paid taxes which in the tax office "popped up on the screen." We definitely didn't owe those, but we needed confirmation that we didn't have a tax debt, etc.

Beware the Croatian Inspector is a new daily series (yes, there really is that much material) which you can follow here.

If you have a Croatian inspector story you would like to share with the Glas Poduzetnika team (in English or Croatian), you can do so via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Subject TCN inspector. 

You can follow the 55,000+ others on the Glas Poduzetnika Facebook page

Sunday, 3 May 2020

Beware the Croatian Inspector: 9. Company On The Stand

May 4, 2020 - Beware the Croatian inspector - a new series courtesy of Glas Poduzetnika (Voice of Entrepreneurs), highlighting a Croatian business reality that helps kill growth, profit, and entrepreneurship. Company On The Stand.

I have seen them operating all over the country over the last 18 years, the most feared visitors to Croatia's cafes, restaurants, and other businesses - the Croatian inspector. 

As with many corrupt countries, the role of the inspector should be to make sure that the rules are being adhered to in the particular area they specialize in - sanitary, fiscal, etc - but in reality, the prime motivation is to find ways to fill the State coffers and their own. Allegedly. 

I heard SO many stories of inspections where perfectly run businesses end up paying thousands in fines, some of it justified, much of it grossly unfair. And there is an old truism here:

If the Croatian inspector comes to visit, he will find something, even if there is nothing there. 

It is a subject that I have wanted to cover for years, but I never had quite the right material. Until now. 

Huge thanks to those very proactive chaps at Glas Poduzetnika, who are really becoming a force for change to be reckoned with. A really great initiative. In one of their latest moves, they have been collecting some of their members' experiences with the Croatian inspector, to highlight the issue and the realities of doing business in Beautiful Croatia.

Story #9: Company On The Stand

Around fifty times a year, I do fieldwork, selling the goods from a stand that should be set up every morning. Tables, benches, and products go under the tent, and then I pack up everything at the end of the day. On one occasion I came to a smaller village, and as soon as I set up my tent, an inspector came asking me about the company. I hadn't put out the company name yet as I literally had just finished with the tent construction, where I hang the goods—in other words, the company name hasn't been put up as I still didn't have where to put it. At 7.30 am, in a village where considering the small number of inhabitants, the sale does not start before 9—9.30 am. Fine 4,000 kn. It was ten years ago, I wasn't fined in the meantime because I really try my best to make sure everything is according to the rules, but for fear that something like this happens again, my life got 10 years shorter.

Beware the Croatian Inspector is a new daily series (yes, there really is that much material) which you can follow here.

If you have a Croatian inspector story you would like to share with the Glas Poduzetnika team (in English or Croatian), you can do so via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Subject TCN inspector. 

You can follow the 55,000+ others on the Glas Poduzetnika Facebook page

Saturday, 2 May 2020

Beware the Croatian Inspector: 8. You Don't Have a Price List in a Foreign Language?

May 3, 2020 - Beware the Croatian inspector - a new series courtesy of Glas Poduzetnika (Voice of Entrepreneurs), highlighting a Croatian business reality that helps kill growth, profit, and entrepreneurship. You Don't Have a Price List in a Foreign Language?

I have seen them operating all over the country over the last 18 years, the most feared visitors to Croatia's cafes, restaurants, and other businesses - the Croatian inspector. 

As with many corrupt countries, the role of the inspector should be to make sure that the rules are being adhered to in the particular area they specialize in - sanitary, fiscal, etc - but in reality, the prime motivation is to find ways to fill the State coffers and their own. Allegedly. 

I heard SO many stories of inspections where perfectly run businesses end up paying thousands in fines, some of it justified, much of it grossly unfair. And there is an old truism here:

If the Croatian inspector comes to visit, he will find something, even if there is nothing there. 

It is a subject that I have wanted to cover for years, but I never had quite the right material. Until now. 

Huge thanks to those very proactive chaps at Glas Poduzetnika, who are really becoming a force for change to be reckoned with. A really great initiative. In one of their latest moves, they have been collecting some of their members' experiences with the Croatian inspector, to highlight the issue and the realities of doing business in Beautiful Croatia.

Story #8: You Don't Have a Price List in a Foreign Language?

I have been in the hospitality business for 25 years, and for the past 15 years, I have had a coffee bar in a shopping center in the far West of the city.

One day the inspector comes and searches for all the documents, just like everyone else before him, and when he was sure that everything was in order, he asked us to bring him the price list. He took it, looked through, and said,

"SO YOU DON'T HAVE THE PRICELIST IN ANY FOREIGN LANGUAGE???"

I said I didn't know about that law, but if necessary, I will have them on the tables tomorrow. I point out that we are a coffee bar, and all that is needed is the translation of 5 - 6 words such as coffee, tea, beer, wine, while everything else is brand names which do not require translation. When I asked when that law was introduced, he replied proudly, "Parliament passed that a month ago, and you should have had it done."

To my comment that I will correct this "such big mistake" and print out the new pricelists, he said that won't be possible because he caught me in violation. I couldn't believe it.

Fine: 5,000 kn for the legal entity and 2,500 for me as the responsible person, but if I pay within 7 days, I will have a 50% reduction. I naively wrote a complaint and received a response of 4–5 pages, that everything was done according to the rules and that the inspector did his job correctly.

DISASTER! This is just a small example of being subject to inspectors' bullying in the past 25 years. I could even write a collection of the inspectors' pearls.

Beware the Croatian Inspector is a new daily series (yes, there really is that much material) which you can follow here.

If you have a Croatian inspector story you would like to share with the Glas Poduzetnika team (in English or Croatian), you can do so via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Subject TCN inspector. 

You can follow the 55,000+ others on the Glas Poduzetnika Facebook page

Saturday, 2 May 2020

Beware the Croatian Inspector: 7. Long Live the Croatian Justice System!

May 2, 2020 - Beware the Croatian inspector - a new series courtesy of Glas Poduzetnika (Voice of Entrepreneurs), highlighting a Croatian business reality that helps kill growth, profit, and entrepreneurship. Long Live the Croatian Justice System!

I have seen them operating all over the country over the last 18 years, the most feared visitors to Croatia's cafes, restaurants, and other businesses - the Croatian inspector. 

As with many corrupt countries, the role of the inspector should be to make sure that the rules are being adhered to in the particular area they specialise in - sanitary, fiscal, etc - but in reality, the prime motivation is to find ways to fill the State coffers and their own. Allegedly. 

I heard SO many stories of inspections where perfectly run businesses end up paying thousands in fines, some of it justified, much of it grossly unfair. And there is an old truism here:

If the Croatian inspector comes to visit, he will find something, even if there is nothing there. 

It is a subject that I have wanted to cover for years, but I never had quite the right material. Until now. 

Huge thanks to those very proactive chaps at Glas Poduzetnika, who are really becoming a force for change to be reckoned with. A really great initiative. In one of their latest moves, they have been collecting some of their members' experiences with the Croatian inspector, to highlight the issue and the realities of doing business in Beautiful Croatia.

Story #7: Long Live the Croatian Justice System!

In the summer of 2015, during the Ultra Europe Music Festival, my company was the official transporter for the festival, and we worked with 12 vans.

During the main evening (Saturday), inspectors obviously got the order to check my vans. At intervals of 2 hours, 4 of my vehicles were checked (+another one the next day). All vehicles had the same and completely accurate documentation. All the controls were conducted without any violations found, and we were even praised by the customs inspection, except in the case of one control, in which the main actor is the inspector from the previous story. On the fourth day, he stops the vehicle in which the driver is employed in my company.

As per the instruction, the driver calls me and puts me on speakerphone to give him instructions about where to find the necessary documents in the vehicle. The documentation was in order, control done, no violations, I hang up. After that, the inspector says to the driver, "This is M. C. you work for? Let me write something down, so the two of us can sort this at court." The driver refuses to sign, but the inspector assures him that he will write a fine to him if he doesn't sign.

The driver, unfortunately, signs without reading the charge, which stated that the taxi activity was carried out without permission, license, price list, taximeter, mark on the roof, that cash is charged for which no invoice is issued, that the vehicle is not adequate for auto-taxi transport, etc. in total 90,000 kn of the suggested fines. Everything stated in the order is a lie and an invention to the extent that the company has never had anything to do with auto-taxi transport.

For the trial, I hire one of the best lawyers in Split, all the evidence and documentation is on my side, the driver will testify, but I was burned with the event from 2014, so I was "blowing on the cold, too". The judge knows absolutely nothing about transport, does not know the laws, does not deal with this material. It is challenging to communicate because she does not even know the basic terms related to the transportation of passengers.

At some point, we learn that the judge and the inspector are on friendly terms. She tries to lead to a sentencing judgment in every possible way. After several hearings, since she could not come in a normal way to a sentencing verdict, she rejects the driver's testimony as irrelevant to the case, rejects all the evidence as unreliable. She makes the decision based on the report by the inspector, violates all legal acts she could have violated, and sentences the company and me for a fine of 32,000 kn in total.

Fortunately, her incompetence was shown in the text of the verdict, where she mixed up all possible and impossible, and where there is no explanation for rejecting the evidence. Hence we complain to the High Misdemeanor Court in Zagreb. The High Misdemeanor Court annuls the sentence and returns the case to trial. The same judge again!

I consult with a lawyer whether I should ask for the judge's exclusion, and we conclude that it shouldn't be done, because the crime does not exist, so if she tries to convict me again, the High Court will eventually release me. During the trial, we act more aggressively, both my lawyer and me, and attach the official opinion of the Ministry, which states that the inspector even exceeded his authority and dealt with the part that is not in his jurisdiction but in the jurisdiction of the Tax Authority inspection.

Given our persistence and aggressive approach, and with a new document in the case, at some point, the inspector also backs off, saying that no one is to blame until proven guilty and justifying that he no longer remembers the specific events because of the passage of time. But the judge insists on sentencing, trying to add sentences that the inspector did not say in the record. As that fails, she tries to question the inspector again and put words in his mouth, without having the legal ability to question him again.

During all other testimonies, we have to request that the inspector leaves the courtroom because she "forgets" that every time. At the end of the trial, after several hearings, we were satisfied that we have proved our innocence, and nothing is in doubt. Verdict: Sentence! The text of the verdict is even more chaotic than after the first trial, there is no evidence against the company and me, all our evidence and the driver's statements were rejected, and even the Ministry's opinion, because, in the judge's opinion, the Ministry was not the competent body. We appealed to the High Misdemeanor Court in Zagreb and waited for the suspension of the process.

It was already April 2019, almost 4 years since the control. On 11th July 2019, the case enters the limitation period, my lawyer contacted the court and got the information that the case had not yet reached the High Court and submits the request for suspension of the case due to limitation. In September 2019, cold shower—the High Court confirmed the sentence of the Misdemeanor Court in Split (2 months after the limitation), predates the dates in the case, so it seems that the case was decided in May, without the right to appeal. The reasoning of the High Court is a special category (I can present as necessary), the point was to charge in any case, because based on the evidence in the case, according to which the innocence is visible, they had to compensate me for the costs of the trial and lawyers, that in 4 years was not that little.

Although the sentence from Misdemeanor Court in Split is both procedurally and legally erroneous, the High Court confirmed it and predated its decision. To an official request for an explanation, if the decision was made in May (and in July we were told that the case had not yet been processed), how was it possible that we received the decision only in September—the answer was that it probably got lost in the drawers somewhere due to a large number of cases. I paid! Both for myself and the company! We are now officially recidivists. Fines + expenses + lawyer = about 5,000.00 €.

I decide to file the lawsuit to the Constitutional Court. My lawyer advises against it because the Constitutional Court is a "political" body, I don't have an important first and last name, I don't have influence, and I am not famous, the lawsuit will most likely be declined. I say to go to the constitutional lawsuit because if it gets declined, that opens the door for the Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, and I will not stop until the justice wins. I quote my lawyer's question, "After 4 years, you are ready to f**k around with this for another 4?" I said that I was ready to do so even for another 20 years if needed, because there was no violation, on which the man tells me, "OK, for your attitude, persistence, and courage, I'm charging you 50% less from now on." We're now waiting for the signal from Constitutional Court—I suppose we could have it at the end of 2021. Long live the Croatian justice system!

P. S. How did I get rid of the inspector? When I saw that he's targeting me at the trial in 2016 and that I could have further issues with him, I looked up how can I protect myself. I found out that a man whom I played basketball as a child in Sibenik was a traffic inspector in Sibenik. I contacted him, and he told the inspector from the story that we were friends. He never stopped any of my vehicles again. Since then, I have had a lot of controls, but a violation was never found.

Beware the Croatian Inspector is a new daily series (yes, there really is that much material) which you can follow here.

If you have a Croatian inspector story you would like to share with the Glas Poduzetnika team (in English or Croatian), you can do so via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Subject TCN inspector. 

You can follow the 55,000+ others on the Glas Poduzetnika Facebook page

Friday, 1 May 2020

Beware the Croatian Inspector: 6. Contract With Myself

May 1, 2020 - Beware the Croatian inspector - a new series courtesy of Glas Poduzetnika (Voice of Entrepreneurs), highlighting a Croatian business reality that helps kill growth, profit, and entrepreneurship. Contract With Myself.

I have seen them operating all over the country over the last 18 years, the most feared visitors to Croatia's cafes, restaurants, and other businesses - the Croatian inspector. 

As with many corrupt countries, the role of the inspector should be to make sure that the rules are being adhered to in the particular area they specialise in - sanitary, fiscal, etc - but in reality, the prime motivation is to find ways to fill the State coffers and their own. Allegedly. 

I heard SO many stories of inspections where perfectly run businesses end up paying thousands in fines, some of it justified, much of it grossly unfair. And there is an old truism here:

If the Croatian inspector comes to visit, he will find something, even if there is nothing there. 

It is a subject that I have wanted to cover for years, but I never had quite the right material. Until now. 

Huge thanks to those very proactive chaps at Glas Poduzetnika, who are really becoming a force for change to be reckoned with. A really great initiative. In one of their latest moves, they have been collecting some of their members' experiences with the Croatian inspector, to highlight the issue and the realities of doing business in Beautiful Croatia.

Story #6: Contract With Myself

In 2014 we had two directors in the company, and we had registered under the same OIB (PIN) the passenger transport and the tourist agency. My colleague had the certificate for the head of a travel agency, and I for the transport manager. Through the agency, we received an order for transport operations. I was doing the transport myself because the company had just started to work. I was stopped at Split airport by an inspector who was known to be corrupt, and against whom legal procedures had already been initiated several times. Still, each time it ended up with him being removed from the public for several months until things settled down, and then he continued his usual business. Articles in the media about his autocracy go back to the 90s. I had all the documents in order. After all, he asked me for an agreement that I had to sign with the Agency.

I do not have such an agreement, because we did not consider it necessary to draw up a contract that has the name of the Agency on both the left and right, under the contracting agency and performer. He issued a violation order of 30,000.00 kn because "it doesn't matter that the contract is signed with oneself, the law says that there must be a contract." (Once again, all other documentation was on point.) I started a discussion with him, which lasted for an hour, and he asks for the bribe. I'm not giving anything to him.

Moreover, I tell him, and I quote, "When you catch me in violation, I will pay whatever is necessary, but as long as I am legal, I will not give you anything but a kick in the a..." This was my cardinal mistake, which will be confirmed in the next few years. But even today, I don't regret it, and I would do the same again. Summary from the court: the judge confirms that the situation is banal and that it is pointless to sign a contract with oneself, but gives for the right to the inspector, because, nevertheless, "it doesn't matter that the contract is signed with oneself, the law says that there must be a contract." The company got fined by a minor fine and myself, as the  responsible person. The total fine was 9,000 kn with a 1/3 reduction if paid in the next 8 days. Unfortunately, I paid.

Beware the Croatian Inspector is a new daily series (yes, there really is that much material) which you can follow here.

If you have a Croatian inspector story you would like to share with the Glas Poduzetnika team (in English or Croatian), you can do so via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Subject TCN inspector. 

You can follow the 55,000+ others on the Glas Poduzetnika Facebook page

Thursday, 30 April 2020

#Showmustgoon Takes Over Social Media!

Zagreb, 30th April 2020The Event Committee of the Glas Poduzetnika Association, started a new initiative on social media #SHOWMUSTGOON, last Sunday. Many individuals from domestic public life, culture, entertainment, music, theatre, and event industry-recognized and supported the initiative taking over social media in only a few days.

Petar Grašo, Nina Badrić, Goran Bogdan, Jelena Rozga, Massimo, Damir Kedžo, Indira Levak, Mario Petreković, Jelena Veljača, Robert Sever, Natali Dizdar, Marko Tolja, Iva Šuletnić, bands Mangroove, Chui and Mayales, Ida Prester, Boris Štok, Marijana Mikulec, Marko Grubnić, Franka Batelić, Marijana Batinić, Mirna Maras, Luka Nižetić, Morana Zibar, Iva Radić and many more created more than 160 posts that got 50,000 likes and whose videos were viewed almost 90,000 times!

The initiative is still on, and you can participate with your social media profile. Post a photo or a video from an event, describe the meaning of the event in the caption, add two hashtags#ijasamglaspoduzetnika and #showmustgoon, and nominate your friends to do the same.

In the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the culture and event industry was the first to have its activity stopped, and precisely the entertainment industry will be the last to release the safety measures. With the work ban, theaters, cinemas, festivals, concerts, clubs, performers, DJs, congresses, conferences, weddings, fairs, sports events, and business of many production companies are at risk. Their activity is disabled, and the opening of the mentioned locations will be gradual, so to say, the last in the line.

The Croatian event industry counts around 2,000 entities employing 10,000 people. The revenue they make passes 4,5 billion kunas per year, which makes it one of the key parts of the economy, culture, and society as a whole. Besides having an essential role in the economy, the event industry is also crucial in the stabilization of life and maintaining people's mental health.

"Many of today's friendships, loves and socializing started in some of the events mentioned above. People of the same society share their culture, behavior, and mindset. It is crucial to initiate the activity of the entertainment industry that will give people back the feeling of freedom, educate them and make them laugh, dance, and entertain, but also sensitize them in terms of the mental health," the Event Committee of the Glas Poduzetnika Association pointed out.

The Event Committee is a working group inside the Glas Poduzetnika Association and includes
most prominent Croatian representatives of the event industry and organizers of the most important domestic festivals, fairs, concerts, conferences, parties, and others. The Glas Poduzetnika Association is the leading representative of micro, small and medium-size entrepreneurs, self-employed, and skilled trades professionals today. It counts over 9,000 members gathered around the mutual goal of fighting to save the economy, for better quality of the entrepreneurial ambiance and long-term healthier and higher-quality society under the parole Croatia 2.0.

For the latest from the Glas Poduzetnika initiative, follow the dedicated TCN section

You can also join the 55,000+ people in the Glas Poduzetnika Facebook group.

Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Beware the Croatian Inspector: 5. College of Safety

April 30, 2020 - Beware the Croatian inspector - a new series courtesy of Glas Poduzetnika (Voice of Entrepreneurs), highlighting a Croatian business reality that helps kill growth, profit, and entrepreneurship. The college of safety. 

I have seen them operating all over the country over the last 18 years, the most feared visitors to Croatia's cafes, restaurants, and other businesses - the Croatian inspector. 

As with many corrupt countries, the role of the inspector should be to make sure that the rules are being adhered to in the particular area they specialise in - sanitary, fiscal, etc - but in reality, the prime motivation is to find ways to fill the State coffers and their own. Allegedly. 

I heard SO many stories of inspections where perfectly run businesses end up paying thousands in fines, some of it justified, much of it grossly unfair. And there is an old truism here:

If the Croatian inspector comes to visit, he will find something, even if there is nothing there. 

It is a subject that I have wanted to cover for years, but I never had quite the right material. Until now. 

Huge thanks to those very proactive chaps at Glas Poduzetnika, who are really becoming a force for change to be reckoned with. A really great initiative. In one of their latest moves, they have been collecting some of their members' experiences with the Croatian inspector, to highlight the issue and the realities of doing business in Beautiful Croatia

Story #5: College of Safety

For the Corporation and overseeing the implementation of health and safety measures in it, the inspection is always announced at least 3–5 days in advance. However, in some sectors, they also had severe injuries, lack of protective equipment, delays in medical check-ups, and machine inspection deadlines, but the company never ever paid a fine. At the inspectors' request, and "recommendations" to remedy the deficiencies, an official credit card would immediately be pulled out, and they would get whatever they wanted with obligatory lunch in one of the fancier restaurants in Zagreb. They would also get watches, shoes for their wives that were never under 4,000 kn, the most expensive mobile phones and informatics equipment for them and their whole families. They were also "taking care of" exams for some employees in the company, on the recently closed study program.

The College for Safety, a college they regularly collaborated with and publicly praised to have their shares, and which was for a long time the primary requirement for the employment in the Inspectorate, also received a prohibition of work. The students of the final program years, without the experience and without mandatory 5 years of work in the sector, were getting positions of the work inspectors and the higher work inspectors. If someone would complain about the problem or irregularity at the college, they didn't stand any chance because the family members of the founders and dean were employed in the Agency for Higher Education.

That program from 2010 became a temple of sexist outbursts, strange night exams and marking grades in the deanery along with the plate of prosciutto for the chosen company. A few hundred students literally got a diploma if they said they worked in a state company or have someone in the Inspectorate whose headquarters were in the street Ivana Visine, up until recently. From 2002 to 2005, they went so far with diplomas that some, even though the college did not have the rights for Master's Degree, were issued as such. If I remember well, some of them had their Magister title taken away later, but without much news in press and media.

Students who did not agree to the immoral games of professors, dean, and inspectors did not graduate within the term, and about a hundred students never got the opportunity to graduate, to join another program, to go to another college or get a discharge letter. A few years ago, the chief and responsible fire inspector and fire forensic expert was also one of the regular professors in this college. His financial situation was not so particular, his friends lent him money to get a used weaker car. However, from circles very close to the subject, we found out that right around the time of the Kornati tragedy, he bought a villa at the seaside, an apartment in Zagreb, and a higher-class car.

All of this for only 3 years as a college professor, inspector for explosives, but also a former employee of the Ministry of Interior? No, the subject worked illegally for grandmasters on jobs for work safety, three main ones, and some connected companies that are lords and masters in Croatia, along with the inspectors who tolerate their grabbings in inventing the documentation related to work safety, fire, and environment. At the same time, they steal money from entrepreneurs by making them create documents that have no legal basis. But, they all share the money, and if a company does not want to comply and make any of the papers or they break a contract, the next day, they have two inspectors visiting. They will charge what's not needed and get at least 3,000 kn more each, because they can do everything and say it so, especially during the season at the seaside. Then the grabbing in indescribable, between 5,000 and 15,000 kn, without the money order. If you ask for a money order, you will receive it with a demand for double the amount. 

Beware the Croatian Inspector is a new daily series (yes, there really is that much material) which you can follow here.

If you have a Croatian inspector story you would like to share with the Glas Poduzetnika team (in English or Croatian), you can do so via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Subject TCN inspector. 

You can follow the 55,000+ others on the Glas Poduzetnika Facebook page

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