Thursday, 2 September 2021

Holocaust Memorials Put Up in Čakovec, Prelog

ZAGREB, 2 Sept 2021 - Memorials honoring Holocaust victims were put up in the northern Croatian towns of Čakovec and Prelog on Wednesday, with Israeli Ambassador Ilan Mor expressing hope that the memorials, called Stolpersteine (stumbling blocks), would prompt young people to ask themselves who those victims were. 

The Stolpersteine placed in the pavement in six locations in Čakovec and two in Prelog commemorate 28 members of the Jewish community and the event was organized by the Jewish community of Čakovec, Čakovec town authorities, the town authorities of Prelog and Međimurje County.

This is an exceptional idea that pays tribute to all families and innocent victims of the Holocaust, Ambassador Mor said, adding that the memory of the victims continued to live in the cities where their names were inscribed in public areas.

The head of the Jewish community in Čakovec, Andrej Pal, said that "certain historical facts falling into oblivion or even being denied contributes to the disappearance of the community that lived and worked in this area and helped develop it."

Pal noted that before World War II 1,200 Jews lived in Međimurje, of whom 700 were killed or went missing during the war.

Međimurje County head Matija Posavec said that with Holocaust remembrance Međimurje was being promoted as a tolerant, open and humane region.

"We have organized The Week of Jewish Culture, the local museum has organized numerous exhibitions, Eva Panich Nahir is an honorary citizen of Čakovec, and the State Archive has restored the Jewish register of births, marriages, and deaths, simply because Jews have left an important mark on Međimurje's economy, culture and overall development," said Posavec.

For more about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Thursday, 19 August 2021

SDP, GLAS Criticise Gov't Decision to Co-Finance Construction of Chapel in Bethlehem

ZAGREB, 19 Aug, 2021 - The Social Democratic Party has criticised the government's decision to co-finance the construction of a chapel in Bethlehem with HRK 3.3 million, calling on it to use the money for the reconstruction of houses in the earthquake-hit region of Banija while the GLAS party called the decision scandalous.

"At a time when the healthcare system is under strain, when post-earthquake reconstruction in Zagreb and Banija is late and people lack basic conditions for normal living, our foreign minister considers it a priority to finance the Church," SDP political secretary and MP Mirela Ahmetović said in a statement.

Calling on the government to use the money intended for the chapel to rebuild a dozen homes in Banija or buy expensive drugs for children suffering from rare diseases, Ahmetović noted that the Catholic Church receives around HRK 300 million from the state budget annually plus donations from local government units.

Another opposition party, GLAS, described the government's decision as scandalous, noting that Croatia did not have a sufficient number of radiation therapy machines, which was why some cancer patients had to wait for therapy for up to three months.

"The Andrej Plenković government has always chosen its priorities wisely, including this time. Their clients and the Church that brings votes come first, and if something is left over, citizens get what they really need," the party said in a statement.

GLAS MP Anka Mrak-Taritaš proposed to the parliament that the government should purchase three new radiation therapy machines, one costing HRK 5 million.

Earlier in the day the government decided to allocate 3.375 million kuna(€450,000) for the construction of a Croatian chapel in Bethlehem and thus granted a request made by Conventual Franciscans in Zagreb.

The chapel will be built in Shepherd’s Field in Bethlehem to honour Croatian saints and Croatians who have been blessed.

Friar Sandro Tomasevic, a clergyman in the Basilica of the Nativity in Bethlehem, told Hina that he was happy with the government's decision and described Croatia's plan to build the chapel as one of the six nations to do so in Bethlehem as a great success.

"It is a great thing for the whole homeland, particularly for our faithful and pilgrims," the priest said.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Thursday, 19 August 2021

Gov't Finances Construction of Croatian Chapel in Bethlehem

ZAGREB, 19 Aug, 2021 - The Croatian government on Thursday decided to allocate 3.375 million kuna (€450,000) for the construction of a Croatian chapel in Bethlehem and thus granted a request made by Conventual Franciscans in Zagreb.

The chapel will be built in Shepherd’s Field in Bethlehem and will honour Croatian saints and Croatians who have been blessed.

This site of worship will give a strong contribution to improving the international recognisability of Croatia and its positioning in Israel and worldwide, the government says in a press release in which it highlights that the Catholic Church is "an integral component of the Croatian past and is intertwined in the national identity of Croatians as well as in the spiritual and cultural development of Croatian society."

There are plans for the construction of six chapels in the said area of Betlehem.

The Custody of the Holy Land has donated the land to the city of Bethlehem, Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman said today.

All the necessary building permits for the Croatian chapel have been issued, and the project is estimated at €450,000, while the interior of the chapel will be decorated with paintings and artworks donated by Croatian artists, Grlić Radman said.

Friar Sandro Tomasevic, a clergyman in the Basilica of the Nativity in Bethlehem, said in his statement for Hina that he was happy with the government's decision and described the fact that Croatia would be one of six nations to build a chapel in Bethlehem as a great success.

"It is a great thing for the whole homeland, particularly for our faithful and pilgrims," the priest said.

The construction material for the chapel, that is stones, timber and other materials, will be transported from Croatia to Israel.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

Friday, 14 May 2021

FM Gordan Grlić Radman Says Croatians in Israel Are Safe

ZAGREB, 14 May, 2021 - All Croatian citizens in Israel are safe, Foreign and European Affairs Minister Gordan Grlić Radman said on Friday, and expressed solidarity with the families of the civilian victims on all the sides and called for the de-escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

On 12 May, Croatia called on all the parties in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to refrain from any action that would lead to escalation of violence, in which dozens of people have been killed so far, including civilians.

"There is no justification for attacks on civilians," the Croatian Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs said in a statement last Wednesday, calling on all leaders to help de-escalate the conflict.

Grlić Radman said today that so far Zagreb was in permanent contact with the Croatian Embassy in Israel and was kept informed on a regular basis.

None of the Croatians in Israel have asked for assistance, he added.

It is most saddening that civilians are among the casualties. We extend our solidarity with the families of civilian casualties, and we appeal to all parties for defusing the tensions, the Croatian minister said.

The Middle East crisis has always been very sensitive, and those developments can simply spill over to some other regions, Grlić Radman said.

The European Union with its partners, including the USA, keep calling for multilateral action, he added.

"It is in the interest of all to have a sound, stable, peaceful global order, based on the respect for international and human rights," he said.

Grlić Radman said he did not believe that the USA was insufficiently engaged in that region and he believes that the Joe Biden Administration will make some headway in that regard.

Commenting on the fiercest fighting between Israel and the Palestinians in the last few years, President Zoran Milanović said on Thursday that the USA should define its foreign policy more clearly, noting that the new US energy policy was making that part of the world less interesting than it was before.

"I look at the American position. Israel is defending itself, but is also attacking. (...) The Americans will have to better define their foreign policy and make it clearer," Milanović said yesterday.

Unlike his predecessor Donald Trump, President Joe Biden has distanced himself from the Middle East, but is now aware that he cannot distance himself completely, he said.

"That part of the world is ceasing to be interesting as it used to be because of the US energy policy, notably because of this administration, which is much more focused on renewable sources and less on oil, on hydrocarbons which America now produces in sufficient quantities on its own. So the question is, what is their strategic objective in the Middle East other than being a policeman?" Milanović said. "These are extremely important issues that put us in a moral dilemma."

For more about diplomacy in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

 

 

Wednesday, 12 May 2021

Croatia Calls On All Parties to Israeli-Palestinian Conflict to Refrain From Violence

ZAGREB, 12 May, 2021 - Croatia has called on all parties to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to refrain from any action that would lead to escalation of violence, in which dozens of people have been killed so far, including civilians.

"There is no justification for attacks on civilians," the Croatian Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs said in a statement on Wednesday, calling on all leaders to help de-escalate the conflict.

According to the Health Ministry in Gaza, over 30 Palestinians have been killed, including women and children, since clashes between Palestinian worshippers and Israeli police at the Al-Aqsa mosque in east Jerusalem escalated into fighting. According to Israeli sources, six persons have been killed in Palestinian rocket attacks.

The military conflict between the Palestinian movement Hamas and Israel flared up on Tuesday evening after Hamas showered Tel Aviv with rockets and the Israeli military responded with air strikes against the Gaza Strip.

The international community has called for peace, while Muslim countries have deplored the worst escalation of violence between Hamas and Israel in recent years, prompted by the clashes in east Jerusalem.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

 

Friday, 23 April 2021

Israeli Ambassador Ilan Mor: "For the Homeland Ready" Can't Be Both Symbol of Heroism and Evil

ZAGREB, 23 April, 2021 - Israeli Ambassador Ilan Mor has said in an interview with Hina that the Ustasha salute 'For the homeland ready' cannot simultaneously be a symbol of heroism and a symbol of evil, and pointed out the good example set by Germany and Austria where the glorification of Nazism is punishable by law.

The issue of the said salute used by Ustasha, allies of the German Nazis in the Second World War, is raised every April, when Croatia observes anniversaries of the breakout of inmates from the Ustasha-run concentration camp in Jasenovac in late April in 1945. The 1941-1945 Jasenovac camp was a site of torture and mass executions of ethnic Serbs, Jews, Roma and of Croats who opposed Nazism and Fascism.

Since the 1991-1995 Homeland War, the controversial salute, whose abbreviation in Croatian is ZDS, has been permissible at commemorations of fallen defenders who used to be members of the HOS unit and who had that salute on their uniforms during that war of independence. On the other hand, for years, Jewish associations have continued requesting that the use of the salute should be outlawed, just as in the case of "Heil Hitler" salute, as its use carries a prison sentence in Germany and Austria.

"In Vukovar, the 'Za Dom Spremni' salute is considered to be part of heroism of the place, fighting against occupier and in Jasenovac  'Za Dom Spremni' is symbol of evil. So, you have to decide, it can't be the same symbol for totally different points in your history," says the ambassador after he yesterday participated in the commemorations on the occasion of the 76th anniversary of the breakout of inmates from the Jasenovac death camp.

Jewish rep expects legislative changes penalising Ustasha salute to be passed by summer

The head of the Coordinating Committee of the Jewish Communities of Croatia, Ognjen Kraus, said on Thursday there was a realistic possibility for the parliament to vote in amendments to the Penal Code to penalise the use of the Ustasha salute "For the homeland ready" before its summer recess.

"I believe that there will be no problems in voting the changes in if the Prime Minister and the HDZ mean what they say," Kraus said when asked about the possibility of outlawing the Ustasha salute, an initiative he launched earlier this year.

Commenting on this statement, Ambassador Mor says: "You have to do something about it. I am not a lawyer, i am not Croat and can't give you 'yes' or 'no' (on imposing a prison sentence for that salute). In this case, Germany and Austria are very good role model."

Ambassador warns of attempts to downplay the Holocaust

Commenting on some global trends of downplaying the tragedy of the Holocaust, Mor said that a portion of the Croatian society used every opportunity to glorify the Ustasha troops and Ustasha leader Ante Pavelić.

 As if nothing had happened, as if Jasenovac had not been an extermination camp but a labour camp. This is in contradiction with historical facts and the testimonies by those who survived that period, the ambassador said.

Mor went on to say that historians in Croatia and Serbia disagreed about the numbers of Serb victims in Jasenovac, and he said that it was unacceptable to reduce such a tragedy to the issue of numbers.

"If you want to live in peace, you have to do more then producing movies, you have to have real dialogue," he said alluding also to the recent Serbian film ("Dara iz Jasenovca") about this topic which has been perceived in Croatia as well as internationally as part of the nationalistic propaganda of Serbia's authorities.

Mor urged both Croatia and Serbia to let their archives be available to experts and so that they can arrive at a point acceptable to both sides.

The same should be applied when it comes to Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac, he said and called for resorting to dialogue to overcome different views on the events in the past.

In this context he mentioned the normalisation of the relations between his country and several Arab countries. Following the 1979 peace agreement with Egypt and the 1994 peace agreement with Jordan, Israel has renewed relations with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco in the past few months.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 12 March 2021

Croatia and Israel Discuss Protocols Facilitating Travel

ZAGREB, 12 March, 2021 - Croatia and Israel have started talks on travel and protocols for tourists from the two countries, Tourism and Sports Minister Nikolina Brnjac said on Friday, hopeful an agreement would soon be reached.

Brnjac and Israeli Ambassador Ilan Mor met on Thursday to discuss the travel protocols with the aim of reaching an agreement that would facilitate travel for tourists from both countries during the pandemic.

The minister expressed satisfaction with the meeting at which she informed the ambassador of other activities of her ministry, including a project with the website "Safe stay in Croatia", which provides visitors to Croatia with information on locations and epidemiological restrictions in force as well as recommendations for health safety.

She spoke of special safety protocols which anyone applying for the "Safe stay in Croatia" certificate must comply with and explained how businesses with that certificate would be monitored.

 For more about travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 12 February 2021

Around 500 Croatian and Israeli Companies Partook in Business Talks

February the 12th, 2021 - Croatian and Israeli companies have put their heads together and engaged in what could potentially be important business talks for the future, and as many as 500 such enterprises have done so.

As Novac writes, almost 500 Croatian and Israeli companies participated in the aforementioned business talks and prepared the ground for further strengthening economic cooperation between the two countries in the future, despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the economic woes it presents, the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK) announced.

HGK President Luka Burilovic pointed out that the Israeli economy is among the most propulsive in the world, and there's a lot to learn from them as they have some of the world's best research institutions because they spend about 5 percent of GDP on research and development and 8.1 percent of GDP on education.

"I hope that these virtual meetings between Croatian and Israeli companies will result in some concrete agreements and that we'll mamage to cooperate strongly in improving both of our economies," said Burilovic, noting that the goal of this project is to export what as many Croatian companies do as possible to Israel and indeed to other such developed markets.

Tomislav Pokrajcic, the director of the Samobor-based company Jel-Tom, who also participated in the talks with Israeli companies, believes that there is great export potential for the export of their products in particular, such as ventilation pipes, greenhouses, tents and wave breakers.

His optimism is shared by the director of the Toptours travel agency, Marina Marunic, who hopes that the the good vaccination process of the Israeli population will have a positive effect on Croatian tourism as it will attract more Israeli tourists to our shores this summer and indeed in future summers.

"I know from previous experience that the people of Israel really like to travel. Over the past month, I have come in contact with three travel agencies from Israel and we've successfully held some online meetings, so we're hoping for positive results from that,'' said Marunic.

For the latest travel info, bookmark our main travel info article, which is updated daily

Read the Croatian Travel Update in your language - now available in 24 languages.

Join the Total Croatia Travel INFO Viber community.

Monday, 28 December 2020

Croatia and Israel Sign Partnership Agreement Between Foreign Ministries

ZAGREB, Dec 28, 2020 - Croatian and Israeli foreign ministers Gordan Grlic Radman and Gabi Ashkenazi respectively have signed a memorandum of understanding on a strategic partnership between the two ministries, the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs announced in a press release on Monday.

The signing of the document was agreed to during Grlic Radman's official visit to Israel in September.

"I consider the memorandum to be an important step forward in cooperation between Croatia and Israel. I am convinced that the strategic partnership between our two countries will bring many benefits to both states and our citizens," said Grlic Radman.

According to the memorandum, the two countries will promote political and economic cooperation and strengthen relations in areas such as digital diplomacy, crisis communication, providing humanitarian and development aid to third countries, cooperation within the framework of European Union programmes and projects, cooperation in combating climate change, exchanging academics, experts and diplomats, and promoting cultural cooperation, the press release said.

Sunday, 16 August 2020

Israel Lifts Quarantine Measures For Croatia And 19 More Countries

ZAGREB, Aug 16, 2020 - The government of Israel on Sunday decided to abolish the obligatory 14-day quarantine for arrivals from Croatia and 19 more countries, according to the information published on the government's website.

The 20 countries that are now added to the green list are 15 European states including Austria, Bulgaria, Italy, Germany, Hungary, and Slovenia apart from Croatia. The abolishment also refers to arrivals from Canada and New Zealand.

Although infection with coronavirus remains relatively high in Israel, four countries now accept Israeli tourists: Croatia, Bulgaria, Montenegro and four regions of Greece (Athens, Thessaloniki, Corfu, and Crete). In the said Greek regions, the weekly quota for Israeli holidaymakers is 600.

However, travellers leaving Israel for these countries will have to be tested for coronavirus before departure at Ben Gurion International Airport.

Israel with a nine-million-strong population has to date reported 92,000 cases of the infection with COVID-19 and 679 deaths due to the complications from the infection. According to the University of John Hopkins, this is a high incidence rate, however, the mortality rate is low.

Page 1 of 2

Search