Monday, 9 May 2022

Ex Economy Minister Ivan Vrdoljak Invests in Rovinj Campsite

May the 9th, 2022 - Former Croatian economy minister Ivan Vrdoljak has invested a large chunk of money in the Rovinj campsite (Porton Camp), which is set to re-open in about one week following a ''makeover'' of sorts.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, the Rovinj campsite is set to re-open its doors as a more luxurious destination in a week's time, thanks to an investment of 3 million euros in the first 27 cottages which truly do stand out in terms of design and execution.

Everything there has been made in Croatia and are Croatian products, made of sustainable materials, and this is just the beginning of an ambitious investment in Porton Biondi, founded last year for the development of the camping business by Daniel Benussi, the owner of Auto Benussi, and Ivan Vrdoljak, known to the public as the former Minister of Economy in the Government headed by now President Zoran Milanovic.

From this tourist season on, this Rovinj campsite located between the city centre and the Amarin resort will operate under the Porton Nature Hideouts brand and will be promoted as a new and unique Croatian concept of tourist accommodation. The Rovinj campsite will be managed by the company Effectus Consulting, which has four more camps on the Adriatic in its portfolio through either ownership or management.

"We realised the acquisition of this Rovinj campsite back in the spring of 2021, and the main reason for it was the untapped potential given the then state and categorisation of the campsite. We were most attracted by the phenomenal location with a beautiful view of the city of Rovinj, a few hundred metres from the city centre, and a beautiful beach right in front of the camp.

From the acquisition itself, we started with the development of a master plan for landscaping, which we'll implement in several phases, the first of which began in the autumn of 2021, and we're currently in the final works before opening everything up. We want to contribute to further development as well as work intensively on expanding the tourist season,'' Daniel Benussi stated. Currently, only Porton Camp in Rovinj is included in Porton Biondi's portfolio, but Benussi isn't ruling out the possibility of expanding to other attractive tourist projects.

The investment is worth about 3 million euros, and additional investments are planned. This summer season, there will be 27 Porton Holiday Homes houses with a swimming pool, which represents about 10 percent of the total accommodation capacity of the camp, on offer to visitors. The plan is to increase that share to 100 percent when the investment cycle is completed, and in one of the next phases, the construction of a shared pool, wellness and children's playroom is also planned.

These investments also relate to the brand strategy and the creation of a new visual identity, for which the Bruketa & Zinic & Gray agency was placed in charge. The accommodation facilities located within the Rovinj campsite are designed right here in Croatia and are completely and utterly adapted to the natural environment without causing disturbances. They're built of sustainable materials and are equipped with Croatian products, wherever possible, explained Zvonimir Tudorovic, the founder and director of Effectus Consulting.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated business section.

Thursday, 4 February 2021

Internationally Successful Croatian Highlander Brand Gains First Investor

February the 4th, 2021 - The Croatian Highlander brand has gained international recognition and praise, and now money has been placed where the mouth is in the form of the brand's very first investor.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Croatian Highlander brand is an interesting new mountaineering experience, created by a team of recreational mountaineers and nature lovers from the Eastern Croatian city of Osijek, who recognised the beauty of Croatia in its stunning mountain peaks and roads.

"Highlander is an adventure of a lifetime" - say the organisers Igor Mlinarevic, Jurica Barac and Andrej Mlinarevic, three friends from Osijek, who first devised a 104-kilometre route that takes mountaineering participants through the most beautiful parts of Velebit through two National Parks - Northern Velebit and Paklenica, in order to expand the project to other countries from year to year. And they are immensely looking forward to new challenges and adventures.

At the end of last year, the Croatian Highlander programme for 2021 was officially presented in one of the most impressive locations in the world - in front of the Egyptian pyramids in Giza, not far from Cairo, which attracted the attention of many media outlets, bringing this Croatian brand to as many as fifteen countries.

After an impressive announcement from Egypt, Highlander got its first investor, entrepreneur Ivan Vrdoljak, known to the general public as a former politician, although he left politics a few years ago, writes Vecernji list. Vrdoljak, who is also from Osijek himself, recognised the great potential hidden in it, but also the fact that it is being developed by a young team of people from his own hometown. The amount of the investment is currently being kept as a business secret, but what the organisers point out is that Ivan will be involved in Highlander's operational terms as a project partner.

"I see Highlander as a great Croatian product with fantastic global potential. I'm glad that my friends from Osijek have recognised me as a person who, with my knowledge and energy, can help them achieve their ambitious goals on a global level. Highlander unites everything that attracts me in business and what I believe is the work of the future, and that's the preservation of nature and the health and satisfaction of people,'' said Ivan Vrdoljak.

"I'm extremely glad that Ivan Vrdoljak, also from Osijek, made this decision and decided to support the Highlander project. We're at the very beginning of the development of global business and investment collection and I'm sure that Ivan, with his rich experience and knowledge, will significantly contribute to the development of the project, attracting other investors and smart management. We're facing a year of uncertainty in which we have to organise fifteen events in different countries together with our partners, but also a year in which we occupy the number one position in terms of a mountaineering event in the world. I'm proud of everyone involved in the project and I'm sure that we're going to continue with this step, and go even further,'' said Jurica Barac, CEO of the Croatian Highlander brand.

One of the most important goals of Highlander is the promotion of an active and healthy lifestyle through hiking, as well as the preservation and care of nature that we need to leave for generations as a legacy, promoting the so-called Leave No Trace philosophy, and the wish of the organisers is that in the future, Croatian Highlander events deserve the status of a ''100% Green Event''.

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Wednesday, 6 May 2020

Coalition Meeting Focused on Budget Revision, HNS Leader Says

ZAGREB, May 6, 2020 - Croatian People's Party (HNS) leader Ivan Vrdoljak said that the meeting of the ruling coalition held on Tuesday focused on a budget review and an education bill as the basis for the adoption of decisions necessary to bring the school year to an end and regulate school leaving exams and enrolment.

"We primarily discussed the budget review and what the topics of our meeting next week will be. I wanted the budget review... to contain a clear message that public sector investments would continue and be stimulated," said Vrdoljak after the meeting.

"The second topic was... the formulation by the government of a bill on education, to be discussed by the parliament next week. The bill should serve as the basis for the adoption of decisions that have to be made to enable the completion of the school year and regulate school leaving exams and enrolment," said Vrdoljak.

Answering a reporter's question, he said that the meeting did not discuss the issue of elections.

"The HNS and I think that elections should be held as soon as possible because serious decisions need to be made. The business sector cannot wait until December because someone in politics might want or not want elections to be held. Put forward your platforms, present them to voters and let them decide what the next two, three or four years should look like," said Vrdoljak.

He said that he did not ask Prime Minister Andrej Plenković when the parliament would be dissolved. "The matter will soon be put on the agenda," he said.

More politics news can be found in the dedicated section.

Sunday, 8 March 2020

Vrdoljak Will Not Run for Re-Election as HNS President

ZAGREB, March 8, 2020 - Ivan Vrdoljak, the leader of the Croatian People's Party (HNS), a junior partner in the ruling coalition, says in an interview for Hina that he will not run for the party president in the HNS election on 19 April and that in the event that Miro Kovac assumes the HDZ leadership, the HNS will leave the ruling majority.

Vrdoljak explained in the interview published on Sunday that he would leave the position of the party leader to enable " a new future of the HNS" and that he would be politically active in the HNS branch in his hometown of Osijek.

He declined to specify whom he would prefer as his successor at the helm of the party. Currently there are two possible candidates: Milorad Batinić, who is the HNS parliamentary bench whip and Alen Leverić, a party official in Varaždin.

As for the decision of the HNS to join the government after the MOST party left the cabinet of Prime Minister and HDZ chief Andrej Plenković three years ago, and the comments that it adversely affected the HNS approval ratings, Vrdoljak says that there are two reasons why he can be satisfied with the coalition and the HNS performance in the government.

In this context he says that the government has seen to it that the education is now better than three years ago, referring to the reform conducted by Minister Blaženka Divjak, who had been nominated to that post by the HNS.

Another reason for Vrdoljak's satisfaction is the performance of Construction Minister Predrag Štromar (HNS), since "20,000 families have been provided with their homes either through the state-subsidised mortgages or through the state-subsidised construction of the so-called POS flats."

Vrdoljak admitted that forging the coalition with the HDZ in 2017 was "difficult, stressful and challenging but it had its purpose."

He says that in the event that MP Miro Kovać wins the election for the HDZ president, the HNS will leave the coalition.

I think that it is more than clear that in the event of Kovać's victory in the intra-party election, not only the HNS but many others will have no space for cooperation with the HDZ," said Vrdoljak.

More HNS news can be found in the Politics section.

Sunday, 1 March 2020

HNS to Run in Parliamentary Election Independently

ZAGREB, March 1, 2020 - Croatian People's Party (HNS) president Ivan Vrdoljak said on Sunday the HNS would run independently in this year's parliamentary election, after which it would talk with those who would not bring Croatia back to ideological divisions and WWII.

He was responding to reporters' questions in Osijek about the situation in the coalition with the ruling HDZ and with whom the HNS would form a coalition after the next election given that "the SDP has renounced them and perhaps not even HNS voters have accepted the coalition with the HDZ."

Vrdoljak said the HNS ran in parliamentary elections in a coalition with the SDP (Social Democrats) in 2003 and 2007 and alone before that, just as it would now.

"After the election, we will talk with those who won't return us to ideological divisions, to history and World War Two, whose main policy won't be to hate someone and not recognise their freedom but who will pull Croatia forward."

Asked if the reference to going back was meant for the HDZ, Vrdoljak said it was meant "for everyone who gets involved in politics and whose main interest is that we should resemble some historical Croatia, which I don't think was all that glorious."

He said "we really don't need... people who will say that 'For the homeland ready' is a very polite and civilised greeting, and that the Ustasha movement had little anomalies but was nice. That's sick. I don't want that to be either discussed in Croatia anymore or be the guiding state policy."

Vrdoljak said the HNS decided to enter into a coalition with the HDZ (Croatian Democratic Union) to prevent a serious political crisis in Croatia, dozens of companies from going bankrupt and thousands of people from losing their jobs.

Asked if the coalition was strong, he said it was a much bigger challenge to enter the coalition than it would be to leave it. He believes they have performed as expected because, he said, a school reform has been launched after 30 years, employment and GDP have gone up, and the Agrokor conglomerate was saved from bankruptcy.

Vrdoljak was speaking to the press ahead of an election assembly of the HNS Osijek-Baranja County branch.

More HNS news can be found in the Politics section.

Monday, 26 August 2019

HNS Will Not Support Current Presidential Candidates

ZAGREB, August 26, 2019 - Ivan Vrdoljak, the leader of the Croatian People's Party (HNS), a junior partner in the ruling coalition, said that he would not support any of the presidential hopefuls who have so far announced their candidacy for the forthcoming presidential election in the country.

Vrdoljak said at a news conference that all the current candidates "are too much left or too much right oriented".

The HNS can give support only to the "civil centrist policies and conduct", and that means no one at the right or left side of the political spectrum.

In late September, the HNS main committee is expected to decide whether the party will propose its presidential candidate.

Asked by the press about criticism which Milorad Pupovac, who is at the helm of the SDSS party, levelled against Croatia, following the recent Knin incidents, Vrdoljak said that "Milorad Pupovac is not the reason why the masked men raided the cafes and beat Croatian citizens who were watching a TV broadcast of a football match. If they think so, then we have a problem in the society."

The Independent Democratic Serb Party (SDSS) leader Pupovac has said in an interview with the Sarajevo-based web portal that Croatia is turning into a factor of instability in the area of the former Yugoslavia.

Pupovac, whose party is a junior member of the ruling coalition, said in the interview which was published on Saturday, that a state of affairs in the inter-ethnic tolerance in Croatia "is not good", insisting that intolerance towards other ethnicities is being promoted.

"The political stance of the HNS is minorities' rights concern the standard of the development of a society, and the job of the majority is to show that we are a modern and progressive nation," said Vrdoljak at the conference held in Karlovac after a three-day team building gathering of party members.

The HNS will hold an intra-party election convention in the spring 2020, and Vrdoljak said that he would not run for any position in the party. He said he would continue his political career as just s an ordinary member of the party in his hometown of Osijek.

The HNS leader said that the party's political priority in the coming period is to make sure that salaries of 68,000 employees in the Croatian primary and secondary school system are raised.

He said that the party would advocate an average rise of 600 kuna.

More HNS news can be found in the Politics section.

Saturday, 27 October 2018

HNS (Croatian People's Party) to Advocate Centrist Policies

ZAGREB, October 27, 2018 - The Croatian People's Party (HNS), a junior partner in the ruling coalition, boasted on Saturday about the results of its ministers, saying Croatia had been waiting for them for years and that over the next two years its slogan would be "Neither left nor right, but forward".

The education reform has finally been launched and the issue of protected tenants is being dealt with, HNS president Ivan Vrdoljak told reporters ahead of a Main Committee session. He cited a European Commission report, saying it clearly stated that the education reform had finally kicked off in the right direction. Education Minister Blaženka Divjak is a HNS member of the government.

Vrdoljak said the HNS had also contributed to the pension and tax reforms. The HNS has a clear plan of action, a clear course, neither left nor right, but forward, he said, dismissing comparisons with populists who said similar things "but are pulling backwards by talking about reducing human rights."

Speaking of the ailing Uljanik shipyard, he said it was necessary to calculate what was cheaper for citizens and better for shipbuilding to survive in Pula, whether controlled bankruptcy or restructuring. He added that the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development "should have watched over the spending of state guarantees."

Physical Planning and Construction Minister Predrag Štromar said young people were helped to find homes thanks to subsidised construction and subsidised loans. "In 16 months, we have provided 5,500 flats for young people," he said, adding that the pace would be stepped up over the next two years.


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Sunday, 6 May 2018

“EU Membership Is Best Path for Modern Croatia”

ZAGREB, May 6, 2018 - Croatian People's Party (HNS) president Ivan Vrdoljak said on Sunday some parties were irresponsibly questioning EU membership, although it was the best possible path for modern Croatia, and added that the job and policy of the government, in which the HNS was the coalition partner with the HDZ, was to absorb European funds as much as possible to avoid possible European budget cuts.

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Official Confirms Threats Received from HNS President

ZAGREB, April 25, 2018 - A member of the Krško nuclear power plant (NEK) management board Hrvoje Perharić on Tuesday dismissed claims by Croatian People's Party (HNS) leader Ivan Vrdoljak that the criminal report Perharić filed against Vrdoljak for threatening him was based on false claims, that Perharić did not respect an international agreement and that he was in a conflict of interest.

Saturday, 21 April 2018

New Tax Cuts Coming?

ZAGREB, April 21, 2018 - The leader of the Croatian People's Party (HNS) Ivan Vrdoljak said on Saturday that he expected the Finance Ministry to reduce tax pressure and announced talks with the government on the advantages of a vertical reduction of tax burdens or a horizontal decrease of Value Added Tax (VAT) by one or two percent.

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