Tuesday, 15 November 2022

Spanish Monarchs Visiting Croatia for the First Time Tomorrow and Thursday

November 15, 2022 - Their majesties King Philip VI of Spain and Queen Letizia will pay an official visit to the Republic of Croatia tomorrow, and on Thursday, which will be the first official visit of the Spanish monarchs to our country, the Office of the President announced on Tuesday.

As Index writes, the Spanish king and queen will be hosted by the president of the country Zoran Milanovic with his wife, Sanja Music Milanovic, and after the ceremonial welcome on Wednesday in Pantovcak, a bilateral meeting between the two delegations will be held.

Strengthening cooperation in science

The King and Queen of Spain are making an official visit to Croatia in the year that marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Croatia and the Kingdom of Spain to confirm exceptionally good interstate relations and provide incentives for their further development.

To this end, on Thursday, on the second day of the visit, the Croatian-Spanish IFMIF-DONES forum will be held, in which President Milanovic and King Filip VI will participate, and which also includes the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Croatian Ministry of Science and Education and the Spanish of the Ministry of Science and Innovation on cooperation in the creation of the DONES Program, the press release states.

This project is planning a partnership between Croatia and Spain in fusion research, in addition to a partnership in the development and construction of the DONES accelerator and a partnership between Croatian and Spanish companies in the construction of equipment for large scientific projects.

The DONES project, the press release added, is also an opportunity for Croatian high-tech companies. In 2018, DONES was included among the ESFRI projects, strategically important for the EU, as a Spanish-Croatian initiative.

Meetings with the Speaker of the Parliament and the Prime Minister

As part of the ladies' programme, Music Milanovic and Queen Letizia will visit the SUVAG Hearing and Speech Rehabilitation Polyclinic in Zagreb on Thursday, where they will be presented with the way the polyclinic works with children, including the medical rehabilitation of preschool children.

In the same way, Queen Letizia will be presented with the project "Healthy living at school - training grounds for physical activity" on the polyclinic's multi-sensory playground.

During his official stay in Zagreb, the Spanish King Philip VI will also meet with the President of the Croatian Parliament, Gordan Jandrokovic, and Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic.

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

Friday, 13 May 2022

Croatian Parliament Passes Law On Adoption Of Euro As Legal Tender

ZAGREB, 13 May 2022 - The Croatian parliament on Friday passed a law on the adoption of the euro as legal tender, with 117 MPs voting in favour, 13 against and one abstaining.

MPs rejected amendments by Bridge and the Green-Left Bloc and a conclusion by Bridge that the government had not endorsed.

The euro is expected to be introduced on 1 January 2023.

As of the 5th of September this year through 2023, prices would be displayed both in kuna and in euro.

Next year there will be no cost for exchanging kuna cash for euro, which will be done in banks, post offices and the Financial Agency. Citizens will be able to exchange kuna bills for euro in the central bank indefinitely.

Bridge and Sovereignists against euro

Before today's vote, some of the opposition again spoke against introducing the euro.

Miro Bulj of Bridge said an estimate of the effects of the introduction should have been made, calling on parliament to repeal the law and saying that experts should state their opinion and the people decide in a referendum.

Marijan Pavliček of the Sovereignists said the party was concerned about how citizens would survive the month upon entering the eurozone and how pensioners and workers would live.

He said it was insane to enter the eurozone during the EU's biggest energy crisis, biggest economic uncertainty, and the biggest inflation in 20 years.

2022 budget revision included in agenda, debate next week

Parliament today added 14 items to the agenda, including a draft revision of this year's budget.

"We'll debate it next Wednesday," Speaker Gordan Jandroković said.

For more, check out our politics section.

Saturday, 30 April 2022

Parliament Speaker Issues Message for International Workers' Day

ZAGREB, 30 April 2022 - Croatian Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković on Saturday issued a message on the occasion of International Workers' Day, noting that constant social dialogue and partnership between the state, employers and unions are necessary for improving the status of workers.

"Contributing to social security, equity and the economic stability of our country requires involvement of all stakeholders in the labour market and joint efforts," said Jandroković.

Recalling that on 1 May 1886 protesting Chicago workers paved the way for the struggle for the recognition of workers' basic rights and decent life based on fairer working conditions, Jandroković said that in the current time of many challenges, it was necessary to adapt to new working conditions.

"Those challenges also serve as additional encouragement to continue creating conditions in the Croatian society that will result in equal opportunities for everyone to work productively and have a decent salary," he said, recalling that 1 May is also the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker and expressing gratitude to all workers who in the current challenging times do their job conscientiously, with commitment and to the benefit of their community.

Saturday, 16 April 2022

Parliament Speaker Extends Easter Greetings

ZAGREB, 16 April 2022 - Sabor Speaker Gordan Jandroković says in his Easter message that this Christian holiday encourages the promotion of peace, forgiveness and charity, and he calls for thinking of all who are suffering and who have lost the hope and joy of their life in these fast-changing times marked by the Ukraine war.

Wishing a happy Easter to the Croatians in the country and abroad, the parliament speaker said on Saturday that Easter is a holiday of families and reflects the importance of the family blessing and care for children and the youth who have passed through the very demanding last two years marked by the pandemic and earthquakes.

"This greatest Christian holiday urges us to strengthen togetherness, mutual respect and respect for diversities as well as to strengthen solidarity to ensure that every human being can have a dignified life," says the Parliament Speaker, among other things.

Thursday, 7 April 2022

Central Commemoration Of Bleiburg Tragedy To Be Held In Zagreb, Udbina

ZAGREB, 7 April 2022 - The central commemoration of victims of the Bleiburg tragedy and what in Croatia is known as the Way of the Cross marches, held under the auspices of the Croatian parliament, will be held on 13 and 14 May at Zagreb's Mirogoj cemetery and in Udbina, a town in Lika-Senj County.

Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković held a working meeting on the commemoration with representatives of the Croatian Bishops' Conference and the Honorary Bleiburg Platoon.

As part of this year's commemorative events, a mass will be served at the parish church in Bleiburg, Austria, and Croatia's Ambassador to Austria will lay a wreath there.

The central commemoration, including the laying of wreaths and a prayer, will take place at Zagreb's central cemetery, after which a mass will be celebrated at the Shrine of Croatian Martyrs in Udbina, some 140 kilometres south of Zagreb.

Participants in today's meeting underlined the importance of commemorating the victims in a dignified way to preserve the historical truth about the tragedy.

The event commemorates soldiers of the Nazi-allied Croatian Ustasha regime and civilians killed at the Loibach Field near Bleiburg, Austria in the aftermath of WWII, after they fled the areas taken over by Tito-led Partisans.


For more, check out our politics section.

Tuesday, 29 March 2022

Jandroković: It's not time for political games but responsbile politics

ZAGREB, 29 March 2022 - Croatian Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković said on Tuesday that "it isn't time for political games," but resolute and responsible politics and that any possible government reshuffle would first be discussed within the ruling party's bodies.

"I expect that we will discuss the government's work, the Sabor's activities and topics that interest the public. We will see what the (party leader) will have to say," Jandroković said ahead of a meeting of the Croatian Democratic Union's (HDZ) presidency and national council scheduled for this afternoon in Karlovac.

He was responding to questions from Croatian reporters about a possible government reshuffle while attending a conference of EU parliament speakers in Slovenia.

Asked whether the Minister of Regional Development and EU Funds Nataša Tramišak should be replaced, Jandroković said that the "prime minister picks his team" and, as this refers to his closest associates, he will most certainly enjoy the party's support.

Asked about the other ministers, Jandroković said "they are probably doing their job."

Asked whether there were some HDZ MPs or others in the ruling coalition who could vote against a government reshuffle if Minister Tramišak were to be replaced, Jandroković said "these are serious times, very demanding, and they require big responsibility of politicians, bigger than when we do not have such crisis situations."

"The primary objective at the moment is political stability, a quality response to a series of security, socioeconomic and health issues, and this isn't a time for political games. This a time for serious and responsible politics," said Jandroković.

When it comes to media speculation about some HDZ MPs perhaps being opposed to a reshuffle, Jandroković said HDZ MPs are responsible people and will certainly think well about what to do and how.

"Do not expect HDZ MPs to act in a way that would go against what is important for Croatia," he underscored.

Jandroković, who, in public opinion, is considered to be the herald of change in the party, did not wish to answer whether it was time for the government to be refreshed and instead said that he would first say what he thinks to his party colleagues and then make that public.

Tuesday, 29 March 2022

Jandroković: EU Should Focus on SE Europe, Moscow Might Use Vulnerabilities

ZAGREB, 29 March 2022 - The European Union should in particular focus on southeastern Europe and monitor the impact of the Ukraine war on the situation in the region as well as the potential growth of Russian influence, Croatian Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković said on Tuesday.

"We need to follow the potential effect of a spillover of the Ukraine conflict to neighbouring areas as well as to southeastern Europe," Jandroković said in his address on the second day of the conference of EU parliament speakers in Brdo Pri Kranju, Slovenia.

"I emphasise that the European Union should in particular focus on southeastern Europe," he added.

Jandroković said the main challenges to stability in the region were issues stemming from the past conflicts and Russia might use "vulnerabilities to expand its influence."

That's why it is necessary to support the European membership prospects, sovereignty and integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina based on the equality of all three of its constituent peoples and their legitimate representation in the country's political institutions, he added.

Jandroković said that the EU should focus on southeastern Europe because otherwise other countries would spread their influence and pose "a potential threat to the EU and our values."

"Russia is already showing an inclination towards these parts of Europe," he noted.

Jandroković said that Croatia "strongly condemns" the Russian military aggression against Ukraine, which began on 24 February, and that the Croatian Parliament had adopted a resolution by consensus condemning the invasion.

On the sidelines of the conference, Jandroković met on Monday with his counterparts Igor Zorčić from Slovenia, Jüri Ratas from Estonia and Markéta Pekarová Adamová from the Czech Republic, while on Tuesday he is due to meet with Spain's Meritxell Batet Lamaña.

Tuesday, 22 March 2022

Jandroković: Post-Earthquake Reconstruction is Priority, Must Be Accelerated

ZAGREB, 22 March 2022 - Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković said on Tuesday, the second anniversary since a 5.5 magnitude earthquake struck Zagreb and the surrounding area, that reconstruction was a priority and needed to be accelerated, adding that there were great expectations from the new Construction Minister Ivan Paladina.  

"The new minister has the task to speed up reconstruction, use all available funds from the Solidarity Fund and move the people who are now living in containers to their homes as soon as possible. That's a priority," Jandroković told a press conference after a meeting of the Parliament Presidency.

"Reconstruction is very important. There are great expectations from the new minister, he is facing great challenges, and I hope he will be successful. The reconstruction process must certainly be faster than it has been," he added without wanting to point the finger at those responsible for the slow pace of reconstruction.

He said it was not true that nothing had been done in the last two years because a certain number of houses had been repaired and the process of seismic retrofitting was about to begin.

"We want this to be done as soon as possible. The deadline for the use of funding from the Solidarity Fund is June next year and I expect all the money will be spent by then. I also expect that the majority, if not all of the people now living in containers will be relocated to their homes by the end of the year," Jandroković said.

Tuesday, 22 March 2022

Croatian and Chinese Parliament Speakers: China Active in Efforts to Stop War in Ukraine

ZAGREB, 22 March 2022 - China has been involved in activities and initiatives to help stop the war in Ukraine and prevent a huge humanitarian crisis, Croatian Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković said on Tuesday after his video-conference with Li Zhanshu, Chairman of the National People's Congress Standing Committee.

According to a press release issued by the Croatian parliament, China supports the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine and Li informed the Sabor Speaker about his country's activities aimed at stopping the conflicts and halting the humanitarian crisis.

Jandroković was quoted as saying that Croatia unequivocally supports the independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine and he highlighted the importance of the withdrawal of Russia's forces from the country.

"Croatia respects the strategic, economic and foreign affairs-related role of China and the influence of that country on peace and stability in the world," said Jandroković.

The two parliaments' speakers agreed that the completion of Pelješac Bridge, which is expected to be inaugurated this summer, is a symbol of successful cooperation between Croatia and China whose companies are engaged in the construction of the bridge.

Li pointed out Croatia as the first European Union member state to hire a Chinese company to implement an EU-funded project of strategic infrastructure. 

He described Croatia as one of China's greatest friends in the European Union.

Jandroković said that Croatia also attaches great importance to efforts to boost its economic relations with China, and in this context he mentioned the example of the Senj wind park.

During the talks, the two officials also commented on Croatian companies such as Rimac Automobili, INFOBIP, Dok-ing and Končar that do business on the Chinese market.

Jandroković expressed hope that upon the end of the COVID-19 pandemic Chinese visitors would start arriving in Croatia again.

Both officials expressed an interest in the strengthening of political and economic cooperation and highlighted the importance of parliamentary diplomacy and cooperation within the China+16 and the Road and Belt Initiative.

Tuesday, 8 March 2022

Jandroković Issues Message for International Women's Day

ZAGREB, 8 March 2022 - Croatian Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković extended his best wishes for International Women's Day on Tuesday, saying that a lot of effort still needed to be made to achieve equality between women and men in all spheres of society.

"Today, when we observe International Women's Day, we remember the long way women had to go to have their basic human and civil rights recognised. Although their struggle began in the early 20th century, a lot of effort still needs to be made to achieve equality between women and men in all social spheres," Jandroković said in his message.

He said that Croatia was working on empowering women and protecting their rights, that gender equality was one of the highest values of the country's constitutional system, and that the aim was to achieve a tolerant society with equal opportunities for all.

International Women's Day is an opportunity to thank all women for their daily contribution to the social, economic and cultural property of our country. By protecting women from all forms of violence and discrimination, we are ensuring their full political, economic and social equality, Jandroković said, also highlighting the need to establish a balance between women's family life and work.

He concluded by quoting Pope Francis as saying in his New Year's message that "since mothers give life and women keep this world, let us all make greater efforts to promote mothers and to protect women," calling for an end to violence against women.

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