Sunday, 4 November 2018

Croatian Returnee Stories: "I Still Believe Croatia Can Be A Great Country"

While the bleak stories about Croats taking advantage of the European Union's policy of freedom of movement and leaving the country in their droves continue to dominate the headlines of the Croatian press, as well as the conversations taking place across Croatian cafes and bars, there are also many Croatian returnee stories to be told.

These returnees are either on their journeys back to Croatia after spending a few weeks or months in another European country like Ireland and the UK realising they were sold propaganda about how ''easy'' life is, or they simply have a calling for home.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 4th of November, 2018, Lara from Zagreb is one such person who returned from the glitz and glam of the British capital to Croatia, as she still has faith that Croatia can be transformed into an amazing country.

''I know this might sound a little strange, but I still believe that Croatia can be a great country, and that we've got excellent predispositions for success. I agree, people here are don't have it easy. If you go abroad, yes, you'll find it a lot easier to get a job. The challenge is living abroad, but to find a decent and well paid job, perhaps not immediately in the profession [for which you've studied], isn't difficult,'' Lara stated.

''If you can't find a job in London, you'll never find one. But that wasn't the challenge,'' 26-year-old Lara Hamer said, beginning her story.

Lara belongs to one of the first generations of children born in independent Croatia (1992), but her story is quite different from those Croatian returnee stories of her generation that we most often see and read today.

First of all, as Slobodna Dalmacija writes, Lara acquired her bachelor's degree in international relations and politics back in July, from a British university in Northampton, a town somewhat larger than Split (200,000 inhabitants), located about a hundred miles northwest of London. However, she decided to return to Croatia as opposed to staying on in England, and not to simply sit here twiddling her thumbs waiting for someone to chase her down and offer her a job, but with an already developed idea that she intended to bring to Croatia.

Back in March of this year, she and her friend Bruna Tomšić from Zagreb, who completed journalism in Northampton, and Antonia Obrvan from Metković, had managed to conceive a project for social entrepreneurship to help the unemployed youth in Croatia, called MilleniDREAM. Less than half a year later, in October, the women presented their project at a Chicago conference organised upon the foundations of no less than former US President Bill Clinton. 

Unfortunately in the end, the project didn't win the financial support it needed from the conference, but success was found in the fact that out of 10,000 entries from around the world, MilleniDREAM entered into a round of thousands of people who received an invitation to Chicago to introduce and present themselves to numerous potential donors. Clinton's money was received by only seven projects.

"We'll now seek financial support from EU funds," stated an optimistic Lara.

The aforementioned women imagined that the project would link young people, academia, and employers in order to provide students with volunteer opportunities, and eventually get them into work. In addition, they would organise employment fairs, and also help students gain some of the skills needed today to compete on the ever-challenging labour market.

"We're planning so-called ''soft skills'' workshops to help young people write resumes, better present themselves to their future employers, create a good interview, run their social networks to make themselves more interesting to employers, lets say on Linkedin, which is read by many, especially by foreign employers. Today, young people graduate from college and compete for work by writing their CV over five pages. That's old school, and no employer will read it all because there's no time,'' Lara added.

While Bruna's colleague found a job in London directly through a LinkedIn status, Antonia is looking in Strasbourg at the Council of Europe, Lara, aware that the project may take some time to gain some ground, will soon start working in the field of communication.

While not all Croatian returnee stories are perfectly happy ones, the stories of those living abroad aren't always walks in the park either, and they both need to have their place in the media if we're to look at the situation objectively.

Want to hear more about Croatian returnee stories, emigration, immigration, and Croatia's very many foreign entreprenerus and their stories? Make sure to keep up with our lifestyle page.

Saturday, 27 October 2018

Can Ivica Todorić Frustrate or Delay his Return to Croatia?

The Ivica Todorić latest... Although the High Court in London refused the former Agrokor boss' appeal and confirmed that it was indeed now time for him to return to Croatia, there is another possible remedy to his situation: a request for appeal to the Supreme Court. It ain't over til the fat lady sings, as they say in Ole' Blighty.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 26th of October, 2018, despite being very much under the watchful eye of the Metropolitan police, Ivica Todorić is still at relative liberty in the British capital. After the High Court refused his appeal and confirmed his extradition to Croatia, it doesn't necessarily mean we've come to the very end of the line. Let us not pretend that the chances of him managing to slither out of this situation are great, they aren't, the possibilities of success in him submitting an appeal to the Supreme Court are extremely narrow. Such a move could only really ''take off'' if his rights have been somehow violated, for example, as N1 reports.

Jadranka Sloković, Ivica Todorić's attorney, says she doesn't know whether or not Todorić will decide to attempt to go down that route.

"That's not my decision," she stated simply. It appears also that nobody is quite sure when Todorić will have to return to Croatia at all.

"I don't know exactly when those deadlines are, and according to what I've heard from his English lawyers, it can take about three to four weeks, a maximum of four weeks. Even if he was to go along with this appeal and it ends up getting rejected, it's about four weeks,'' noted Sloković.

Paperwork and red tape will be, as usual, the main hold up should there be any delays in the upcoming process. The transfer from London, where Todorić has been living for about a year, back to Zagreb, needs to be very carefully arranged by the police in Zagreb and in London, as well dealing with who will accompany him on what will likely be a very regular flight from England to Croatia.

"That's all their thing, and as you know, these processes aren't public so we can't talk about them," stated Davor Božinović, the current Croatian Minister of the Interior.

Back in Croatia in Remetinec (Zagreb prison), a decision on the appeal has been being awaited, and a witness who is apparently currently not in Croatia should be questioned.

Todorić's defense thinks that that one witness in question poses no reason for Todorić to be held in custody, but the Zagreb County State Attorney's Office is sticking to its guns. The real question is does it actually make any sense.

"I don't think that it's likely to be for this reason alone, even the court in London has allowed him (Todorić) to remain at liberty with precautionary measures in place," said Aleksandar Maršavelski, a professor of law at the Faculty of Law in Zagreb.

While the Zagreb State Attorney's Office continues investigating, it has, at least currently, revealed absolutely nothing about its plans regarding this issue.

In addition to the questioning of various witnesses, an ongoing accounting audit should be carried out within the scope of the investigation - this will apparently be carried out by a Polish company. Involved attorneys are not particularly pleased with this because they believe, among other things, that this will slow the process down even more and increase costs. They aren't sure it will even be completed on time.

Fran Olujić, Ante Todorić's lawyer stated that he has serious doubts that such an examination can be carried out and completed in the time given, which is a mere three months.

The Agrokor case which rocked Croatia has been being led against Todorić and numerous others who once made up the gigantic company's former management body for an entire year.

Follow the latest news about the former Agrokor supremo here.

Thursday, 25 October 2018

Ivica Todorić Comments on Extradition Decision: ''This Won't Stop Me''

With his extradition now confirmed and looming, the former Agrokor boss still isn't giving up. The latest from Ivica Todorić.

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Big Tour Operator Bringing in Two New Flights to Croatia

The announcement of these flights has recently been transmitted by one of Britain's most well-known magazines.

Saturday, 8 September 2018

Todorić: ''We've Got Unbelievable Evidence, I'm the Victor''

Agrokor's former main man fights on in the fog of London.

Thursday, 6 September 2018

Tony Blair’s Wife to Represent Todorić at London Court Today?

The court should make the final decision on whether Todorić will be extradited to Croatia.

Friday, 31 August 2018

Ivica Todorić Comments on Government, Dalić's Hotmail Affair, and Extradition

The ex Agrokor boss and current fugitive in London gave an interview to Dnevnik Nove TV ahead of the British ruling on his extradition to Croatia to face trial.

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Zagreb's Žabac Food Outlet Makes Big Moves, Gains Worthy Recognition

One Croatian food outlet stands out above the rest, and deservedly so.

Saturday, 11 August 2018

Ivica Todorić Engages Well Known Serbian Lawyer

Todorić refuses to go down without a fight, and now one of Serbia's most famous lawyers has been engaged by the former Agrokor boss to help.

Friday, 10 August 2018

Ivica Todorić's Request for Appeal Against Extradition Rejected

Todorić remains between a rock and a hard place as his extradition looms.

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