Wednesday, 16 March 2022

Međimurje Wins Financial Times Award Again

ZAGREB, 16 March 2022 - Međimurje County has been given the European Cities and Regions of the Future 2022/23 award by one of the most reputable world economic magazines the Financial Times, its fourth such award, among 160 larger or smaller regions and more than 350 cities in the European Union.

County Prefect Matija Posavec, who received the award in Cannes on Tuesday, told a press conference on Wednesday that the award was not a coincidence and that Međimurje has been recognised as one of the most favourable areas for successfully doing business in Europe thanks to a system that connects the economy and education, among other things.

It is an award to a proud Međimurje that combines all those values of our people, who are productive and diligent, Posavec said, underscoring that over the past two years of the coronavirus pandemic, Međimurje's economy continued to grow as it has been over the past 15 years.

Posavec highlighted several examples of a good entrepreneurial environment such as the Technological-Innovation Centre, the Međiurje Energy Agency and the Čakovec Metal Hub as well as the first scientific-research centre that is owned by a county government. He announced the opening of a regional competence centre in the next month.

"Results do not come overnight, but we are always thinking two steps ahead, and today we are thinking about what will happen tomorrow, which is our wish to become a pilot project in our health system and to apply artificial intelligence here too," said Posavec.

The director of the REDEA Public Institute for the Development of Međimurje County, Sandra Polanec Marinović, said that due to COVID-19 it was necessary to adapt to new criteria.

"We also presented those sectors that have the greatest potential for post-pandemic recovery, concentrating on new rapidly-growing sectors such as eMobility, as well as presenting the IT sector and creative industries," she said, recalling the huge municipal investments in business zones.

Business: For more, check out our business section.

 

Monday, 7 March 2022

Legendary World Champion Hans Nielsen: ''Looking Forward to Croatian Grand Prix!''

March 7, 2022 - After two years, difficult and uncertain for sports, Donji Kraljevec and Speedway Stadium Milenium once again hosted the Danish speedway team led by the legendary world champion Hans Nielsen!

The "Professor" is a four-time world individual champion, but also the winner of 18 other world championship titles, the most trophy-winning and, according to many, the best speedway driver of all time. "The weather is better than in Denmark at this time of year and now we are here for the second time with the Danish national team and it is really wonderful in Međimurje, we always feel at home here. The track is top-notch, the conditions are top-notch, and we had fans in the stands these days," Hans Nielsen began. "We have three Grand Prix drivers in the team, we wanted them to feel the track, on April 30 and the first race of the FIM Speedway Grand Prix World Championship is being ridden on this track in Donji Kraljevec and we are looking forward to it."

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Four-time world individual champion, and winner of 18 other world championship titles, Hans Nielsen.

After a long time, Denmark has three drivers in the championship, Mikkel Michelsen, Leon Madsen, and Anders Thomsen. "Again, we have three drivers among the 16 best in the world and I expect a lot from them. Leon Madsen is an experienced driver, in 2019 he was close to the title, Mikkel Michelsen is a two-time European champion, an extremely fast driver, and Anders Thomsen made his debut in the SGP last season and is ready for great things."

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Anders Thomsen (middle), and Mikkel Michelsen (right).

Mikkel Michelsen will stay in Međimurje for a few more days after representing the Kingdom of Denmark at the Millennium Stadium. The Polish Extraliga in Lublin will follow on Monday: "I drove many times on this track, the first race takes place right here and I haven't been lucky in Croatia, but hopefully that will change.”, said Mikkel and added: "Last season I achieved my best result in the Polish Extraliga, we were silver as a team and it was a great feeling. I hope we can achieve something similar this year, or even better yet. I'm looking forward to the season, it's time''.

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Mikkel Michelsen.

Speedway is celebrating 100 years of sport this year, and as it is devised in Australia, a return to this continent awaits us: ''Australia is supposed to be the last race of this season. It is difficult to look so far ahead, but with the new season we are all looking forward to new experiences and a new vision of the sport.'', said Mikkel. "The finals in Australia await us after the club and league finals, but now my focus is on the first race. We will return really soon here, to Croatia, and then we go a step further."

Along with three Grand Prix drivers, Denmark brought to Međimurje six of the best national drivers who drive on leagues from England, Denmark, and Sweden, and with them a young driver in training, European U19 champion, and sports hope of Latvia Francis Gusts.

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The opening of the season in Croatia will be on April 30 with the first race of the FIM SPEEDWAY GRAND PRIX, which returns the World Championship to Međimurje after 10 years, a place that lives for speedway. The 16 fastest drivers in the world will compete at one of the world's best speedway stadiums and start the story of speedway together with Discovery Sports Events, the new promoter.

More information and tickets for the first race can be found in Entrio.

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.

Monday, 22 November 2021

Međimurje County Tourism Grants: Over 130 New Projects in 10 Years

November 22, 2021 - Međimurje County tourism grants have allowed for 130 new projects over the last 10 years. 

Ten years ago, Međimurje County started a tourism grants program, thanks to which 2.8 million kuna has been awarded so far to develop tourist products and improve the tourist offer in Međimurje, reports HRTurizam.

Through non-refundable grants, Međimurje County supports the development of tourism as an income branch based on sustainable development through expanding the existing tourist offer, activating untapped tourist potentials, creating new tourist products, and promoting Međimurje as a desirable tourist destination.

In mid-June this year, a public call for grants was opened in 2021, and a record number of applications were made again. Thus, for 29 approved projects, HRK 400,000 was provided from the county budget, according to Međimurje County.

"Every year we record an increasing number of applications, so this year we received a record number of applications, 44. Also, the largest number of grants has been approved so far, thanks to which 29 new tourist facilities will be realized in Međimurje," explained the head of Međimurje County's Administrative Department for Economy, Agriculture, and Tourism - Darko Radanović.

In this year's call, the content of the program was adjusted to the strategic development document "Međimurje County Tourism Development Master Plan" as a fundamental determinant to effectively managing and developing the tourism sector. This year, new criteria have been added, such as ecology and the generation of new values, and there are a total of 14 acceptable measures for project approval.

The director of the Međimurje County Tourist Board, Rudi Grula, pointed out that the funds allocated through the program are just a drop in the ocean of total investments that need to be invested to develop a quality tourist product or content.

"It is a great fact that despite the difficult times for tourism, our people from Međimurje are seriously investing in projects, and in very high quality and long-term sustainable ones. Although tourism is a small part of Međimurje's economy, it is an important added value because through tourism we place our domestic products, culture, customs, and values," says Grula.

He added that the grant program aims to place as much emphasis as possible on projects that are green, long-term sustainable, and energy-efficient.

"Since 2016, we have been encouraging the development of sustainable tourism, and now it is the mantra of the European Union as well. Thanks to the continuous support of Međimurje County, every year we get more and more quality projects. This year, we realized 80% of arrivals and overnight stays compared to 2019. We are slowly achieving our goal, which is to attract more and more of those guests who are ready to set aside for quality service," said the director of the Međimurje County Tourist Board. 

Among this year's approved applications is the Biserka and Zvonko Lajtman project, creating a small corner of paradise in Pleškovac, in the holiday house "Lina", which is part of the Mohokos family farm.

"We hope that we will justify the allocated funds, which we will use to obtain the European Ecolabel certificate. Our house would be the first in Croatia with the mentioned certificate. Through family farms, we deal with ecological and biodynamic production, and with the certificate, we will complete the story and offer our guests a new service and quality of accommodation. The goal is that all stakeholders in tourism, the surrounding family farms, can complete their offer with their products," concluded the Laitman family.

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

Saturday, 6 November 2021

Independent Candidate Mladen Novak to Run for Međimurje County Prefect

ZAGREB, 6 Nov 2021 - Mladen Novak, an independent candidate who is running for the presidency of Međimurje County, on Saturday presented his candidacy in Čakovec.

The duty of the county authorities is to create preconditions and climate for the development of the industry and production sector that could provide decent pay to workers, said Novak, who used to be an official of the local Social Democratic Party (SDP).

He said that he could address the issues of security, low wages, and infrastructure if he got elected.

The early elections are scheduled for 28 November, after the former county prefect, Matija Posavec, stepped down due to the ongoing investigation against him on suspicion of corruption and abuse of office.

On 26 October, Sandra Herman of the Reformists party presented her candidacy for the new county prefect.

For more on politics, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Saturday, 6 November 2021

County Prefect Candidate: All Governments Have Pushed Roma Issue Under the Rug

ZAGREB, 6 Nov 2021 - Darko Zver, the candidate of the Fokus party for the Međimurje County prefect in a snap election, told a news conference in Čakovec that all the Croatian governments "have pushed the issue of ethnic Roma in Međimurje under the rug."

One of the planks of Zver's agenda is to address the problems facing a sizeable Roma community in that part of Croatia.

Zver also criticized parliamentary deputy Veljko Kajtazi, who represents ethnic Roma in the national legislature, over his statements on the topics concerning local Roma members.

If elected, Zver promised "drastic changes" in social welfare benefits, education training, and employment.

He said that the county authorities must financially support training and retraining for the most sought-after occupations.

For more on politics, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Saturday, 9 October 2021

Bus On The Move: Explore the Treasures of Međimurje in Motion

October 9, 2021 - In order to make the treasures of Međimurje known to locals and tourists alike, a creative transportation initiative called Bus on the move allows them to explore the county in a unique way.

The hop-on, hop-off bus is a real hit in Međimurje, reports Turističke Priče. Positive attitude, creativity, and desire to raise the quality of the destination offer to a higher level were the common visions of the three partners of the project Bus on the move or Međimurje on the move. Međimurje is the only destination driven by such a bus, which until now was characteristic exclusively for large urban cities.

The Bus on the move project started taking off through Međimurje back in July, and now they have presented a new autumn timetable. Autumn in Međimurje smells of wine, meat from Tiblica, and fragrant strudels with apples, as well as the traditional all-season Međimurje gibanica.

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Međimurje - Bus on the move Official Facebook Page

Transport can be used by tourists and all residents of the region, who want to visit one of these attractions, as well as all other tourist stakeholders who have accommodation facilities and want to provide additional content to their guests.

A new autumn timetable has been announced this week: Longer route: Departure at 10:00 am at Terme Sveti Martin towards Čakovec, stop at the bus station and in Lopatinec near Međimurski dvori, and return to Terme Sveti Martin at 2:00 pm.

Shorter route: Departure at 11:30 am at Terme Sveti Martin, departure to Cmrečnjak winery, Štrigova center, Kocijan winery, deer and mouflon farm, Hažić wine camp, Sveti Martin na Muri, Med dvemi vodami center in Križovac and return to Terme at 12:45h.

Any tour you choose to discover Međimurje is guaranteed. Get on the Bus and discover the north of Croatia on the move.

Located in the fertile lowlands between the rivers Mura and Drava, Međimurje justifies its nickname – the Garden of Croatia. The neat little villages and towns intertwine with an enchanting landscape. The region might be small, but it offers a bounty of attractions to impress any visitor. Whether you are into food and wine, relaxation and outdoor activities, or exploring local history, Međimurje is a garden full of possibilities. If you want to learn more about the ''Garden of Croatia'', be sure to read Total Croatia's Međimurje in a Page HERE.

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

Tuesday, 5 October 2021

Pilot Project Introducing Roma Mentors Launched in Čakovec

ZAGREB, 5 Oct, 2021 - In an effort to increase employment of the Roma community in Međimurje, the Justice and Public Administration Ministry has launched a pilot project for Roma mentors, which was presented in Čakovec on Tuesday.

The pilot project is being implemented within a project to improve the protection of human rights and public security through strengthening capacities in probation services. The project is valued at €2.1 million and it is being financed from the Norwegian Financial Mechanism.

Part of the funds is earmarked for the employment of six Roma from Međimurje County for a period of 19 months as Roma mentors.

 After attending training, which will be conducted by Czech experts with experience in similar projects, the Roma mentors will provide support to probation offices, the police, employment service, public health institute, state inspectorate and other social welfare and educational institutions.

State-secretary in the Ministry, Josip Salapić, underscored that the project is aimed at totally including the Roma minority in society.

This is the first project of this kind in Croatia, the head of the prison system and probation administration, Jana Špero said.

An advisor in the Interior Ministry, Vladimir Faber, said that a lot is expected from this project.

"It will enable two-way communication between institutions and Roma communities and between institutions themselves," Faber said, adding that the biggest problem in Roma communities is poverty, social exclusion, poor education, crime among minors, which can be changed with mutual communication.

President of the Kali Sara Roma alliance in Croatia,  Suzana Krčmar, underscored that the Roma will always offer their hand and be open to everyone, especially those who are their friends.

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

Tuesday, 5 October 2021

Hažić Wine Camp, First of Its Kind in Croatia, Among Best Small Camps

October 5, 2021 - When it comes to Croatian tourism, wine and camps are always part of the conversation in almost all regions of the country. In Međimurje, a family has combined both concepts, and it is thus that the Hažić Wine Camp has recently been recognized for its wine and accommodation offer.

This year, the Hažić family opened the first wine camp in Croatia, located in Međimurje, more precisely in Sveti Martin na Muri. As Turističke Priče reports, the aforementioned wine camp received the OK Mini Camps quality award and was thus included among one of the best small camps in Croatia.

''We are pleased to announce that based on the analysis of the quality of the content and service of our camp by the KUH commission, we are included in the list of 46 best small camps in Croatia'', said the Hažić Wine Camp.

This wine camp is the first camp of its kind in Croatia. It is located in the untouched nature of upper Međimurje, on the famous tourist route in the immediate vicinity of Terme Sveti Martin and the Mill House by the river Mura.

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Photo: Hažić Wine Camp Official Facebook Page

The camp on the family farm Hažić offers 12 pitches for campers and eight wooden mobile homes, electricity, water, wi-fi, toilets, children's playground, grill area, laundry service, and pets are allowed. Otherwise, the entire Hažić Wine Camp was built according to the highest environmental standards with the category of four suns.

The camping pitches range in size from 80 to 110 square meters and bear the names of the most represented grape varieties in the Međimurje vineyards, which is another great example of connecting with a local and authentic story.

Međimurje got its first Wine Camp thanks to the Hažić family, which has been recognized for more than 30 years for quality local products such as wine, apples, and honey, and to their Hažić Family Farm and Wine House, they have now added the third in a series of investments, but certainly not the last.

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Photo: Hažić Wine Camp Official Facebook Page

Apart from quality products, the Hažić, Biserka, and Radenko family, with their daughters Tatjana and Valentina, who continued the family farm, is also known for innovative ideas aimed at tourism and the agriculture sector, which is confirmed by this investment.

Međimurje is a top wine region

Međimurje is a top wine region, and proof of that are the numerous medals from last year's, but also this year's Decanter World Wine Awards, where it was confirmed that the best Croatian sparkling wines come from Međimurje. And this is no coincidence, since in 2016, for the first time in history, the first two medals arrived in Međimurje.

The camp offers accommodation to tourists who want to enjoy nature, fine wines, sparkling wines, juices, and other products from the workshop of the Hažić family.

Campers in the area can enjoy cycling, wellness services of Terme Sveti Martin, getting to know local cultural sights, enjoying numerous adventurous activities organized by the Accredo Center or a picnic with excellent local food and drinks of the restaurant Međimurski dvori, and at the request of the guest will offer delivery breakfast in the form of a pinklec basket on the plot. Guests and tourists of the camp can also enjoy local products from Međimurski štancun.

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Photo: Croatia.hr

Located in the fertile lowlands between the rivers Mura and Drava, Međimurje justifies its nickname – the Garden of Croatia. The neat little villages and towns intertwine with an enchanting landscape. The region might be small, but it offers a bounty of attractions to impress any visitor. Whether you are into food and wine, relaxation and outdoor activities, or exploring local history, Međimurje is a garden full of possibilities. If you want to learn more about the ''Garden of Croatia'', be sure to read Total Croatia's Međimurje in a Page HERE.

Croatian wines and grapes are among the best in the world, and you can find more information about them in Total Croatia’s Guide to Croatian Wine HERE.

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

Saturday, 11 September 2021

Božinović: Opposition Seems Not to Want Corruption Cases to Be Prosecuted

ZAGREB, 11 Sept, 2021 - Interior Minister Davor Božinović on Saturday criticised statements by some Opposition MPs following arrests in two corruption cases in Međimurje County. 

"I am certain that already the present and the future will prove their cheap political statements wrong. They seem not to want such cases to be prosecuted," Božinović said in an interview with Croatian Radio.

Speaking after the arrests of Međimurje County head Matija Posavec and Social Democrat (SDP) MP Stjepan Kovač, MP Nikola Grmoja of the Bridge party said on Friday that the arrests were politically motivated to "divert attention from the scandal in Kutina" involving the ruling Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) party, while the SDP's Arsen Bauk said that the timing of the arrests in two unrelated cases showed "a skilful manoeuvre" by the Attorney-General's Office (DORH).

Responding to these accusations, Božinović said that in the first eight months of this year the police had brought corruption charges in 86 percent more cases than in the same period last year. "This means that the police, along with USKOK (anti-corruption office) and DORH, are fully committed to their work, and great changes can be seen in this regard."

"However, no changes can be seen in reactions from the Opposition. Whenever the police and DORH do something, the Opposition immediately says that it is politicisation. I cannot understand those people at all," the minister said.

Commented on the fact that one of the suspects in the Kovač case is a police officer, Božinović said that the police have zero tolerance to any illegal behaviour. Last year proceedings were launched against more than 540 police officers and so far this year against more than 320 officers, he said. 

For more on politics, follow TCN's dedicated page.

For more about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Saturday, 11 September 2021

Posavec Resigns as Međimurje County Head, Granted Pre-Trial Release

ZAGREB, 11 Sept, 2021 - Međimurje County head Matija Posavec and the chairman of the management board of the County Road Directorate, Josip Kobal, have been granted a pre-trial release after being questioned by USKOK corruption investigators.

USKOK has said it has opened an investigation into six suspects in two separate cases, requesting investigative custody for only two suspects.

Lawyer Davorin Zalatarek confirmed to Hina on Saturday morning that his client Posavec had been released last night and that another suspect, SDP MP and former Čakovec Mayor Stjepan Kovač, was expected to be released soon. He said he could not discuss details because the investigation was still ongoing.

USKOK said on Saturday morning that Posavec had been released after admitting the crime he is suspected of, and that he had resigned as head of Međimurje County.

Lawyer Berislav Živković said he was not surprised that his client Kobal had been released, because there were no legal grounds for him to be remanded in custody.

Posavec is suspected of fixing jobs with county administration and of receiving a HRK 10,000 (€1,330) bribe from Kobal to secure another term of office for him on the management board of the Međimurje County Roads Directorate.

Kovač is suspected of using fake text messages with death threats against himself to prompt a police investigation and find out who was behind a website that wrote negative articles about him before the May local elections. Police officer Mario Sever and Damir Ledenčan, who sent staged threatening messages, are also suspects in this case.

For more on politics, follow TCN's dedicated page.

For more about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

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