Tuesday, 4 May 2021

Medjimurje County Wages No Longer Lowest in Croatia

May the 4th, 2021 - Medjimurje County is no longer the Croatian county with the lowest wages in the country, with Virovitica-Podravina County now taking ''the lead'' on that list.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the last place in terms of salaries at the county level is no longer held by Medjimurje County and has now been taken by Virovitica-Podravina County, where the average salary is 300 kuna less, and amounts to 5261 kuna, writes Jutarnji list.

Bjelovar-Bilogora County is only slightly better off with an average salary of 5,364 kuna. In those two counties, wages grew by about ten percent in three years. Although these are still regions where wages are typically low, meaning well below the Croatian average, the fact remains that they have grown at different rates. The main reason for this, according to Danijel Nestic from the Institute of Economics, is of a legal-regulatory nature.

The minimum wage was increased by 20 percent in that period, in the gross amount from 3,120 kuna back in 2016 to 3,750 kuna in 2019, reports Jutarnji.

As the northern Croatian counties, primarily Medjimurje County and Varazdin County, boasted the largest number of employees in low-paid sectors in the country (textiles, clothing, footwear, leather, plastics, furniture), the increase in the minimum wage went in their favour most of all. According to Danijel Nestic, about 40 percent of employees in those two counties worked in low-paid sectors, while their share in the total number of employees in Virovitica-Podravina and Bjelovar-Bilogora counties, for example, stands at about 25 percent.

In addition to the above, as Danijel Nestic added, the unemployment rate is lower in the north of Croatia.

While in the north of Croatia, low-paid jobs predominate, in the Adriatic counties catering, hospitality and trade are of greater importance due to tourism, while in Zagreb, the public sector continues to dominate.

Employees in Zagreb have the highest average salary in Croatia, standing at 7,468 kuna, which means that it is 42 percent higher than the lowest salary in Virovitica-Podravina County.

The largest number of employees in Zagreb work in public administration, education and healthcare, about 96,000 of them, followed by trade with about 73,000 people, followed by manufacturing (41,623), information and communications (28,242) and construction (24,488).

In its latest analysis of wages in counties, the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK) states that there is a significant difference in their amount by region, which entails differences in living standards in some areas, and to some extent results in pressure to dynamise both internal and external migration.

A more pronounced equalisation of wage levels by region, however, "is difficult to expect without changes in the structure of the economies of the regions towards higher value-added activities and more innovative and technologically advanced production." As they point out from the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, this requires stronger investment activity.

For more, follow our lifestyle section.

Monday, 29 March 2021

Finoteka.com Aims to Become Central Point of Domestic Food Market

ZAGREB, 29 March, 2021 - The HR-Koncept company from Nedelišće, a town in the northern Međimurje County, on Monday presented its domestic food producer search engine which it wants to make the central point of the domestic food market in Croatia and neighbouring countries through a social entrepreneurship project.

The project is worth HRK 1.74 million, of which 85% is money from the European Social Fund, while the national share of the funding is provided by the National Foundation for Civil Society Development. The project is being implemented in cooperation with the local action group (LAG) Vallis Colapis from Karlovac.

"This is a big step towards making the Finoteka.com search engine a system that is managed by the producers and buyers of domestic food," HR-Koncept director Hrvoje Kolman said.

Finoteka.com has become a social enterprise with the aim of reinvesting at least 75% of corporate profit in advertising domestic products and in the education and training of Croatian farmers.

Finoteka.com, which operates the food delivery website FinotekaDostava.com, has been active since 2008 and today around 3,000 producers sell their products, mostly fruit and vegetables, in Croatia as well as in Slovenia and Austria using this search engine.

Kolman said that the coronavirus pandemic had increased the online sale of farm produce, specifically by 50% for his company.

HR-Koncept plans, by implementing the project, to create conditions for domestic food producers to become co-owners of the central food market place in Croatia and to manage on their own the system for the sale of their products, offering only the select, best domestic products, and deliver them directly to end-users.

Kolman said that products were not stored but were delivered directly "from farm to table within 24 hours", with no need for intermediaries.

The project, to be implemented in three rural communities (Žumberak, Ribnik and Sveti Martin), will involve 120 people who have been unemployed for a long time.

This will help residents of rural communities use the untapped capacity for self-employment by joining in the activities of the new social enterprise, with the support of subsidies from the Rural Development Programme and the Operational programme for fisheries and sea, said Vallis Colllapis head Milan Medić.

Apart from helping producers, the Finoteka.com project will also help small and big retailers, buyers, restaurants, fruit shops and end-users find local food producers quickly.

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

Friday, 6 November 2020

First in Croatia: Medjimurje is Named 2022 European Region of Sport

November 6, 2020 - Medjimurje has been named the 2022 European Region of Sport and is the first in Croatia to wear the prestigious title. 

Sportklub.hr reports that Medjimurje County is the first in Croatia to hold the title of European Region of Sport for 2022, said County Prefect Matija Posavec at a press conference on Friday.

Posavec pointed out that this is a big and important moment for Medjimurje, a region of 730 square kilometers in which more than 400 associations and more than 15,000 registered athletes operate.

“We are pleased to have been given the opportunity to present our county as a region that lives for sport, as a region that values the successes of its athletes,” the prefect said. He expressed gratitude and respect to all volunteers, athletes, and sports associations for their work and dedication, with the message that without them, they would not have won the title.

The prefect of Medjimurje also pointed out that Medjimurje has 6000 registered football players and more than 70 active football clubs. With all the refereeing and coaching organizations, he said, there is one football player for every 18th inhabitant of Medjimurje.

"Rarely anywhere in the world, and not only in Europe but also in football countries, do we have such data," Posavec pointed out.

Speaking about infrastructure, he reminded us that all municipalities and cities are committed and invest a lot in sports and sports infrastructure, which brings with it results.

The president of the Sports Associations and Federations of Medjimurje County, Mato Kljajić, said that sports in the county received great recognition.

"We managed to show and present to people in Europe that Medjimurje is a sports destination and that it lives for sports," Kljajić pointed out, adding that they are proud of that and are trying to keep it that way. He said the recognition was not the result of work “from yesterday and today,” but the work of all athletes and associations for decades. He added that almost one-third of the people of Medjimurje play some kind of sport.

A year has passed from the idea to its realization, added the vice president of the Association Mario Vukoja, and reminded that they applied thanks to the support of the County of Medjimurje, which recognized the idea as quality. 

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

Thursday, 18 June 2020

Medjimurje Gives More: New Tourist Board Campaign Focused on Domestic Tourists

June 18, 2020 - The Tourist Board of Medjimurje County, in cooperation with Terme Sveti Martin and about 50 partners from the public and commercial sector, has launched a tourist campaign under the slogan "Medjimurje gives more!".

Finally, a campaign focused on domestic guests!

Namely, HRTurizam reports that the 'Medjimurje Gives More' campaign lasts from June 15 to September 15, 2020, and was launched to achieve the best possible tourist traffic in the coming months, which has been greatly reduced. The main idea of ​​the campaign is to offer the market a free bonus based on the realized consumption instead of competing in lowering prices, thus stimulating potential guests to decide to vacation in Medjimurje.

Instead of the classic discounts, Medjimurje decided on a different approach - with overnight stays or consumption, the guest gets added value through free content in the form of a bonus coupon.

Guests will thus receive a bonus coupon from accommodation, catering or other commercial service providers, provided that the guest has spent at least HRK 250 (once) in any of the commercial providers of catering and tourist services in Medjimurje.

Commercial partners hand over the coupon upon realization of the service, i.e., upon arrival at the accommodation facility, and with catering services after paying the bill. With the obtained coupon, the guest can visit one of the public tourist facilities and sites once or use one of the tourist services donated by public or commercial partners in the project.

The conditions and manner of using the coupon are published on a special website ( www.visitmeđimurje.com ) where you can follow the course of the entire action, as well as on the promotional leaflet that will be distributed with the coupons.


For the needs of the campaign, a prize game was made, along with a special web page, and a video and visuals that follow the entire campaign. The campaign is also advertised through online and offline media.

With the campaign, tourist entities in Medjimurje County have clearly defined what they want to achieve, as the President of the Medjimurje County Tourist Board Rudi Grula pointed out, and that is to convey to markets the message that it is a safe, quality, interesting and meaningful holiday destination year-round, which offers a quality service for a "fair" price, and rewards guests with added value.

“The goal is to achieve as many guest arrivals and overnight stays in Medjimurje as the rest of the year, to extend the average length of stay of guests, to encourage higher consumption of guests who will choose Medjimurje for their vacation, but also to encourage the local population in catering and other tourist facilities in the area,” Grula points out.

The project involves about 50 partners who offer more than 100 free experiences that include sports activities and yoga, tickets for visits to museums and collections, guided tours, tastings of fine wines and delicious dishes, the use of e-bikes, event tickets, and fun adrenaline adventures.

"Medjimurje, with all its potentials, contents and awards, does not allow us to be average, but to give more in service and quality continuously. Such a positive project, with our standard and quality service to guests, gives even more content for free, which will make us stand out from the rest of the competition and show that we are a significant factor in tourism in Croatia," said LifeClass Terme Sveti Martin, a partner that is involved in the project with a special offer.

Also, to mitigate the negative consequences of the coronavirus, Medjimurje County has announced a public call for grants to co-finance the work of travel agencies/tour operators.

With these grants, the County wants to encourage the growth of tourist traffic and consumption in the area, and for the implementation of the project, HRK 50,000 has been provided from the County budget. The support of the County amounts to HRK 50 per tourist overnight stay in the area, and the support will be paid based on the applications of the travel organizers until the end of 2020 or until the planned funds are used.

“Come to Medjimurje because Medjimurje gives you more - more nature, more health, more songs, more delicious dishes and wines, more quality and more security!" reads the message of the campaign that invites everyone to the region.

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

Thursday, 25 April 2019

All is Set for Cooperation Between the USA and... Međimurje County!

''For the start of cooperation between Croatia and the USA, Međimurje County is perhaps the best place for some new opportunities,'' stated US Ambassador HE. W. Robert Kohorst on Wednesday in the continental Croatian town of Čakovec.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 25th of April, 2019, the visit began with a working meeting in Međimurje County, Božena Malekoci-Oletić said for Međimurske Novine. The US Ambassador visited the Međimurje Polytechnic where he attended the marking of the eleventh anniversary of the Polytechnic, the Technological Innovation Centre, and he also met some of Međimurje's young basketball players.

American Ambassador Robert Kohorst, together with the Prefect of Međimurje County, Matija Posavac, addressed the present representatives of the media.

The American Ambassador said that the US Embassy is working on a program to connect different American companies to the companies here in Croatia. Over the next six months, certain measures and suggestions on how to achieve it will be implemented. The most important thing is to feel welcome in an environment where it's easy to do business without too much bureaucracy.

He expressed his satisfaction with Međimurje's attitude that every problem can be solved. He stressed that this is the most important thing that can be done to attract investors. What is equally important for potential investors is a well-educated and cooperative workforce who are ready to engage in work. In such an environment, companies are more than happy to do business.

"I like the way you work and prepare for investments and for the companies coming from the United States, and we'll try to present this story to the American companies,'' Kohorst stated.

Međimurske Novine asked Kohorst what the special reason for his arrival to the smallest Croatian county was all about.

"I heard it was the most beautiful county, and mayors have told me that the towns here were the most beautiful,'' Ambassador Robert Kohorst diplomatically. But afterwards, he added that he was not a career diplomat, but that he's there for business reasons and putting business cooperation at the forefront is his aim. He added that cooperation between the US and Međimurje County was a great start for new opportunities.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business page for much more.