Thursday, 25 July 2019

Projects for Međimurje County Adopted at Government Meeting in Čakovec

ZAGREB, July 25, 2019 - The government on Thursday endorsed a set of projects related to co-financing the equipping of sports halls in Međimurje County, for the establishment of a branch of the Croatian Institute of History regarding the Zrinski and Frankopan families as well as the construction of an education centre in Čakovec.

A total of 2 million kuna has been secured from this year's budget to co-finance the equipping of several sports halls in the county, Science and Education Minister Blaženka Divjak said during a cabinet meeting in Čakovec.

The project regarding the history branch dedicated to the Zrinski and Frankopan families in Čakovec is aimed at motivating the development of history studies in northwest Croatia and the ministry has secured 488,580 kuna from the 2019, 2020 and 2021 state budgets for this project.

Međimurje County has for years been a forerunner with its economic status and the history of the Zrinski family is virtually a trademark of Čakovec. The new history branch will ensure institutional support for the development of the research segment of that cultural-historical legacy, Minister Divjak said.

A project for the construction of an education centre in Čakovec was also endorsed, which is aimed at providing equal opportunities for disabled children. The existing building was erected in 1971. It consists of eight classrooms and can cater for 70 students with minor disabilities. In the 2018/2019 school year, 166 students attended the school.

A decision was adopted to establish a public social welfare centre in Prelog and newly appointed Minister for Demography, the Family, Youth and Social Policy Vesna Bedeković noted that the current centre in Čakovec cannot cater for the large population in the county.

The government also handed over land to several municipalities for housing projects.

Cabinet also discussed improvements of living conditions for the Roma national minority in the county. Interior Minister Davor Božinović said that the education of Roma children was continually improving, which can be seen in the growing number of scholarships being granted.

Employment of Roma has received 19% more in funding and the legalisation of housing in the county is continuing. During Croatia's chairmanship of the EU next year particular attention will be dedicated to improving living standards of the Roma community, he underscored.

The government gave its consent for the Ministry of Economy, Entrepreneurship and Crafts to take on the obligation in the period from 2020 to 2030 to subsidise interest on commercial loans for SMEs in the amount of 51 million kuna.

More Međimurje news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Saturday, 20 July 2019

Unique ''The Best from Međimurje'' Shop Opens in Čakovec!

Want to get a taste of the best of Međimurje? A brand new and totally unique shop in the continental Croatian town of Čakovec has recently been opened on Eugen Kvaternik Square (Trg) 5. The new sales space is called "Međimurski Štacun".

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 19th of July, 2019, the new store is a pleasant and charming Croatian shop, which boasts some agricultural-food products of about twenty local farmers in Međimurje on its shelves, writes Robert Radovic, with Zlatko Vrzan having taken photos for the local Međimurje portal Međimurske novine. They will offer over 150 types of seasonal products directly with local OPGs throughout the whole year.

This praiseworthy initiative which celebrates all things Međimurje was realised thanks to Valentina Hažić, the first president of the "Best of Međimurje" association, and all those who have been more than willing to place and sell their own products directly with their names and surnames proudly displayed on them.

These are OPG Hažić from Jurovčak, OPG Trupković from Novo Selo Rok, the Tomšić winery from Železna Gora, OPG Zadravec from Oporovac, OPG Biber from Podturen, the Preiner winery from Sveti Urban, OPG Lovrenčić from Palovac, and others. Other local Međimurje producers have also been invited to join this initiative.

Valentina, who has been in this field for a long time, recently opened her own company for business consulting and services in agriculture and tourism - AgroTina, which was incubated in the newly-restored attic of the TICM1 building. At the opening she said:

"Međimurski Štacun" is the first store of its kind in Croatia. It was completely sorted out by the producers themselves and this is the first organised supply chain in all of Croatia. We'd also like to thank Medjimurje County for supporting us in order for us to be able to open this store. In the store, we have products bearing the traceability mark of the product called ''Najbolje ‘z Međimurja'' (the best from Međimurje).

County Prefect Matija Posavec was present on the occasion of the opening of the stop, and emphasised the fact that these projects were a great opportunity to promote local producers and their healthy products, and invited customers to come and buy products there in order to support to domestic OPGs.

This brand new Međimurje store will work on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 10:00 to 18:00 and on Saturdays from 08:00 to 14:00. On Sundays and Mondays, the store will be closed.

Follow our dedicated business page for much more.

Monday, 24 June 2019

Međimurje County Hopes Government Will Support Local Projects

ZAGREB, June 24, 2019 - Minister of Economy, Entrepreneurship and Crafts Darko Horvat and Međimurje County Prefect Matija Posavec met on Monday for a working meeting to discuss details for a cabinet meeting that will be held in the Čakovec on July 18 and as Posavec said, he will present "prepared projects for which he expects support from the national level."

It was agreed that a cabinet meeting will be held in Čakovec on July 18. He added that the last cabinet meeting in Čakovec was held 14 years ago in the local army barracks when the government granted the barracks to the county authorities and now they will have the opportunity to show Prime Minister Andrej Plenković what has been built in that complex and it current purpose.

Posavec stated that the he would present the government with prepared projects that he expects will receive support from the national level." Each county prefect needs to cooperate with each government and any burden a political may have must not impact that cooperation. This is not the first time that the cabinet has met in Čakovec. The cabinet meets in cities throughout Croatia and it was time it was held in Čakovec again. It would have been better if it had of been earlier but there is no reason why our requests not to be endorsed on July 18," Posavec said.

Posavec, who was the top candidate of the Croatian People's Party (HNS) slate for the recent parliamentary elections, said that the HNS would consider the election performance next weekend in the resort of Sveti Martin na Muri. The party did not pass the 5% of the election threshold.

He told the N1 commercial broadcaster that the ruling coalition consisting of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and his party could remain in power until the end of this term, however, he believes that the coalition has been detrimental to the HNS.

More Međimurje news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

MartiLandia Aquapark Opened at LifeClass Terme Sveti Martin

This last weekend, on June the 15th, the north of Croatia became richer for an oasis of water-based fun- the MartiLandia Aquapark, which was opened at LifeClass Terme Sveti Martin, in Međimurje. The opening ceremony and party brought together all of those who are to thank for going through with this investment, as well as making Terme Sveti Martin one of the greatest "healthness resorts" in Europe.

The investment of over 2.5 million kuna brought to the visitors three new water slides, a standard open, an adrenaline kamikaze and a funnel, as well as the new children's water playground, and the partners were New Dieresin Contract S.r.l., a leading European company in the field of design, construction and instalation of the water slides and pool equipment from Italy, and the Croatian HJ Projekt company from Mursko Središće.

The Prefect of Međimurje County Matija Posavec said at the opening ceremony that it's important to aim for something different and new in life and in investments, which then brings results. He added that Sveti Martin brings two thirds of the tourism of Međimurje, and that every development there means the further development of tourism in Međimurje. Sveti Martin municipality head Dražen Crnčec thanked the Terme Sveti Martin team for everything they're doing for the tourism of the region, which leads to the continuous growth of tourism in the region. It also leads to the growing number of private renters around the Terme, which guarantees a stable future.

Igor Nekić, the managing director of the LifeClass Terme Sveti Martin, said that all of the investments were carefully chosen in order to increase quality, which leads to the increased satisfacion of the guests and better results. Mr. Nekić hopes that the new children's water playground will mostly attract families with children, as they're now the aquapark of the highest quality in the north of Croatia, but also the broader region which includes a radius of 150km in Slovenia, Austria, and Hungary.

The new MartiLandia Aquapark mascot is Marti the deer, as there are numerous animals around the area, and many deer, which children enjoy seeing.

Nuša Korotaj, the sales director at Sveti Martin Terme said that the European Spa Award they received last month in the category of ''Innovative Spa Concept'' will make them turn their focus even more towards the markets of the German-speaking part of Europe and the Eastern European markets (Hungary, Poland, Czechia, Slovakia).

They plan to use their healthness strategy as their selling point on those markets.

Saturday, 1 June 2019

Anti-Roma Feelings Stirred with Protest in Čakovec

ZAGREB, June 1, 2019 - About 1,000 people rallied in the centre of the northern town of Čakovec on Saturday for a protest called "I want a normal life", and speakers at the event pointed to irresponsible, dangerous and criminal behaviour in their community, pointing the finger at state institutions which, they said, had failed with regard to the local Roma community.

After the rally, the Međimurje County police said that their decision to allow the protest had proven to be good and that there was no hate speech or incitement to racial, religious or ethnic intolerance at the event.

Addressing the protesters, Alen Pancer of the civic initiative "The right to a normal life", said that residents of Međimurje wanted to live a normal life just like other Croatian citizens.

He said that the protest was not directed against the Roma minority and that there were Roma who were hard-working and honest but that an end should be put to the terror local residents had been experiencing on a daily basis. "Seven percent of the (local) population accounts for 70% of crimes in Međimurje," he said.

"We want to be able to drink coffee in our own front yards, have pets and tend to our gardens but those of us who live close to Roma settlements cannot do that," he said, blaming political decision-makers for that.

Pancer went on to say that local residents could not rely on police because there were too few police officers and they were unable to protect themselves, let alone other citizens.

The rally was also addressed by a local student, Tin Hrgović, whose posts on social networks led to the initiative for the protest and who said that the rally had drawn people with different worldviews and political preferences who all wanted the same thing - the right to a normal life. "The situation is disastrous and a part of the Roma minority behaves in a criminal way," he said.

Commenting on accusations that the rally was a racist and nationalist gathering that threatens human rights, he said: "Is it a human right to shoot from an illegal weapon or disturb citizens with loud music, steal or insult. Is it a human right to snatch someone's necklace from their neck or purse or beat an old woman to death?"

"We must say 'No' to this because we want a safe and normal life in Međimurje," he said.

Hrgović said that responsibility rested not only with individuals from the Roma minority and that the current welfare system was to blame, too. "The money intended for children is used to buy alcohol and drugs and for gambling. What can we expect of those children when they grow up, if their parents behave like that? We in Međimurje know how many Roma live in such conditions, but the rest of Croatia doesn't," he said.

He called on social workers to "get out of their offices and go into the field". "An end must be put to this vicious circle. Dispensing money won't solve the problem but will only deepen it."

The deputy head of Pribislavec municipality from the Roma minority, Željko Balog, called on Croat compatriots not to lay the blame on the entire Roma population but rather on irresponsible individuals. "There are Gypsy gangs in (Roma) settlements, but that is not to be blamed on the Roma but on state institutions," he said.

Speaking of the Roma minority member of parliament, Veljko Kajtazi, Balog said that Kajtazi "does not represent the Roma" and that he had "surrounded himself with criminals."

Selnica municipal head Ervin Vičević called for hiring more social workers and more police in Međimurje while Pribislavec municipal head Višnja Ivačić said that there was no control of how social benefits and children's allowances were spent.

After the protest, the Međimurje County police held a news conference at which its head Ivan Sokač said that the decision to allow the protest had proven good. "Međimurje has proven to be, as always, a tolerant region. There was no hate speech or incitement to ethnic or religious hate," he said.

He stressed that the police had not received any request in writing for a counter-protest, adding that they had issued a verbal reply that no counter-protest would be allowed.

Sokač said that he was satisfied with what had been said at the rally. "Most of the things that were said are true."

"Six to seven percent of the population is responsible for 70% of crimes and there is a growing number of juvenile delinquents... I hope that increasing the number of police officers will not be the only solution to the problems of the Roma minority. The speakers were right to point the finger at all institutions, including the police," said Šokac.

More news about the Roma in Croatia can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Međimurje Locals to Build Highly Demanded Porsche Components

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 15th of May, 2019, CET - Cutting Edge Technologies d.o.o. which has successfully been operating in the business incubator of the Technological Innovation Centre in Međimurje (TICM) in Čakovec for five years, has been acquired by German CETITEC GmbH and has as such become CETITEC d.o.o.

Bojan Kolmanić, a development engineer with a wealth of experience in developing software and electronic components for the automotive industry and who is also one of the co-founders of CET, began the company's business back in 2014, according to Međimurske novine.

This entrepreneurial Međimurje local has built up his successful career over in Germany where he is still working, and in Čakovec, he's gathered together a team of top engineers working on the development of communications software primarily for the German car industry. One of the motivators behind the move is the fact that software produced and developed here in Croatia is used in cars around the world.

They started TICM with a mere four people, and currently they have thirteen employees with expansion plans in the near future. The company places great emphasis on those they employ and is constantly investing in them, as they are the main foundation for further expansion and handling larger and much more demanding projects. That is why another office has been opened in Zagreb, where they want to attract even more people and thereby achieve their long-term goals.

Because their knowledge and skills are highly specific, they also make sure to invest in the development of the local community. They want to show young people that enormous potential lies in STEM areas and they want to arouse their interest in them. The company seeks to create workshops in which the technologies they are dealing with and the products they develop are presented.

The company's business success has also resulted in a Zlatna kuna (Golden kuna) nomination for its business results in 2018 in the Post Startup category. The quality of its leadership and its development team has been recognised by the CETITEC group which has since purchased CET. However, what's even more interesting is that at the same time, the majority owner of the entire CETITEC group became Germany's Porsche. So far, they have cooperated with large manufacturers, but this acquisition by Porsche is an additional confirmation of their obviously good direction.

Although part of a globally known group, CETITEC will continue to operate from the TICM incubator in Međimurje. This acquisition is proof that the results of their devoted work on automotive software development are valued globally.

In this way, the development of this type of software, which is among the most demanding components in the automotive industry, will be developed by the renowned world manufacturer Porsche by no less than Međimurje locals in TICM. They plan to continue to expand and strengthen their local team.

Make sure to follow our dedicated Made in Croatia and business pages for much more.

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.

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Međimurje Most Favourable Region for Doing Business - But Why?

Data continues to show that beautiful Međimurje County is the most developed county of continental Croatia after the City of Zagreb, the only one over 50 percent more developed than the EU average.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 12th of March, 2019, this year, Međimurje is among the winners in the category of creating a favourable entrepreneurial environment, the efficiency of the public administration, incentives and investment in infrastructure through EU funds.

The award was presented by one of the most prestigious and highly respected business media outlets in the world, the Financial Times, as part of its fDI Magazine, a publication that analyses global business activities across the world.

To briefly recall, last year, Međimurje was recognised as one of the top ten regions in the European Union. This new award was based on the analysis of the European Statistical Office (EUROSTAT), the Central Bureau of Statistics and other competent public authorities. According to the Economic Power Index, Međimurje is one of just two counties that recorded a two-place shift, and the only county in continental Croatia which GDP was higher in 2014 than it was back in 2008, resulting in GDP growth of 2.8 percent.

According to some of the measured criteria of the role of public administration, Međimurje County has, among other things, the lowest public sector expenditure in Croatia, and according to the data of the Institute of Public Administration and the European Commission (EC), it also boasts the highest grade according to the criteria for transparency of Croatian local and regional self-government units.

Furthermore, the official statistics for the second year distinguish Međimurje County as the region which invested the most in education, and the high degree of use of EU funds in creating quality health care conditions, investment in infrastructure, culture, and the protection of natural values (resources) ​​has enabled Međimurje's transition to a group of above-average developed counties compared to the average in the Republic of Croatia.

In addition to all of the above, Međimurje's economy recorded an unemployment rate of five percent, the largest amount of exports in when compared to imports, export growth of 14 percent, employment growth of five percent, total income growth of 11.8 percent, while gross profit of the economy was higher by 9.2 percent, net profit was 13.2 percent higher, which in turn increased revenues by 11.8 percent.

The efficiency of Međimurje's public administration was assessed through the speed of issuing building permits, rational budget management, the role of the regional development agency, the county energy agency and the technology innovation centre. Investment in the knowledge centre was created by creating the prerequisites for start ups by building new premises worth 12 million kuna, withdrawing EU funds for the construction of the "Metalska jezgra" research centre (32 million kuna) and the centre for competence in nechanical engineering with a total value of 50 million kuna.

The award ceremony was held in France, and the following warm words were said about Međimurje:

"The key to your success is in the synergy of public administration, the private sector and the [local] population. Međimurje County has once more, in this way and with the obtaining of a new prestigious award, justified its title and its image as the most entrepreneurial county in Croatia. All this is a result of systematic work, a clear strategy and the proactive promotion of investment opportunities. For this year's choice, fDi Magazine has analysed data on economic potential, the working environment, cost efficiency, infrastructure and positive business environment(s) in as many as 112 locations,'' said the director of fDi Magazine, adding that, at this point, the most important economic and social issue is Brexit, where the Financial Times devotes a lot of attention to the analysis of the future of the European Union after Great Britain leaves (if it ever actually does, that is).

Sarah Russis, head of fDi Intelligence and GIS Planning, emphasised the role of digitalisation as an important link to the region's economic development and planned investment.

"We're aware that investors, entrepreneurs and public administration officials are doing demanding jobs, and therefore it's important to recognise and support every innovation, result, and effort invested in creating a positive entrepreneurial environment, and the incentives that facilitate the ease of day-to-day business."

''This is award is proof of a systematic and thoughtful strategy. Our goal is to attract value-added investments that lead to better working conditions. It's important to emphasise that many existing foreign investors have decided to expand their capacities and have confirmed that Međimurje is a location for long-term business success. Key activities that Međimurje County conducts are post-investment care, attracting new investment in key sectors, a marketing strategy for attracting FDI investments to Medjimurje County, and education for small and medium entrepreneurship. The Redea institute for public development is also a kind of "one stop shop" institution that monitors entrepreneurs through all administration challenges,'' stated Darko Radanović.

"This award is, above all, a recognition to all those who create added value and contribute the most to economic results. The residents of Međimurje are productive, valuable and resourceful, entrepreneurs are struggling in very challenging business conditions, mayors are successfully attracting money from EU funds, all based on a clear vision, a quality strategy and set goals. That has to be valued and I'm glad it was recognised by magazines like the Financial Times. But we're not going to stop there, we understand this as a challenge to be even better because, after Brexit, many investments will be redirected to other EU countries and we intend to use [that opportunity]. This resettlement process [of investment] has already begun, the potential of Međimurje has been recognised, which has been proven by a reward for the second year in a row, so, I hope that Croatia will model itself on other countries and jump on the train, recognise that this is a new moment and take advantage of its chance,'' said Medjimurje County Prefect Matija Posavec.

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

Monday, 11 February 2019

Made in Croatia: Međimursko Meso 'z Tiblice

February 11, 2019 — In this article of the Made in Croatia series, learn more about meso 'z tiblice, the protected cured pork meat product from Međimurje, the northernmost part of Croatia.

Međimursko meso 'z tiblice is not only a centuries-old regional specialty but also a meat preserving method. Meso 'z tiblice is made with premium pork cuts which are first salt-cured, then either cooked or baked and lastly preserved in minced lard seasoned with bay leaves and peppercorns.

Prepared that way, the meat was traditionally stored in a wooden firkin called tiblica or lojdrica; hence the name. Coated in lard like that, the meat is left to mature in wooden firkins for at least 45 days, and that way it retains its natural juices.

Međimursko meso 'z tiblice is typically enjoyed in thick slices, and traditionally served as a cold appetizer, sided with the peppery tiblica lard spread over country-style sourdough bread.

An integral part of Croatian national cuisine, meso 'z tiblice has to this day remained the most popular gastronomic specialty in Međimurje. As of November 2017, it has been registered as the 18th Croatian food product with a Protected Geographical Indication.

If you'd like to know more about protected Croatian products, make sure you're following TCN's dedicated gourmet page.

Saturday, 5 January 2019

Međimurje Celebrating Centenary of Reintegration into Croatia

ZAGREB, January 5, 2019 - The northern Croatian county of Međimurje is holding commemorative events this week to mark the 100th anniversary of region's secession from Hungary and its reintegration into Croatia.

On 9 January 1919, an assembly of local deputies decided to secede Međimurje from Hungary and the decision was made in the presence of 10,000 people who gathered in the Franciscan Square in Čakovec on that occasion. The region joined the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes which was later called Yugoslavia. Upon the adoption of the resolution on secession, the Croatian language was introduced in schools and the public life in the area mainly populated by Croats.

On the centenary of Međimurje's reintegration into Croatia, exhibitions, concerts and other cultural events are being held in the county seat of Čakovec.

More news on the northernmost county in Croatia, located on the border with Hungary, can be found in our Lifestyle section.

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