Thursday, 6 January 2022

Milanović Sends Christmas Greetings to Orthodox Believers

ZAGREB, 6 Jan 2022 - President Zoran Milanović on Thursday sent greetings to citizens of the Orthodox faith who will celebrate Christmas on Friday and called on those in power to show more comprehension for the people, particularly in Banija, where state aid is essential after the earthquakes.

The Christmas feast day is always a call to closeness with one's loved ones and family gathering, and it is my sincere wish that you spend it in peace and joy with your loved ones, the president wrote in his note.

Christmas is an opportunity to show mutual understanding and tolerance, particularly in these difficult times for our numerous citizens who were affected by the consequences of the earthquakes, he said.

We have to show solidarity to all those who will not celebrate Christmas in their homes with their families again this year, and human goodness as the most important message of Christmas, Milanović added.

I take this opportunity once again to call on those in power for more understanding for the people, particularly in Banija, for whom state aid is essential, he said.

In the hope that we will continue to build a tolerant Croatian society in which there will be room and opportunities for everyone, and Croatian citizens will feel to be their home, to all Orthodox believers once again, Merry Christmas with the traditional greeting, God's peace, Christ is born!, Milanović's message said.

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Friday, 12 November 2021

Croatian President to Visit Holy See on Monday

ZAGREB, 12 Nov 2021 - Croatian President Zoran Milanović travels to the Vatican on Monday for an official visit, during which he will have a private audience with Pope Francis, the President's Office announced in a press release on Friday.

The President will be accompanied by his wife, Sanja Musić Milanović.

Milanović is scheduled to meet with the Secretary of State of the Holy See, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, and the Secretary for Relations with States within the Holy See's Secretariat of State, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher.

He will visit the the Pontifical Croatian College of St Jerome, where he is due to meet with the Rector, Don Marko Đurin, and Croatian students of Catholic universities in Rome.

The former Croatian President, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, met with Pope Francis in 2015 and presented him with a Croatian national football team jersey. She invited him to visit Croatia.

Pope Francis has never been to Croatia during the eight years of his pontificate.

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Thursday, 28 October 2021

President: Euro Adoption Will Have More Pluses Than Minuses for Croatia

ZAGREB, 28 Oct 2021 - President Zoran Milanović said on Wednesday that Croatia would have more benefits than disadvantages from the euro adoption and that Malta could help Zagreb with its experience in the euro area.

Malta has been in the euro area since 1 January 2008, and today when Milanović met with his Maltese counterpart George Vella, he said that he believes that country can help Croatia with its experience.

"This is a country which has been inside for a long time, it has the experience and that experience is good," said Milanović and added that the Maltese economy is "exposed to the services sector and in particular to tourism," and has several common points with Croatia's economy.

"Our economy, unfortunately, or luckily, or just as a point - is not exceptionally export-orientated. We are a service-based economy and that is one of the reasons why I think the euro would be better for Croatia than it would be worse," said Milanović.

The president underscored that introducing the euro "isn't pittance" and that "it seems we will relinquish our national currency forever."

"That is not done with an excited heart, but with a sober head."

Milanović asked Malta to support Croatia, as the youngest EU member state, and its accession to the Schengen Area and criticized the Union for "procrastination and delay."

Romania and Bulgaria have been members of the EU since 2007 and are still waiting for a green light to access that area.

The time has already ripened for them to join the Schengen Area, however, political mainstream in the largest countries simply have a problem, which I understand, and that is the problem of right-wing voters hence they need "to tread on eggs cautiously," as the saying goes, he said.

For more, check out our politics section.

Monday, 18 October 2021

Milanović and Pahor Unveil Monument to Slovenian Poet Prešern in Zagreb

ZAGREB, 18 Oct 2021 - Croatian and Slovenian Presidents, Zoran Milanović and Borut Pahor, unveiled a monument to a Slovenian poet, France Prešeren in Zagreb's Bundek Park, on Monday after they had unveiled a bust to one of the leaders of the Croatian National Revival, Ljudevit Gaj in Ljubljana earlier in the day.

The monument to Peršen is situated in Bundek Park's Alley of Poets, thus joining monuments to the Russian writers Aleksandr Pushkin and Sergei Yesenin, the Hungarian writer Mór Jókai and the father of Bulgarian literature, Ivan Minchev Vazov.

Prešern's poem Zdravljica (A Toast) is the text of the Slovenian national anthem.

Addressing the public, Milanović said that Croatian and Slovenian anthems were created during the same period and they also have in common the fact that that they are peaceful.

"What it (the Slovenian anthem) has in common with the Croatian anthem, besides being written at nearly the same time, is that it is very peaceful”, President Milanović stated at the unveiling of the bust of France Prešeren.

Milanović added that both Gaj and Prešern were "lawyers by profession, but unsuccessful ones."

"It was at the time when the national word and language, without which there is no nation, were formed, built, measured, and designed by lawyers. Today this is unthinkable. Such were the times, today we live in the time of a bureaucratized, but common European Union. A most beautiful day, this morning Gaj in Ljubljana, and this afternoon Prešeren – let us continue this way. Croatian-Slovenian relations are becoming a more and more beautiful story, and there is no reason for it not to remain as such," President Milanović said in concluding his address during the bust-unveiling ceremony at Bundek.

Pahor described Prešeren as "a key figure in Slovenian history," and that his poetry "promotes European values like good neighborly relations, coexistence and fostering differences."

He underscored that today great divisions exist in Slovenia, Europe, and the world and that in that context Zagreb and Ljubljana are capitals that are showing "Europe as their joint home" how to celebrate their own and European identities based on values that bring peace and security.

"I want this day to be a holiday of good neighborly relations, coexistence, friendship, and trust between two nations," said Pahor.

The idea for the monument to France Prešeren was initiated by Slovenia's Embassy and the Slovenian House in Zagreb whereby the Slovenian community in Croatia is celebrating 30 years of Slovenia's independence.

The City of Zagreb prepared the site for the monument and Mayor Tomislav Tomašević said today that he was happy to support the project.

"This monument is an expression of respect for and friendship with the Slovenian people," said Tomašević during the ceremony.

France Prešeren, who was born on 3 December 1800 and died on 8 February 1849, is generally acknowledged as one of the greatest Slovenian poets.

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Friday, 24 September 2021

Milanović Supports Healthier, More Sustainable, More Just Food Systems

ZAGREB, 24 Sept 2021 - Croatian President Zoran Milanović supported in the UN on Friday the establishment of healthier, more sustainable and more just food systems and progress in all sustainable development targets, with special emphasis on food security as the most important global target.

He was speaking at a virtual summit on food systems held as part of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly, with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres presiding.

The summit sets a foundation for the transformation of global food systems in order to step up recovery from COVID-19 and achieve sustainable development targets by 2030.

We are increasingly witness to the need for healthier, more sustainable and more just food systems, Milanović said, adding that Croatia supported such campaigns and intentions to achieve progress in all sustainable development targets.

Agriculture has an important role in activities related to climate and the environment, but food security remains our most important goal, he said, adding that the importance of food security was especially evident in the ongoing COVID crisis.

In Croatia we are witness to the positive effects of agricultural interaction on climate and the environment as a result of measures we undertook to protect natural resources. But in order to achieve even more ambitious climate goals, new investment is necessary, which agriculture alone cannot ensure, Milanović said.

This begs the question of how to meet the needs for producing sufficient food on the one hand, and meet the public's expectations regarding environmental protection, combating climate change, or the well-being of animals on the other, he added.

Changes which lead to sustainable and resilient food systems must be based on an integral approach, and research and innovation must support those changes, Milanović said.

Sustainable food systems begin by developing the best agricultural practices, improving food distribution systems and reducing food waste, he added.

Milanović said the challenges were many and that Croatia was especially involved in dealing with those concerning green production, food quality, and reducing food waste.

He supported the promotion of the One Health concept, saying the health of people, animals, plants and their common environment was inseparable and intertwined.

Milanović said it was necessary to intensify cooperation in all of those issues.

Croatia is ready to share with others its knowledge and experience in dealing with the challenges agriculture faces in the global world, he added.

He said he was confident the Food and Agriculture Organization and the Committee on World Food Security could make a significant contribution to achieving sustainable development targets via the transfer of knowledge and by connecting the international community.

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Thursday, 23 September 2021

Milanović Meets Representatives of Croat Expatriate Community in New York

ZAGREB, 23 Sept 2021 - During his stay in New York, where he is attending the 76th session of the UN General Assembly, Croatian President Zoran Milanović has met with representatives of the Croat expatriate business and scientific communities in New York, his office said on Thursday.

Representatives of the Croat community in New York informed Milanović of their activities in establishing connections between Croat expatriates in New York and strengthening their ties with Croatia.

They also presented proposals on how to improve that cooperation and offered their help in promoting Croatia in New York and elsewhere in the United States, expressing satisfaction with the meeting with Milanović and the respect shown them by Croatian state institutions.

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

Monday, 20 September 2021

Milanović: Croatia Very Safe Country, Has Never Been Stabler

ZAGREB, 20 Sept 2021 - In an address to members of the Croat expatriate community in New York on Sunday, Croatian President Zoran Milanović said that Croatia "is a very safe country" and that it had never been stabler as well as that it was responsible for its neighborhood staying safe as well. 

Milanović arrived in New York on Sunday to attend the 76th session of the UN General Assembly, during which he is expected to hold several bilateral meetings, including with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

On the first day of his visit, Milanović met with representatives of the Croat community at the St. Nikola Tavelić Centre, which is part of the Parish of Saints Cyril and Methodius and St. Raphael, and in his address to them, he said that he was more interested in developments in Croatia and its neighborhood than in topics to be discussed by the UN General Assembly.

"I cannot do a lot, but being President, my voice in the region is heard, analyzed, and criticized, and I will go on," Milanović said as quoted by a statement from his office.

He said that he was dissatisfied with developments in the region, describing Croatia as the most rational stakeholder.

"Fortunately, this is no longer 1990, there is no danger of a serious conflict erupting. But we must follow what is happening in our neighborhood, and people there have been behaving as if war did not happen and no lessons were learned from what happened in the 1990s."

"In all of that, Croatia and the incumbent government, I as President, and my predecessor are the calmest, most conciliatory, and most rational. We are responsible for keeping the region peaceful, safe, and for life in Croatia to stay normal and safe. Croatia is a very safe country," he said.

Despite disagreements on a daily basis, Croatia has never been stabler, Milanović said in his address.

He also again underlined the importance of Croatia making the most of the benefits of its EU membership and fighting for its own interests and repeated his position on COVID-19, calling for lifting epidemiological restrictions.

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

Friday, 17 September 2021

Milanović: Pro-European Montenegro Important as Neighbour, NATO Partner

ZAGREB, 17 Sept 2021 - Croatia will continue to support Montenegro's European path as a pro-European Montenegro is important as a neighbour and NATO partner, Croatian President Zoran Milanović said on the Brijuni archipelago on Friday, where Montenegrin President Milo Đukanović wrapped up a two-day visit to Croatia.

The two presidents exchanged information and views on Montenegro's EU accession negotiations as well as the situation in Montenegro and Southeast Europe, Milanović's office said in a press release.

Montenegro should continue to develop as a democratic, secular and pro-European state, said Đukanović.

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Friday, 17 September 2021

President Milanović to Attend 76th Session of UN General Assembly

ZAGREB, 17 Sept 2021 - President Zoran Milanović will fly to USA on Sunday to attend the 76th UN General Assembly in New York next week, the Office of the Croatian President said in a press release on Friday.

The 76th General Assembly of the World Organization starts on Tuesday, 21 September, and the Croatian head of state will address the General Debate on that day.

Milanović will also participate in the high-level meeting called "Transformative Action for Nature and People" on Wednesday.

During his stay in New York he is expected to meet UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

He will visit the local Croatian expat community and hold a lecture at Columbia University.

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Thursday, 16 September 2021

Croatian President Expresses Support to Modern, Civic and Open Montenegro

ZAGREB, 16 Sept 2021 - Croatian President Zoran Milanović on Thursday received his Montenegrin counterpart Milo Đukanović and after the meeting, Milanović told the press that he supported the modern, civic and open Montenegro.

Commenting on the rising political and ethnic tensions triggered off by the recent inauguration of a Serbian Orthodox Church bishop in the Montenegrin city of Cetinje, Milanović said that the Montenegrin head of state was expected to pay a reciprocal visit to Zagreb anyway, however, "the latest developments in Montenegro have accelerated it to happen." 

Đukanović's visit ensued the day after the opposition parties, led by Đukanović's Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) demanded that a transitional government should be set up which would be tasked with calling early parliamentary elections.

Those Opposition parties brand the cabinet led by Prime Minister Zdravko Krivokapić marionettes who promote anti-Montenegro interests.  They also describe the recent enthronement of Serb orthodox bishop Joanikije as "a Great Serbian offensive".

Milanović told the press conference in Zagreb that Đukanović's visit was an opportunity to extend support to "the modern, civic and open Montenegro".

He went on to say that Croatia's relations with Montenegro are good and commented that the relations had oscillations, however all that has been settled.

Milanović went on to say that Montenegro, Albania, and North Macedonia deserved preferential treatment on their journey towards the European Union.

My duty is to attract the attention of those in the EU who cannot see that to this fact, he added.

The Montenegrin president arrived in Zagreb on his first official visit abroad since the situation in his country has worsened with the 5 September enthronement of Joanikije in Cetinje.

Montenegrins perceive the ceremony held in the Montenegrin historical capital city as yet another attempt of Great Serbia advocates to exert their influence in Montenegro and negate the Montenegrin identity.

The current PM Krivokapić is believed to have risen to prominence during a series of protests in reaction to a law on religion in late 2019. Those protests were led by senior members of the Serbian Orthodox Church.

The original law proposed by Đukanović's DPS passed in late December 2019 — dubbed the 'Law on Religious Freedoms' — pledged to return all property granted to the Serb Orthodox Church after 1918, unless they had proof of ownership prior to that year. However, in the last elections, Krivokapić, supported by the Serbian Orthodox Church, managed to defeat Đukanović's party that was in power for 30 years.

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

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