Friday, 27 May 2022

Montenegrin And Croatian Fms Push For Resolving Open Issues As Good Neighbours

ZAGREB, 27 May 2022 - Croatia wants to continue developing good neighbourly relations with Montenegro, help it on its journey to the EU as well as discuss outstanding issues in the spirit of good neighbourly relations, Croatia's Foreign Minister said after meeting his Montenegrin host in Cetinje on Friday.

Underscoring that this was his third visit to Montenegro in a short period, Croatia's minister of foreign and European affairs, Gordan Grlić Radman, said Montenegro could continue counting on Zagreb's support on its path to full membership in the EU.

However, he underscored that it is important to open dialogue and address outstanding issues between the two countries.

"I believe that issues need to be resolved in the spirit of mutual respect and good neighbourly relations and within the framework of international law. That implies the resolution of the fate of missing persons, prosecuting war crimes and the rights of war victims," said Grlić Radman after the talks with Montenegro's Ranko Krivokapić.

Grlić Radman added that that also involves the problem of border demarcation and the ownership of the Jadran training ship which is now in the hands of the Montenegrin navy.

The two ministers discussed changing the name of the winter swimming pool in Kotor which was renamed last year after water polo player Zoran Džimi Gopčević, who was a guard of the infamous Morinj war camp which led to Croatia sending a protest note to the then government in Montenegro.

Grlić Radman said that he hoped an agreement would be reached for the long term lease of premises in Donja Lastva near Tivat by the Croat minority.

The two officials also discussed an initiative to erect a monumental plaque as a sign of respect to a Montenegrin JNA general, Vladimir Barović, who committed suicide on Vis Island during the JNA aggression against Croatia because he refused an order to bomb Croatian coastal towns.

"Barović showed humanity in a way that decent and fair people do, people who do not wish to cause damage to a nation that did not do any harm to his compatriots," said Grlić Radman.

He further underscored Croatia's support for the Croat minority in Montenegro and to its organisations: the Croatian National Council and Croatian Civil Initiative. He welcomed a decision by the new Montenegrin government to appoint a Croat - Adrian Vuksanović - as a minister in the government.

Krivokapić thanked Croatia for its support to Montenegro in efforts to fulfill the EU accession criteria.

"Croatia has given us unreserved support in that area with the wish to resolve some outstanding issues as soon as possible. Fostering historical remembrance, repentance and reconciliation on the examples of Morinj, Dubrovnik and some other issues, we are building a new trust, showing our readiness to apologise and take responsibility for all the mistakes, primarily by Montenegro," Krivokapić said.

The two officials agreed that the current geopolitical situation has opened the door to the EU for new members and that Montenegro needs to fulfill all the membership benchmarks as soon as possible and start closing negotiation chapters.

After the meeting, Grlić Radman and Krivokapić laid wreaths at a monument marking the Christmas uprising of 104 years ago and Montenegro's struggle for independence.

For more, check out our politics section.

Sunday, 27 February 2022

Croatian MEP Karlo Ressler Pays Visit to Boka Croats in Montenegro

February the 27th, 2022 - Croatian MEP Karlo Ressler (HDZ) has paid a visit to the ethnic Croats of neighbouring Montenegro, often referred to as the Boka Croats from the well known Boka Bay.

As Morski writes, Croatian MEP Karlo Ressler recently paid a two-day working visit to neighbouring Montenegro in the south, more precisely to the towns of Kotor and Tivat at the invitation of the Croatian Citizens' Initiative (HGI), which this year marks its twentieth anniversary.

Karlo Ressler met with the President of the Croatian Citizens' Initiative Adrijan Vuksanovic and the President of the Croatian National Council of Montenegro Zvonimir Dekovic, with whom he discussed the history and current position of ethnic Croats living in Montenegro. When spending time in the beautiful coastal town of Kotor, he met with the Consul General of the Republic of Croatia in Kotor, Jasminka Loncarevic, after which he visited the Cathedral of St. Tryphon, the historic cathedral of the Catholic Church in Kotor.

Croatian MEP Karlo Ressler also opened this year's celebration of the founding of the Croatian Citizens' Initiative with a lecture at the Josip Markovic Cultural Centre in Donja Lastva, presenting his work in the European Parliament (EP). On that occasion, he supported the protest note of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, which expressed concern over the request of the Municipality of Tivat that the institutions of the Croatian community be moved out of the House of Culture there.

''In the beautiful Bay of Kotor with our people, the culture and history of Boka are inconceivable without the Boka Croats, who have lived here for centuries, enriching this area and preserving our Croatian identity. We're closely following the current events across Montenegro and Croatia will at all times will support them and Montenegro's European commitment,'' Croatian MEP Karlo Ressler said during his visit to the country which numbers less than one million inhabitants.

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

Tuesday, 7 December 2021

Istrian Winemaker Ivan Damjanic Strengthening Position on Montenegrin Market

December the 7th, 2021 - The very well known Istrian winemaker Ivan Damjanic is set to strengthen his position on the neighbouring Montenegrin market.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marta Duic writes, back in mid-November, Istrian winemaker Ivan Damjanic travelled south down to Montenegro as part of the project "Wine Envelope and Measures" which is the promotion of wine in third country markets to acquaint consumers there with their labels.

It's worth mentioning that promotion on the markets of third countries refers to wines with a protected designation of origin, geographical origin and wines with an indication of the grapevine variety produced in Croatia.

Istrian winemaker Ivan Damjanic held four eno-gastro presentations, which included the pairing of various dishes and his wines, and the list of restaurants that hosted Damjanic included Conte in Perast, Cattaro in Kotor and Podgorica's Restaurant 100 manira i Hemera.

The audience included renowned wine connoisseurs, sommeliers, caterers, hoteliers, bloggers, journalists and other wine lovers. While some of the wines, such as Damjanic's Malvazija, are already fairly well known to the Montenegrin audience, some labels of this popular Croatian winery have yet to find a place on that particular market.

The audience thus tasted labels such as Borgonja, Dura Istriana, Clemene blanca, Clemente and Suncerus, which will soon be on the shelves of Montenegrin wine shops. By the way, the winery or perhaps better to say the Damjanic family farm has existed since back in 2004, and their vineyards currently cover 10.5 hectares.

The last investment was in the reconstruction of the vineyard and equipping the winery, also as part of the wine envelope.

"Before the coronavirus pandemic struck, we exported about 25 percent of our production to Montenegro, the United States, Germany, Austria and Poland. This has slowed down a bit at the moment, but the Canadian market has opened up for us in the last two years.

We currently have eleven labels and the most sought after are Malvazija, Borgonja, Clemente and Clemente blanc. We cooperate with many people in the catering industry and hoteliers throughout Croatia, and guests from all over the world come to our tasting room. Most of them are from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Italy,'' Istrian winemaker Ivan Damjanic said.

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

Tuesday, 7 September 2021

Former Officials From Ex-Yugoslav Countries Issue Appeal to EU, NATO Over Montenegro

ZAGREB, 7 Sept, 2021 - Former office-holders from the area of the former Yugoslavia on Monday evening sent a letter to EU and NATO leaders, expressing concern about the situation in Montenegro and calling on them to join in active political dialogue and help resolve the crisis in that country peacefully.

"One more place of conflict and crisis in Europe is the last thing Europe and the world need right now. We therefore call on EU institutions and other allies to join in active political dialogue with the different political and social stakeholders in the current crisis in Montenegro and help them arrive at a peaceful solution to the escalating conflict in the country," the letter of appeal reads.

Signatories to the letter, including Croatia's former foreign minister Vesna Pusić, former Serbian prime minister Žarko Korać, and former Bosnia and Herzegovina prime minister Zlatko Lagumdžija, said that the recent events surrounding the enthronement of the new leader of the Serb Orthodox Church in Montenegro were only superficially related to religious issues but in reality "have nothing to do with religion, and not even with politics or ideology."

"They are yet another manifestation of a conflict between forces that believe that Montenegro should not exist as a separate state and those who believe that Montenegro should stay independent, with all attributes of statehood," the letter reads.

"Since we have all witnessed the Balkan wars of the 1990s, we cannot help but notice alarming similarities between the current developments in Montenegro and those that led to the wars of 25-30 years ago," the signatories to the letter said, noting that Montenegro was not a country with a large population but that strategically it was very important for the stability of Southeast Europe.

Riots erupted in Montenegro on Sunday during the inauguration of the Serb Orthodox Church Metropolitan of Montenegro, Joanikije, with those whose opposed the ceremony being held in Cetinje putting up barricades on roads leading to the Montenegrin capital of Podgorica and clashing with police.

Metropolitan Joanikije and the head of the Serb Orthodox Church (SPC), Patriarch Porfirije, were taken to Cetinje aboard a police helicopter and the religious ceremony of Joanikije's inauguration was held there.

The protesters interpreted the SPC's insistence on holding the ceremony in the Montenegrin historical capital of Cetinje as an act of provocation and humiliation of Montenegrins, asking that it be moved to some other Serb Orthodox shrine in Montenegro.

Thirty police officers and protesters were injured in the clashes and police used tear gas and stun guns during Sunday's riots.

PM: Those who violated the law will be held to account

Montenegro has demonstrated stability and it has shown that the policy of peace is the most important to its citizens, Prime Minister Zdravko Krivokapić has said, noting that those who have violated the law in the latest events will be held to account.

The enthronement of the head of the Serb Orthodox Church in Montenegro was an important moment that some tried to use to destabilise Montenegro but their attempt failed, said Krivokapić.

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

Thursday, 19 August 2021

Croatia Condemns Decision to Name Pool After Morinj Detention Camp Guard

ZAGREB, 19 Aug, 2021 - The Croatian Foreign and European Affairs Ministry on Wednesday condemned the decision of the Kotor City Assembly to name a public indoor swimming pool "Zoran Džimi Gopčević", after a guard from the notorious 1991 Morinj detention camp who was also one of Montenegro's best water polo players of all time.

"It is utterly unacceptable to have a public facility named after a guard of the notorious 1991 Morinj prison camp. Such a decision is not in the spirit of good neighbourly relations we are building with Montenegro and will most definitely have consequences for our future relations," the ministry said in a press release.

The ministry expressed hope the new Montenegrin authorities would "realise that such decisions are not the right path for Montenegro's European prospects."

Zoran Gopčevič was one of Montenegro's best water polo players. As a member of Yugoslavia's water polo team he won a silver medal at the 1980 Summer Olympics. However, in the 1990s he was the commander of the Morinj prison guard. 

The Morinj camp was a detention facility near Kotor, Montenegro where Croatian prisoners of war and civilians were kept by Montenegrin authorities in the Yugoslav People's Army during the Croatian War of Independence.

The public indoor pool in Kotor has so far carried the name of Nikša Bućin, antifascist fighter killed in 1994 in a battle against Chetniks.

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

 

Tuesday, 25 May 2021

Montenegrin Health Minister Jelena Borovinić Bojović Thanks Croatia For Vaccine Donation

ZAGREB, 25 May, 2021 - Montenegrin Health Minister Jelena Borovinić Bojović said in Zagreb on Tuesday that Croatia's donation of 10,000 vaccine doses was significant for Montenegro's efforts to inoculate its population against COVID-19.

In early May the Croatian government decided to donate 30,000 doses of coronavirus vaccines to Bosnia and Herzegovina and 10,000 doses each to Montenegro and Kosovo.

After meeting with her Croatian counterpart Vili Beroš, Borovinić Bojović thanked Croatia for that "big friendly gesture and great solidarity."

The donation of 10,000 doses will be "very significant in the process of mass inoculation that is currently underway in Montenegro," she said.

Croatia's Health Minister Vili Beroš underscored that Croatia's care for its neighbouring countries.

"I hope that we will contribute at least a little in the fight against this disease," said Beroš.

The two ministers discussed cooperation in the transplantation programme with Borovinić Bojović underscoring that Croatia has "shown especially good will to help us in resolving that problem."

She added that they discussed the signing of a memorandum of understanding that would enable Montenegrin doctors to come to Croatia for further training regarding transplantation surgeries.

The Croatian transplantation programme has been recognised beyond the borders of our country, said Beroš.

He underscored Croatia was willing to help Montenegro in that regard.

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

Wednesday, 12 May 2021

Identity of Boka Kotorska Croatians - Scientific Conference by Ivo Pilar Social Research Institute

May 12, 2021 - Earlier in May, Boka Kotorska, in the town of Tivat in Montenegro, was the host of the scientific conference "Identity of Boka Kotorska Croatians" which will introduce changes in Croatian education.

Croatia has a big diaspora, no secrets there, but its worldwide spread makes you miss the region.

In Boka Kotorska, in Montenegro, Croatia's first neighbor on the southern border after Dubrovnik, not only is there a huge population of Croatians, but they also have a significant cultural impact on the area. So significant it even calls for social science to step in.

As Ivo Pilar Social Research Institute reported on its website, May 6 to 9 saw the conference “Identity of Boka Kotorska Croatians“. The three-day conference gathered crucial scientific institutes in Croatia to the town of Tivat in the Bay of Croatian Saints. Headed with Ivo Pilar Social Research Institute, Croatian Catholic University, Croatian Studies Faculty, Institute of Croatian Language and Linguistics as well as Institute for Historical Sciences in Zadar attended the conference while Croatian ministries of European, and Foreign Affairs, Science and Education, Culture, and Media, as well as Croatian Central State Office for Croatians Outside of the Republic of Croatia, founded the event.

„The scientific conference went well as well as signing conclusions with recommendations that that knowledge on Bokelj Croatians we learned on this conference enter the Croatian national curriculum in important subjects. These conclusions are the crown of our efforts to launch this conference in public, not just in an academical way, but to massively popularize to ensure long-term benefits for Bokelj Croatians as for every educated citizen of Croatia and Montenegro“, said Dr. Željko Holjevac, head of the Ivo Pilar Social Research Institute.

Conference conclusions suggest additions to the curriculum documents on key definitions of Croatian National Identity to make space for Croatians outside Croatia, including Boka Kotorska Croatians. Identity features and creativity of Bokelj Croatians in Croatian education, and the book „Boka Kotorska - the Bay of the Saints and Croatian Culture“, by Vanda Babić to be the mandatory literature for tourist guides in Montenegro.
Final meetings at the conference, as well as sailing with a „Katica“ ship through Boka Kotorska Bay, Saw the participation of Boris Bastijančić, the advisor and representative of the Montenegro president and representer of Croatian parliament and MP, Zdravka Bušić, and others.

„I'm glad to be at this scientific conference, and I want to thank everyone's effort for something like this to happen in Boka Kotorska. I would especially like to thank students that took part in this and gave their part as young people who love the truth of Boka, the place of saints. This is a message that we too need to do something to mark this time with love, hope, and faith“, said the Kotorska bishop, mons. Ivan Štironja.

Some Croatians live outside of Croatia, but maybe you would want to live in Croatia. Learn more about living in Croatia on our TC page

For more about the Croatian Diaspora, follow TCN's dedicated page.

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