Thursday, 2 December 2021

Croatian Galeb Company Impresses NATO for Second Time

December the 2nd, 2021 - The Croatian Galeb company has impressed no less than NATO for the second time around. They're now on their very own export offensive of sorts.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Suzana Varosanec writes, the business of the Omis-based Galeb, since 1951, when several hundred workers worked with the machines of the time boiling and intertwining the first cotton threads, all the way to today's company with more than 340 workers, a common denominator has remained present - success.

The Croatian Galeb company is interesting as it is currently the only vertically integrated manufacturer of knitted products in all of Croatia, it's also a strong, large enterprise and exporter with a prominent position and results in the Croatian textile industry. It also stands out because of its strategic focus on development and innovation.

In addition to all of the above, despite the strengthening of competition for imported products, the Croatian Galeb company has successfully maintained the entire production process and distribution in Croatia, through its own retail and wholesale network in Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In addition, they're in a new development phase with the aim of rejuvenating their well known brand, in order to increase the share of customers from the young population while retaining their existing loyal customers. That includes, they say, their so-called ''export offensive''. The business of this important component of the Tekstilpromet Group is managed by director Josip Aracic.

''Our complete production process "from the yarn to the finished products" takes place in Omis - the production of knitwear, chemical finishing, design, tailoring, sewing and packaging, and with more than 340 employees, today we're the only vertically integrated manufacturer of knitted products in Croatia, which continuously invests in the latest technological breakthroughs. This occurs in all phases of textile production, as well as in the expertise and knowledge of our employees, whose craft and skill we're proud of,'' said Aracic, adding that all of Galeb's products have been tested with a very precise method and they have the Oeko-Tex 100 certificate to their name, too.

This is confirmed once a year through testing at a German licensed institute. Thus, for their 100 percent ''healthy'' products, in the year in which they celebrate their 70th birthday, in the midst of a global pandemic, they have concluded new, extremely significant deals. They are especially looking forward to the new job they just got for NATO.

This is otherwise the Croatian Galeb company's second contract for the delivery of goods to NATO, which is obviously an additional indicator of their quality and competitiveness.

"We believe that getting a new job for NATO is a great reference that will be used in Galeb's business. It's a demanding procedure with a number of specifics, among other things because it isn't known for whom exactly the items are being procured and that a very large number of bidders were invited to compete with their bids, so we got the job amid strong international competition,'' said Aracic of the deal.

The new job for NATO in the segment is functional underwear, within the framework of a signed three-year contract with the possibility of an extension. This definitely sets the Omis company apart from the rest of the textile industry as it is the only one that has managed to meet NATO's incredibly high tender standards twice during Croatian independence.

With many years of experience and cooperation in equipping the military industry in the Republic of Croatia and abroad under their belts, they have achieved exceptional business references and, according to Aracic, they're very much ready for new challenges and further growth with constant innovation.

For more, check out Made in Croatia.

Thursday, 18 November 2021

Respects Paid to Vukovar and Škabrnja Victims at NATO Headquarters in Brussels

ZAGREB, 18 Nov 2021- Respects were paid to Vukovar and Škabrnja victims at NATO headquarters in Brussels, and that gesture sends a strong message that the truth about the events of Croatia's Homeland War has crossed Croatian borders, said Defence Minister Mario Banožić, the Ministry of Defence reported on Thursday.

On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the fall of Vukovar, Remembrance Day for Homeland War Victims, and Vukovar and Škabrnja Remembrance Day, the Croatian flag was flown at half-mast to commemorate all Vukovar and Škabrnja victims.

Minister Banožić said that the gesture sent a strong message that the truth about the events of the Homeland War had crossed the borders of our country, which was an additional motive for continuing to promote the truth about the Homeland War, especially among young people.

"Today we are reminded of the importance of collective security and how much easier it would have been for us to oppose threats to our territorial integrity during the Homeland War if we had been a member of NATO then. Today, the Republic of Croatia and the Croatia Armed Forces are appreciated among their allies and partners, which show how much we have done in the past 30 years and that with will, effort and perseverance there are no impossible goals," said Defence Minister Mario Banožić.

He underscored that Croatia was a responsible ally that contributed to international missions, global peace, and security, the ministry said.

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

 

Tuesday, 28 September 2021

Joint Statement by A5 Members: Cooperation in Region to Strengthen Security

ZAGREB, 28 Sept, 2021 - The chiefs of staff of the member states of the US-Adriatic Charter (A5) signed a joint statement at a conference near Split on Tuesday in which they advocate strengthening cooperation between countries in Southeast Europe for the sake of common security.

The statement was also signed by U.S. European Command (EUCOM) Deputy Commander Lieutenant General Michael L. Howard.

The conference, held in Podstrana outside Split, was organised by Croatia's Armed Forces Chief of Staff, Admiral Robert Hranj.

Apart from Croatian participants, also participating in the conference were the chiefs of staff of the US-Adriatic Charter countries Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia and the United States, representatives of the observer countries Kosovo and Slovenia, and the commanders of the national guards of the partner US federal states, the Defence Ministry said in a press release.

"Since its establishment, the Charter has confirmed to be an important mechanism to strengthen regional cooperation and to assist countries in Southeast Europe on their journey to Euro-Atlantic, political, economic, security and defence institutions," the statement notes.

The A5 Charter is a regional security-defence initiative that was established in 2003 in an effort to assist member countries in accessing Euro-Atlantic associations.

"The point of the joint statement is that the US-Adriatic Charter is directed towards cooperation between countries in the region and our joint priority is to be secure," Admiral Hranj said.

"It is important that the United States is helping us through various mechanisms and one of those is cooperation with EUCOM," underscored Hranj, adding that that includes cooperation with the National Guard given that each of the A5 members has a partner in one of the US National Guards.

Croatia is the current chair of the US-Adriatic Charter and next year Montenegro will take over presidency of the initiative.

Montenegro's representatives informed us of their plans regarding US-Adriatic Charter presidency and I believe that Montenegro will successfully conduct its chairmanship, said Hranj.

Two large military exercises are planned for 2023 and the idea is to have all A5 member states participate with the assistance of U.S. forces, concluded Hranj.

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

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.

Tuesday, 17 August 2021

Možemo! Party: Croatia Should Secure Int'l Protection For Afghan Refugees

ZAGREB, 17 Aug, 2021 - The Možemo! political party said on Tuesday that Croatia should secure the evacuation of its citizens and support the international protection for refugees from Afghanistan, as should all NATO member states who have deployed their military forces in that Asian country.

"Given that it was militarily present in Afghanistan, a share of the responsibility lays on our country as well. But regardless, now we cannot turn our backs to all those citizens of Afghanistan who have tried to build Afghanistan as a democracy," this left-wing Opposition party writes on its Facebook wall.

The  party insists the least Croatia can do right now is secure the evacuation of Croatian citizens from Afghanistan and international protection for Afghan refugees, as should all NATO members states who have been sending their forces to Afghanistan, but also other countries willing to help people seeking international protection.

The party recalls that nearly 20 years ago, Western allies decided to launch a military intervention in Afghanistan to destroy the Al-Queda terrorist network and bring democracy to that country. After that, military interventions followed in Iraq, Libya, Syria, "often with suspicious motives and false evidence",  the We Can says.

"All these interventions have failed -- they have brought more problems than they have solved. Many human lives were lost, many families have been displaced, societies and cultural heritage ruined, economies devastated." the platform said.

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

 

Saturday, 31 July 2021

US Sixth Fleet Command Ship Visits Split

ZAGREB, 31 July 2021, 2021 - The command ship of the United States Sixth Fleet, USS Mount Whitney, is visiting the southern Croatian Adriatic city of Split, and its commander said on Saturday that the US-Croatian partnership on land and at sea is crucial for the military cooperation and common security of the two countries. 

The US vessel arrived on Friday and visited the Split shipyard, while reporters were invited to visit the ship on Saturday.

US Chargé d'Affaires Mark Fleming said they were glad to be in Split and that the defence cooperation between the United States and Croatia was the corner stone of their bilateral relations.

Over the last 10 years, US military aid to Croatia has reached nearly HRK 4.5 billion, which is more than $700 million, for training, equipment, infrastructure building and specialised military training, Fleming said. Since Croatia joined NATO 12 years ago, US and Croatian personnel have served together from Afghanistan to Iraq to Kosovo. The US-Croatian partnership on land and at sea is crucial for the military cooperation and common security of our two countries, he added.

US naval ships often stop in Croatia for maintenance and mutual security operations. The northern port of Rijeka has been the centre of US-Croatian cooperation since 2011, benefiting from contracts with the US Navy worth nearly HRK 900 million. This year three US naval ships have been berthed in the Kraljevica shipyard for regular maintenance.

In April, US Navy EOD (explosive ordnance disposal) divers held a training course on humanitarian mine clearance for Croatian Navy personnel and launched a project to develop an EOD training facility for the Croatian Navy.

Vice Admiral Gene Black, Commander of the US Sixth Fleet, said that Croatia stands as an important NATO ally, facilitating the maintenance of US Navy forward deployed ships.  

Croatian shipyards are world class, and mine action capabilities ensure a continued maritime presence and security in the whole region, Black said.

Dave Pollard, Commander of USS Mount Whitney, said that the US-Croatian military cooperation and sharing the same values brings stability and prosperity to this region.

After the visit, USS Mount Whitney will begin a two-week scenario-driven integrated exercise that will provide high-end training at sea and ashore against a challenging adversary force.

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

For more about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Tuesday, 27 July 2021

Croatian President Zoran Milanović Meets With EU Military Committee Chairman

ZAGREB, 27 July, 2021 - Croatian President and Armed Forces Commander in Chief Zoran Milanović met on Tuesday with General Claudio Graziano, the Chairman of the European Union Military Committee, the President's Office said in a press release.

Graziano thanked Milanović for the participation of the Croatian Armed Forces in EU-led missions and operations.

They talked about the Strategic Compass document which is expected to give the EU clear security and defence guidelines in the coming period.

The talks also focused on battle groups, operations and missions led by the EU, cooperation between the EU and NATO, and the development of the Union's defence and security capabilities, the press release said.

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

Saturday, 24 July 2021

Is Former President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic in Line for Top NATO Job?

July the 24th, 2021 - Former President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic might well be being checked out for a top NATO position amid speculation that has become more serious of late.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Politico portal, which is read worldwide, announced that for the very first time in the 72-year history of this international military organisatio, NATO, Jens Stoltenberg is looking for a successor, preferably from Eastern Europe.

It has been noted that Croatia's former President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic has an ''impressive biography'', leading this particular story to firmly outgrow the realms of mere speculation and begin to be seriously discussed among those close to the profession and the rest of the public.

Back during the 2015 Croatian presidential campaign, the then HDZ candidate didn't want to reveal what her salary was as an assistant working at NATO.

"I still follow the instructions given to me by NATO, which oblige me as a former NATO employee to make sure this data isn't to be disclosed to the public, and the salary is much less than twenty thousand euros," said former President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic at the confrontation at which the matter was discused with Ivo Josipovic (SDP), who claimed that salaries in NATO aren't actually kept as some sort of big secret.

Then, in late 2016, there was speculation that former British Prime Minister David Cameron potentially becoming NATO's new secretary general, and the British publication The Independent reported that the salary for the post was £220,000 a year (which is around 21,000 euros or 160,000 kuna a month). According to the document from the beginning of 2020, the highest monthly salary paid out to a NATO employee stood at 23,646 euros or 178,000 kuna, according to a report from tportal.

Fast forward to November 2020, NATO asked its members for more money in order to further increase the salaries of its employees, in accordance with the agreed methodology, which some allies refused, considering it inappropriate at the time of the very height of the coronavirus pandemic.

For more, follow our dedicated politics section.

Tuesday, 15 June 2021

President Zoran Milanović: Reference to Dayton Was Opposed by Germany, Italy And Other States

ZAGREB, 15 June, 2021 - President Zoran Milanović said on Tuesday that the reference to the Dayton agreement in NATO's communique adopted on Monday had been opposed by Germany, Italy and some other Western countries, and added that possible changes in Bosnia and Herzegovina must not happen without Croatia and Serbia.

Milanović made the statement in Slovakia, where he participated in the GLOBSEC 2021 Forum and met with Slovakian President Zuzana Čaputová and Polish President Andrzej Duda.

He discussed with them the NATO summit held in Brussels on Monday, at which Croatia, Milanović said, managed to have a reference to the Dayton peace agreement (General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina) incorporated in the summit's closing declaration only after insisting on it for six days.

"That should not have happened, that should have been resolved a week ago. Somebody is against it, has a problem with the Dayton agreement and wants to dismantle it," Milanović said, adding that at the same time those countries were criticising the Serb BiH Presidency member Milorad Dodik for violating the Dayton agreement.

"Something is not right about that way of thinking," he said.

Milanović noted that a number of countries - Germany, Italy and some other Western countries - had been opposed to mentioning the Dayton peace agreement in the communique.

"Western Europe - and I'm not talking about the leaders, definitely not about Angela Merkel, is acting foolishly, undermining one of the foundations of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which, regardless of how imperfect it may be, protects it against destabilisation," he said.

Criticism of German diplomacy

Milanović went on to say that talks on the communique had not been conducted by the German chancellor but by the German foreign ministry which, he said, was headed by a political camp different from Merkel's and one he felt close to, "namely by people who in their fantasy are prone to making silly experiments."

The current German foreign minister is Heiko Maas, a member of the Social Democrats who are part of the coalition government with Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU).

Some Western European countries advocate a so-called civic model for Bosnia and Herzegovina to replace the concept of three constituent peoples envisaged by the Dayton peace agreement. Commenting on that on Monday, Milanović said that "it sounds very noble but is actually a hoax."

"They should do it back at home. Bosnia and Herzegovina is as it is, we share a long border and we will soon have to guard it for the Schengen area," he said.

Milanović stressed that plans for Bosnia and Herzegovina could not be made "under the radar" and that any changes in the neighbouring country had to involve Croatia and Serbia, co-signatories to the Dayton agreement, adding that he had explained this to his Slovakian and Polish counterparts.

"That is how things are done in diplomacy, as far as I can remember. I used to be a diplomat and I never caused a scandal. Then I entered politics and in politics you have to cause scandals to be heard," he said.

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

Sunday, 13 June 2021

Croatia About to Come into Conflict with NATO, Says Komšić

ZAGREB, 13 June, 2021 - Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) Presidency member Željko Komšić said on Sunday Croatia was about to come into conflict with NATO after President Zoran Milanović said that he would not accept a NATO closing declaration if it failed to mention the Dayton agreement and BiH's three constituent peoples.

"Croatia is coming into conflict with NATO because it insists on the obsolete concept of constituent peoples," Komšić, who is the Croat member of the tripartite BiH Presidency, was quoted by the BiH Presidency as saying.

Komšić believes that Croatia does not have the power to block the principles of the declaration to be adopted at the end of a NATO summit to be held in Brussels on Monday.

"A country like Croatia can hardly prevent what is in NATO's interest, and it can even less do so by advocating what is contrary to NATO and EU standards," he added.

The European Court of Human Rights rulings regarding election reforms in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the country's national programme of reforms, sent to NATO, prefer the quality of all citizens, Komšić said.

"NATO should now decide if it cares more about its standards and interests or the anti-NATO and anti-European standards of Croatian officials," Komšić said.

Croat parties in Bosnia and Herzegovina contest Komšić's legitimacy as the Croat member of the country's three-member presidency, claiming that he was elected predominantly by Bosniak voters.

The leaders of NATO's 30 member-states, including President Milanović, will gather in Brussels on Monday for a summit at which decisions on the alliance's reforms in the period until 2030 are expected to be made.

Milanović has said that he will not consent to the summit's closing declaration if it failed to mention the Dayton agreement, which put an end to the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1995, and its three constituent peoples.

"I do not intend to return to Zagreb with that. It shows what kind of plans for Bosnia and Herzegovina some international circles have and Croatia will not agree to that," Milanović said.

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

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