Wednesday, 6 October 2021

President Zoran Milanović Supports Ruling Majority's Decision on Supreme Court President

ZAGREB, 6 Oct, 2021 - President Zoran Milanović said on Wednesday he supported the announcement that the parliamentary majority will select Radovan Dobronić, his candidate, for Supreme Court president, adding that they could have done this last spring.

Speaking to the press, he said they could have done that "last spring at least" instead of "haggling" over it for seven months as it was clear that he would not recommend any current Supreme Court member for that position.

Appointment of new ambassadors "dramatically late"

He denied that it had anything to do with agreeing on new ambassadors, saying their appointment, "which is important, is dramatically late. I don't know why. We started talking and then it stopped at the will of the (foreign) minister. I hope he will get in touch now."

The president said he had not noticed that it was a question of bargaining and wondered "what's the point of this splitting of hairs" since they must reach an agreement eventually.

Initial conflict of interest law imposed from Brussels

Asked to comment on Reformists leader Radimir Čačić's statement that a new conflict of interest law would give the Conflict of Interest Commission deep access to Tax Administration data, Milanović said the initial law from 2011, adopted as part of the negotiations on EU accession, was completely imposed from Brussels.

He said Brussels "experimented" on Croatia, which had to adopt a model that was "not good."

"It's used for political manipulation," he said, adding that some of the Commission's past members "were brought to that Commission as so-called experts and became politicians from the bushes. Undercover politicians one minute, and later politicians. That's unfair."

He said the system in which MPs were overseeing conflict of interest through peer control was not perfect but was more correct.

Nobody has the right to check people's accounts, only courts

The president said nobody had the right to check people's accounts unless it was done under the Criminal Procedure Act. "No commission, nobody. No commissaries, police officers, solely the courts.

Tuesday, 5 October 2021

Through Pandemics and Earthquakes: World Teachers' Day in Croatia Honors Educators

October 5, 2021 - Commemorating World Teachers' Day in Croatia is another indicator that the country is following global trends. Despite expressed sympathy for teachers, the problems in the Croatian education system are yet to be solved.

World Teachers’ Day is held annually on 5 October to celebrate all teachers around the globe. It commemorates the anniversary of adopting the 1966 ILO/UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers, which sets benchmarks regarding the rights and responsibilities of teachers and standards for their initial preparation and further education, recruitment, employment, and teaching and learning conditions – says the official UNESCO website. 

Croatia is no exception in honoring the people who teach the youngest generations in the country in the hope they grow into good and educated people that will make Croatia a better place. 

Despite being established on February 2, 2006, under the name of The Faculty of Teacher Education, this institution, part of the University of Zagreb, has a much richer history of educating teachers that began with the first Teacher Training School in Zagreb in 1849. Thus, the oldest instance of Croatian formal teachers' education was followed by Petrinja (1862) and Čakovec (1879).

„The Faculty of Teacher Education, in addition to its constituent units - chairs, centers, institutes, library, and gallery, has three academic departments: Department of Teacher Education Studies, Department of Preschool Education Studies, and Department of Educational Studies. With the resolution of the University Senate of the University of Zagreb dating February 13, 2007, the Four-year Teachers’ College in Čakovec and the Four-year Teachers’ College in Petrinja merged with the Faculty of Teacher Education at first as branches and then as departments of the Faculty of Teacher Education. As such, they have developed for the purposes of organizing implementing the program of study away from the Central location of the Faculty of Teacher Education. Both departments carry out the work and operations under the name of the Faculty of Teacher Education and their own name," says the official website of the faculty.

As it suits a high educational facility for the teachers' field, the Faculty of Teacher Education commemorated the event on Tuesday and appropriately celebrated their professional holiday.

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković congratulated World Teachers' Day on Twitter. He expressed gratitude for teachers doing their job during the pandemic and earthquake

„There is no greater task than raising, educating, and shaping the youth which is the future“, wrote Plenković by Twitter as reported by Index.hr.

Croatian president Zoran Milanović attended the ceremony at the Faculty of Teachers' Education. He stated that teachers played a crucial part in shaping Croatian culture.

Based on previous writings by TCN, Milanović's statement can be evident in historical events such as the First Croatian Teacher Congress in 1871. Usually, you could learn more about the history of Croatian education by visiting the Croatian School Museum in Zagreb, but sadly it still awaits post-earthquake reconstruction.

Additionally, its worth mentioning that the start of the new School year exposed the problem of parental pressure on teachers to give children As even when their actual knowledge does not justify the grade.

If not on any other day, hopefully, both the politics and the public may learn and decide to act on World Teachers' Day to help teachers resolve this troubling issue.

Read about Croatian politics and history since 1990 on our TC guide.

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

Wednesday, 29 September 2021

President Zoran Milanović: "We're Nearing 'Red' Zone With Regard to Zagreb's Reconstruction"

ZAGREB, 29 Sept, 2021 - President Zoran Milanović said on Wednesday that as far as Zagreb's post-quake reconstruction was concerned, the processes "are already entering the red zone", warning that the financial situation in Zagreb is not good because the previous city administration brought it to the edge of the abyss.

"If we are talking about Zagreb's reconstruction we are already entering the red. The financial situation in the City of Zagreb, as far as I have heard, is not good and not because of its current authorities but its previous administration. They invoiced or tried to invoice and give away anything possible over the past years. And in the end, we all know how that ended - the other option won and it is barely making ends meet," said Milanović.

Asked about Zagreb's reconstruction following the 2020 earthquake, Milanović said that it was important for Prime Minister Andrej Plenković to dedicate attention to the issue of Zagreb's finances.

"There is no room for bartering and agreements. The City of Zagreb cannot incur debts above certain levels and the previous authorities have brought it to the edge of the abyss," said Milanović.

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

Wednesday, 29 September 2021

President Zoran Milanović and Izetbegović Discuss Relationship Between Croatia and Bosnia

ZAGREB, 29 Sept, 2021 - Croatian President Zoran Milanović spoke with the leader of the Democratic Action Party (SDA) of Bosnia andHerzegovina, Bakir Izetbegović, on Tuesday about the relationship between the Bosniaks and Croats, the President's Office said in a press release.

They discussed the relationship between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, notably the relationship between the Bosniaks and Croats and the need to improve it in accordance with the Dayton agreement, the press release said.

Izetbegović also serves as Chairman of the House of Peoples of the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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

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.

For more on politics, CLICK HERE.

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.

Wednesday, 22 September 2021

Milanović Says is Also President of BiH Citizens With Croatian Citizenship

ZAGREB, 22 Sept, 2021 - Croatian President Zoran Milanović said in New York on Tuesday that he was also the president of citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina of the Croatian nationality who have Croatian citizenship, and this statement was questioned on Wednesday by some media outlets in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Some media outlets in Bosnia and Herzegovina, such as Oslobođenje daily newspaper or BiH's N1 broadcaster reported today that Milanović had said he was "the president of Croats in BiH".

They left out part of the statement in which Milanović said that Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina, just like Croats in New York, had Croatian citizenship and the right to vote in the election and that it was "a formal and legal fact that he is also their president".

He stressed that this was with "full respect for the countries" in which they live.

The statement was made in response to a reporter's question asking him to comment on the situation when Željko Komšić, the current chairman of the BiH tripartite Presidency who sits in the presidency as the Croat member, came to the UN General Assembly.

"Komšić came here as one of the Presidency members, I don't know... on whose behalf he's speaking, even if he was the representative of Croats because... I said I was the president of Croatia, the president of Croatian citizens, Croats and, in a way, of those Croats living in Bosnia and Herzegovina," as stipulated by the Constitution, said Milanović.

He added that he had often raised the issue of the voting right of Croatian citizens outside Croatia, in a bid to reduce it to a reasonable level, and his argument for that had been also not to undermine the neighbouring country where the polling stations for Croatian elections were also set up.

Earlier, Milanović also met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

I have been telling Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan all this time that there is absolutely no one in Croatia who would talk about secession, which is something we can hear from some other parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and that isn't smart, it isn't necessary, Milanović said.

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

Wednesday, 22 September 2021

President Milanović: "I think Serbian President Vučić is Proud of His Wartime Role"

ZAGREB, 22 Sept, 2021 - Croatian President Zoran Milanović reiterated in New York on Tuesday that his current Serbian counterpart, Aleksandar Vučić, had incited to war and that he was probably proud of that.

In a talk at Columbia University on Monday, Milanović said Vučić had been a warmonger, which set off a storm in Serbia.

"You can't ignore which roles some people had in our region in the last 30 years. Blood was spilt, there was arson, killing, and some people incited to that," he told the press on Tuesday, adding that "Croatia has gentlemanly let it go but won't bury its head in the sand as many in Serbia are doing."

"I think Vučić was proud of what he was doing. This is something that should be said from time to time, especially when someone... sends on a daily basis his political holograms, spokesmen and agitators to say on his behalf whatever pops into their heads. That's dirty and methodologically cheap," Milanović said.

Vučić said on Monday that Milanović was saying such things about him, "shallow and low insults", because Croatia is jealous of Serbia's economic success. He said Milanović was bothered by the fact that this year Serbia would surpass Croatia in GDP "by a 300 to 600 million euro margin."

"Serbia has a bigger total GDP even than Luxembourg. But Croatia's and Serbia's GDPs per capita are not even close. Serbia is much closer to Albania there," said Vučić. "In terms of general development, Serbia is not at Croatia's level. Life in Croatia is better and richer than in Serbia by all parametres."

Friendly talk on Bosnia with Erdogan

Milanović spoke to the press after meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, saying they had a friendly talk on Bosnia and Herzegovina.

"What I say in public, I say at such meetings," he said, adding that Turkey's foreign and defence ministers were also at the "quite open and very pleasant" meeting.

"What I underlined to Mr Erdogan is that there is no one in Croatia who will throw around stories that Mostar and Herzegovina will separate, which we hear from some others about some other parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina. And that's not smart nor necessary. In Croatia, no one advocates such a policy and such outcomes nor thinks that," Milanović said.

While in New York, he was to have met with UN Secretary-General Antonio Gutteres, but the meeting was cancelled because Milanović had more important commitments.

That wasn't even supposed to be a meeting but a photo op and a five-minute talk, Milanović said. "At that moment, I assessed that I had something more productive, an informal meeting concerning the region, state business."

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

 

Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Croatian and Costa Rican Presidents Meet in New York

ZAGREB, 21 Sept (Hina) - Croatian President Zoran Milanović, who arrived in New York for the 76th General Assembly of the United Nations, on Monday held talks with his Costa Rican counterpart, Carlos Alvarado Quesada, the Office of the Croatian head of state reported.

The two presidents discussed the developments of the bilateral relations and their enhancement to higher levels.

They agreed that the small ethnic Croatian community in Costa Rica, notably its members in Puntarenas, a city on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, made a contribution to those good bilateral relations.

On Monday, Croatia and Costa Rica co-chaired a ministerial meeting in the UN on the role of women in prevention of mass crimes.

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.

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