Thursday, 25 February 2021

President Supports Student Association of Mechanical Engineering Faculties Project

ZAGREB, 25 February, 2021 - President Zoran Milanović on Thursday met with a delegation of the Student Association of Mechanical Engineering Faculties (HSA-SF), who presented their FSB Racing Team, which has been constructing racing cars for 17 years and competing at intentional competitions.

The FSB Racing Team project is one of the biggest student projects in Croatia. It has 117 members from various faculties of Zagreb University and so far it has built nine racing cars and has successfully competed at international Formula Student races, the association's leader and project head, Mislav Bošnjak, explained.

The students said that they had built the first electric racing car in Croatia and in the region, and were now transforming it into an autonomous vehicle so they can be the first Formula Student team in Croatia to build a self-driving racing car.

The students said that their mission was systematic transfer of the know-how which they consider to be the most valuable part of their project.

The project is mostly financed with donations and sponsorships while the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture has supported the team from the very start. Their sponsors also include the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing as well as more than 80 companies from Croatia and abroad which have recognised the potential of the project.

President Milanović expressed his full support for the project, telling the delegation that what they were doing was important and that they should always compare themselves and compete with the best.

Monday, 25 January 2021

Milanović Speaks With Representatives of Končar Electrical Industry

ZAGREB, 25 January, 2021 - President Zoran Milanović on Monday received representatives of the Končar Electrical Industry Group, on the occasion of the company's 100th anniversary, the President's Office said in a press release.

The President of Končar's Management Board, Gordan Kolak, presented the members of the new management board to President Milanović, as well as the current business operations and the existing business activities and development plans of the group, which consists of 14 companies.

Representatives of Končar said that the company's focus in the future would be on electrical energy and on increasing exports, which already make up nearly 60% of total revenues.

As one of Croatia's largest exporters, Končar is planning to export mostly to Germany, Sweden, Austria, Latvia, Hungary, North Macedonia and the UAE.

At today's meeting, it was said that professional and educated employees were important for Končar's development and successful competition.

The company currently has 3,500 employees.

As the biggest business successes in 2020, the company's representatives mentioned the production of transformers for substations for a buyer from the USA, the production of low-floor trams for a buyer from Latvia, the construction of the biggest solar power plant in Croatia on the island of Vis, and the continued production of electric trains for the HŽ Passenger Transport company, the press release said.

Friday, 22 January 2021

President Cancels Attendance at Commemoration of Operation Maslenica

ZAGREB, 22 January, 2021 - President Zoran Milanović on Friday cancelled his attendance at an event commemorating the 28th anniversary of the combined military and police operation "Maslenica 93" in Zadar after he learned that two persons wearing clothes with Ustasha symbols were participating in the event.

Nikola Jelić, spokesman for the Office of the President told Hina that President Milanović arrived in Zadar for the ceremony marking the 28th anniversary of Operation Maslenica 93 and that "after it was noticed that among the participants in the event there were people wearing Ustasha insignia and the Ustasha salute, the President phoned Prime Minister Andrej Plenković and warned him that that was unacceptable."

"Since after that it was established that persons wearing clothes with Ustasha symbols, including the Ustasha salute, would take part in the official part of the event, the President cancelled his attendance," Jelić said.

Acting on orders from President Milanović, who is the Armed Forces' Supreme Commander, the Armed Forces Chief-of-Staff, Admiral Robert Hranj, and all other military commanders left the event after the first part of the ceremony, Jelić added.

Last year Milanović left a ceremony marking the anniversary of the 1995 military and police operation "Flash" in Okučani, the reason again being persons who participated in the official part of the event and who wore T-shirts with the sign "For the homeland ready", the Ustasha salute used in Nazi-allied Independent State of Croatia (NDH).

Sunday, 3 January 2021

President Calls on Gov't to Declare State of Catastrophic Emergency

ZAGREB,3 January, 2021 - President Zoran Milanovic said on Sunday that the government should declare a state of catastrophic emergency due to the 29 December devastating earthquake that hit Petrinja and other areas of Sisak-Moslavina County.

"I do not know why a state of catastrophic emergency has not yet been declared. Those are important matters legally," Milanovic said in an interview with the N1 commercial broadcaster on Sunday.

Milanovic explained that the declaration of a state of catastrophic emergency was necessary so as to define the command chain and to know who would disburse the money needed for addressing the aftermath of the earthquake.

The president, who is the supreme commander, praised the engagement o the army in Petrinja and other quake-hit areas.

Milanovic believes that the National Civil Protection Authority could manage the quake aftermath, provided that it was given enough money and responsibilities.

Comparing the situation on Petrinja, hit by the 6.2-magnitude earthquake and in Zagreb after the 22 March earthquake measuring 5.5 on the Richter scale, Milanovic said that Petrinja was razed to the ground while Zagreb would always have the financial strength for the reconstruction.

He, however, expressed dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs in the capital city, claiming that Zagreb was in a negligent state and he pointed out examples of unkempt city properties.

As for the coronavirus infection, Milanovic again called for inoculation of the population.

He added that since the start of his presidential mandate, he had been fair in the relationship with the government.

On Sunday afternoon the parliamentary party Centar also called on the government to declare  a state of catastrophic emergency and criticised the Plenkovic cabinet for how it was dealing with the aftermath of the quake in Sisak-Moslavina County.

Monday, 28 December 2020

Milanovic and Plenkovic Visit Sisak and Petrinja After Earthquake

December 28, 2020 – President Zoran Milanovic and Prime Minister Andrej Plenković visited Sisak and Petrinja after a series of earthquakes hit the area this morning.

This morning, around 6.28 am, the area of Sisak and Petrinja was hit by a 5,2 magnitude earthquake. After a few weaker tremors, just before 8 am, two stronger blows followed, with magnitudes of 4.7 and 4.1 on the Richter scale.

President Zoran Milanović and Prime Minister Andrej Plenković came to Sisak and Petrinja to support their fellow citizens. Prefect of Sisak-Moslavina County Ivo Žinić and Mayor of Sisak Kristina Ikić Baniček informed them of the situation in Sisak.

They were accompanied by Deputy Prime Ministers and Ministers Davor Božinović and Tomo Medved, as well as Minister of Physical Planning, Construction and State Assets Darko Horvat and Minister of Health Vili Beroš.

'No house in the villages that are not damaged'

Žinić said there are no casualties.

"No one was injured, there is no damage to industrial plants, but the Gavrilović factory has a large amount of ammonia, and it will have to be checked in detail. The damage is in the center of Sisak on buildings. Plaster has fallen off, bricks have fallen on some buildings. The second earthquake did more damage. The first one seems to have moved some things a bit, and there is no house in the villages that are not damaged. The damage is not even close to the damage that was in Zagreb, but it is the roofs where people live," said Sisak-Moslavina County Prefect Ivo Žinić.

Mayor Ikić Baniček said there had been over 100 firefighter interventions since the morning. They had one situation where they had to place one family in another facility because their apartment was damaged.

Prime Minister Plenković emphasized that all services will be available to the citizens and said that luckily the earthquake did not leave any major damage.

"I am glad that we are here. We came to support our fellow citizens. As the year was, so it ended. Here is the Civil Protection, the Croatian army, and they will help. I also spoke to the Mayor of Zagreb, Milan Bandić. We already have experience. We will try to list the damages and help everyone to repair those damages," said the Prime Minister.

'We are here to help'

Milanović and Plenković toured Sisak and Petrinja together.

"The damage is significant in the buildings we visited, but the most important thing is that no one was injured. This was a pretty strong earthquake, and it's good that the aftershocks were less intense," said Plenković after visiting Petrinja.

He promised to create a legal framework to help the affected areas.

"We hope that it will be better next year. The state will react, of course. We are here to help," Plenković said.

President Milanović was not in the mood for statements.

"It was uncomfortable in Zagreb. It is human to be afraid. Fear is the biggest blow to people. And what was destroyed will be rebuilt. It is a smaller problem," Milanović said.

The Mayor of Petrinja, Darinko Dumbović, told them that he expects help from the state in repairing the damage, namely the "millions in his account tomorrow. "

Plenković said they would try to help Sisak, Petrinja, and other municipalities in Sisak-Moslavina County affected by the earthquake with all aid services.

"I hope that it will be better next year. I guess everything that should have happened badly happened in 2020," the Prime Minister concluded and expressed his condolences to all those whose houses were damaged.

Sources: Več,,

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Saturday, 12 December 2020

Milanovic: Croatia Must be Country with Great Climate Ambitions

ZAGREB, Dec 12, 2020 - Although it is a small country, Croatia must be a country with great climate ambitions, President Zoran Milanovic wrote on his Facebook account on Saturday, on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the conclusion of the Paris Climate Agreement.

"The climate crisis is still our biggest challenge, and taking urgent and ambitious measures is the only guarantee for the preservation of health, progress and prosperity," the Croatian president writes.

In this context he called for great climate ambitions and for raising awareness of that climate protection and economic growth can go hand in hand.

The head of state also appealed for making courageous strides towards energy transition.

"In the years to come we can make Croatia a leader in energy transition in southeast Europe."

I see the climate crisis as a test to the credibility, humanity and solidarity which we must pass, since the future of all of us is green or we will not have it, he added.

The Paris Agreement, a legally binding international treaty on climate change, was adopted by 196 Parties at COP 21 in Paris, on 12 December 2015, and entered into force on 4 November 2016. Its goal is to limit global warming to well below 2, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels.

Monday, 30 November 2020

Milanovic Talks With Federation of Associations for Mental Health

ZAGREB, November 30, 2020 - President Zoran Milanovic on Monday received a delegation of associations for mental health to discuss an initiative to adopt a national mental health strategy 2020 - 2030.

Speaking on behalf of the delegation Vlatka Rocic Petak informed President Milanovic of the reasons to launch the initiative and warned that the adoption of the strategy is a precondition to provide optimum health care for people with mental disturbances, the president's office said in a press release.

In addition to advocating the adoption of the draft national strategy in parliament and its speedy implementation in practice, the delegation underlined the need to introduce mobile teams and peer support groups in the community to the existing psycho-social services that are financed by the Croatian Health Insurance Institute.

The delegation also pointed out the problem of finding sources of permanent financing of programmes and projects that associations are involved with while providing psycho-social services in the community, the press release said.

Wednesday, 18 November 2020

President Milanovic Lays Wreath at Ovcara Memorial

ZAGREB, November 18, 2020 - On the occasion of Homeland War Victims Remembrance Day and Vukovar and Skabrnja Victims Remembrance Day, Croatian President Zoran Milanovic on Wednesday paid his respects to the sacrifice of Vukovar by laying a wreath at the Ovcara memorial site.

In addition to the President, the Chief of the General Staff of the Croatian Armed Forces, Admiral Robert Hranj, and presidential envoy Lieutenant-General Marijan Marekovic also laid wreaths.

Milanovic did not give a statement to reporters.

In Skabrnja, on behalf of the president, his envoy, Dragan Lozancic, took part in today's commemorative events.

Thursday, 12 November 2020

Milanovic Advocates Adoption of National Cancer Strategy as Soon as Possible

ZAGREB, November 12, 2020 - President Zoran Milanovic on Thursday met with representatives of the Croatia against Cancer initiative, an association of cancer patients, supporting their demands for the adoption of a national cancer strategy as soon as possible.

Croatia is the only EU member state that still hasn't adopted a national cancer strategy which would represent a model of true and more than necessary reform of the health system which Croatia has to implement with the aim of improving the outcome of treatment and ensuring patient rights guaranteed by the Constitution, the meeting was told.

The initiative's representatives warned that adopting the strategy would put Croatia in a position to use EU funds intended for the fight against cancer, which now is not possible.

Monday, 2 November 2020

President Says Would Support Possible Lockdown but Not Curfew

ZAGREB, November 2, 2020 - President Zoran Milanovic said on Monday that he would support a possible lockdown to help in efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus, but he would oppose a curfew, explaining that Croatia is not in a state of war but in an emergency situation.

"I will be the first one to back a lockdown but not a curfew," Milanovic said, adding that he was against a curfew and against situations where people, who, for instance, walk their dogs after 8 p.m., have to explain why they are outside.

Addressing reporters after a ceremony marking the 30th anniversary of the Social Democratic Party at whose helm he was from mid-2007 to late 2016, the president said that any decision on imposing a lockdown could not be made by Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic or the head of the Croatian Institute of Public Health (HZJZ), Krunoslav Capak, but that it was the responsibility of the national parliament.

Damage to be caused by a lockdown is huge, people are at the end of their tether, notably those who do not work in the civil service, Milanovic said, adding that society should care for the elderly and the ill, while others should behave responsibly and prudently.

He went on to say that the current situation requires more engagement from some professionals, for instance, physicians, adding that "there are enough doctors, but they should be paid well," and that Finance Minister Zdravko Maric should take care of that.

In a message to the government and the ruling Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), Milanovic said they should not be "hiding behind clerks" and leaving decisions they are afraid to make to HZJZ head Krunoslav Capak.

"It is unfair," he added.


Milanovic says willing to attend Vukovar commemorative march but...

In connection with the 29th anniversary of the fall of the eastern town of Vukovar and the southern town of Skabrnja into the hands of the Yugoslav People's Army and rebel Serbs, to be marked on 18 November, Milanovic said that he was willing to attend the commemoration in Vukovar.

"A lot will depend on an agreement between Plenkovic, (war veterans' minister Tomo) Medved and (Vukovar Mayor Ivan) Penava and the local bunch," Milanovic said, adding that attending the ceremonies was definitely an honour and a duty.

He noted, however, that before his departure to Vukovar he would consult the Security and Intelligence Agency (SOA), because "I do not have to take part in any shows."

In that context, he said that he did not want a recurrence of the situation of 18 November 2013, when he and some other state officials were prevented from joining the commemorative march through the city.

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