Saturday, 7 May 2022

Vinski Podrum: Diocletian's Cellar Wine Event Returns after Two Years!

May 7, 2022 - Everyone's favorite Diocletian's Cellar wine event returns after a two-year hiatus. Vinski Podrum is back on May 20 and 21!

The highly anticipated festival of wine and delicacies organized by Slobodna Dalmacija returns to Diocletian's cellars after two years! The event is held in one of the most beautiful wine cellars in the world, which, like the entire imperial palace, is under UNESCO protection, reports Slobodna Dalmacija.

On Friday and Saturday, May 20 and 21, numerous winemakers, wine lovers, olive growers, olive oil lovers and connoisseurs will gather in Split for a wonderful festival of wine and delicacies. The pandemic postponed the event in 2020 and 2021, or else this could have been the 10th jubilee Slobodna Dalmacija Vinski Podrum.

Winemakers from all parts of Croatia, but also neighboring Bosnia and Herzegovina, proudly come to show the best wines from their cellars, allowing visitors to hop from stand to stand to taste different wines and vineyards, terroirs and varieties.

The mighty plavac from Pelješac, Hvar, Vis, and Kaštela, fragrant Malvasia from Dubrovnik from Konavle, pošip, Grk and maraština, Imotski kujundžuša, žlahtina from Krk, special merlot, syrah, and cabarnet, world-award-winning ice wines from Zagorje, vintages, and the most beautiful Traminer wines of Ilok are just a part of what will be offered at this year's event. 

Visitors will also be able to taste a selection of delicacies, with top-quality prosciutto, cheeses, marinated and salted fish, chocolates and various other treats. Internationally awarded olive oils from Dalmatia to Istria and even Herzegovina will also be on offer, and unique workshops will help you distinguish good from bad olive oils and pair food and wine.

Other workshops have been designed to premiere new wines, special sparkling wines, the great story about prosecco, the mighty vineyards of Dubrovnik-Neretva County, Vis Vugava, indigenous Dalmatian varieties, and syrah!

The Vinski Podrum event in Diocletian's Cellars brings the strongest lineup yet! 

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

Friday, 8 April 2022

Split Mayor and His Deputies Resign

ZAGREB, 8 April (2022) - Split Mayor Ivica Puljak and his deputies Bojan Ivošević and Antonio Kuzmanić formally tendered their resignations on Friday, thus leaving their offices.

Puljak, Ivošević and Kuzmanić resigned after local prosecutorial authorities indicted Ivošević for threatening an editor at the Split-based Slobodna Dalmacija daily, Nikolina Lulić.

Puljak had come under harsh criticism from other politicians and media for not distancing himself from Ivošević even after he was indicted.

Instead, he took many by surprise by opting to stand by his first deputy and go with him and his second deputy, Antonio Kuzmanić, to a snap election.

"To live for Split and not off Split is our motto and I hope we will not encounter political obstructions after citizens give us their votes again," Puljak told reporters after he and his deputies tendered their resignations.

The mayor had earlier announced that Kuzmanić would continue running the city until the early election, but the Justice and Public Administration Ministry said that it would appoint a commissioner to run the city, meaning that Kuzmanić would not be able to stay in office.

Puljak has now decided to put an end to a possible legal tangle with Kuzmanić resigning together with him and Ivošević.

"With Mr Kuzmanić resigning we have shown that we are putting the city's interests first, we are not interested in legal manoeuvering," Puljak said.

 For more, check out our politics section.

Tuesday, 18 May 2021

Slobodna Dalmacija Features Dubrovnik's Digital Nomads-in-Residence

May 18, 2021 Slobodna Dalmacija brings a story about digital nomads from the Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence program.

“We can work four hours, have coffee and make good money”

Croatia is one of the first countries in the world to have adopted the concept of a one-year digital nomad visa.

The City of Dubrovnik and Dubrovnik Tourist Board, in partnership with Saltwater Nomads and TCN, selected ten “official” digital nomads and gave them a rent-free month in Dubrovnik. In return, they expect useful advice on how to create a nomad-friendly atmosphere in the south of Croatia. This type of guest doesn’t crave travelling only in the summer months nor do they sit at home waiting for the pandemic to pass. The project is entitled “The Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence program”.


Game of Thrones

In the world of digital nomads, Croatia is renowned as one of the cheaper European countries for a longer stay. Participants in this program are housed in private apartments, some at Akademis "Academia" as well. They admit their knowledge of Dubrovnik was more or less reduced to the city being tied to the role of King’s Landing it played in the popular TV show Game of Thrones. However, Albert Canigueral, a Spanish teacher, writer and documentary filmmaker, visited Dubrovnik back in 2003.

“The city is today pretty empty because of the pandemic. Otherwise, it is visited by numerous tourists. Almost 20 years ago, communication with the local people was much harder than today when almost everybody communicates in English.” – Albert recalls.

His career has involved extensive travel across Europe, North and South America, but this program in Dubrovnik is his first formal digital nomad experience. At the moment, he is researching the issues around the future of work, the future of employment and new technologies in society. Therefore, digital nomadism is his research matter as well. As it turns out, flexibility affects productivity in a positive way.

Paid per project

“If someone takes a walk around the City Walls and has a cup of coffee after four hours of dedicated work, and then continues after taking a break, he is bound to be more effective than someone forcefully seated for eight hours straight in an office. Working from home and flexibility in managing work hours will be a more and more common occurrence. It is not all black and white. Not everyone will be able to work like that, there are jobs that demand the physical presence of the worker and strict hours, but more and more jobs will be organised on a per-project basis with deadlines defined. Also, more and more people will be paid on a “per project” basis than on a fixed salary. Innovation and changes are happening ever faster and the companies are looking for new talent and fresh workforce not on a fixed model, but on individual projects. The metaphor for that type of work is known as a “Hollywood model”. Part of the employees of the film studio are the ones with steady jobs, but for each movie new screenwriters, actors or make-up artists are employed. Imagine every movie had the same actors! For companies, this model works well and it is up to the individual governments to ensure an effective social system and adapt to the new paradigm. Instead of working in the same position for salaries our entire lives, we need to get accustomed to a fragmented system in which the income will have its ups and downs and the social system that will accommodate this.” – says Albert

Flexibility is Key

COVID-19 Pandemic proved to even the most conservative employees how working from home or some other alternative place is not necessarily a bad thing. When asked what advice would she give to a beginner digital nomad on how to build a sustainable career, Charlie Brown considers flexibility to be the keyword. Cyberspace offers indescribable options which she had no idea about until she sold her assets, home and wine shop near London and set out on the path of the nomad. Before Dubrovnik, Charlie was already in Croatia, in Zagreb and Split. For beginners with no work, she recommends the website which is packed with offers for hundreds of thousands of work opportunities. Everything is possible, even running a radio show in Texas from Dubrovnik…

Ron Tardiff is a young scientist from the United States who studied in seven different countries, from Europe to China. He believes Dubrovnik to be a logical choice for “workcation”, a rising trend in companies that give employees the opportunity to work from whichever location they prefer for three months of the year.

“Moving for school or work, I have done so much bureaucracy and can therefore tell you it is refreshing to run across a country where you are being welcomed and barriers to entry are being lifted. Looking at it from the perspective of pre-pandemic times, the advantage of Croatia is accessibility, ferry connections to Italy and proximity of Balkan countries that are generating interest among digital nomads. It is wonderful to do some island hopping as well. I have to also admit Croatian roads are some of the best in Europe. If only the trains were equally as good.” – Ron commented

From Costa Rica to Croatia

Mr. Tardiff is in love with the idea that is being developed here and the effort in proving digital nomads can be more than just tourists. He is hopeful other cities will take on the Dubrovnik model. As a scientist, he is particularly interested in the development of the “blue economy”. Considering tourism is the second most important industry in the Mediterranean region and is taking over as the most important one, which is not always a good thing from the standpoint of environmental protection, Ron Tardiff is preoccupied with the issue of reducing the number of tourists or attracting the tourists that create a bigger value for the destination. Like digital nomads.

For the last five years, as the interest of Americans in Croatian tourist destinations grew, Texas-born Kelsey Kay Love put Croatia on her bucket list. She started her nomadic lifestyle eight years ago, travelling from Costa Rica, through Bali, New Zealand, Thailand…

“I’m attracted by situations that will get me out of my comfort zone, which is inherent in the digital nomad lifestyle. Having a stable job is a huge advantage” – Says Kelsey, a brand manaer for a luxury alcoholic beverage brand co-owned by Bruno Mars. She worked as a travel writer in the past for numerous travel websites and tour companies in Maui and Australia. Is she worried about her financial security?

“Oh yes! Luckily, I have been holding on to the same job for almost two years now, so I am pretty relaxed. One needs to be persistent, creative and willing to take an occasional risk. Do you know how to make website, write, or manage social media? There are many jobs you can do. It was easier for me in New Zealand where I had a work visa, compared to Asia. Now Croatia is offering digital nomad visas, which is great. I think one year is the right duration for the visa.” – says Kelsey.

Price of Accommodation

Ron Tardiff emphasizes nomads never spend all the money they make and they take great care that the costs of living in a country they’re residing are lower than those of the country their employer is from. This is a chance for Croatia which offers the possibilities of cheaper longer stays than many other countries. When asked about the most important considerations when choosing a destination in which to spend a month or more, our interviewees first emphasize the cost of accommodation. There are cities with a high cost for short stays, but the accommodation owners are willing to accept reasonable monthly rates. Furthermore, good internet connection ranks very high, as does affordable transportation, whether public transportation or rent-a-car, the proximity of an international airport, safety, nature, pleasant climate, and community of digital nomads or expats. They are trying to avoid overcrowded cities where tourism has a negative effect on the quality of life.

Internet Speed

Global nomad network has 210 reviews for Dubrovnik. The average city score is 3,41. Digital nomads speak highly of the speed of the internet, workplaces, quality of life, safety and education levels. Negative comments usually have to do with nightlife, air-conditioning systems and smoking in public areas. There are mentions of difficulties in forming friendships and hostility towards women and members of the LGBT community. Out of all the above, nomads we’ve interviewed jokingly comment how the rental properties are obviously geared towards the summer rentals and cooling rather than heating. Those that have already been to Croatia say the locals are very kind people and they suffered no unpleasantness. They say the scores on websites like this have no great bearing on their decisions to travel to a certain destination, but they do check all the available information before their trip. When asked what about the main advantages to Dubrovnik and Croatia, they emphasize pleasant weather and a relaxed lifestyle.

“You have the Mediterranean lifestyle, access to great beaches especially in the summer, all going in your favour. Croatians are very gracious hosts! The most beautiful side to being a nomad is not having to base yourself in one spot. Therefore, you don’t have to select living in just one Croatian city. I can spend one month in Dubrovnik, the next one in Split, or in an undiscovered continental part of the country” – says Charlie Brown.

Split is Cheaper

Ron and Albert agree. According to them, one thing that makes life easier is the fact most people speak English well. Ron objects to the location of Dubrovnik. Although he would gladly return to it, cities in central Dalmatia seem like a more sensible choice for a digital nomad’s base. Split is somewhat larger and somewhat cheaper. Seeing how Croatia is at the top of his list of countries in which to live for years now, after Budapest, that will probably be his destination of choice.

Interesting to note is their stance on medical insurance. Before the pandemic, they mainly risked and had no insurance coverage, but COVID-19 made them more cautious. Charlie Brown says she is still upset about Brexit, but still holds a medical coverage card that is valid in EU countries. In situations when that kind of solution is not possible, digital nomads are partially reliant on travel insurance which, they argue, do not work always or everywhere. With the work visa in Australia and New Zealand, Kelsey was insured as any other employee, but this is rarely this simple. After her partner contracted denga fever in Thailand and spent 48 hours in the hospital having to do MRI and similar tests, travel insurance wasn’t going to cover his expenses, so they ended up paying USD4000. They still feel they got off lightly considering the prices in their homeland. Ron remembers having to do appendicitis surgery in Greece a year ago. His German travel insurance covered the cost.

“I’m at a Gain”

“I come from the United Stated of America, the country with the most expensive healthcare in the world, so even if I had to pay for a medical service out of my own pocket here, it would be cheaper than a medical insurance policy in USA. I don’t have dental insurance. The basic one I have at the moment doesn’t cover tooth breakage, but if I went to the dentist here, it would cost me 10 to 15 times less than in the USA. So, I am at a gain. People joke about this, but it is cheaper to fly here from America, get a cocktail, have your teeth fixed and fly back, then to do it back home.” – says Ron and adds: “I am not worried about health insurance because it cannot be more expensive than back home”

When asked where they would prefer to live, Ron chooses Greece, although he notes difficult bureaucracy as the main problem for someone coming from United States. Although he went to school in Greece, he can’t be employed there. Some of the most attractive countries for nomads also have the most barriers for staying there, but this rarely deters them.

“Before this program, I was torn between going to Portugal or Croatia, and now I am one hundred percent certain about coming here. Dubrovnik surroundings are peaceful with beautiful nature, and everything is more straightforward than in Portugal.” – says Kelsey Kay Love

Saltwater Nomads' Tanja Polegubic on the Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence Program

Dubrovnik Mayor Mato Frankovic on Digital Nomads, US Flights, 2021 Season

Learn more about the Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence program.

For the latest digital nomad news and features in Croatia, follow the dedicated TCN section

Friday, 23 April 2021

Croatian Employment in March 2021: Winning on Monthly Basis, Losing Compared to 2020

April 23, 2021 - Data analyzed by the Croatian Bureau of Statistics saw Croatian Employment in March 2021 rise compared to February but is overall lower than last year.

Employment in Croatia is overall down for 1.5% - concludes an article in Slobodna Dalmacija. This is the result of a statistical analysis conducted for this year's March compared to March 2020. The biggest fall in employment is evident in the hotel industry and hospitality. Last March, 410 people were employed in the sector, adding to the total number of 61,913, but that number is smaller for 5,087 people compared to last year when the number of employed in hotel tourism and hospitality counted 67,000.

„Compared to February, the total number of employed (in March) is up by 0.8% but compared to the same month last year; the numbers are down by 1.5%“, Slobodna Dalmacija quoted the explanation of Croatian Bureau of Statistics.

The process manufacturing industry also counts losses. Despite 2,129 newly employed people who boosted 225,287 workers in the sector, that number is down by 2000 workers less as last year the count was 227,287.  

Merchants count a rise of 803 new workers, 201,117 in total. But, this time last year the total number was 205,167, so this year's there are 4,050 people less in the sector.

On the other hand, several sectors can celebrate victory over statistics from 2020.

The construction sector hired 1,060 new workers. 100,234 people in total this year gives a 5924 boost compared to last year's 195,193 employed people.

Education has 1,094 new workers this month, 120,246 in total. This time last year's there were 117,891 people in total, which suggest 2,355 people increase.

Public service, social security, and defense sectors increase by 648 people to a total of 111,785. In conclusion, 1,325 more people are welcomed to the sector, compared to 2020 when there was 110460 in the mentioned sectors.  

Expectedly, health and social care sectors in March counted 102,636 employed, which is a 1,392 increase compared to last year's 101,244 employed people.

In absolute numbers, the mentioned sectors had the biggest influence on the total rise of employment in Croatia last month, which jumped to 11,302 people, 1,518,034 in total.

 The Bureau added that when counting all minuses and pluses, last year's numbers are better, but the progress is happening in this year nonetheless.  

Additionally, the average salary in Croatia is  7038 kuna, pointed out Slobodna Dalmacija.

learn more about doing business in Croatia on our TC page.

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

Friday, 24 January 2020

Journalist Attacked Near Property Hidden by Health Minister Kujundzic

Health Minister Kujundzic (HDZ) owns a home in his native Ivanbegovina in Split-Dalmatia County, which, according to official records, is a mere 100 square feet and has no garden. Land registers, however, state that the house is 184 square metres in size.

As Slobodna Dalmacija/Andrea Topic writes on the 24th of January, 2020, the plot of land, which also belongs to the aforementioned minister, is 1016 square meters in size. In other words, Health Minister Milan Kujundzic, in addition to all other real estate affairs registered officially, forgot to mention that ''little bit'' of land, while citing a house of almost half the size. He also wrote that its value is only a measly 533 euros per square metre, writes Slobodna Dalmacija.

If we're to go off what a Slobodna Dalmacija's journalist witnessed yesterday, such official registers should be well and truly ignored.

Far from what he described officially, Health Minister Kujundzic's property is actually a two-storey luxury villa. Finished in stone and with a spacious backyard pool. There's a neatly cut lawn, a wrought iron fence, and some nice modern windows. Another beautiful property is being built next to it. The locals who are working on it, who are of course Minister Kujundzic's relatives, immediately presented themselves in a beautiful manner...

But before we get to all that, it's time for a little digression...

In journalistic texts, it is customary to use the pronouns ''we'' when referring to a team that has been out in the field, or ''us'' as a team of journalists from one media outlet. A visit to one of Health Minister Kujundzic's properties in the vicinity of Imotski seemed like a fairly routine, normal task, and nobody thought that anything could go wrong; nor did Slobodna's journalists think that purely for the sake of writing this article they'd have to go and use the first person singular - I.

Here is the terrible experience of a Slobodna Dalmacija journalist transmitted and translated into English in full:

''So, it was just before eleven o'clock when I parked my car in front of a house which is undoubtedly claimed to be 1/1 owned by Health Minister Milan Kujundzic, who resides in Zagreb, at ''such and such'' address, because it would not be ethical to write that here. It was a beautiful winter day along a deserted road covered with stones and rocks, and the sounds of digging, tools and shouting from the workers. From the passenger seat, I picked up my camera and stepped out onto the road to see where it was best to film the house from without breaking any trespassing laws. I looked up worriedly because I heard a terrible cry from the direction of the house which was under construction. Some guy was coming running towards me. He was in black and was of a medium build.

"Hello," I said, especially glowing because I recognised him. Yes, this is Health Minister Kujundzic's close relative, Kujundzic is also his surname, he also has a monument to Franjo Tudjman and has been a member of HDZ for twenty years, and I know all this because recently I was in Ivanbegovina talking to him when I was doing a report on the results of the local election. And he recognised me, too! But he wasn't pleased to see me.

''You're not going to film here! Who gave you permission to film here? Where's your warrant to film here? This road belongs to the Minister [Kujundzic], get that car out of here! Move it! Move it!'' he howled in a thick Dalmatian accent, getting in my face.

''What minister? This road is public, it's registered by the City of Imotski!'' I replied confidently, because just this morning before departure I was checking both the cadastre and the land register to see who owns the plots around the minister's house. He didn't believe me. I opened the app on my phone, found a plot of land and showed him the information to prove that I was right. He said it was a lie and that everything was Milan Kujundzic's, that Milan was the boss of the house and that Milan didn't want journalists around it. He said all this while waving his hands around aggressively.

I opened the car door. Then the other workers came, four, five of them. All shouting and making a noise. Everyone was trying to force me to leave because the road belongs to ''their Milan''. They surrounded me. I was thinking about running away, I had nowhere to go. Every possible gap around me was cut off. Then I got in the car and slammed the door shut. In a panic, I couldn't find where all the locks inside were, honestly, I've never needed that button.

Health Minister Kujundzic's relatives, who introduced themselves in this way, surrounded my car on all sides.

One of them sat down on the back of the car (boot/trunk), the first one I remembered from the reportage (about the local elections), and I remember that his last name was also Kujundzic, he was standing in front of the bonnet (hood). The third man pulled his hood up and started filming me with his phone, holding the passenger door so I couldn't even get out. The fourth one came up to my door. They yelled, shouted and rocked the car by leaning on it. I wanted to run away. I yelled for them to move away, I lowered the window and yelled at them to leave me alone so I could leave. They didn't want to. I started the car and started revving it. They stood in front of the bonnet, except for the one who was guarding the boot so that I couldn't consider reversing.

They leaned their hands on the car, not letting me go, blocking my path with their bodies. If I put my foot down, I'm screwed, I thought. Nobody would care why I was there and who they were, or what they did, they'd care only about the fact that I ran over three people. I was shaking, panicking. I was screaming inside myself. I typed the number of my editors into my phone. They called the police.

And these kidnappers also called someone. They talked among themselves about calling Health Minister Kujundzic. That's what they said. Boss, that's what they call him. To scare me, they opened the car door. I couldn't move. Neither forward nor backward. They were yelling.

''What do you want from me? Leave me alone, move away!'' I yelled at them.

"We'll see what the Boss says," said Health Minister Kujundzic's relative, also named Kujundzic, with a disgusting chuckle in his voice.

"You want to have a drink with us? Come with us to the house, hang out for a while, come on, we'll have some brandy, you and the four of us, hahaha," said one of them, as I restrained my urge to vomit. He later opened the door. On my side.

"Alright, you've got permission to film," he said. Health Minister Kujundzic himself saved me. As far as I understood from their conversation, he told them to let me go. What if he'd said to keep me there?

About half an hour. That's how long all that terror lasted. Blocking me in, pounding on the glass, grinning and shouting things at me. Finally, the police came.

They talked to me first. I showed them the footage. I was able to record part of this horror, some of the videos were completely black pictures, because I forgot, in panic, to turn the lens towards the abusers. The police reviewed it all. Then they went up to them.

''Oh we're not lying, we've done nothing, she came here and we just asked her: "Excuse me, miss, can we help you!" they assured the police.

What car? What threatening? What deprivation of liberty. They denied everything. Despite the recording. Despite seeing and knowing that I was filming them. Despite knowing that I would undoubtedly give the recording to the police. Why? They obviously have a good boss. They obviously have no reason to fear anyone at all.''

Make sure to follow our dedicated news page for more.

Thursday, 21 February 2019

British Ambassador Andrew Dalgleish Discusses Potential No Deal Brexit

Andrew Dalgleish talks about the unwanted yet still possible No Deal outcome, what this means for Croats in the UK, what it could mean for Brits in Croatia, and how, if at all, Brexit will affect Croatia's tourist industry.

While many British citizens in Croatia remain worried for their future in the country, rest assured that we at TCN, along with the British Embassy in Zagreb, will continue to do our absolute best to keep you informed of any changes, should they occur at all, to your rights to residence, access to healthcare, the labour market, and your access to Croatia's social security system.

We have already written numerous articles on what Brexit is likely to mean when it comes to British citizens living in Croatia with regulated status (biometric residence permit of either temporary (privremeni) or permanent (stalni) residence (boravak), which was your right to claim as EU citizens. I'd like to preface this by saying that there is no need to do anything but remain calm despite the sheer lack of information provided to you, we're fully aware of your concerns and will seek to assure you as best as we can along the way.

MUP has assured TCN in private correspondence with me that British citizens, even in the unwanted event of a No Deal Brexit, who have a valid residence permit of some kind, will not be seen as illegal persons living on the territory of the Republic of Croatia on the 29th of March this year. Please click here for the full article on that, as well as ways to safeguard and prepare, here for MUP's statement to Balkan Insight, and here for Paul Bradbury's meeting with Andrew Dalgleish, the UK Ambassador to Croatia, which took place a few weeks ago. Should the UK leave with May's deal on the UK's Withdrawal Agreement, click here to find out what that means for you.

Although the following article doesn't talk quite enough about the rightful worries and fears of Croatia's resident Brits, the number of which is well under 1,000, Andrew Dalgleish sits down to discuss what a potential No Deal Brexit might mean should it occur, and sought to reassure that British tourists, who are among the most numerous European visitors to Croatia, will continue to come.

As Mark Thomas/Slobodna Dalmacija writes on the 19th of February, 2019, before Britain's (planned) exit from the European Union scheduled for March the 29th this year, we talked with UK Ambassador to the Republic of Croatia, Mr. Andrew Dalgleish, to find out what the future of the always positive relations between Croatia and the UK are set to become.

"Croatian citizens living in the UK shouldn't worry if Britain leaves the European Union without agreement because the [British] Government has taken all the measures to protect [EU] citizens [living in the UK at the time of exit]," the ambassador stated.

The British Government ''is making a huge effort to reach an agreement'', and the outcome of Brexit for Great Britain has two scenarios, at least in this phase of negotiations; the UK leaving the EU, should it continue to stand by its current position, either with or without agreement. Whatever the solution turns out to be, it will bring new questions, as well as new solutions, in terms of citizens' rights.

If Britain leaves the European Union on March the 29th, how will it affect the status of Croatian nationals living in the UK in the case of a No Deal Brexit?

Since the beginning of the negotiations around Brexit, Prime Minister Theresa May has been very clear on this issue: Citizens should not be bargaining chips, the lives of people and their needs are what is really important here. Then, when we came to the end of the negotiations, the prime minister said that regardless of what would happen [regarding the UK's withdrawal from the bloc], Croats and other citizens of European Union countries (EU27) who are legal residents of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland will basically hold the same status and enjoy broadly the same rights as they did before the 29th of March, 2019.

Croats should not immediately see any change in their current status in the UK. This is a real indicator of how much Britain truly does appreciate the citizens of other European Union countries living in the UK. No matter what other EU members do in return, the prime minister has been very clear on this matter.

After March the 29th, EU citizens will be able to live normally in the UK, enjoying continued unimpeded access to all the social, health and education services just as they have until now, and the direction further negotiations will take is yet to be seen. There will be procedures to explain to citizens what the futre will look like after Brexit and we want to let them know that we do care about everyone.

At this point there are two possible Brexit scenarios, "Brexit with an agreement" and "Brexit without an agreement", and whatever option is accepted will affect what will happen on March the 29th...

Yes, the British Government is absolutely devoted, with all of its efforts, to reach an agreement. How exactly this arrangement will look remains to be seen. However, it is crystal clear to the government that reaching an agreement is the best way to leave [the EU].

Also, we as the government are highly responsible, which means that we have to prepare for this second scenario [No Deal Brexit] that we wouldn't want, but which could happen. That's why we want to reassure Croatian citizens living in the UK that they don't have to worry if Britain does leave without a deal, because the [British] Government has taken measures to reassure them that they do care about them.

Agreement or not, how will Brexit affect your role as [UK] Ambassador?

Of course, it's already influenced my ambassador's role. I was all set to be the ambassador before the referendum was actually held, I actually arrived in Zagreb three weeks after the referendum. Of course, that means all my preparations changed overnight. But Brexit is real and we've got to face it.

Relations between Great Britain and Croatia have lasted longer outside the European Union than they have within it. Brexit will certainly be a challenge because many of the questions related to our two peoples are being solved at a table in Brussels.

Since we [Britain] will not be sitting at the table in Brussels again, we will make even more of an effort in the future to get London and Zagreb to directly negotiate, more than we did before, so there's a chance there.

How are the negotiations with the Croatian Government progressing, if an agreement [between the UK and the EU] is not reached, and what about the rights of British nationals in Croatia?

Prime Minister May was very clear at the very beginning of negotiations that the [British] Government would take care of the rights of European Union citizens in the UK after March the 29th, so we hope that other [EU] Member States will act in the same way.

The European Commission has stated that it hopes that, after Brexit, all EU member states will be ''generous'' and offer British citizens good conditions, however, each of them will do so in their own way. Discussions are being conducted not only with Croatia, but with other EU member states. Of course, the Croatian Government, as well as the British Government, is hoping for a scenario in which the UK withdraws from the EU with a deal.

It's very important to point out that in the case of a No Deal Brexit, there are many technical questions that require answers, some of which are what it will mean to be a legal citizen (resident) here, to gaining the right to health care, and many other issues.

All of this requires very demanding preparation and this is what we're doing at this moment with the Croatian Government.

Do you think Croatian tourism will suffer a sort of shock after Brexit?

"There is no intent on either side of causing problems in people's lives, going on holiday is a natural thing that people need. No government in these negotiations has said that obstacles should be put in place in order to make things for the tourist industry more difficult in the future. Of course, if there's an agreement, then every side and every country knows where their place is.

In the event of a No Deal Brexit, we must take care to resolve all of the technical issues and that the British [continue to] come to Croatia on holiday, which is the intention of both Croatia and the UK. I don't see the probability of any problem, as long as we're all doing our jobs in the meantime.

Make sure to stay up to date with everything you need to know about Brexit and Croatia and what might alter for you by following our dedicated politics page.


Click here for the original article by Mark Thomas on Slododna Dalmacija

Monday, 19 September 2016

Dalmatian Hinterland Represented in Italy at the AdriaWealth Conference

AdriaWealth is a 3-day convention held in Bari, Itlay that took place last week. AdriaWealth seeks to improve and enhance the development of cultural institutions, primarily theaters. Project partners from Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania and the host country Italy, participated in the project of promotion for cultural heritage and tourism at the conference.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

"Slobodna Dalmacija" Newsroom to Return to Split

A return to Split for Dalmatia's biggest newspaper.