Friday, 19 February 2021

People also ask Google: What is Croatia Famous For?

February 19, 2021 – What is Croatia Famous For?

People outside of the country really want to know more about Croatia. They search for answers online.

Here, we'll try to answer the popular search terms “What is Croatia famous for?” and “What is Croatia known for?”

Most of the people looking for answers to these questions have never been to Croatia. They may have been prompted to ask because they're planning to visit Croatia, they want to come to Croatia, or because they heard about Croatia on the news or from a friend.

What Croatia is known for depends on your perspective. People who live in the country sometimes have a very different view of what Croatia is famous for than the rest of the world. And, after visiting Croatia, people very often leave with a very different opinion of what Croatia is known for than before they came. That's because Croatia is a wonderful country, full of surprises and secrets to discover. And, it's because internet searches don't reveal everything. Luckily, you have Total Croatia News to do that for you.

What is Croatia known for?

1) Holidays


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Croatia is best known globally as a tourist destination. Catching sight of pictures of the country online is enough to make almost anyone want to come. If you've heard about it from a friend, seen the country used in a TV show like Game of Thrones or Succession, or watched a travel show, your mind will be made up. Following such prompts, it's common for Croatia to move to first place on your bucket list. If it's not already, it should be, There are lots of reasons why Croatia is best known for holidays (vacations).

a) Islands


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What is Croatia famous for? Islands © Mljet National Park

Within Croatia's tourist offer, its most famous aspect is its islands. Croatia has over a thousand islands - 1246 when you include islets. 48 Croatian islands are inhabited year-round, but many more come to life over the warmer months. Sailing in Croatia is one of the best ways to see the islands, and if you're looking for a place for sailing in the Mediterranean, Croatia is the best choice because of its wealth of islands. These days, existing images of Croatia's islands have been joined by a lot more aerial photography and, when people see these, they instantly fall in love.

b) Beaches


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What is Croatia famous for? Its holidays are famous for their beaches © Szabolcs Emich

Croatia has 5835 kilometres of coastline on the Adriatic Sea - 1,777.3 kilometres of coast on the mainland, and a further 4,058 kilometres of coast around its islands and islets. The Croatian coast is the most indented of the entire Mediterranean. This repeated advance and retreat into the Adriatic forms a landscape littered with exciting, spectacular peninsulas, quiet, hidden bays, and some of the best beaches in the world. There are so many beaches in Croatia, you can find a spot to suit everyone. On the island of Pag and in the Zadar region, you'll find beaches full of young people where the party never stops. Elsewhere, romantic and elegant seafood restaurants hug the shoreline. Beach bars can range from ultra-luxurious to basic and cheap. The beaches themselves can be popular and full of people, facilities, excitement and water sports, or they can be remote, idyllic, and near-deserted, accessible only by boat. Sand, pebble, and stone all line the perfectly crystal-clear seas which are the common feature shared by all.

c) Dubrovnik


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What is Croatia famous for? Dubrovnik © Ivan Ivanković

As a backdrop to Game Of Thrones and movies from franchises like Star Wars and James Bond, Dubrovnik is known all over the world. Everybody wants to see it in person, and that's why it's an essential stop-off for so many huge cruise ships in warmer months. But, Dubrovnik's fame did not begin with the invention of film and television. The city was an autonomous city-state for long periods of time in history, and Dubrovnik was known all over Europe – the famous walls which surround the city of Dubrovnik are a testament to a desire to maintain its independent standing for centuries while living in the shadow of expanding, ambitious empires.

d) Heritage


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What is Croatia famous for? Heritage. Pula amphitheatre is one of the best-preserved Roman amphitheatres in the world

The walled city of Dubrovnik is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Croatia's rich architectural and ancient heritage. Diocletian's Palace in Split is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and still the living, breathing centre of life in the city (that people still live within it and it is not preserved in aspic is one of its most charming features and no small reason for its excellent preservation).

Having existed on the line of European defence against the Ottoman empire, Croatia also has many incredible fortresses and castles. The fortresses of Sibenik are well worth seeing if you're visiting Sibenik-Knin County and its excellent coast. A small number of Croatia's best castles exist on the coast, Rijeka's Trsat and Nova Kraljevica Castle is nearby Bakar being two of them. Most of Croatia's best and prettiest castles are actually located in its continental regions which, compared to the coast, remain largely undiscovered by most international tourists.

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Many spectacular castles in the country's continental regions are, for these parts, what is Croatia famous for

Pula amphitheatre (sometimes referred to as Pula Arena) is one of the largest and best-preserved Roman amphitheatres in the world. A spectacular sight year-round, like Diocletian's Palace, it remains a living part of the city's life, famously hosting an international film festival, concerts by orchestras, opera stars, and famous rock and pop musicians. Over recent years, it has also played a part in the city's music festivals.

e) Music Festivals


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What is Croatia famous for? Music festivals © Khris Cowley

There is a very good reason why the city of Pula leapt massively up the list of most-researched online Croatian destinations over the last decade. It played host to two of the country's most famous international music festivals. Though the music at some of these can be quite niche, the global attention they have brought to the country is simply massive. Clever modern branding and marketing by the experienced international operators who host their festivals in Croatia mean that millions of young people all over the world have seen videos, photos and reviews of Croatia music festivals, each of them set within a spectacular backdrop of seaside Croatia.

f) Plitvice Lakes and natural heritage


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What is Croatia Famous For? Plitvice Lakes, national parks and natural heritage

Known for its chain of 16 terraced lakes and gushing waterfalls, Plitvice Lakes is the oldest, biggest and most famous National Park in Croatia. Everybody wants to see it. And many do. But that's not the be-all and end-all of Croatia's stunning natural beauty. Within the country's diverse topography, you'll find 7 further National Parks and 12 Nature Parks which can be mountain terrain, an archipelago of islands, or vibrant wetlands.

2) Football


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What is Croatia famous for? Football. Seen here, Luka Modric at the 2018 World Cup © Светлана Бекетова

The glittering international careers of Croatian footballers Luka Modrić, Ivan Rakitić, Ivan Perišić, Mario Mandžukić, and others have in recent years advertised Croatia as a factory of top-flight footballing talent. They helped put Croatia football on the map with fans of European football. Football fans in Croatia have a very different perception of just how famous Croatian football is to everyone else in the world. If you talk to a Croatian fan about football, it's almost guaranteed that they will remind you of a time (perhaps before either of you were born) when their local or national team beat your local or national team in football. 99% of people will have no idea what they are talking about. The past occasions which prompt this parochial pride pale into insignificance against the Croatian National Football Team's achievement in reaching the World Cup Final of 2018. This monumental occasion brought the eyes of the world on Croatia, extending way beyond the vision of regular football fans. Subsequently, the internet exploded with people asking “Where is Croatia?”

Sports in general are what is Croatia known for

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Croatians are enthusiastic about sports and engage in a wide number of them. The difference in perception between how Croats view the fame this gets them and the reality within the rest of the world is simply huge. Rowing, basketball, wrestling, mixed martial arts, tennis, handball, boxing, waterpolo, ice hockey, skiing and volleyball are just some of the sports in which Croatia has enthusiastically supported individuals and local and national teams. Some of these are regarded as minority sports even in other countries that also pursue them. Croatians don't understand this part. If you say to a Croatian “What is handball? I never heard of that,” they will look at you like you are crazy or of below-average intelligence.

3) Zagreb


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What is Croatia famous for? Its capital city Zagreb is becoming increasingly better known

Over relatively recent years, the Croatian capital has skyrocketed in terms of fame and visitor numbers. Tens of thousands of people from all over the world now come to visit Zagreb each year. Its massive new success can be partly attributed to the rising popularity of international tourism in some areas of Asia (and Zagreb being used as a setting for some television programmes made in some Asian countries) and the massive success of Zagreb's Advent which, after consecutively attaining the title of Best European Christmas Market three times in a row, has become famous throughout the continent and further still. Zagreb's fame is not however restricted to tourism. Zagreb is known for its incredible Austro-Hungarian architecture, its Upper Town (Gornji Grad) and the buildings there, an array of museums and city centre parks and as home to world-famous education and scientific institutions, like to Ruder Boskovic Institute and the Faculty of Economics, University of Zagreb.

4) Olive oil


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What is Croatia famous for? Olive oil

Croatian olive oil is the best in the world. Don't just take out word for it! Even the experts say so. In 2020, leading guide Flos Olei voted Istria in northwest Croatia as the world's best olive oil growing region for a sixth consecutive year. Olive oil production is an ancient endeavour in Croatia, and over hundreds of years, the trees have matured, and the growers learned everything there is to know. Olive oil is made throughout a much wider area of Croatia than just Istria, and local differences in climate, variety, and soil all impact the flavour of the oils produced. Croatian has no less than five different olive oils protected at a European level under the designation of their place of origin. These and many other Croatian olive oils are distinct and are among the best you're ever likely to try.

5) There was a war here


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What is Croatia famous for? A relatively recent war left its mark on the country © Modzzak

Under rights granted to the republics of the former Yugoslavia and with a strong mandate from the Croatian people, gained across two national referendums, Croatia declared its independence from Yugoslavia in 1991. Yugoslavia was a multi-ethnic country, with each republic containing a mixture of different ethnicities and indeed many families which themselves were the product of mixed ethnicities. Ethnic tensions and the rise of strong nationalist political voices in each of the former republics and within certain regions of these countries lead to a situation where war became inevitable. The worst of the fighting was suffered within Croatia, Bosnia, and Herzegovina and the part of southern Serbia which is now Kosovo. The Croatian War of Independence (known locally as the Homeland War) lasted from 1991 – 1995. The Yugoslav wars of which it was a major part is regarded as the deadliest conflict in Europe since World War II. In many cases, this war pitted neighbouring houses or neighbouring villages against each other and sometimes members of the same family could be found on opposing sides. The war left huge damage on the country and its infrastructure, some of which is still visible. Worse still, it had a much greater physical and psychological impact on the population. Some people in Croatia today would rather not talk about the war and would prefer to instead talk about the country's present and future. For other people in Croatia, the war remains something of an obsession. If you are curious about the Croatian War of Independence, it is not advisable to bring it up in conversation when you visit the country unless you know the person you are speaking with extremely well. It is a sensitive subject for many and can unnecessarily provoke strong emotions and painful memories. There are many resources online where you can instead read all about the war, there are good documentary series about it on Youtube and there are several museums in Croatia where you can go and learn more, in Vukovar, Karlovac and in Zagreb.

6) Wine


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What is Croatia famous for? Its wine is some of the best you'll ever try © Plenković

Croatia is not really that famous for wine. Well, not as famous as it should be because Croatia makes some of the greatest wine on the planet. Croatian wine is only really famous to those who have tried it after visiting – you'll never forget it! A growing cabal of Croatian wine enthusiasts are trying their best internationally to spread the word about Croatian wine. However, there isn't really that much space in Croatia to make all the wine it needs to supply its homegrown demands and a greatly increased export market. Therefore, export prices of Croatian wine are quite high and even when it does reach foreign shores, these prices ensure its appreciation only by a select few. There's a popular saying locally that goes something like this “We have enough for ourselves and our guests”. Nevertheless, Croatian wine is frequently awarded at the most prestigious international competitions and expos. White wine, red wine, sparkling wine, cuvee (mixed) and rose wine are all made here and Croatia truly excels at making each. You can find different kinds of grape grown and wine produced in the different regions of Croatia. The best way to learn about Croatian wine is to ask someone who really knows about wine or simply come to Croatia to try it. Or, perhaps better still, don't do that and then there will be more for those of us who live here. Cheers!

7) Croatian produce


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Drniš prsut
is protected at a European level, one of 32 products currently protected in this way and therefore what is Croatia famous for © Tourist Board of Drniš

To date, 32 agricultural and food products from Croatia have attained protection at a European level. These range from different prosciuttos, olive oils and Dalmatian bacon, to pastries and pastas, honey, cheese, turkeys, lamb, cabbages, mandarins, salt, sausages, potatoes and something called Meso 'z tiblice (which took a friend from the region where it's made three days to fully research so he could explain it to me at the levels necessary to write an informed article about it – so, you can research that one online). While some prosciutto, bacon, sausages, olive oil and wine do make it out of Croatia, much of these are snaffled up by a discerning few of those-in-the-know. The rest, you will only really be able to try if you visit. And, there are many other items of Croatian produce which are known which you can also try while here

Truffles


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What is Croatia known for? Truffles © Donatella Paukovic

By weight, one of the most expensive delicacies in the world, truffles are a famous part of the cuisine within some regions of Croatia. They feature heavily in the menu of Istria, which is well known as a region in which both white and black truffles are found and then added to food, oils or other products. Truth be told, this isn't a black and white issue - there are a great number of different types of truffle and they can be found over many different regions in Croatia, including around Zagreb and in Zagreb County. But, you'll need to see a man about a dog if you want to find them yourself.

Vegeta


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What is Croatia known for? Vegeta

Having celebrated its 60th birthday in 2019, the cooking condiment Vegeta is exported and known in many other countries, particularly Croatia's close neighbours. It is popularly put into soups and stews to give them more flavour. Among its ingredients are small pieces of dehydrated vegetables like carrot, parsnip, onion, celery, plus spices, salt and herbs like parsley.

Chocolate


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What is Croatia known for? Chocolate is a big export© Alexander Stein

Though making chocolate is only around a century old in Croatia, Croatian chocolate has grown to become one of its leading manufactured food exports. Some of the most popular bars may be a little heavy on sugar and low on cocoa for more discerning tastes. But, lots of others really like it.

Beer


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What is Croatia famous for? Its beer is becoming more famous internationally © The Garden Brewery

The exploding growth of the Croatian craft ale scene over the last 10 years is something that is likely to have passed you by, unless you're a regular visitor to the country, a beer buff or both. Most of the producers are quite small and production not great enough to make a big splash on international markets. However, even within a craft-flooded current market, Croatian beer is becoming more widely known – in one poll, the Zagreb-based Garden Brewery was in 2020 voted Europe's Best Brewery for the second consecutive year

8) Innovation


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What is Croatia famous for? Pioneers, inventors and innovation. Nikola Tesla was born here

From the parachute, fingerprinting, the retractable pen and the tungsten filament electric light-bulb to the torpedo, modern seismology, the World Health Oganisation and the cravat (a necktie, and the precursor to the tie worn by many today), Croatia has gifted many innovations to the world. The list of pioneers - scientists, artists, researchers and inventors - who were born here throughout history is long. And, although innovation is not currently regarded as experiencing a golden period in Croatia, there are still some Croatian innovators whose impact is felt globally, such as electric hypercar maker Mate Rimac.

9) Being poor


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What is Croatia famous for? Being poor. Yikes!

The minimum wage in Croatia is among the lowest in Europe. Croatian language media is constantly filled with stories about corruption. There is a huge state apparatus in which key (if not most) positions are regarded to be politically or personally-motivated appointments. This leads to a lack of opportunity for Croatia's highly educated young people. Many emigrate for better pay and better opportunities. This leads to a brain drain and affects the country's demographics considerably (if it usually the best educated, the ablest and the youngest Croatian adults who emigrate). Many of those who stay are influenced by the stories of widespread corruption and lack of opportunity and are therefore lethargic in their work, leading to a lack of productivity. A considerable part of the Croatian economy is based on tourism which remains largely seasonal.

10) People want to live in Croatia


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What is Croatia famous for? People want to come and live here. No, really.

Yes, despite many younger Croatians leaving or dreaming of leaving and despite the low wages, many people who are not from Croatia dream about living here. Of course, it's an all too familiar scenario that you go on holiday somewhere and while sitting at a seafood restaurant in sight of a glorious sunset, having had a few too many glasses of the local wine, you fall in love with Miguel or however the waiter is called who served it and Miguel's homeland. But, with Croatia, this is actually no passing fancy, no idle holiday dream. People do decide to move here. And not just for the sunset and Miguel (nobody in Croatia is called Miguel - Ed).

Croatia may be known for being poor, but it also has one of the best lifestyles in Europe. That it's cafe terraces are usually full to capacity tells you something about the work to living ratio. Croatians are not just spectators of sport, many enjoy a healthy lifestyle. This informs everything from their pastimes to their diet. There are great facilities for exercise and sport, wonderful nature close by whichever part of the country you're in. You can escape into somewhere wonderful and unknown at a moment's notice. The country is well connected internally by brilliant roads and motorways, reliable intercity buses and an international train network. The tourism industry ensures that multiple airports across Croatia can connect you to almost anywhere you want to go, and major international airports in Belgrade and Budapest, just a couple of hours away, fly to some extremely exotic locations. There are a wealth of fascinating neighbour countries on your doorstep to explore on a day trip or weekend and superfast broadband is being rolled out over the entire country. This is perhaps one of the reasons Croatia has been heralded as one of the world's best options for Digital Nomads. In a few years, when we ask what is Croatia famous far, they could be one of the answers.

What is Croatia famous for, but only after you've visited

Some things you experience when you visit Croatia come as a complete surprise. Most would simply never be aware of them until they visit. They are usually top of the list of things you want to do when you come back to Croatia.

Gastronomy


fritaja_sparoge_1-maja-danica-pecanic_1600x900ntbbbbb.jpgGastronomy is only one of the things what is Croatia known for only after you've visited © Maja Danica Pecanic / Croatian National Tourist Board

Despite a few famous TV chefs having visited and filmed in Croatia over the years, Croatian gastronomy remains largely unknown to almost everyone who's never been to Croatia. That's a shame because you can find some fine food here. Croatia has increased its Michelin-starred and Michelin-recommended restaurants tenfold over recent years. But, perhaps the bigger story is the traditional cuisine which varies greatly within the countries different regions. From the gut-busting barbecue grills and the classic Mediterranean fare of Dalmatia to the pasta, asparagus and truffles of Istria to the sausages and paprika-rich stews of Slavonia and the best smoked and preserved meats of the region, there's an untold amount of secret Croatian gastronomy to discover.

Coffee


restaurant-3815076_1280.jpgWhat is Croatia known for? Well, to locals, it's famous for coffee - not just a drink, it's a ritual

Croatians are passionate about coffee and about going for coffee. It's a beloved ritual here. Going for coffee in Croatia is often about much more than having coffee. It's an integral part of socialising, catching up and sometimes being seen. It doesn't always involve coffee either. Sometimes, you'll be invited for coffee, only to end up ordering beer. It's not about the coffee. Although, the standard of coffee in Croatia, and the places where you drink it, is usually really good.

The misapprehension: What is Croatia known for (if you are a Croatian living in Croatia)

Handball, music

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Thursday, 20 June 2019

New from Melania Billboard Creators: Uhljeb Doesn't Exist in English

June 20, 2019 - Remember THOSE Croatian billboards which around the world in 2017? The creators of the infamous Croatian language institute campaign with an image of Melania Trump are back - 'uhljeb' meets the world. 

It is almost two years since some billboards went up in Zagreb and within 24 hours had become one of the most viral global stories of the week. Seemingly every major global media reported on the Američki Institut in Zagreb's campaign to attract new English students with a message with the image of the American First Lady, who hails from neighbouring Slovenia and made it all the way to The White House. Here is the TCN report on it at the time.  

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I doubt that there has been a more effective billboard campaign with such a reach from such a small budget and number of billboards used, and the PR value was incredible, despite the fact that the billboards were soon removed by the threat of legal action. 

But now the Američki Institut in Zagreb is back in the billboard business, this time using a cultural norm closer to home with its message - The word 'Uhljeb' does not exist in English. Master English and conquer the world. 

In the last decade, the “uhljeb” phenomenon has become a social norm and a fact of life in Croatia and not much is done about the problem, making it worse every year. Positions within government companies are still being made up and set up for the selected few, while the qualified and capable are leaving the country.” - said Maša Anišić, the founder of Američki Institut in Zagreb. 

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Additionally, the word “uhljeb” has only been recently used in the Croatian language and there still isn’t a direct translation of the word, which is quite interesting. We wanted to give hope to people, as they will probably not encounter this issue to be detrimental to their careers and lives in Western countries. However, any emigrant will still have to know the basics of the English language in order to get ahead in life and integrate into society. To be perfectly honest, we’re sure there are “uheljbs” anywhere in the world, but in the developed countries the problem is not so severe that it’s driving people to leave their homeland. In Croatia, the “uhljeb” has become a standard and a cultural phenomenon.

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How to define the word 'uhljeb'? It is a new addition to the Croatian language, and it refers to someone who gets his job through nepotism, does nothing and is yet one more parasite - as one diaspora businessman so eloquently put it at a recent conference in Split - "sucking on the nation's tits." The biggest attempt at explaining the cult of uhljeb is here

The closest I can get to explaining it is that the world u (in) and hljeb (similar to the Serb word for bread) would make a translation 'in bread', or someone who is getting something. But in order to become an uhljeb, you have to be intertwined with the system, so my best translation would be 'an inbred in bread.'

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LIfe in Croatia changed for me the day I discovered the Cult of Uhljeb, as I explained in A Tale of Two Croatias: Before and After the Uhljeb Discovery.

Another genius campaign, which due to its regional nature will not go as viral as Melania, but I am sure it will do very well indeed. 

To get the latest from the mighty State of Uhljebistan, follow the dedicated TCN section

Friday, 17 May 2019

Uhljeb Alert? One of Poorest Counties in Croatia Establishes Space Technology Centre

Sisak-Moslavina County is one of the poorest in Croatia. However, yesterday it established the Centre for Space and Innovative Technologies. Although the news that a county with many villages without electricity, water and roads has opened a space technology centre sounds like an April Fool’s joke, county officials seem offended by such comparisons, reports Jutarnji List on May 17, 2019.

County prefect Ivo Žinić pointed out that the project “Sisak-Moslavina County - Gaming Industry Centre” has become one of the most innovative projects in Croatia and that the establishment of the Centre for Space and Innovative Technologies will enable the county to become the centre of competence for certain other technologies as well.

“The activities led by the centre can attract a large number of young scientists, and the opening of new jobs will prevent them from leaving the country. The future of Croatia, the future of Sisak-Moslavina County, is in modern technologies,” concluded Žinić.

The decision by the County Assembly has caused an avalanche of comments and jokes on social networks. “A very inventive way to employ party personnel, if there are still few unemployed members left. They need the space centre because HDZ members seem to have come from Mars.”

Some commentators have also advised the authorities to be sure to “set up the Central Agency for the Coordination of County Centres for Space Technology with one coordinator for each county, and a deputy, and a secretary, and a secretary’s deputy.” Others say that the “space centre will gravitate toward HDZ members,” and that the elections are coming soon, but that this idea is too much even for an election campaign.

However, there are other opinions. Danko Bosanac, an astrophysicist from the Ruđer Bošković Institute, support the idea. Several years ago, he initiated the establishment of a similar, never opened centre in Udbina. “I am directly responsible for launching this centre because I have started the Adriatic Aerospace Association.It is fine to express doubts, but it has to be done in a civilized way, because this initiative is supported by A3, with about 60 highly-qualified members from the areas of space technology and science, and with numerous contacts around the world.

The discussion about the Sisak centre lasted for about a year. The centre will primarily focus on the commercialization of top-quality materials that will have the ‘terrestrial’ application. The Faculty of Metallurgy and the Ruđer Bošković Institute will represent a link towards scientific research. There will be a co-operation between science and technology. We should be happy and help this initiative; someone has decided to make a step forward,” said Bosanac.

The information on the establishment of the centre has been published on the Adriatic Aerospace Association’s website. It is a non-profit association that focuses on four main areas: promoting research and development in the aerospace sector, mediating in projects as a point of contact, education and consulting, and regional co-operation.

Translated from Jutarnji List (reported by Anita Belak-Krile).

More news about Sisak-Moslavina County can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Rating of Croatian Mayors, City Administrations and Companies Begins

Just how well do Croatian city administrations work, how well do Croatian mayors actually do their jobs, and how are Croatian companies performing? All will be revealed...

As Vedran Marjanovic/Novac writes on the 9th of April, 2019, just like in 2018, this year, Croatia is beginning to thoroughly monitor and evaluate the work of its many mayor and the administrations of 126 Croatian cities in order to choose the best among them, and all local authorities have been pushing for better management in favour of their respective residents. This is the main mission of the second time of voting for the best Croatian cities under the organisation of the Gradonačelnik.hr portal and the Ipsos agency.

''Last year, when the idea of ​​monitoring and evaluating the work of city administrations was initially launched, we weren't able to see how much the project would demand in terms of organisation, media, logistics and research, and after last year's award ceremony for the the best cities, we're proud to say that we created a sustainable methodology for the monitoring and ranking of Croatian cities. After all, we're convinced that we have developed the first credible metric to monitor the quality of life in Croatian cities. Since the cities themselves, as well as our readers, have recognised the seriousness of our Best City project this year, we decided to take it to a new level - we turned it into a year-round project. Additionally, while last year we ranked the work of city administrations first, this year we will also have competitions for Croatian companies in terms of Smart City and Eco City solutions.

Our goal is to create a platform that will bring the public closer to local politics, primarily by comparing the performance of Croatian local self-government units,'' stated Vanja Sertić, the founder of Gradonačelnik.hr's project, who also expressed her expectation that this year's selection of the best Croatian cities will contribute to creating a positive competition among local leaders which will ultimately also make the lives of their fellow citizens better.

Months of research and evaluation of Croatian cities will culminate in the final announcement of the winners on October the 4th this year in six categories and in three competitions - the large (over 35,000 inhabitants), the medium (between 10,000 and 35,000) and the small Croatian towns with a maximum of 10,000 inhabitants. The main categories are quality of life, economy and education with demography, youth and social policy. Special categories are Eco city, Smart City and EU Fund Champion.

"We will analyse all of the publicly available statistics, carry out and conduct surveys among the cities, as well as among their residents, and thus create a list of cities that have something to boast about,'' said Vanja Sertić.

This is a comprehensive evaluation of the indicators of Croatian cities, for example in the category of quality of life, research includes data on the city's safety and security, budget allocations for culture and sports, real estate prices, the number of parking spaces and the quality of the city's transport. In addition, according to Ante Šalinovic of Ipsos, this time statements of the citizens themselves are being taken into account, as is their perception of the quality of life in the areas where they live and work.

''Last year, we participated in the creation of methodology for the selection of the city with the best quality of life in Croatia, linking different pieces of statistical data with the perception of satisfaction with life in those cities. We determined that each parameter influences the quality of life and we ultimately ranked the cities. In 2019, we'll continue to explore the quality of life in Croatian cities, with an additional methodology upgrade to get the most accurate ranking of the cities that provide their citizens with the best quality of life and living standards,'' Šalinović told Novac.

By introducing a special Smart City Award for technologically advanced city management solutions or in providing citizens' services, this election of the best Croatian cities seeks to measure the consistency of local self-government units with contemporary trends.

Make sure to follow our dedicated politics and lifestyle pages for much more.

 

Click here for the original article by Vedran Marjanovic for Novac/Jutarnji

Monday, 8 April 2019

Officials Miss Leasing Deadline, Pay 150,000 Kuna for Rent-a-Car Services

Regional Development Minister Gabrijel Žalac’s mother is not the only wife driving a rent-a-car. Certain parliamentary and government officials will be driven in them for at least the next two months. The tax-payers will pay for this a monthly amount of 73,500 kuna with VAT included, i.e. 147,000 kuna, for the total of 14 rented vehicles. Out of this, the total monthly cost for the Parliament is 38,750 kuna per month, while the Office for General Affairs of the Parliament and Government (UZOP) will pay 35,000 kuna, reports 24sata.hr on April 8, 2019.

A five-year operational lease agreement for 20 cars purchased in 2014 expired in mid-March, so the UZOP had to return them to the leasing companies. The Central State Bureau for Public Procurement has concluded a framework agreement for the 18 new cars to be delivered. “But, in order to avoid the situation that we have no vehicles available, we have hired vehicles for the transportation of officials, civil servants and dignitaries," reported the UZOP.

For the purposes of transportation of deputy speakers of the Croatian Parliament, rent-a-car companies delivered to Parliament four Opel Insignias, as well as two Mercedes E Class vehicles to transport foreign delegations. A monthly rental of one Opel Insignia costs 5,000 kuna without VAT, or 6,250 kuna with the tax included. The rental of a Mercedes E Class on a monthly basis is 5,500 kuna without VAT or 6,875 kuna with the tax.

For the purposes of transportation of civil servants and other officials of parliament, government and government offices, eight 2014 Opel Insignia have also been rented. For each of them, the monthly rent without VAT amounts to 3,500 kuna.

“Since vehicles have been leased until the delivery of new vehicles, for a maximum of two months, there was no need to conduct a public procurement procedure. The parliament and the UZOP obtained them per the internal instructions on how to conduct a simple procurement procedure,” said the General Affairs Office.

This all means that someone has missed the deadlines for car purchase by two months. And that someone should be held responsible since the deadlines for announcing public procurement procedures have not been respected. If they had done all these things in a timely manner, there would have been no additional government spending, says a source.

Translated from 24sata.hr (reported by Snježana Krnetić).

More “uhljeb” news can be found in the Politics section.

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Uhljebistan: Communal Officer Tries to Charge Woman for Lost Pet Signs

Have you ever wondered what Uhljebistan means? We use the word a lot here at TCN and often are quick to forget that not everyone will be aquainted with it (lucky them). In brief, the word encompasses uhljebs - those individuals typically working in Croatia's numerous state bodies who want nothing more than to make your life needlessly complicated, for no gain, and then hopefully charge you a few kuna along the way.

If you'd like to take a more in depth journey into the world of Uhljebistan, click here and get to know some of the apparently unstoppable yet totally useless, self-important and self-serving cogs of the Croatian state.

You'd think that in this day and age, where people often love animals more than they do other people, placing a few signs on the street letting the world know you've lost your beloved pet and would like to find them, would be no problem at all. In fact, you'd think it would be encouraged. Apparently not, at least not in Osijek.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 28th of November, 2018, after her seven-year-old Siamese cat disappeared, one Osijek resident decided to place some signs in her neighbourhood letting others know about the cat's disappearance, and offering a reward for anyone who finds the cat. Soon after, the woman's mother, whose phone number was placed as a contact number on the sign, received an unexpected call. Instead of it being someone with news of the cat's whereabouts on the other end of the line, it was a communal officer, writes Glas Slavonije.

"He told her [her mother] that we had two hours come and remove all the signs, because we'd otherwise have to pay 1,000 kuna for each sign. I have to admit that we'd put many signs up, and we mostly put them on bus stops, that is, at higher levels, on poles, etc. I saw a lot of ads put up in such places, so I didn't think that I wouldn't be permitted to put a poster up about my missing cat. As soon as we were cautioned, we went and removed all of them,'' said the woman, whose publication on Facebook has been shared a lot, namely by other rightly irritated animal lovers.

So, if you've lost your cat, make sure you're willing to pay a ridiculous amount of money to put up an innocent sign asking your fellow local residents for help, because God forbid someone goes without making money from your problems.

Make sure to follow our lifestyle page for more.

Monday, 15 October 2018

Uhljebistan Strikes Again? Croatian Railways Worker Highlights Stupidity

Croatian Railways gets an unflattering rundown on social media by one of its deeply dissatisfied employees.

Monday, 8 October 2018

Welfare Centre Buying "Uhljebs" 200 Euro Designer Shoes

It seems that some public services employees, also known as “uhljebs”, have their expensive shoe buying habits financed from the state budget.

Thursday, 27 September 2018

Pula Arena and Rome Colloseum Mixed Up in Promotional Materials

The embarrassing mistake was made in materials promoting European Sports Week.

Thursday, 27 September 2018

“Uhljeb” Assessment Website Launched

A uniquely Croatian invention.

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