Friday, 8 October 2021

Euro 2023 Qualifiers: Croatia U21s Top Norway in Varaždin!

October 8, 2021 - In the third round of the Euro 2023 qualifiers, the Croatia U21 side topped Norway 3:2 in Varaždin, recording their third win in 3 rounds! 

In its third appearance in Group A of the 2023 European Championship qualifications, the Croatia U21 football team met Norway in Varaždin.

After two rounds, the Croatia side collected all six points, just like Norway. The young Croatia team thus achieved its third victory, defeating Norway 3-2 (2-0) in Varaždin on Friday. 

Croatia: Pandur, B.Šutalo, Soldo, Vušković, Čolina, Palaversa, Sučić, J.Šutalo, Marin, Šimić, Kačavenda

Norway: Klaesson, Sebulonsen, Heggheim, Daland, Ostrom, Larsen, Askildsen, Hove, Evjen, Botheim, Holm

Croatia led 1:0 already in the 2nd minute with a goal by Roko Simic after a free kick taken by Luka Sučić. 

Croatia increased their lead to 2:0 thanks to Luka Sučić, assisted by Ante Palaversa. 

Norway looked powerless and without opportunities for most of the first half, without real chances until just before the halftime whistle. 

The second half started with changes in Norway's lineup - coach Leif Gunnar Smerud sent Emil Konradsen Ceide and Tobias Christensen on for Robin Dahl Ostrom and Hakon Evjen.

Norway scored for 2:1 in the 55th minute, before Vušković made it 3:1 two minutes later!

And the madness didn't stop there - Norway came back for 3:2 in the 58th minute, making it three goals in 3 minutes! 

Norway increased their pressure on Croatia's defense, especially in the final minute of the match. Three minutes of injury time were added by the referee, in which Norway was unable to equalize. 

Croatia thus recorded their 3rd win in 3 games in this qualification cycle! Croatia currently leads the group with a maximum of nine points, Norway and Austria have six, followed by Finland with three points, and Azerbaijan and Estonia without points.

In four days, Croatia will play away against Azerbaijan in Sumgayit.

All nine group winners and the best runners-up will qualify, while the remaining eight runners-up will advance to additional qualifications.

The 2023 European Championship will be played in Georgia and Romania. 

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Tuesday, 28 September 2021

CRO Race 1st Stage: Phil Bauhaus Finishes First from Osijek to Varaždin

September 28, 2021 - The CRO Race 1st stage finished on Tuesday on a 237-kilometers-long route from Osijek to Varaždin. On Wednesday, cyclists will ride from Slunj to Otočac.

The first and longest stage of the sixth edition of the CRO Race has been completed. The 237-kilometer stage started from Osijek with the finish line in Varaždin, reports HRT.

German Phil Bauhaus, a member of the Bahrain Victorious team, justified his status as one of the favorites to win and was faster than Dutchman Olav Kooi (Jumbo-Vism) in second and Norwegian Kristoffer Halvorsen (Uno-X) in third.

In the second stage, which will take place on Wednesday from Slunj to Otočac, Bauhaus will take the red shirt of the leader in the overall standings. This is his ninth victory in 2021.

"I positioned myself well before the finish. My team did a great job because it was a windy stage. I expect that the stage winner will be decided by the sprint on Wednesday, although there will be many more climbs ahead of us," said Bauhaus.

The longest stage of this year's race started as expected. Very soon after the start, a group of five drivers was formed, which stood out from the peloton and created a significant advantage. Among them was Croatian cyclist Fran Miholjevic (Team Friuli), accompanied by Poles Pawel Franczak (Voster ATS Team) and Marceli Boguslawski (HRE Mazowsze Serce Polski), Italian Mattia Viel (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec), and German Tim Oelke (Metalltechnik).

At the first passing goal to Slatina after 84 kilometers, the Frenchman was first ahead of Viel and Boguslawski.

But the four "World Tour" teams competing in the race did not allow the advantage to grow too much, and the maximum difference was 4:45 minutes.

Fifty kilometers before the finish line, Boguslawski stood out from the leading group, who had a minute advantage before the only ascent in the stage in Ludbreški Vinogradi. By the top of the climb, Boguslawski had a 15-second lead over second-placed Miholjevic and third-placed Franczak and became the first green jersey holder at this year's CRO Race.

On the descent towards Ludbreg, Miholjević overtook Boguslawski and was the first to cross the passing goal in Ludbreg. As expected, soon after the second passing goal, 28 kilometers before the finish in Varaždin, the peloton caught the last two cyclists who spent more than 200 kilometers at the head of the race.

"The team plan for this stage was to try to get into an escape. I was the first to try, and that escape immediately succeeded," said 19-year-old Miholjević, who has never mastered such a long section as he had on Tuesday.

After the original escape, two Euskaltel drivers, Xabier Azparren and Luis Angel Mate, stood out from the leading group. They managed to hold out in front of the peloton up to eight kilometers before the finish line.

The best-placed Croatian cyclist was Josip Rumac, who finished the stage in 14th place. The young Fran Miholjević drove an excellent first stage and was first in the bonus sprint and second in the mountain passing goal. He finished the stage in 54th place. 

On Wednesday, the second stage will run from Slunj to Otočac in the length of 187 kilometers.

CRO Race 1st stage results:

1. Phil BAUHAUS TBV 5h52'06''

2. Olav KOOIJ* TJV

3. Kristoffer HALVORSEN UXT





8. Sanz Gotzon MARTIN EUS


10. David PER ADR 


1. Phil BAUHAUS TBV 5h51'56''

2. Olav KOOIJ* TJV +4''

3. Kristoffer HALVORSEN UXT +5''

4. Markus HOELGAARD UXT +7''




8. Anders SKAARSETH UXT +8''

9. Stephen WILLIAMS TBV +9''


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Saturday, 25 September 2021

30th Anniversary of Varaždin’s Liberation Marked

ZAGREB, 25 Sept, 2021 - The 30th anniversary of the liberation of Varaždin was marked on Saturday with a parade of veterans, soldiers, police and fire-fighters, and President Zoran Milanović saying that fighting for the rights and living standards of all citizens was the only way for Croatia to succeed.

Varaždin was liberated with the surrender of the Yugoslav People's Army's 32nd Corps on 22 September 1991. The seized weaponry increased the Croatian defenders' firepower seven times, marking a watershed in the Homeland War.

President Milanović said Croatia's task now was to ensure a decent life for every person and to make the most of its EU membership. "That's what we owe Croatian boys and girls, Croatian defenders... They would be happy if they saw that living here is safer, better, freer."

Varaždin Mayor Neven Bosilj said the liberation of the town in 1991 marked a watershed in the Homeland War, creating the prerequisites for the creation of the independent and free Croatia.

Varaždin County head Anđelko Stričak said Varaždin's war days in 1991 were as important for the Homeland War as the 1995 Operation Storm. He recalled that the first free area in Croatia was on the territory of present-day Međimurje and Varaždin counties and that 175 defenders from there were killed in the war.

The parliament speaker's envoy, MP Damir Habijan of the ruling HDZ, said Croatian defenders fought for an independent and free state and that now was the time to fight for a successful Croatia and for the Croatian future.

For more about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Saturday, 25 September 2021

2021 European Languages Day: Varaždin Celebrates German Language Learning

September 25, 2021 - The 2021 European Languages Day was celebrated at the Franciscan square in Varaždin. Pupils presented souvenirs honoring Germany and the German language.

'Gore gore gore gore' (hills burn worse up there) is one of those sentences that show how weird but cool the Croatian language can be. Add interesting phrases to the equation, and you can understand why Croatians are proud and want to preserve their language.

But Croatians also respect other languages too.

As reported by the Varaždinske Vijesti website, September 25 marked the European Day of Languages.

Under the motto "Deutsch ist Nah!" Varaždin's Franciscan square saw five Varaždin elementary schools, the Varaždin high school, and ten schools from Varaždin County celebrate the event with a suitable program.

„Given that we as teachers recognized the importance of multilingual education, we decided to shed light on the German language, which is important for Varaždin County, both because of geography but also for the economy. In teaching, we address communicative approach and active, vocal communication and active usage of the German language which is very significant in our area“, Vidovec Elementary school German language teacher Lea Lesar Dolenc told for Varaždinske Vijesti.

Dolenc is the initiator of the project that is run along with the European Culture Circle EKULT Association for the popularisation of the German language. The program that lasted from 10 AM to 1 PM saw the presentation of souvenirs with symbols of the Federal Republic of Germany made by the pupils from participating schools.

Apart from German, as former British Ambassador Andrew Dalgleish noted for TCN, Croatians speak English very well too.

When it comes to language learning in Croatia, apart from various courses and private schools, the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (FFZG), part of the University of Zagreb, is the most pristine high-education facility that educates its students to be translators. As well as understand various languages and cultures that tag along with lingual expressions. Additionally, FFZG is the home to Croaticum.

„Croaticum – Centre for Croatian as a Second and Foreign Language is the oldest and largest institution engaged in teaching, research, and description of Croatian as a second and foreign language. It is part of the Department of Croatian Language and Literature at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences of the University of Zagreb, the largest Croatian academic institution specializing in social studies and humanities. Croaticum is renowned for its tradition, expertise, and knowledge“, says the Croaticum website, an institution founded back in 1962.

Commemorating the learning of second languages by celebrating the European Day of Languages is now a twenty-year-long tradition, as it was founded in 2001.

„Throughout Europe, 800 million Europeans are represented in the Council of Europe's 47 member states, and all are encouraged to discover more languages at any age, as part of or alongside their studies. This stems from the Council of Europe’s conviction that linguistic diversity is a tool for achieving greater intercultural understanding and a key element in the rich cultural heritage of our continent. Therefore, the Council of Europe, in Strasbourg, promotes plurilingualism in the whole of Europe“, explains the European Language Day website.

Learn more about Varaždin in our TC guide.

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

Monday, 13 September 2021

Businesses in Zagreb, Osijek and Varaždin Top Ranking Considering Net Profit

ZAGREB, 13 Sept 2021 - Enterprises from Zagreb, Osijek, and Varaždin top the ranking considering the 2020 consolidated net profit broken down by cities, shows an analysis of data provided by the Financial Agency (FINA).

The remaining seven cities that make the top ten list in this survey are Karlovac, Sveta Nedelja, Rijeka, Čakovec, Solin, Vukovar, and Kutina.

Businesses in the top 10 cities make up 4/5 of total net profit of all businesses in Croatia

The consolidated net profit of the businesses registered in all those ten cities in 2020 was HRK 16.6 billion, and the consolidated net profit of all the businesses in the whole of Croatia totaled 20.97 billion last year.

There were 62,365 businesses registered in those ten cities, and they employed 493,716 people or 52.1% of all the workers on the payrolls of all the businesses across Croatia.

In Zagreb alone, there were 46,347 registered businesses with 369,080 employees on their payrolls, and they made a net profit of 12.2 billion kuna or 73.5% of the total net profit of all the businesses in Croatia in 2020. The business performance of the Croatian power company HEP pushes the capital city to the top of the ranking.

Osijek ranks second with its businesses making a net profit of HRK 669.6 million. The biggest eastern city ranks second owing to the business performance of the Žito food company.

Varaždin comes in as third, with the net profit of the businesses registered in this northern city totaling HRK 571.6 million. The largest share of this success is contributed by the Zagorje-Tehnobeton construction company.

Karlovac follows with HRK 509.4 million, and Sveta Nedelja, a town west of Zagreb, registered HRK 490.1 million in the net profit of the businesses in that area.

The list also includes Rijeka (HRK 489.6M), Čakovec (HRK 476.1M), Solin (HRK 438.2M) Vukovar (HRK 404.2M) and Kutina (HRK 353.3M)

(€1 = HRK 7.5)

For more, follow our business section.

Thursday, 9 September 2021

Varaždin County Businesses See Higher Net Profit, More Employees in 2020 Than in 2019

ZAGREB, 9 Sept 2021 - The businesses registered in Varaždin County recorded the consolidated net profit of HRK 1.3 billion in 2020, up 22.3% from 2019, and had also 1.6% more employees last year than in 2019, according to an analysis of the Financial Agency (FINA).

Last year, the total revenues of the 4,276 businesses that had their main offices registered in that northern Croatian county stood at HRK 27.5 billion, down by 0.3% on the year, and their total expenditures were cut by one percent to HRK 26 billion.

In terms of revenues, the food company Vindija topped the ranking, HRK 3 billion.

WE-KR, a company specialized in manufacturing metal structures, saw the highest profit.

The net profit for the period of all the enterprises in the county came to HRK 1.5 billion, rising by 26.5% from 2019, the loss for the period jumped by 49.1% to HRK 290.2 million. As a result, the consolidated financial outcome of the profit was HRK 1.3 billion, or 23.3% more than in 2019.

Gross fixed capital formation increased by 5.5% in 2020.

The exports of the businesses registered in Varaždin County declined by 4.5% to HRK 9.2 billion, and imports shrank 11.5% to HRK 5.1 billion.

The biggest exporter, based in Varaždin County, was Boxmark Leather, whose exports totaled HRK 934.6 million, and it had the highest number of employees, 2,234.

Last year, the number of people on the payroll of all those 4,276 businesses increased by 701 or 1.6% to 43,889 on the year.

Last year's average monthly wage in county businesses was 12% lower than Croatia's average

The average monthly net wage paid to workers in Varaždin County-based businesses totaled HRK 5,257, or 2.3% more than in 2019. However, the comparison of the average net monthly wage paid by enterprises in the whole of Croatia, (HRK 5,971), and by this county's enterprises in 2020 shows that workers in this northern county received the monthly salary lower by 12% than the country's average.

(€1 = HRK 7.476883)

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

Wednesday, 25 August 2021

Three Continental Croatian Cities Cooperate in Name of EU Funding

August the 25th, 2021 - Numerous continental Croatian cities are hoping to get their hands on European Union (EU) Funds. Koprivnica, Cakovec and Varazdin are all on the hunt for EU cash injections following their recent decision on cooperation.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Ana Blaskovic writes, this year's Spancirfest not only turned the historic core of Varazdin into a festival stage once again, but also opened the door to cooperation between three continental Croatian cities: Varazdin, Koprivnica and Cakovec, all of which agreed on a joint application for individual European Union projects.

"We've agreed on the models of our future joint cooperation in applying for some EU projects and funds, where each of us is too small to be able to apply on our own,'' said Varazdin Mayor Neven Bosilj, who hosted Cakovec Mayor Ljerka Cividini and their colleague Misel Jaksic from Koprivnica on Monday.

According to Bosilj, these three continental Croatian cities are among the top six in the entire country in terms of employment and are the (probably rather unexpected) drivers of economic activities.

At the same time, these three continental Croatian host the largest traditional events in the country, such as the aforementioned Spancirfest which is held annually in beautiful Varazdin, whose edition this year has been being visited by about 20,000 people a day, Porcijunkulov in Cakovec, and the Koprivnica Renaissance Festival, all of which attract crowds year after year.

"Tourism doesn't solely exist down by the coast. These are the three most important tourist events not only in this part of the country, but in the whole of continental Croatia,'' said Bosilj.

Cividini stressed that they must not miss out on grabbing the opportunity for cooperation on projects that are opening up through the ITU mechanism and other European Union funds.

"Cooperation will take place through the economy, tourism, cultural development. Today, we've shown that we have the will and that we want to do this, and there are a lot of projects," she said.

"I think this is a good trigger for our agricultural production, traditional crafts, cultural development and everything that makes life what it is up here in the north," Jaksic said.

For more on Croatian access to EU funding, follow our dedicated politics section.

Sunday, 22 August 2021

U19 Croatia Handball Team Takes 2nd Place at European Championship!

August 22, 2021 - The U19 Croatia handball team took 2nd place at the European Championship in Varaždin on Sunday, losing 20:34 to Germany in the final. 

The U19 Croatia men's handball team played the European Championship final against Germany at 5 pm on Sunday in Varaždin.

Krešo Ivanković's team had the chance to become the third Croatian generation to win European gold in the cadet age but unfortunately fell short against Germany to take 2nd place. Germany proved to be too strong for the young Croatia team this time around. While the two sides were even for most of the first half, Germany's advantage grew to +5 before halftime and increased to +13 advantage in the final few minutes of the match. The final score was 20:34. 

Croatia reached the final with a victory in the semifinal against Slovenia 26:22, and Germany defeated Spain 31:30 in a tense match, entering the final as a slight favorite. These two national teams already met in the second round when Germany was better 26:23. That match, however, was not crucial for Croatia because they had already secured a spot in the semifinals. This was also the only defeat that Croatia suffered in this tournament so far. 

The U19 Croatia team has twice been the European handball champion. The first time was in 2006 in Estonia under the coaching staff of Irfan Smajlagić. Domagoj Duvnjak was then named the best player of the championship, and Ivan Pešić was the best goalkeeper. Four years later, this success was repeated, when Croatia was led by Silvio Ivandija.  

Spain won the bronze medal, defeating Slovenia 37-28 (17-13) in the match for 3rd place.

Arnau Fernandez led Spain with 11 goals, with Jan Gurri and Carlos Alvarez scoring six each. Vid Miklavec was the best for Slovenia with seven goals, and Andraž Makuc scored six.

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Saturday, 21 August 2021

U19 Croatia Handball Team in European Championship Final!

August 21, 2021 - The U19 Croatia handball team will play in the final of the European Championship against Germany on Sunday at 5 pm in Varaždin!

A medal has been secured, and Krešo Ivanković's team has the opportunity to become Croatia's second generation with European gold in the cadet category, reports Jutarnji List.

So far, these have been U18 competitions 18, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Euros were not held last year, and as a U19 competition was postponed to this year. Croatia has gold from the U18 European Championship in 2006 and two silver medals, one from 2004 and 2016.

The semifinal between Croatia and Slovenia was a duel of teams that know each other at heart. After all, before the Championship, they played two preparatory matches - one in which Slovenia celebrated, and the other a draw. However, in the most crucial match, Croatia was better.

It was a victory won primarily by Croatia's defense, a victory they controlled from the beginning, although Slovenia was always close. Slovenia, however, could not reach Croatia's advantage, which for most of the match was +3.

With two goals by David Jurišić, Croatia went to +3 for the first time in the 9th minute, and even then, Slovenia had to call a timeout. Then, Ivan Barbić increased the lead to +4 (6:2) in the 13th minute. After that, Croatia had +4 (7:3 and 8:4) on two more occasions, and in the 27th minute, Slovenia came to -1, which is how the first half ended.

Dominik Kuzmanović recorded six saves from 15 shots on goal (40%) in the first 30 minutes, and Denis Strašek had five saves, of which one 7-meter throw taken by Barbić. Lisac and Jurišić, who also played the whole game in defense, had three goals each, but they missed goals from the left outside (Grubišić 1/4 and Hršak 0/1).

The second half started with Kuzmanović's defense, and with two goals by Jurišić, Croatia went to +3 again (12:9) in the 33rd minute. Croatia mostly maintained that advantage until the end. The closest Slovenia managed was -2.

In the last 10 minutes, Croatia received three goals from Patrik Hršak from the left-wing while Slovenia tried to press in the end, but it didn't help. Croatia's David Jurišić scored seven goals from 13 attempts, Barbić scored 6 out of 7, and Lisac 6 out of 9, but the key to victory was the defense.

Croatia played six games in this Championship and has lost only once.

This Croatia squad already has one gold from EYOF two years ago, but now they have the opportunity to receive one from a more important competition.

Croatia will face Germany in the final, which beat Croatia in the last game of the second round.

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Friday, 20 August 2021

Špancirfest Starts in Varaždin

ZAGREB, 20 Aug, 2021 -  The 23rd edition of the Špancirfest street festival returned to the streets of the northern Croatian city of Varaždin on Friday and it will be open for the next ten days.

For twenty three years, at the end of August, the historical city core of Varaždin is transformed into the largest stage in Croatia. During the ten days of Špancirfest, the streets, squares, palaces, parks, gardens, and courtyards of historic Varaždin become stages, theatres, restaurants, bars, clubs, classrooms, and shops at the largest, most popular and most diverse Croatian festival.

After it was impossible to organise Špancirfest last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this street festival returned this year bringing together artists and performers from Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain and Hungary.

The festival attraction over the several past years has been the so called wine city in which this year too 15 Croatian winemakers will present their products.

The director of the Varaždin Board of Tourism, Jelena Toth, said in normal circumstances the festival attracts approximately 300,000 visitors but this year, dur to the health restrictions, this number wold be halved.

Concerts at the festival can be attended only with COVID certificates, for those without it, organisers set up a stand where they can be immediately tested.

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