Sunday, January 31, 2010
Croatian citizens are adopting orphans from Haiti.
Because of the dire situation resulting from the earthquake, parents in Croatia are looking to adopt children affected by the earthquake. Some other Croats are willing to open their homes and act as caretakers.
UNICEF states taht Haiti had 380,000 orphans before the earthquake, the number now is still unknown. UNICEF is cautious about finding new homess for the orphans in case the real biological parents are found.
It's good to see that other countries want to help out as much as they can. At the same time, is this gesture out of pity since helping Haiti now in whatever
or form is popular? Is this a good long term solution? Can these Haitian orphans adapt to Croatian/European life?
The top prosecuter at the Hague recently commented that Croatia's cooperation with an investigation into Operation Storm has yet to produce the desired results. The documents the Hague is seeking come from the '95 military and police onslaught against the country’s Serb areas, known as “Operation Storm”. Hague Chief Prosecutor Serge Brammertz commended the decision of Croatian Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor to constitute a working group for the issue. He expressed hope that the endeavors underway will be pursued and produce the desired results." according to the news source B96.
Friday, January 29, 2010
The man, Mehmet Ali Ağca, who tried to assassinate Pope John Paul II in May of 1981 is seeking political asylum, in Croatia. Spain and Italy have already denied his asylum applications and he looks to Croatia because it is a strong Catholic nation. Despite the fact that Mehmet Ali Ağca attempted to kill the Pope, he still claims to be a strong Catholic.
Mehmet Ali Ağca has been incarcerated in Italy for 19 years, after which he was deported to Turkey to serve a murder sentence of an unrelated person. He is still hiding the proprietor behind the attack on John Paul II and is asking up to 3 million dollars US for interviews.
Croatia has only ever granted 15 Asylum Applications
Thursday, January 28, 2010
European Parliament rapportuer for Croatia, Hannes Swoboda, said today that it is possible Croatia will not be a part of the EU by January 2012 as Croatia had hoped. Swoboda said that this short timeline is unlikely because it leaves very little time for all EU members to ratify the accession treaty. The accession negotiations might drag along into 2011 and if this is the case it is more likely Coratia will not join the EU until late 2o12 or early 2013. However, the European Parliament did pass the bill approving Croatia's progress on its development goals for membership to the EU.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Both nations seemed to agree upon the idea that many things need to be solved and there could be a chance that the lawsuits could be withdrawn, but only after both parties have come to a mutual agreement and cooperation on such things as finding imprisoned and missing persons and returning stolen cultural treasures.
Monday, January 25, 2010
Next month's inauguration of President Elect Ivo Josipovic will be one dignitary short. Serbian President Boris Tadic announced that he would not be coming because his acceptance of the invitation would be a recognition of Kosovo as an independent state.
Kosovo's President Fatmir Sejdiu has already accepted the inauguration invitation, and Tadic says he would not be at the same event as Sejdiu. Tadic also said "Serbia is ready to take part in regional gatherings where Kosovo is represented as UNMIK-Kosovo or Kosovo-UNMIK."
Kosovo declared its independence in 2008, and Croatia is one of 65 countries to recognize that fact. However, Belgrade has begun to examine whether or not the declaration of independence is in compliance with international law.
By: Liz Hasseld
Mehmet Ali Agca, who attempted to kill Pope John Paul II in 1981, has been released from prison in Turkey. He served 19 years in an Italian prison and another 10 years in Turkey for another earlier murder. John Paul official forgave Arca in 1983.
Agca has some questionable mental health issues, he has claimed that he was a new messiah."I proclaim the end of the world. All the world will be destroyed in this century. Every human being will die in this century... I am the Christ eternal."
He has released statements that he would like to live in Croatia, "If Croatia gives me political asylum, I would be glad to come and live in Croatia,"Croatian officials have not responded.
He plans to write a new bible to 'correct the mistakes' and he believes Catholic Croatia would be the perfect place for him to fit in.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Yo Dubai, I'm really happy for you and all and imma let you finish, but Croatia is one of the best vacation spots OF ALL TIME!
In response to Serbian President's accusation of "threatening Serbia with weapons," new Croatian President Ivo Josipović claims that he was not surprised. He also reassured the press and the people that Croatia has no intentions of the sort. He notes that Tadic's statement was to cause discrepancies domestically against Croatia, not internationally. He thinks that Tadic was just trying to get under Josipovic's skin, because Josipovic reminded the public that even the UN has made public statements praising Croatia's attempts at peace policies. The accusation that Tadic was referring to is a statement that was made by former Croatian president to promote peace and unity within Bosnia-Herzegovina. Josipovic wants peace in Bosnia Herzegovina because it is important for Croatian citizens to have the same equal rights across borders.
Croatian President Stjepan Mesic shortened the sentence of convicted criminal Sinisa Rimac. This decision has been questioned by government officials. Rimac was convicted of killing of person in Pakracka Poljana, a detentions center in Croatia for Serbs during the 1991-1995 wars. There was a debate by the Crotian court whether or not Rimac should received Amnesty; the court decided that doing so would present a bad image for Croatia.
The decision to shorten Rimac’s sentence by one year outraged Serbia; their president is in protest of this. Serbia is also outraged that Rimac was not charged with war crimes but rather “in a circumstance of war.”
It should be noted that Serbian and Croatian laws can grant amnesty for people who committed crimes against a different nationality during the war. Still, this is a very charged decision as it appears to worsen the relations between Croatia and Serbia.
Rimac committed the murder when he was 18 years old. He currently now have a family with two children; another child is on the way.
Saturday, January 23, 2010
According to a Serbian website, Vesna Pusic, the President of the Croatian national board for monitoring the negotiations with the EU, thinks that it would be a good idea for the newly elected president Ivo Josipovic will so something about this lawsuit, and give up on the charges, to help the improvement of the relations with the other countries in the region; the mutual lawsuits for genocide was filed in the International Court of Justice.
premiss: --noun; 1. Logic. a proposition supporting or helping to support a conclusion
Get ready and . . .
1) "Patriarch Irinej said the Church's first duty was to help recover the breakaway province"
2) "The 80-year-old is considered a moderate who is open to modernisation"Maybe it's just the weather (or clear CONTRADICTORY statements), but those first two sentences of a BBC article do not jive well together.
The man in question is the new Serbian Orthodox patriarch; the province--Kosovo. He was enthroned in the first of two special ceremonies earlier this week. The first was held in Serbia's capital Belgrade and the next is to be in (where else?) Pec, Kosovo.
Patriarch Irinej's "moderate" streak involves not opposing a visit from Pope Benedict XVI to the motherland, Serbia. A possible (not probable) rapprochement with the arch-rival denomination may be in order.
However, the Patriarch also stated,
"Kosovo is our holy land, our Jerusalem . . . Without them [religious relics located only in Kosovo], Serbia is not Serbia, without Kosovo it is deprived of its heart and soul."
If recent history of the past decade hasn't faded from national memory yet, this ought to be a warning; not only for Crotia but any southern Slav for that matter (well, unless one is Serbian; then again . . .). This only adds to building tension between the two states. Although, it seems much is instigated, with Croatia defending its peaceful policy within the region.
It's starting in Kosovo . . . but doesn't it always?
Friday, January 22, 2010
by Jeff Gimm
The U.S based Human Rights watch recently issued a report highlighting concerns within Croatia. The primary concerns were with war crimes tribunals, the treatment of the mentally ill and freedom of the press. The report alleges that the government of Croatia has withheld documents for the War Crimes Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, as well as the dispraportionate amount of defendents who are Serbian. According to BSAANA News, the case against the mentally ill surrounds ""excessive and unnecessary forced institutionalisation of people on the grounds of mental illness". The document cites the case of Ana Dragicevic "who was placed in a psychiatric hospital by her parents at age 16 in 2004, after they learned of her romantic relationship with another girl. She was released from the institution in May 2008 after an intervention by the State Attorney's Office, following a long campaign by the local media and a civil society organisation."" The report also details that while attacks against journalists were down in 2008, there was still limited advancements in investigating attacks against journalists. All of this does not carry well for a nation which wishes to enter the EU by 2012
By: Caleb B. Ray
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
In Croatia on Moday, Police arrested ten people. This was a part of a huge financial investigation into the local food producer "Podravka". The arrests included the company manager and directors and managers of firms that have worked with company in the past.Some of these businessmen are rumored to be close with the former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy, Damir Polancec.
Last October, several company officials were arrested for allegedly intending to buy company shares and take over the firm with its own money. This scam cost the Croatia approximately 34.5m euros. Polancec resigned right after the scandal but denied that he had anything to do with the dealings.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Monday, January 18, 2010
The future seems bright for better relations with Serbia after the election of Ivo Josipovic as President of Croatia. His approach to relations bettween the two bitter countries is "pragmatic and constructive" hoping to write some of the political misteps to better relations taken by Former Croatian President Stjepan Mesic.
However, there are still many obstacles that stand in the way of ending centuries of conflict. The ICJ cases filed on both sides for crimes of genocide spark controversy, as well as Croatia's early support for Kosovo as anindependant state in May of 2008. Josipovic remains optimistic saying: "co-operation with our neighbours is also important for our economy, because we are mainly exporting to these states... [and] we are expecting the arrival of new tourists too".
Josipovic considers relations between Croatia and Serbia "a strategic priority". With any luck, action to repair these long standing hostilities can be eased in the next five years of his presidency.
Sunday, January 17, 2010
A Croatian oil Refinery (INA INA.ZA) was hit with two blasts on Saturday night. As of now, there are no casualties to be reported. There was a controlled fire to be reported; however, there hasn't been enough time for investigators to assess the damage.
A little bit about INA INA.ZA:
INA is a shareholder with Hungary, and has active refineries in Africa and the Middle East. The fire stricken refinery is located in Sisak, Croatia. The refineries of Croatia are under construction for improvement for their ascension into the European Union. This has a projected finishing date of 2012, when Croatia thinks they will be apart of the EU. There is no word whether or not that the explosions will hold Croatia's refineries back from acceptance into the EU. It was reported; however, that Zagreb is close to its ascension into the EU.
As they investigate the crash that occurred on Friday January 15th, local media say it might be caused by the heat wave that Croatia is experiencing these days, the temperature on Friday had gone up to 104 degrees Fahrenheit (44 degrees Celsius). However the investigators will still be conducting an alcohol test. There were 55 injured and 6 six dead, the train consisted of two carts carrying 90 passengers as it crashed in a remote part of southern Croatia. Zoran Popovac, the head of Croatian Railways until further investigation has been conducted.
One injured passenger, Zarko Rogan, a 71-year-old retiree from Zagreb, said the train seemed to be traveling too fast before the accident.
“I told my wife: we have a problem, this train’s brakes don’t work,” he said.
As some of you may know, Croatia has qualified for the World Cup this year. However, most of you, including me before today, do not know the intense preparation that goes into the World Cup every four years. Right now Nations are vying for spots to play one another in a series of exhibition matches. The better the team, the more desiring contenders they have. In the case of Croatia, both the All Whites and The Socceroos were potential players. However, in the end, it was the Socceroos that won out.
What amazes me the most is the degree of undercutting involved in these exhibitions. Some teams are worried about releasing their potential opponents because there is fear that other teams may book them first...
Hopefully, this undercutting and intensity will transfer to the World Cup for Croatia and we can finish well.
Saturday, January 16, 2010
by Jeff Gimm
Serbian President Boris Tadic has stated that he will not attend the Febuary 18th inauguration ceremony of Ivo Josipovic. Unless, that is, Kosovo President Fatmir Sejdiu is not present. Tadic stated that having Fatmir attend would be giving recognition to Kosovo as an independent state, according to the SETimes. He would however be happy to attend should Fatmir be there as Kosovo, but a Kosovo that's not an independent state.
Friday, January 15, 2010
Today marks Croatia's 18th birthday as an internationally recognized country!
This day holds a very important meaning in Croatia, along with January 13th which was the day the Vatican recognized Croatia as a country. Among the first countries to recognize Croatia in 1991 a year before it was officially recognized were Slovenia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Latvia and Estonia but at the time these countries were also not officially recognized.
By: Liz Hasseld
In Zagreb , the Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu met representatives from Croatia, Bosnia, and Herzegovina. This is the first time these countries have met. Efforts to stabilize Bosnia was the main topic of discussion. In order for Bosnia to become a self-ruling country, the constitution must be changed.
The Dayton Accords, which ended the four-year Bosnian War in 1995, included a constitution that ended the war but did not produce a functioning country. Davutoğlu was quoted saying "stability in Bosnia means stability in the region." All the countries at the meeting decided to take the same stance on reform in Bosnia. The country needs the international communities help the strengthen its government. Bosnia currently has bid for NATO membership.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Source: cnet-Technically Incorrect
by: Caleb Ray
Croatia's newly elected president Ivo Josipovic says in his spare time he would like to write an opera about the life of John Lennon.
Josipovic went to the Zagreb Music Academy and graduated in 1983. From 1987-2004 he was a lecturer at the academy, and from 1991 he was the director of the "Zagreb Music Biennale." (sic)
This would by no means be the first piece of music Josipovic has written. With several symphonies and some chamber music. The only conceivable problem is Josipovic taking for granted his "spare" time. With Croatia trying to be a member of the European Union as well as fighting allegations of genocide, Josipovic may not have that spare time after all.
Monday, January 11, 2010
Sunday, January 10, 2010
His opponent Milan Bandic faced allegation of corruption. Josipovic has vowed to fight corruption, which is needed in order for European Union officials to accept the application of Croatia. While he has been criticized for lacking charisma, he will be able to work well with both European Union and Croatian officials, despite that he has little role in policy making.
This election had a low voter turnout at 50.3%, largely because of the lack of enthusiasm for the election, in part because of widespread corruption in the Government.
On Friday the Deputy Mayor of Croatia's capital, Zagreb, announced that they will be lowering the cost of parking around the tourist filled capital. Instead of 14 kunas, the city is lowering costs to 12 kunas. Because of the many complaints that have filled the office of Deputy Mayor, Jelen Pavicic Vukicevic, she announced that this is an "anti-recession" step for the city of Zagreb. As Croatia's tourism grows year after year, native Croatians, as well as, foreigners will appreciate parking their cars in cheaper spots. This is additionally an advantage for foreigners because many cars driven in Zagreb are rented by tourists. Furthermore, this reduced parking is "all-day" parking, maybe NCC should talk with Zagreb.
In a more formal sense: The State Election Commission will announce the first round of the presidential election votes after 7pm local time.
First, it is worth noting, that Current events in Croatia are seemingly few, far, and no where in between. If you're not writing on the genocide suit or the presidential runoff, you aren't writing about much. This might be a good thing, however, because there seems to be far less drama, thus far, in Croatia.
However, there is menial, somewhat interesting, news that I would like to share with you. Apparently, Croatia has a "strong football league." Who new? Their football program is ranked 37th in the world and the article asserts that the ranking will provide Croatia with an increase in tourism. After all, who wouldn't want to travel all the way to Croatia for a football match? It also seems a little strange that a 37th ranking would allow such assertions. I mean, seeing how there are only about 190 countries in the world and most of the countries that received higher rankings than Croatia are in the same area, it would seem only logical that a fan could enjoy better games in a different place.
According to BBC, the presidential elections currently in full swing are focused more on candidate personality than ideas because the Croatian president has little influence over public policy. This could also originate in this elections from statements like the following from candidate Mr. Bandic, "vote for a man and not for a party." The BBC source in Croatia states due to the current economy situation, many voters have become disenchanted with politics. This had led to "the lowest ever turnout in the first round of this presidential election at just 44%."
**Czech out the video on the BBC page. It seems standard voting procedure in Croatia is quite laid back with paper ballots and boxes still in use. Considering this is an important election for Croatia as the country enters the E.U., let's just hope if a recount is called for it won't look like U.S., 2001.
On Monday, Serbia filed a lawsuit against Croatia at the International Court of Justice. The suit accuses Croatia of genocide during the Balkan war. This suit was in response to Croatia's suit filed in 1999, claiming that Serbia committed that genocide. Two years ago, The International Court of Justice gave Croatia the right to sue Serbia. These suits are causing tensions between the two countries, who are both looking to gain membership into the European Union.
Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic said ''We had no choice, We are aware that we are now entering a new phase in relations with Croatia, but we still want to cooperate with that country in the process of European integration, just as we want peace and stability in the western Balkans.''
Croatia wants the International Court of Justice to order Serbia to pay compensation for the war, to help find Croatians misplace by the war, and to return cultural items stolen during the war.
By: Liz Hasseld
Saturday, January 9, 2010
Croatia's Presidential campaign has begun in earnest with the winners of the runoff election hurling different charges at each other. The election sees Ivo Josipovic, of the opposition Social Democrats campaigning against Zagreb mayor Milan Bandic. Bandic made accusations that a vote for Josipovic was a vote for a "Red Croatia." The AFP notes that "observers noted that Bandic himself also emerged from the former communist SDP party." The last poll found Josipovic with a 17 point lead over Bandic. Whoever wins the February election will lead Croatia as it joins the European Union.
Friday, January 8, 2010
I think one thing that most nations have in common is the fact that we are very supportive of the Olympics and our Olympic stars.
This article talks about Janica Kostelic- a croatian olympic skiier- is leaving the world of skiing because of numerous injuries, knee surgeries, and an issue with her thyroid that also led to surgery. Despite these issue Janica has won 4 gold and 2 silver medals in the olympics and numerous world cup and world championship medals. She was voted croatian sportsperson in 1999 and 2000 and leaves the sports world as a true legend.
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Presidential elections have started as of Sunday in Croatia, for their 3rd president since independence in 1991. With 12 candatiates running for this job, a Law professor and composer Josipovic (pictured on the right) has a "untarnished political career and is seen with lacking charisma". He has promised to support the prime minister Jadranka Kosor's recent goal to fight the corruption in the country. He, Josipovic, will face the mayor of Zagreb who was recently expelledfrom the social democrats, Nadan is a businessman and former member of the ruling party, the conservative Croatina Democratic union. (HDZ).There are roughly 4.5 million Croatian voters including 400,000 that neighbor around Bosnia.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
The Croatian ministry of health fears that soon it will have to burn 59.4 million Kuna (11.7 million USD) in unused swine flu vaccinations. Originally, 1.5 million batches of the vaccine were ordered. However, according public health, only 15,000 to 20,000 batches have been used. These vaccines need to be used up quickly as they only last for six months. If they are not used the remaining vaccines will literally be burnt.
Health Minister Darko Milinovic was given a public swine flu vaccination along with his family but the swine flu movement has slowed to a crawl. The health ministry is currently running a campaign of newspaper ads and tv commercials to get people out and vaccinated.
So why is it that Croatia seems unpertubed by this new super flu virus?
By Soch Mel
Milan Bandic, and independent presidential candidate, is under fire for the use of the Star Wars theme song in his presidential campaign. Even if he is requested his campaign to use the music, it is banned from all of his future presidential campaigns.
He was only caught when a local Croatian music label, Dancing Bear, discovered the illegal attainment of the music. The music was illegally used in TV ads. The other problem is that the music was banned to be used for any political purpose.
The campaign team stated that the blame should not be pointed at them. They said that they bought the music from a production company in which the campaign team assumed the company followed all copyrights.
They said: " We received the commercial as a final product, and it was not our job to do anything more because it was the job of the Production Hrg company."
Milan used to be a member of the leftist Socialist Democratic Party until he left on bad terms. He is now the current mayor of Croatia's capital, Zagreb.
President Stripe Mesic is scheduled to visit Kosovo as one of his last international stops before relinquishing office next month in February. After serving two five year terms, Mesic is hoping to discuss regional ties and possible situations with the local president, and is expected to address the Albanian-doominated parliment. This same parliment decided to become independant from neighboring Serbia back in Feburary of 2008. As the Croation govenment supported this cecession, Mesic hopes to visit some 20 Croation soldiers serving with the NATO peacekeeping operation currently still in Kosovo. While also supported by the US and most EU member states, this has only further driven a wedge between Croatia and neighboring Serbia.