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Croatia in Focus, br. 39, October 2008

Croatia in Focus, br. 39, October 2008

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ISSN 1334-7047 CROATIAN GOVERNMENT BULLETIN VOLUME XII OCTOBER 2008 | No.

39

UN General Assembly
Safety without compromise Deputy PM Kosor in China Interview: Robert Bradtke

Republic of Croatia

Facts and figures
Rijeka

Zagreb

Osijek

Adriatic Sea

The Adriatic sea got its name from an ancient port of the same name. The Adriatic spans from the Balkan to the Apennine peninsula. The part belonging to the Republic of Croatia is the eastcoast which extends all the way from Prevlaka in the south to cape Savudrija in the west,including all islands, islets and cliffs along the coast,and the archipelago of Palagruza (the number of islands, islets and cliffs is more than 1700). This is a unique area in Europe for cruising with motor boats, speedboats, or sailboats, but also for enjoying the underwater world.

Zadar

Croatia extends from the furthest eastern edges of the Alps in the north-west to the Pannonian lowlands and the banks of the Danube in the east; its central region is covered by the Dinara mountain range, and its southern parts extend to the coast of the Adriatic Sea.

Geographical position

56.542 sq. km

Land area

Territorial waters area

31.000 sq. km

Length of coastline (with islands) Length of terrestrial border

5.790 km

1.777,7 km Dinara (1.831 m above sea level)

Highest peak

Number of islands Split

1.185 (66 inhabited)

Population (census 2001.)
4.381,352 Zagreb (779.145 inhabitants) Roman Catholic, Serbian Orthodox, Islamic, Jewish, Protestant and others

Capital

Religions Currency
Croatian

Dubrovnik

kuna (1 kuna = 100 lipa)

Language

C R O AT I A N G OV E R N M E N T B U L L E T I N

I M P R E S S U M
Publisher
Government of the Republic of Croatia, Office for Public Relations 10000 Zagreb, Trg sv Marka 2 tel: +385 1 45 69 248, fax: +385 1 45 69 393, 63 03 022 www.vlada.hr

CONTENT

Croatia In Focus October2008 | No. 39

Introduction
Dear Reader, Welcome to the new edition of Croatia in Focus. Prime Minister dr Ivo Sanader was on an official and working visit to the United States of America, during which he held many bilateral and other meetings and attended the UN General Assembly. We bring you the overview of the visit in this issue. We talked with the U.S. Ambassador to Croatia Robert A. Bradtke about the relations between the two countries and other current subjects. Since Croatia’s priorities are judicial reform, protection of fundamental human rights and fight against corruption, new heads have been appointed at key positions in the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Justice in order to successfully implement all the necessary reforms. We bring you the interview with the new ministers at the beginning of their mandate. We also bring you the overview of Deputy PM Jadranka Kosor’s visit to China, where she attended the opening of the Paralympic Games. In the part of the bulletin dedicated to our cities and natural beauties you can read about Fužine, irresistible and picturesque destination, which is becoming more and more attractive to visitors from all over the world, as well as about Nature Park Kopački rit, a unique natural treasure. In the end we bring you the story about Croatian athletes’ success on both Olympic and Paralympic Games. Enjoy reading! Zlatko Mehun

6 Croatia’s international position better than ever 11 Address by Croatian Prime Minister at 63rd session of the UN General Assembly 14 PM’s bilateral meetings in New York 18 Interview with Robert Bradtke 20 Safety without compromise 22 Deputy Prime Minister Kosor in China 24 Closer economic relations between the Czech Republic and Croatia 25 Croatia and Estonia to conquer new markets together 26 News Flash 32 Renewal works begin on Vinkovci - Tovarnik - state border railway line 33 European police officers on the Adriatic coast 34 Days of Faust Vrančić 35 STEĆAK fading away tombstone 36 Festival Summer 40 National Park Kopački Rit 42 Magical Fužine 46 Sport News Flash

Editor in chief
Sandra Puhovski sandra.puhovski@vlada.hr

Staff
Sanja Milinović, Suzana Kovačević, Jasna Sruk Vlah, Dubravka Belas, Ida Ćosić, Igor Žarković, Martina Mance, Paula Popravak, Vesna Lončar, Daniela Valić, Antonija Gelo, Antun Čajkovac

Translation
Slađana Butković

Proofreader
Danijela Šegedin

Art editor
Demijan Bačić

Layout and design
Massol design&marketing www.massol.hr

Print
Kersch Offset

Edition
1500

PM SANADER IN NEW YORK

PM SANADER IN NEW YORK

Croatia’s international position better than ever

Croatian PM said that Croatia was to become a full NATO member next year and that it was to complete accession negotiations with the EU. He also mentioned measures which the Government was undertaking for improving business conditions, opening new entrepreneurial zones, combating misuse of new technologies, and developing knowledge-based economy. Mr Sanader also talked about Croatia’s active role in strengthening stability, cooperation, free trade, and prosperity in the region. The Prime Minister concluded that ˝as a member of the UN Security Council, and the soon-tobe member of NATO and the EU, Croatia will be ready to defend its position, fully aware that its own security and prosperity will be protected only if it successfully promotes international stability and global progress˝.

Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader was on an official and working visit to the United States of America from 21st to 27th September 2008. During his visit PM Sanader held many bilateral and other meetings, and he attended the UN General Assembly, where he held a speech.

mission Jose Manuel Barroso, and many other world statesmen took part in the summit on Africa.

CONGRATULATIONS TO CROATIA FOR ITS ROLE IN UN SECURITY COUNCIL

PM Sanader, together with the heads of delegations of other UN member states, was a guest of US President Bush at the traditional reception at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York. ˝It was a very cordial appointment˝, said PM Sanader. He added that he and President Bush were, together with their wives,

AFRICA’S PROBLEM IS WORLD’S PROBLEM AS WELL CROATIA’S EXCEPTIONAL SUCCESS
the post-war renewal, the implementation of reforms, economic development, and imminent accession to NATO and the EU, were the reason for inviting PM Sanader to take part in the summit. As the keynote speaker in the discussion on ˝Globalisation: Economy, Involvement, Dynamics˝, PM Sander described Croatia’s experiences in facing challenges and opportunities resulting from globalisation, highlighting Croatia’s commitment to the principles of freedom, democracy, human rights protection, the rule of law, and market economy. He said he was convinced that by following these principles global process could be used for improvement of the international system based on the principles of cooperation, rather than confrontation, involvement, rather than marginalisation, economic dynamics, rather than bureaucratic regulation, free trade, rather than protectionism, democracy, rather than authoritarian populism. He emphasised, among other things, that Croatia was boosting its security, as a precondition for its progress, and that it was contributing to the global security as well, since it was the UN Security Council member and a participant in 15 UN, NATO, and EU peace missions.

At the Global Creative Leadership Summit that was held in New York and organised by Louise Blouin Foundation, Croatian PM Ivo Sanader was talking about the challenges and opportunities for Croatia resulting from globalisation, about the dynamics of Croatian economy, its involvement in the world economic affairs, as well as about Croatia’s accession to NATO and the EU. Louise Blouin MacBain, the founder and the president of the Foundation, pointed out that ˝ Croatia’s exceptional success˝ in

Attending the UN Summit on Africa’s Development, on Monday, Croatian PM Ivo Sanader advocated increasing aid to Africa. ˝It is necessary to significantly increase aid to Africa, especially to Sub-Saharan Africa, if we want to achieve the planned goals. We are well aware that current level of aid to Africa is not sufficient for the full attainment of UN Millennium goals˝, said PM Sander in his speech. He expressed Croatia’s willingness to provide its help to answer the needs of Africa, for example through different funds and UN programmes. He pointed out that Croatia was participating in five peace missions in Africa, from Sudan to West Sahara, and that it had already planned to send its forces to the EU mission in Chad.

PM Sanader with Ban Ki-moon

˝We are all interested in the development and progress of Africa. It is a big continent and its problems are the world’s problems as well. The world cannot turn a blind eye to Africa’s problems˝, said Croatian PM. UN Secretary General Ban Kimoon, the EU Chairman, French President Nicholas Sarkozy, President of the European Com-

refreshing the memory of Bush’s recent visit to Zagreb. President Bush, his wife Laura, State Secretary Condoleeza Rice and National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley remembered their visit to Zagreb, said PM Sanader. ˝I thanked him for the messages he sent to Croatia in his speech in Zagreb, for the support, and

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I said that I expected that the USA would be one of the first countries to ratify the Protocol on Croatia’s accession to NATO˝, said Sanader, and added that he had invited President Bush for an unofficial visit to Croatia at the end of his presidential mandate, especially to the Croatian coast, which he hadn’t seen during his visit in April. Prime Minister Sanader talked to Condoleeza Rice, Stephen Hadley and other government functionaries, but he especially singled out his meeting with the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon. ˝He sincerely congratulated Croatia, conveying the impression of the UN that Croatia actively contributed to and cooperated with the Security Council˝, he said. Prime Minister’s wife Mirjana Sanader attended the symposium organised by the First Lady, Laura Bush, for the heads of states and governments gathered at the UN General Assembly Session. The symposium ˝ Building a Foundation for Freedom˝ was dedicated to advancing global literacy.

Croatian PM Ivo Sanader attended the UN Security Council thematic discussion with the topic of Mediation and Settlement of Conflicts, at which he talked about Croatia’s experience and examples of peace missions in other countries. ˝ As proved by Croatia’s experience, mediation and settlement of conflicts are part of preventive measures, peace efforts and peace building, and can be successfully involved in the UN mission mandates that the Council approves˝, said PM Sanader. The experience of the UN peace mission (UNTAES) in Croatian Danube region in the 1990s shows just how much the UN can achieve within a well defined, realistic and feasible mandate. Reintegration of Eastern Croatia was common success enjoyed by my country and the UN alike, said PM Sanade,r and added that Croatia was ready to share expertise and know-how that it had gained in that process.

Nobel Peace Prize-winners, and hundreds of leading businessmen and other eminent persons. This year’s meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative was dedicated to extremely important issues like energy and climatic change, health-care, education, and the fight against poverty. During the meeting, PM Sanader met with former US President Bill Clinton, who welcomed Croatia’s efforts in accessing NATO and the EU, and together they recalled Clinton’s visit to Zagreb, shortly after the signing of the Dayton Agreement. Croatian PM Ivo Sanader used the opportunity to make small talk with Jordanian queen Rania Al-Abdullah, Finnish President Tarja Hallonen, and other statesmen and public persons.

for development. By taking part in round-table discussion on education and health that was held within the meeting about the UN Millennium Development Goals, PM Sanader said that a few years ago his country had started a transformation from a recipient country to a country that was providing help to others at both international and regional level. By signing and accepting the UN Millennium Declaration the Republic of Croatia committed itself to achieving all the goals in time – by 2015. It has a significant importance for our country since attaining the national millennium goals partly corresponds with the priorities connected to the process of accessing the EU – said in his speech PM Sanader. He also said that his country was ready to help others by sharing its development experience with others as much as possible.

the Security Council, PM Sanader said that Croatia was assuming more important role on the international scene and remained actively involved in the efforts to foster stability in Southeast Europe. “As a member of the Security Council, Croatia will continue to act as a responsible partner committed to the common efforts in maintaining and building peace through the promotion of human rights and democracy, the fight for the eradication of poverty and injustice, and the promotion of effective multilateralism”, highlighted PM Sanader.

in the NATO mission in Afghanistan, and in the EU peace mission in Chad. By taking part in various UN funds and programmes Croatia has confirmed its capability to support the activities of the UN in numerous fields. PM Sanader welcomed the marking of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and recent efforts of the UN in that field. He announced Croatia’s candidacy for the membership of the Human Rights Council in the period from 2010 to 2013. “During the past decade we completed the transformation into

MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS

CLINTON GLOBAL INITIATIVE

CONFLICTS MEDIATION AND SETTLEMENT

Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader attended the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative in New York, the meeting that gathered some 80 present and former heads of states, some ten

On the third day of the session of the UN General Assembly the Croatian Prime Minister attended the meeting about the Millennium Development Goals. In his keynote address to the functionaries, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon pointed out that the world statesmen in 2000 had agreed on eight goals that had been framed in the Millennium Declaration, and the deadline for achieving the goals was the year 2015. The eight Millennium goals include eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary education, promoting ender equality, reducing child mortality, improving maternal health, combating infectious diseases, ensuring environmental sustainability, and establishing global partnership

CROATIA - RELIABLE AND RESPONSIBLE PEACE PARTNER

At the 63rd session of the UN General Assembly Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader confirmed Croatia’s commitment to actively contribute to multilateral efforts aimed at addressing global challenges and assuming an increasingly important role on the international scene, as evidenced by its membership of the UN Security Council, the final phase in joining NATO and the EU, its participation in fifteen peace missions, and its continued efforts aimed at fostering stability and cooperation in the region. Pointing out that this was the first time Croatia was participating in a session of the UN General Assembly as an elected member of

“Today Croatia is in an advanced stage of talks on EU membership, determined to complete them in 2009, and it expects to become a member of NATO at the next NATO summit in spring 2009”, said PM Sanader. He added that by implementing reforms, Croatia had changed from a recipient of assistance to a participant in international peace and stability, with its troops being engaged in thirteen UN peace operations on four continents,

the centre of stability, security and cooperation in South East Europe”, said PM Sanader, citing as an example of Croatia’s continued involvement in building regional stability the Regional Cooperation Council, headed by Croatian diplomat Hido Biščević as the Secretary General. Confirming Croatia’s commitment to the UN goals PM Sanader reminded that the 120th anniversary of the birth of Andrija Štampar, the founder of the

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World Health Organisation and the first president of the WHO Assembly, was to be marked that year. PM Sanader ended his speech, delivered in English and in French, by quoting Pope Benedict XVI, who in his address to the UN General Assembly in 2007 said that the founding principles of the UN – desire for peace, respect for the dignity of a person, humanitarian cooperation and assistance – expressed the just aspirations of the human spirit and constituted ideals which should underpin international relations.

AMERICAN CROATS THE BRIDGE OF COOPERATION BETWEEN CROATIA AND USA

SANADER GETS ACKNOWLEDGEMENT FOR URGING TOLERANCE AND ANTI-SEMITISM

As a part of Croatia’s mission to the UN in New York Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader met the representatives of Jewish Organisation B’’nai Brith and AntiDifamination League in the USA. The representatives of the Jewish organisations thanked Croatian PM Sanader for constantly advocating the promotion of tolerance, dialogue, and fight against anti-Semitism. During the meeting they were talking about the return of property, and PM Sanader said that this issue would be settled in line with legal provisions. The representatives of Jewish organisations congratulated PM Sanader for significant progress that the Republic of Croatia had made since gaining its independence, being respected and esteemed member of the international community. In that respect they talked about the most important issues related to international peace and stability.

On the last day of the visit to New York Croatian Prime Minister Sanader had a very amiable meeting with the representatives of the Croatian community in New York that was held in the facilities of the Permanent Mission at the UN. The meeting gathered some 50 reputable members of the Croatian community, who work and live in New York, mostly the owners of private companies and public figures. The third meeting of the members of Croatian community in New York with PM Sanader was attended by the priests of the Croatian Catholic Mission of Saints Cyril and Methodius. This year the mission is marking the 95th anniversary of its existence. PM Sanader informed the American Croats about the current events in the country, Croatia’s position on the international scene, its accession to NATO and the completion of the negotiations with the EU in the next year, about his activities at the session of the UN General Assembly, and about some 20 bilateral meetings with the world’s statesmen that he held. He stressed that Croatia had been fighting for its independence only 18 years ago, while today it was a respectable member of the ˝world government˝, that is the member of the UN Security Council. “Members of the Croatian Diaspora are the ones who provided a significant contribution to achieving these goals. After they had provided aid in humanitarian and other terms, today they have a big role in spreading the Croatian all over the world”, said Sanader.

He also highlighted exceptional contribution of the American Croats as the ˝bridge of cooperation˝ to strengthening AmericanCroatian relations so today the two countries are friends and partners. In particular he singled out President Bush’s historic visit to Croatia in April, and this week’s ratification of the agreement on Croatia’s accession to NATO in the American Senate. He pointed out that, at the end of his second presidential term, President Bush had done a lot for Croatia.

Address by Croatian Prime Minister at 63rd session of the UN General Assembly
M
r. President, Distinguished delegates, Ladies and gentlemen, I would first like to congratulate H.E. Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann on assuming the presidency of the General Assembly in its 63rd Session, as well as thank H.E. Srdan Kerim for the excellent work he demonstrated during his presidency of the General Assembly in the preceding year. As we gather here once again to address the most significant issues on the global agenda, the General Assembly opening session reminds us of our shared vision of the UN as the embodiment of a family of nations. It reminds us of the constant need for an effective multilateral effort to address global challenges and to maintain and build peace in a range of conflict zones and post-conflict societies - searching for solutions within the rule based international order, through the promotion of freedom, democracy, development and the respect for human rights. It also gives us the opportunity to take stock on our achievements, as well as to redouble our commitment to world peace and progress. This is a commitment that Croatia and its people accepted even before our independence. A commitment to strengthen international cooperation through effective multilateral organizations for advancing peace and security, facilitating development and combating poverty, protecting our environment, eradicating diseases and promoting public health. As a renewal of that commitment, we celebrate this year the 120th anniversary of the birth of Andrija Stampar, a founding father of the World Health Organization and the first President of the WHO AsHis words are a testimony to the lasting commitment of Croatia and its people to the promotion of peace through international cooperation. Since our independence, Croatia’s leaders have come every year before this Assembly to renew this solemn commitment. Even in the most difficult of times, when our own existence was at peril and collective security guarantees vanished, we still came to New York to express Croatia’s adherence to the values enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations. Croatia has come a long way since those testing days of struggle. Yet, our determination in pursuing the UN Charter principles has remained intact. We have developed a stable democracy and a growing economy, but we have not forgotten those brave men and women who struggled for and achieved our independence, as well as those men and women of good will who, under the flag of the United Nations, assisted us in our time of need. With that conviction and determination, with that sincere sense of gratitude and a genuine vocation for cooperation, I come today before this Assembly to share with you Croatia’s views on the most pressing and relevant issues for our international community. On this occasion, though, Croatia is for the first time in the position

RATIFICATION OF NATO ACCESSION PROTOCOL FOR CROATIA
On 25th September 2008, during PM Sanader’s stay in New York, the American Senate unanimously accepted the ratification of NATO accession protocols for Croatian and Albania. Thus the USA has become the third NATO member state that, after Hungary and Latvia, ratified the protocols. The Croatian PM said he was particularly pleased by the fact that the USA had been the third country to ratify the Protocol. ˝I want to express my great satisfaction that the US Senate ratified the protocol. It is a symbol of partnership and friendship between the USA and Croatia˝, added PM Sanader. He said that the process of ratification was developing quite fast and added he was hopeful that the majority of NATO members would ratify the Protocol by the end of the year, while the rest would do the same in the first three months of 2009, so Croatia could participate in the next NATO summit as a full member.

sembly. In his inaugural speech in 1948, Stampar clearly stated that the Organization should become “a pioneer of world peace and promote understanding among nations”. Stampar’s words are also true for the broader family of UN institutions.

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to address these issues from a different angle - that of an elected member of the Security Council. Membership in the Security Council is not only a great honor for Croatia, but also a great responsibility we have been preparing for in the last years. We attach equal importance to our membership in NATO and we look forward to the celebration of our accession to the Alliance at the next summit in Spring 2009, which will also mark the 60th anniversary of NATO. Through reforms, we have successfully turned our country from a consumer to a net contributor to international peace and security. Today, Croatian forces are engaged in 13 UN peacekeeping operations in four different continents. Our men and women in uniform also serve in the NATO-led operation in Afghanistan and the EU operation in Chad, in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions. In all these conflicted areas, our servicemen have proved their dedication and professionalism. However, probably their most valuable contribution is their ability to share with the local population Croatia’s own experience in overcoming the consequences of war and taking the road of reconciliation, cooperation and development. Mr. President, Excellencies, As a member of the Security Council, Croatia will continue to work as a responsible and dedicated partner in the common effort to maintain and build peace through the promotion of human rights and democracy, the fight for the eradication of poverty and injustice, and the advancement of effective multilateralism. In this, Croatia will be guided by a sense of responsibility, solidarity and good faith. We hold that effective multilateral action, includ-

ing with regional organizations, is our best guarantee in safeguarding these values. While we see progress in advancing these values in some troubled areas of our world, such as Afghanistan, Iraq and the Middle East, we have also witnessed other conflicts arising, such as in Georgia. In this respect, we welcome the six-points agreement brokered by the EU Presidency in August, as well as the implementing agreement from September. We are also aware of the fact that the failure to address these issues in a multilateral context of cooperation could lead us into old paradigms of confrontation. At the same time, the lack of audacity to confront them could endanger the democratic gains obtained with the end of the Cold War. These gains should be preserved, as they themselves derive from the fundamental principles emanating from the UN Charter. We should not forget that the UN stands for the common fundamental values of freedom, equality, solidarity, tolerance, and respect for human rights. In this regard, the suffering of the people of the Sudan, particularly in Darfur, Somalia, and Myanmar, are also stark reminders of the gap between the goals this Organization has set and the realities on the ground. Croatia welcomes joint international efforts to address the question of flagrant violations to international humanitarian law and human riahts throuah established international mechanisms and institutions like the International Criminal Court. The ICC provides a vital recourse to justice in situations where national governments cannot or will not address these issues themselves. Human rights and the rule of law are essential building blocks for a more peaceful, just and pros-

perous world. This year we are marking the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. As a member of the Security Council, Croatia is dedicated to advancing these rights to those most vulnerable in conflict: civilians, notably women and children. We are pleased by the fact that this year the Council adopted a strong and action oriented resolution addressing the disturbing practice of sexual violence as a method of warfare. We also continue to work on advancing the cause of preventing children to become part of armed conflicts, believing that the realities on the ground require stronger Council involvement. For this and many other reasons, Croatia has decided to present its candidature for membership in the Human Rights Council for the period 2010-2013. Mr. President, Excellencies, We live in a world that has significantly redefined the traditional notion of threats to international peace and security. In an increasingly interconnected world, global threats are taking many forms. Terrorism, poverty, disease, climate change, environmental degradation and rising food prices command that we work together, as only a common vision and collective action, implemented in the spirit of solidarity and responsibility, can counter these challenges. Terrorism attempts to undermine the core values of the modern world, and poses a serious challenge to our security, to the basic principles of democratic societies and to the rights and freedoms of our citizens. Terrorist acts are criminal in nature and cannot be justified under any circumstances. Croatia appreciates and fully supports all efforts in the global struggle against terrorism, within the UN system and

beyond. Since the beginning of this year, Croatia has been chairing the Security Council Counter Terrorism Committee, which was established in the immediate aftermath of the devastating terrorist attacks against the United States and the whole democratic World on September 11, 2001. We have assumed this responsibility with utmost seriousness and are working towards moving the Committee forward by focusing on concrete results and achieving realistic objectives. I would also like to reiterate the importance Croatia attaches to the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy as one of the primary international documents in the global fight against terrorism. Croatia is also active on the regional level, presiding over CODEXTER within the Council of Europe. In overcoming global threats and challenges, initiatives such as the Alliance of Civilizations can also act as a stimulus, augmenting mutual respect, understanding and cooperation amongst States and peoples across cultures and religions. As the Alliance’s main goal is to counter intolerance, religious fundamentalism and extremism, Croatia is pleased to be a part of this ever growing group. Our dialogue and cooperation should also be directed with more emphasis on combating poverty and establishing a global partnership for development. In this regard, Croatia welcomes the UN Secretary General’s leadership in calling for action to make progress for the poorest of the poor, the so-called “bottom billion”. We also believe that it is essential for governments to support the delivery of commitments made with the aim of getting the Millennium Development Goals back on track. Specific arrangements between donor and recipient coun-

tries on MDG implementation should be put into action through a human centered approach to the key themes of the MDG’s, or more precisely health and education, the environment, and for the eradication of poverty. In this sense, we recognize the importance of mobilizing financial resources for development, as well as their effective use in developing countries. The Monterrey consensus remains the foundation of the global partnership for development and Croatia believes in a positive outcome of the Review Conference which will take place in Doha later this year. In this context, Croatia will honor the obligations and figures established pursuant to its status as a candidate for membership in the European Union. Trough its transition process Croatia has emerged from that of a recipient country to a country whose own experience and resources has enabled it to become an international donor. As a contributor to various UN funds and programs, Croatia has confirmed its capability to support the activities of the UN in numerous fields, and will continue to do so through sharing our experiences and assisting those in needs. However, while Croatia increases its contribution to global progress and takes a more assertive role in the international arena, it also remains active and committed to fostering stability in South East Europe. Our membership in the UN Security Council and our advanced phase of integration in NATO and the EU, has not led us to turn our back to our neighbors. On the contrary, it has enabled us to redouble our efforts in preserving stability and maximizina the benefits of Deace. Through initiatives such as the establishment of the Regional

Cooperation Council (RCC), headquartered in Sarajevo and with a top Croatian diplomat, Mr. Hido Biscevic, as its first Secretary General, we have actively contributed to regional stability. However, there is still unfinished business in our neighboring region. Let me mention one: Bosnia and Herzegovina. The foundations for stability in this country reside in the respect for equal rights for all three constituent and sovereign people, Croats, Bosniaks and Serbs. The Republic of Croatia stands ready to support and assist Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as all the countries in the region, through an active policy of cooperation. Such cooperation paves the way for long-standing security and prosperity in South East Europe. And on that way, Croatia will continue to back the Euro-Atlantic aspirations of all its neighbors. On that way, Croatia will renew its determination to foster peace, democracy and tolerance, thus honoring our commitment to the Charter of the United Nations. Last April, from this very floor, His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, reminded us that “The founding principles of the Organization the desire for peace, the quest for justice, respect for the dignity of the person, humanitarian cooperation and assistance - express the just aspirations of the human spirit, and constitute ideals which should underpin international relations”. Mr. President, Excellencies, We should always remember these ideals as we continue to work together on exploiting the full potential of the United Nations in creating a more peaceful, prosperous and democratic world.

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PM’s bilateral meetings in New York
D
uring his stay in the USA PM Sanader held many bilateral meetings with different statesmen and officials, and other reputable persons form the public life. PM Sanader held talks with Austrian President Heinz Fischer, who once again emphasised that Austrian fully supports Croatia on its way to the EU membership. At the meeting of PM Sanader and President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso confirmed that Croatia was making progress in its EU accession negotiations. PM Sanader also met with Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Kalifa AlThani. On that occasion PM Sanader continued discussion on bilateral cooperation projects launched in 2004 when Croatian President Stjepan Mesić visited Qatar. The Croatian Prime Minister and the sheik concluded that closer bilateral economic cooperation was of mutual interest. At the meeting, PM Sanader and Montenegrin President Filip Vujanović confirmed they were ready to develop bilateral relations on the principles of cooperation and respect for international law. They also discussed the issues of peace and security in Southeast Europe.
PM Sanader with Valdas Adamkus PM Sanader with Jean Asselborn

tries were developing good and friendly relations which could be strengthened in the field of economic cooperation. In this respect, the Croatian Prime Minister and the Turkish President agreed to intensify bilateral cooperation by holding the meeting of joint committee for economic issues. PM Sanader and Deputy PM and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Luxembourg Jean Asselborn talked about of the EU accession negotiations and Asselborn confirmed economic cooperation is needed. PM Sanader also met with the high officials from Southeast Europe, including Macedonian President

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet said that Croatian-Chilean relations

were good and friendly thanks to Croatian community in Chile. PM Sanader also met with Icelandic PM Geir Haarde to whom he thanked for Iceland’s support for Croatia’s accession to NATO, and PM Haarde announced that by the end of the year Iceland was going to ratify the agreement on Croatia’s accession to NATO. Croatian Prime Minister also met with European Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner to discuss Croatia’s position at the international forums and the European common foreign and security policy. Sanader met Latvian President Valdis Zatlers thanking him for a quick ratification of the pro-

tocol on Croatia’s accession to NATO. After Hungary, Latvia was the second country whose Parliament ratified the protocol. Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus told PM Sanader that Lithuania fully supported Croatia’s accession to the EU. PM Sanader and President Adamkus agreed that next to good political relations, more dynamic

PM Sanader with Gordon Brown

PM Sanader with Abdullah Güll

PM Sanader with Jan Pieter Balkenende

Branko Crvenkovski and President of BosniaHerzegovina Haris Silajdžić. PM Sanader and Turkish President Abdullah Gul agreed that their coun-

that Luxembourg fully supported Croatia in completing the negotiations in 2009. They also talked about the process of ratification of the protocol on Croatia’s accession to NATO and Croatia’s admission to NATO by spring 2009. At the summit in Strasbourg and Kehl the 60th anniversary of the North-Atlantic

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PM SANADER IN NEW YORK

PM Sanader with Geir Haarde

Bulgarian Prime Minister Sergej Stanišev who informed Sanader that the Bulgarian Parliament was to ratify the Memorandum on Croatia’s accession to the EU. He said the ratification could take place in late October, during Sanader’s official visit to Bulgaria. PM Stanišev highlighted Bulgarian support for the completion of Croatia’s EU accession talks. Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader and his British counterpart, Gordon Brown, recalled their recent meeting in London.

PM Sanader with José Manuel Barroso

PM Sanader with Lawrence Gonzi

Alliance will be marked. Sanader also informed his Maltese colleague Lawrence Gonzi about the course of accession negotiations. Gonzi shared with Sanader the experience of Malta’a negotiation process, especially concerning the fisheries policy. Moreover, he confirmed that Malta fully supported the completion of Croatia’s negotiations with the EU in 2009. PM Sander was talking to the Dutch PM Jan Pieter Balkenende about Croatia’s EU entry talks. The Dutch prime minister supported Croatia’s admission to the EU. Croatian Prime Minister met with

PM Sanader with Michelle Bachelet

PM Sanader with Filip Vujanović

PM Sanader with Bono Vox

PM Sanader with Sergei Stanišev

PM Sanader with general Wesley Clark

PM Sanader with Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani

PM Sanader with Heinz Fischer

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INTERVIEW WITH ROBERT ANTHONY BRADTKE

INTERVIEW WITH ROBERT ANTHONY BRADTKE

United States values Croatia as a friend and partner
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n April 2009 Croatia is expecting to enter NATO alliance, it is soon to enter the EU, and is determined to complete the accessing negotiations by 2009. During the stay in New York at the 63rd session of the UN General Assembly, the Croatian delegation headed by the President of the Croatian Government dr. sc. Ivo Sanader held many useful bilateral meetings and successfully lobbied for the benefit of the Croatian international political interests. At those days, the U.S. Senate ratified the Protocol on NATO enlargement to Croatia, and became the third country to ratify the protocol. We talked to the U.S. Ambassador to Zagreb, Mr Robert Anthony Bradtke, about the mentioned sign of a friendship and a partnership, which represents a big step in the overall process of Croatia’s accession to NATO, and about other current topics, as well. During the recent PM Sanader’s stay in Washington the USA ratified the Protocol on Croatia’s membership to NATO, and became the third out of 26 NATO members to bring about the ratification. That moment presents a sign of a friendship and a partnership. What will Croatia’s membership to that alliance mean for the NATO and Euro Atlantic integration? Croatia’s membership in NATO is a further step towards the goal of a Europe that is whole, free, and at peace. We hope that Croatia’s joining NATO will send a strong signal to all the countries of Southeastern Europe that we want them to be part of the Euro-Atlantic community. Croatia will also bring new capabilities to NATO, as the Alliance faces challenges around the world, including helping the people of Afghanistan build a secure democracy. Finally, we expect that Croatia, as has been the case with other new members of NATO, will bring renewed energy and commitment to the Alliance. How do you comment on the process of the ratification? Is Croatia going to become a full

and partner. However, there is still more we can do to broaden and deepen our relations. President Bush and Prime Minister Sanader stressed during their meeting that they would like to see new efforts to expand economic cooperation and make it easier for Americans and Croatians to visit each other’s countries. You came to Zagreb as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs. How do you predict the future of EU in the context of the latest events concerning the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty? The United States has always been a supporter of European integration. Today it is more important than ever that we have a Europe that will be a strong economic and political partner. The process of building the institutions of a united Europe has been a complicated one, particularly as Europe has enlarged. However, the experience of the past fifty years shows that EU members have been always been able to find solutions and overcome difficulties. I am confident that when Croatia is ready to join the EU, the EU will be ready for Croatia. We are witnessing the global economic crisis. There is panic at the world stock exchanges. What’s your comment on the state in your country? What effects could it have to the Croatian economy? I am not an economist, but clearly, the United States is facing major economic challenges. First, we need to reestablish stability and confidence in the financial system, and then we need to implement regulatory and other reforms to ensure that banks and financial institutions operate in a more responsible manner. The United States remains, however, the world’s largest and

most productive economy. So, in the long term, I am optimistic we will emerge even stronger from this crisis. As far as the Croatian economy is concerned, it is probably wiser for me to leave that to Minister Polancec and National Bank Governor Rohatinski. How would you describe CroatianAmerican economic co-operation? What should we undertake to attract the American capital to the Republic of Croatia? Since I arrived in Zagreb two years ago, bilateral trade has increased, and there have been several large U.S. direct investments. But, the potential exists to increase further our economic cooperation. Croatia can be a point of entry for American firms into the markets Southeastern Europe and the European Union. I am working with Ambassador Grabar-Kitarovic to ensure that American companies are aware of these new opportunities. At the same time, Croatia needs to make itself more attractive to American investors by streamlining the investment process. After the last year’s visit of 270.000 American tourist to Croatia, we recorded an increased interest for the Croatian tourist destinations this year. What destinations would you suggest to your compatriots? As Ambassador, I have been fortunate to travel all over Croatia, from Ilok to Prevlaka. This past summer, my wife and I spent two weeks on Peljesac, and greatly enjoyed its excellent beaches and wine. Many Americans, who visit Croatia, know about Dubrovnik and the coast, but when my friends and family visit, I make sure that they spend a few days in Zagreb to appreciate how pleasant it is to walk its streets and explore its cafes, and I try to take them to places American tourists might not know about, such as

Varazdin and Vukovar. The USA has entered the final stage of the presidential campaign. What do you think, would the change of the political option in the White House cause the change of the American policy towards Croatia? In my view, the Presidential elections this year are the most important in our recent history. The new President will face difficult problems including the current financial crisis, reform of our health care system, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and relations with Russia. I do not see, however, any significant changes in our relations with Croatia. Both Senator McCain and Senator Obama supported Croatia’s membership in NATO. This ambassadorial mandate is your long stay in Zagreb during the diplomatic service. Would you please compare your standpoint of Zagreb and Croatia in the second half of the ‘70s with the present times? Returning to Zagreb after an absence of almost thirty years, I have seen extraordinary changes. Croatia is now an independent country, soon to be a member of NATO, and in the final stages of becoming a member of the EU. These are developments that few would have predicted in 1978. But, what strikes me most is the blossoming of Croatia’s democratic society. There is an open and lively debate about literally everything – the performance of the government, economic problems, education and health care, foreign policy, and even Croatia’s past. Indeed, this debate and discussion now seem such a normal part of everyday life that it is sometimes hard to imagine that, during my previous time in Zagreb, a Croatian was detained by the police simply for meeting with me.

Robert Anthony Bradtke
United States Ambassador to the Republic of Croatia
member before the NATO summit in April 2009? Our goal is timely ratification of the accession protocols by all NATO members so that Croatia will be a full member of NATO by the next NATO Summit in April 2009, which will mark NATO’s 60th anniversary. We hope that the action by our Senate will encourage other countries to speed up their ratifications. While this process can take time, I believe it can be completed by April of next year. You took over in the American Embassy in Zagreb in the mid of the past Government’s mandate headed by PM Sanader. How would you evaluate AmericanCroatian relation at this moment? This is a very good moment to be the U.S. Ambassador to Croatia. Of course, the high point of my time in Zagreb was President Bush’s visit last April. That visit demonstrated how much the United States values Croatia as a friend

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SAFETY WITHOUT COMPROMISE

SAFETY WITHOUT COMPROMISE

Safety without compromise
roatia is determined to finish the technical part of negotiation process by opening all the chapters by the end of the year. Croatia is also determined to complete all accession negotiations by the end of the European Commission’s mandate, i.e. by autumn 2009. Croatia’s priorities are judicial reform, protection of fundamental human rights and fight against corruption. In order to complete the accession negotiations, all the reforms must be successfully implemented New heads have therefore been appointed at key positions in the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Justice. Although 80 per cent of citizens say that they feel safe, it is our wish to tighten security. A package of anti-mafia legislation will be adopted soon in order to boost co-operation among authorities responsible for security. A new law on police powers will be drawn up, and preparations in the state administration for the introduction of the taxpayer identification number will be stepped up as well. The first assignment of the new Minister of Interior and the new police chief is to accelerate the work of the National Office for the Suppression of Organised Crime and Corruption (USKOK). This office is based on the Govern-

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ment’s strategy for fighting corruption and organised crime. The new interior minister is Tomislav Karamarko, until now the head of the Croatian Intelligence Agency (SOA) . He was also the head of Prime Minister’s Cabinet and the Speaker of Parliament’s office, the Chief of Zagrebačka County Police Administration , and the deputy Minister of Interior. After the appointment to the new office, we talked with the new Minister about his plans and concerns. The public supports your appointment. However, the expectations are great as well. What is the first thing you intend to do? When I was taking over the Intelligence Agency my conditions were autonomy in decision-making and freedom in performing my duties. I asked for the same conditions this time. My opinion is that we can implement all the reforms that have been planned, but only with the help of educated and trained professionals. Do you already have some names? It is too early to talk about the names, but we are going to insist on those persons who can contribute to the quality of our work by their expertise and knowledge. In addition to the careful selection of your staff, what other

ways of achieving efficiency do you have in mind? Firstly, it is important to diagnose the problems and then come up with an idea, i.e. a project how to solve the problems, in order for the citizens to feel safer. Of course, it is necessary to undertake the measures to avoid the situation in which the police does ˝Sisyphean task˝, and gets stuck in judicial processing. The judiciary, that is, the reform of the judiciary, is especially important for the negotiations with the European Union. The package of anti-mafia laws includes the establishing of the so-called USKOK courts. We will insist that the county courts in Zagreb, Osijek, Split and Rijeka appoint judges in charge of cases processed by police, the Public Prosecutor’s Office and USKOK. We will also establish an academy for judges based on the model of France and Italy, where judges receive additional training. The reform of judiciary can and must be accelerated. Ivan Šimonović, a new Minister of Justice and one of the most prominent Croatian diplomats, is a former deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and ambassador at the United Nations. He is also a professor at the Faculty of Law in Zagreb.

How are you going to improve the co-operation between the police and judiciary with the aim of achieving a safe and just society? Judiciary will surely contribute to the efficiency of the police where it can do so – for example, by changing law or practices regarding the processing of crimes. In addition, a stronger co-operation between the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Interior, Croatian Intelligence Agency and the Public Prosecutor’s Office is necessary. We are preparing an amendment to the Penal Law, Criminal Law and Law on Police. If necessary, we will propose a special law on organised crime or the amendments to the Law on USKOK. So far, you have successfully combined diplomacy and law. You are now returning to politics, but as the Minister of Justice.

I am always prepared to promote Croatian interests in the world, but under the condition of good co-operation and mutual trust within the Government. I think this is a good moment for my involvement, as judiciary is a very important segment of the accession negotiations with the European Union. You concluded a rich diplomatic career on the position of the President of UN Economic and Social Council. In what ways was the presidency over ECOSOC significant for Croatia? During my, that is, Croatia’s presidency over ECOSOC a significant advancement was accomplished concerning the joining of international peace and security with economic and social issues, and concerning the strengthening of co-operation and co-ordination between this Council and the Se-

curity Council. My work was positively evaluated by France, and I was decorated with the Legion of Honour by the French Government. Do you intend to change the personnel in the Ministry of Justice? It is not possible to function without a good team. The experts in the Ministry of Justice have to create an anti-mafia law, that’s the first thing they have to do. To begin with, it is necessary to analyse the experiences of countries which have already implemented such laws, as well as the experiences of those countries that deal with this problem in a different way. After the completion of a full scale analysis, we will be able to say what’s missing in the Croatian legislation an find the effective means to combat corruption.

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DEPUTY PM KOSOR IN CHINA

DEPUTY PM KOSOR IN CHINA

Croatian Deputy Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor was on a three-day working visit to Beijing in early September, where she participated at the formal opening of the Paralympic Games.

Deputy Prime Minister Kosor in China
n the first day of her visit Deputy PM Kosor was a guest of Chinese President Hu Jintao at the Grand Palace, together with senior officials who attended the opening. Deputy PM Kosor was sitting next to Chinese PM Wen Jiabao. They talked about the relations between Croatia and China, and about the Paralympic Games. She pointed out that Croatia and China had friendly relations that were constantly strengthening. She stressed that the Chinese especially appreciated the fact that the Croatian President, Stjepan Mesić, had been present at the

Deputy PM Kosor thanked everybody for the warm welcome, and on behalf of the Croatian Government congratulated the organizers for a great organisation of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games opening. Moreover, she expressed her thanks for the chance to talk about the position of women in China and Croatia, adding that all the women in the world had been facing the same problems. She explained that the position of women in politics was improving, and emphasised that in Croatia the main goal was to create the conditions that would allow women to build successful careers, but also to start a family if they wished so. She said that Croatia was implementing many projects focusing on combating violence against women, especially domestic violence, and she also mentioned two campaigns Croatia had launched with the European Council – campaign to combat violence against women and campaign against corporal punishment of children. Deputy PM Kosor expressed her satisfaction with the relations

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opening of the Olympic Games, while she herself had come to the Paralympic Games opening. ˝We were talking about better economic cooperation, but the central topic were athletes˝, said Kosor. During the working visit to China Deputy PM Kosor met the President of the All China Women’s Federation (ACWF), Gu Xiu Lian,

between the two countries, and wished for the cooperation to continue and expand to include the issues of women. Deputy PM Kosor met the President of the International Paralympic Committee, Philip Craven. On that occasion she informed him about the activities taking place in Croatia when it comes to disabled persons. She said that Croatia was the third country which had signed the Convention on disabled people’s rights, and the fourth one which had ratified it. She also mentioned the project of personal assistant for severely disabled persons, saying that this service was currently provided

for 350 disabled persons. She explained that a personal assistant makes it possible for disabled persons to live independently. She added that the Croatian Government together with the units of local government had been implementing the project ˝Accessible Croatia˝ aimed at adaptating facilities to make them accessible to disabled persons. She pointed out that one of the most important projects was a pilot project of providing the service of ombudsman for disabled people. Philip Craven praised Croatia’s efforts for the improvement of the disabled people’s quality of life. He particularly welcomed the project of personal assistant saying that it truly provided what was most necessary for the disabled persons, and that was independence. Cooperation between the Croatian Paralympic Committee and International PC was established at the meeting. During the visit to Beijing Deputy PM Kosor visited Paralympic Village and signed the Wall of Remembrance of International Convention on Protection and Promotion of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities.

who thanked her for coming to the Paralympic Games, thus cementing friendship between the two countries. She went on to say that close relations had been established concerning the cooperation in economic, cultural and tourist plan, adding that the cooperation was to become even closer with the efforts on both sides. Gu Xiu Lian informed the participants that the All China Women’s Federation had been established in 1949, with the main goals of improving the position of women and promoting their rights, as well as promoting equality between men and women. She said that some of the main issues they were dealing with were the issues of family, creation of a positive atmosphere, children protection, and secure families.

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CZECH REPUBLIC AND CROATIA

ESTONIA AND CROATIA

Croatia and Estonia to conquer new markets together
n early September the Estonian Prime Minister, Andrus Ansip, was received by Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader. “Estonia is soon to ratify the agreement on Croatia’s accession to NATO, and the two countries will soon be partners within NATO, just like they are already partners in international peace missions”, the Estonian PM said after the meeting with the Croatian PM. He also said that Estonia strongly supported Croatia’s accession to the EU and that he believed Croatia would manage to open all the remaining chapters in the accession talks with the EU by the end of the year, and close them in 2009. ˝We will do our best, but it does not depend on us, but on the other side, the European Commission has to verify that˝, said Croatian PM Ivo Sanader, and added that out of the remaining twelve chapters which hadn’t

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been open yet Croatia had submitted negotiating positions on seven of them, and the same would be done for another two in September. “Except for the cooperation in tourism, Croatia hopes to improve economic cooperation with Estonia”, said PM Sanader. Mr Sanader, together with his guest, the Estonian PM, opened Croatian-Estonian Business Forum attended by Croatian and Estonian businessmen. In Estonia 98% of business is done via the internet, said PM Ansip, inviting Croatia for the cooperation in the IT sector. ˝We can closely cooperate in the IT sector˝, said Ansip addressing the businessmen. “We conduct business transparently, and we have a flat VAT rate of 18%,” said the PM of the country with the lowest corruption rate in Central and East Europe. “In addition to the cooperation in the IT sector, we could also co-

Closer economic relations between the Czech Republic and Croatia
zech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek was on an official visit to the Republic of Croatia where he met Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader. After the meeting Topolanek said that Croatia had good prospects for opening all the remaining chapters in the EU accession negotiations by the end of the year, and to start closing them during the Czech presidency of the EU in the first half of 2009. ˝We will do our best and we are optimistic, but it does not depend on us entirely, but on the other side as well˝, Sanader said, and added that out of the remaining twelve chapters which hadn’t been open yet Croatia had submitted negotiating positions on seven of them, and the same would be done for another two in September. ˝The Czech Republic will do its utmost to close all the remain-

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ing chapters˝, said Topolanek, who also added that he spoke to PM Sanader about the remaining chapters that could cause some problems so greater attention should be paid to them. Czech PM announced that his country was to ratify the agreement on Croatia’s accession to NATO by the end of the year. Croatian PM Sanader and his Czech colleague Topolanek opened CroatianCzech Economic Forum in Zagreb, announcing closer economic cooperation between the two countries, and highlighting their interest in investment in the Southeast European market. Both Prime Ministers emphasised that Croatia and the Czech Republic shared a common history and should therefore intensify their economic cooperation. “The Croatian Government will do its utmost to create a favourable investment climate”, Sanad-

er said in his speech, calling on the Czech Republic to use Croatia to enter the Southeast European market, since it knows the languages and the customs of the countries of the region. “Once Croatia becomes the EU member state, the Czech Republic expects to get an ally in the fight for stronger democracy in business, against protectionism, and for greater openness toward third parties”, said Topolanek. Croatia is especially interested in Central and East Europe, the president of the Croatian Chamber of Economy, Nadan Vidosevic, said at the Forum. Croatian-Czech trade in 2007 was 700 million US$, and Vidošević said he hoped it would reach 1 billion US$ in the next two-three years. He also recalled that 800 to 900 thousand Czech tourists visit Croatia annually.

operate in the construction sector, since Croatian construction workers have a strong presence in the Ukraine”, reminded Estonian PM. Croatian PM Sanader called on entrepreneurs from Croatia and Estonia to compete in construction tenders for the 2012 European Football Championship which will be hosted by the Ukraine and Poland. ˝Croatia and Estonia are small countries and as such cannot be interesting to themselves˝, Sanader said encouraging companies from both countries to try to ˝conquer new markets together˝, even such large markets as the Ukraine or the Russian Federation. Croatian PM said he hoped flight services would be expanded since more and more Croats were beginning to discover the beauty of Tallin which Sanader compared to a ˝delicious and exquisite box of chocolates ˝.

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NEWS FLASH

NEWS FLASH

Lower Saxony supports Croatia’s prompt acceession to the EU

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he President of the Government of Lower Saxony, Christian Wulff, visited Croatia in late August and met Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader. After the meeting it was said that the German Federal State Lower Saxony was interceding for Croatia’s prompt accession to the EU. ˝In Lower Saxony Croatia enjoys good reputation and we are interceding for Croatia’s accession to the EU as soon as possible˝, said Mr Wulff. Mr Sanader expressed his satisfaction with the first visit of Lower Saxony Prime Minister to Croatia, and informed his guest on Croatia’s progress in negotiations with the EU and about the plans and tasks to complete the negotiations by the autumn of next year. Except for the bilateral relations between the two countries and a cooperation between them, they talked about the region, especially BosniaHerzegovina. Two sides paid special attention to the mutual economic relations, and according to the words of Mr Wulff, there are mutual interests primarily in car industry. Namely, Lower Saxony is the centre of Volkswagen, so the authorities are interested in connecting with car ˝clusters˝ in Croatia. Moreover, there are great possibilities for cooperation between the shipyards since Lower Saxony has a long coast, or cooperation in the field of agriculture and renewable energy sources.

Fostering good relations between Croatia and Slovakia

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President of Australian Senate with PM Sanader
associates with the priorities of Croatia’s foreign policy, the current state of the process of accessing the EU and NATO, as well as with the Croatian role in the region. Mr Hogg notified that the Australian Croats represented a significant connection between those two countries, and expressed his hope that the co-operation between Australia and Croatia would be intensified since there were many opportunities for that.

Good cooperation between Croatia and Latvia
n early September Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader received Latvian President Valdis Zatlers at Banski Dvori (the Presidential Palace). Croatian PM thanked him for the support concerning Croatia’s membership in NATO and the EU. They were talking about the possibilities of strengthening economic and trade ties between the two countries, especially in the area of tourism, as well as about the possibility of introducing direct flights between Zagreb and Riga. President Zalters said that he was pleased that

Croatia and Latvia established such friendly relations and close cooperation ties at numerous international forums. He also said that he considered relations with Croatia to be very important, even more so because Croatia would soon become a member of NATO and the EU, and because of its important geographic position in the centre of the Adriatic region.

lovakian Deputy Prime Minister Dušan Čaplović paid an official visit to Croatia in early September. “As far as Slovakia is concerned Croatia is already part of the European Union, and in Slovakian Parliament all political parties have already reached a consensus on the ratification of the Protocol on Croatia’s accession to NATO”, said Deputy PM Čaplović. In his address to the press Čaplović highlighted that he was feeling ˝at home˝ in Croatia, and that all the talks were exceptionally cordial ˝which speaks in favour of close relations between the two countries˝. ˝ As far as Slovakia is concerned Croatia is already part of the European Union ˝, said Čaplović, expressing his conviction that cooperation between the two countries will be improved in all the fields and become an example to be followed by everyone in Europe. Croatian Deputy PM Kosor met Slovakian PM, too. Speaking of the priorities of the Government she stressed that one of the first and most important goals for Croatia was its accession to the EU and NATO. She thanked Slovakian President Robert Fico and the Slovakian people for unequivocal support to Croatia.

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n the beginning of October the President of the Croatian Government dr Ivo Sanader received the delegation of the Australian Senate headed by the Senate’s President John Hogg. PM Sanader stressed that Croatia and Australia had very good relations, and that visit would intensify the relations, which is contributed by a numerous community of the Croatian emigrants who were reputable citizens of the Australian society. PM Sander introduced the President of the Australian Senate and his

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NEWS FLASH

NEWS FLASH

PM meets US Deputy Secretary of Defence

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he President of the Croatian Government dr Ivo Sanader received at the Banski Dvori the US Deputy Secretary of Defence Gordon England. England congratulated the PM on the foreign policy that achieved a historic success in strengthening international position of Croatia. He also pointed out that such results, as the invitation to NATO, the forthcoming accession to the EU and the clear positioning of Croatia as a stability factor in SE Europe, could be achieved only through resolute and effective leader-

C Croatian Prime Minister hosts Austrian Ambassador Konrad

roatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader received Helga Konrad, the ambassador of the Republic of Austria to the Republic of Croatia, for a valedictory visit. On that occasion PM Sanader thanked her for a huge contribution to further development of excellent Croatian-Austrian relations. He stated that a very

good and dynamic cooperation between the two countries had been additionally intensified during Konrad’s mandate in Croatia. The ambassador thanked PM Sanader for the support in her work and informed him that during her mandate in Croatia she had witnessed an interesting and fascinating period of progress in dealing with some foreign policy issues, during which Croatia had taken a step closer to NATO and the EU membership. Croatian Prime Minister brought up the subject of economic cooperation as well, highlighting the importance of Austrian investments in Croatia. He also said he was hopeful that future investments and export of Croatian companies to Austria would grow considerably.

ship. In that context England mentioned the decision by the American Senate on the ratification of the Protocol on Croatia’s accession to the NATO. With the decision of being the first country to ratify the Protocol the USA sends the signal to other

member states of the North Atlantic Alliance to do the same. PM Sanader thanked for the quick American Senate’s ratification and for the USA’s support to Croatia’s aspirations for the admission to the Euro -Atlantic organisations.

Croatia`s support for Lajačak`s efforts

PM Sanader meets Cardinal Bertone
he Vatican supports Croatia’s ˝specific˝ role in the EU and NATO and respects the devotion of Croatian people to the tradition of Christianity, said the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, after a meeting on Friday with Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader. In a joint statement after the meeting, Sanader recalled that the Vatican had been the first to recognise Croatia, two days earlier than the EU, by which it had ˝violated tradition˝, for which Croatia was deeply grateful. Sanader and Bertone, who made a four-day pastoral visit to Croatia, confirmed that the Vatican supported Croatia on its path to the EU and NATO. Among Central and Southeastern European states Croatia can have a significant role as a

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he President of the Croatian Government dr Ivo Sanader met the European Union Special Representative in Bosnia-Herzegovina Miroslav Lajačak. They discussed the current situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and

PM Sanader reiterated Croatia’s support for Lajačak’s efforts and the work of his office. They also talked about common efforts through which Croatia, together with other partners in the international community and

in a co-operation with Bosnian authorities, is supporting and helping Bosnia-Herzegovina to achieve European standards and to join the EU and NATO. On that occasion PM Sanader said that Bosnia’s stability depended on the respect of the equality of its three constituent peoples – Croats, Bosniaks and Serbs. EU Special Representative Lajačak thanked PM Sanader for Croatia’s support and constructive policy towards Bosnia and the whole region. He agreed that the equality of three Bosnia’s peoples was the foundation for the country’s stability and progress, stressing that the accomplishment of that goal required the joint efforts of local authorities and the international community, including Croatia.

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driving force towards justice, solidarity, and peaceful coexistence. After the meeting Cardinal Ber-

tone and PM Sanader went to visit the new Catholic University in Zagreb which the Cardinal blessed.

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NEWS FLASH

NEWS FLASH

n mid-September Croatian Prime Minister made an official visit to Brussels where he had a meeting with President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso about Croatia’s efforts to join the EU as soon as possible. Working lunch at the EC headquarters was attended by Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn and Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Jandroković. European Commission President Barroso said that Croatia had made significant progress in the European Union accession negotiations in recent months, but still had a lot to do by November

Croatian Prime Minister Sanader in Brussels I
in order to meet benchmarks in two key negotiation chapters- Judiciary and Fundamental Rights and Competition Policy. He also highlighted the importance of restructuring the shipbuilding industry. He said Sanader assured him that everything would be ready by November, adding that the EC would make a comprehensive evaluation of how the benchmarks set for opening negotiations on the said two chapters had been met. Barroso said Croatia would also have to resolve the issue of the trade discrimination of tobacco

PM Ivo Sanader visited Republic of Ireland

products, important in light of obligations from the Stabilisation and Association Agreement as well as very relevant for opening negotiations on the Taxation chapter. Barroso said it was too early to say if in November the European Commission would release an indicative calendar for the technical completion of the negotiations by autumn 2009. He also added that before it announced this year’s enlargement the European Commission was going to evaluate the extent to which the conditions had been met. Sanader said Croatia was determined to do its utmost in order to complete the accession negotiations next year. He said that the government would prepare international tenders for the privatisation of Croatian shipyards, in cooperation with the EC DirectorateGeneral for Competition. ˝I am encouraged by the messages Mr Barroso sent me, the Government, and Croatia. We in Croatia are well aware that we have a task ahead us, a task that includes meeting all the necessary criteria, so we can complete accession negotiations. We are ready to do our homework, to do whatever is necessary to complete the negotiations next year˝, said PM Sanader.

“Irish referendum shouldn’t be problem for Croatia”
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n early October Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader officially visited the Republic of Ireland where he met with Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen. Ireland is looking forward to the successful settlement of the issue of the ratification of the Treaty of Lisbon as soon as possible and hopes that this issue will not affect Croatia’s accession negotiations with the European Union, Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen said after his talks with his Croatian counterpart, Ivo Sanader, in Dublin. The Cowen-Sanader talks revolved around European issues, and after that the two countries’ delegations discussed bilateral issues and the situation in southeastern Europe during a working dinner. The Irish premier could not say whether his country will hold another referendum on the Treaty of Lisbon after Ireland rejected the document at the first referendum on 12 June this year. Cowen said that his country was now analysing and mulling over the document, and added that he hoped that the Irish” No” would not negatively affect Croatia’s integration with the European Union. We shall try to solve all our problems to the overall satisfaction as soon as possible, and in the meantime this should not affect in any way Croatia’s negotiations and Croatia’s negotiating positions, Cowen said. He said that Dublin supported Croatia’s efforts to become a full member of the European bloc and that he was confident and optimistic

Photo by FaH

regarding plans of the European Council to set in December a date for the completion of Croatia’s membership talks. Sanader thanked Ireland for its constant backing of Croatia. Cowen also told Sanader that discussions before the referendum on the Treaty of Lisbon had not referred to Croatia’s EU membership bid. Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader expressed optimism that Ireland’s rejection of the Lisbon Treaty would not be an obstacle to Croatia’s EU entry. “I am personally optimistic after this talk that the Irish referendum will not be a problem for Croatia,” Sanader told Croatian reporters in Dublin after a working lunch with Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen. “I think that after today’s talk we can be optimistic, and I don’t mean just we in Croatia, but Europe as well, because the prime minister is evidently determined to solve that problem and find a way and a time-frame,” he added. Ireland rejected the Lisbon Treaty in a referendum this June and has

not decided yet whether a second referendum will be held and if so, when. Croatia needs the new Treaty to take effect so that it can join the EU as its 28th member, because the Treaty of Nice, which is still in force, is designed for a maximum of 27 member states. “We, of course, don’t want to exert any pressure, understanding that every country in the EU has its own problems and its own debates, including Ireland,” the Croatian PM said. According to Sanader, Cowen said that Ireland fully supported Croatia’s efforts to join the bloc, expressing hope that the two countries would continue to work together and that Ireland would complete its part of the work by the time Croatia had completed accession negotiation. PM Sanader also met with Irish president Mary McAleese and visited Irish Parliament. At the end of his visit, Prime Minister expressed his satisfaction with everything he heard from Irish officials.

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RAILWAY WORKS

EUROPEAN POLICE COOPERATION

Renewal works begin on Vinkovci - Tovarnik – state border railway line
inister of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure Božidar Kalmeta and Minister of Finance Ivan Šuker in the presence of the Head of the European Commission Delegation to Croatia, Vincent Degert, on September 24 2008 marked the beginning of renewal works on the Vinkovci-Tovarnik-State Border railway line at the railway station Đelatovci. It is a 60.2 million euro worth project, the first one of such size in Croatia. The project is cofinanced from the pre-accession EU ISPA fund, 38% comes from grant-in-aid, while the rest of the funds was provided by the state budget, pointed out Minister Šuker during the opening ceremony. He mentioned that three years ago the Memorandum on financing this project included 75.7 million euro, but during the international bid the contracts ensuring 80% of the means had been signed, so this added up to significant saving of 15 million euro. This railway section is located at the 10th Pan- European corridor and its renewal will result in better connection of Croatia with the European Union, but will also increase the traffic safety, said the Head of the European Commission Delegation to Croatia, Mr Degert, adding that the EU will keep on supporting well-prepared projects. The section is 33.5 kilometers long, with trains travelling at speeds over 40 km/h, as it suf-

European police officers on the Adriatic coast
Successful international cooperation of Croatian, Hungarian, French, Austrian, Czech and Slovakian police continued this summer

M

B

ased on the international cooperation of the Croatian Ministry of the Interior and the Hungarian, French, Austrian, Czech and Slovakian Ministry of Interior, during July and August police officers from these countries were positioned in the following police departments: Primorje –Gorski Kotar, Zadar, Split, and DubrovnikNeretva. This is the continuation of the last year’s exceptionally successful cooperation of Croatia with the police forces of the mentioned countries which made foreign tourists feel less worried during their summer holiday in Croatia, since they facilitated communication and cooperation with the Croatian institutions. The presence of foreign police officers in popular tourist destinations in Croatia had a positive effect on the guests and the Croatian authorities, and received very positive media coverage. All the guest policemen were

wearing their uniforms that are official in their countries, but without equipment and weapons. They were in charge of providing help and support in facilitating communication between the Croatian police and foreign tourists. In the Dubrovnik-Neretva Police Department there were two French police officers, in

fered severe damages during the Homeland War, said Minister Kalmeta. Therefore, as he said, by 2010 the works on rail terminals, halts, and tracks will have been completed, and railroad crossings will have been repaired, with the introduction of traffic signalling and traffic management system, providing train speeds of 160 km/h. He announced the preparation of the project for the renewal of railway junction Zagreb and Dugo Selo – Novska section and Novska-Okučani section, which

would, according to his words, probably be financed from the IPA funds. Construction works will be carried out by the Italian company, Salcef Construzioni Edili e Ferroviari SpA, and the producer is Croatian company Vibrobeton. The traffic signalling and traffic management system will be installed by Bombardier Transportation Italy in consortium with the Italian company SITE. Spanish company Tecnica y Proyectos SA is responsible for the supervision of the works.

media also covered foreign police officers’ activities in Croatia. They were presented at press conferences organised by police departments with the aim of making foreign police officers familiar with the tourism sector of the local area, but also with the service provided to the citizens of the countries they come from, who were spending their holidays in those areas of Croatia. The Hungarian, Czech, and Slovakian local media also covered some of the activities. This kind of cooperation is going to continue next year, since it proved very successful. Before they left, all the guest police officers gave their Croatian colleagues credit for their successful work. They confirmed that Croatian tourist destinations were safe for foreign tourist as well as for local people and added they were convinced that Croatia and its Adriatic coast would continue to be a popular destination for tourists from all over Europe and the world.

the Split-Dalmatia Police Department eight police officers from the Czech Republic and Slovakia, in the Zadar Police Department eight Hungarian police officers, and in the cities of Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, such as Opatija, there were eight Austrian police officers. Just like last year, this year the

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CULTURE

CULTURE

Days of
his year Šibenik Tourist Board chose the month of September to mark the memory of Šibenik history. Events organized during September were a reminder of rich tradition, culture and eminent people who lived in this area. The event ˝Days of Faust Vrančić˝ marked the beginning of the festivities. What exactly do we know about Faust Vrančić, a famous Croatian humanist and inventor in the 16th century? Faust Vrančić was born in Šibenik in 1551. His uncle Antun Vrančić, a prelate and a diplomat, was taking care of his education. He brought

Faust Vrančić Humanist and inventor
T
Faust with him to Eger, and thanks to him Faust received education in Padua, Venice, Vienna, and Rome. Vrančić was a man of a wide scientific interest. He was interested in lexicography, philosophy, theology, and technology. He spent some time in Prague as the secretary at the court of Emperor Rudolph II (1552-1612) and in 1594 he was appointed the bishop of Cenad. In 1605 he left the court and Hungary and joined the Order of Barnabites in Rome. His close friend Giovanni Ambrogio Mazenta (1565-1635) introduced him to technical drawings of Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) and encouraged him to explore the construction of machines and resolve some architectural problems. Among other things in Rome, Vrančić worked on flow regulation of the River Tiber, which used to flood the surrounding area due to the narrow basin. Afterwards he left for Venice where he was mastering the skill of building fountains. He died there on 27th January 1617. His body was transported to his homeland and he was buried in a parish church in Prvić Luka, according to his wish. Some of Vrančić’s most important works are: Dictionarum quinque nobilissimarum Europae linguarum (Venice, 1595), De Slovvinis seu Sarmatis (Rome, 1606), Xivot nikoliko izabranih divvicz (Rome, 1606), Logica duis ipsius instrumentis formata et recognita (Venice, 1608, Venice 1616), Ethica Christiana (Rome, 1610, Venice, 1616), and Machinae novae (Venice, 1615/1616). Among other cultural activities in September which were dedicated to this great humanist, and organized by the city of Šibenik and its Tourist Board, lectures ˝Town Library Edition of Faust Vrančić’s Works˝, and ˝History and Exhibition of Šibenik Cap˝ were held, while the presentation of picture book ˝Faust – the flying man˝ was made by the author, Zdenka Bilušić. She got the inspiration for the book while looking at Vrančić’s famous drawing of a parachute published by Town Library ˝Juraj Šižgorić˝. The end of the festivities was marked by the visit to Vrančić’s summer house and the Museum on the island of Prvić, where the cornerstone was laid for the construction of the memory-park of Faust Vrančić. The Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure will invest some million kunas for its construction.

STEĆAK
In concept terms, the exhibition is divided to exhibits of several original stećci from the original localities at the Gallery’s atrium, then the presentation of their plaster casts preserved in the Glyptotheque of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, while a special part of the exhibition deals with grave findings under the very tombstones mostly preserved in the National Museum in Sarajevo.
he exhibition ˝Stećci˝ displayed at the Klovićevi Dvori Gallery in Zagreb was dedicated to a completely authentic and quite neglected part of the cultural heritage scattered over the mountains of the Dinarides, a kind of the cemetery that cannot be found anywhere in the world. The exhibition deals with the culture of tombstone making, since stećci (pl. of stećak) are actually massive, stony, not rarely illustrated tombstones, that were built between the 13th and the 15th ct. at the areas of Dalmatian Zagora, Bosnia-Herzegovina, west Serbia and Monte Negro. Some seventy thousand such tombstones were found of the mentioned localities, whose exploration started only after the World War II. Those tombstones ˝took care of˝ the graves of peerage, shaped like panels, coffins, posts or crosses. The exhibition is actually alerting to the preservation and exploration of this puzzling and mysterious heritage that is irretrievably fading away in the course of time. Namely, the tombstones are poor-

fading away tombstone
T
ly preserved, after five hundred years of winds and water, and their origin is scarcely surveyed and never explained completely. The idea of stećak, whose makers signed in as ˝the blacksmiths˝, historically has been interpreted differently. For example, a religious theory says that these tombstones are connected with the Bogomils, the members of dualistic Christian heresy, who isolated and surrounded by mountains, in the heart of the medieval Bosnian state in the 12th century, were the only capable of generating this peculiar culture that died away together with the Ottoman invasion. The second theory, an ethnic one, connects them with the Vlachs, a semi-nomad population, since the exploring showed that authentic population of Catholic and Orthodox religion was buried under them. Disagreements appear in the very motifs on the tombstones, the motifs of the Christian middle ages, and those dipped into older tradition. We speak about the motifs of a disc, a spiral, a rosette, a crescent and a star ( as the symbols of death, but winning over death, too) entwining with those of characters of knights hunting deer, bears, hunting with a falcon, weapons, swords, and shields. A curiosity of the medieval literacy are the inscriptions mostly on the tombstones from Dalmatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina derived from the monasteries that reveal engraved names of buried peerage, the stories about their feats or chiselled prayers, the names of the saints.

Myths and legends

There were many myths and superstitions about scattered stony hillocks told by local population. According to some the cemeteries were supposed to be avoided in order not cause a mischief, and quite opposite tales according to others. Drinking water with stirred scraping from a stećak meant fertility to a woman. A cow that went round a stećak three times was healthy and fertile, while, according to Kupres legend, these tombstones actually are wedding guests who were once snowbound and frozen. The tombstones appear near churches, water-wells, along the paths, and on quite unapproachable mountainous places, that are raising new doubts about their emergence, like the cemetery on the mountain of Visočica in Bosnia, that are supposed to be owned by Vlach nomads who were bringing their cattle there.

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FESTIVAL SUMMER

FESTIVAL SUMMER

Festival Summer
Photo by: www.motovunfilmfestival.com

THE 55TH PULA FILM FESTIVAL 19 - 26 July
The 55th Pula Film Festival was opened by a psychological thriller ˝Buick Riviera˝ directed by Goran Rušinović. Other six domestic films by the Croatian directors were also showed. International programme was presented by twelve films, with the domination of detective stories and thrillers by the representative names of the European film, like Italian Oscar Winner Giuseppe Tornatore, Belgian brothers Jean Pierre and Luc Dardenne, and Roberto Guediguiano. The Grand Golden Arena for the Best Film went to No One’s Son by Arsen Anton Ostojić, who also received the award for the best director. In International Competition the award for the best film went to ˝Double Love˝ directed by Claude Chabrol, Golden Arena for the Best Director went to Mike Leigh for Happy-Go-Lucky, while the award for the best actress in a

Film Festival Guest of Honour, who acted in more than 250 movies and series, like ˝Dracula˝, ˝The Mummy˝, and ˝The Man with Golden Pistol˝, while the younger generation will remember him for the role of the wizard Saruman in the ˝The Lord of the Ring˝ trilogy and Count Dookua in ˝Star Wars˝. He received a special festival award for the life contribution in film industry.

wants to be a small festival showing small films, small in the warmest sense of the word. Festival program consisted of around 70 titles from all over the world, from documentaries to feature films, from short to long films, from guerrilla made films to co-productions. The only criterion in their selection is that they fit in the open-minded atmosphere of the festival with their innovations. At this jubilant Motovun Film Festival the main award called Propeler Motovuna went to the movie ˝Silent Light˝ by Carlos Reygadas. The recipient of the Motovun Maverick Award was Ken Russell, for exceptional credit in promoting the limits of permitted and courteous in the movie. The award ˝50 years˝ went to Mia Oremović.

Photo by: www.pulafilmfestival.hr

leading role went to Liu Weiwei in ˝In Love We Trust˝, directed by Wang Xiaoshuaij. The film Will Not End Here, by Vinko Brešan was awarded with 4 Golden Arenas and the Publics’ Award. As an accompanying programme the visitors could have enjoyed in the ˝Videorome˝ –film projections followed by the presentations by theoreticians; the youngest ones were able to enjoy in a

Little Film School of Prof Balthazar – a workshop for making their own movies. There was a workshop for Pula Film Factory for older ones, a competition for amateurs for the best amateur film; the visitors were able to see the exhibition by Babette Mangilte, as well as the exhibition by Ana Hušman and Dora Katanić. The famous British actor of world career Christoper Lee was Pula

MOTOVUN FILM FESTIVAL 28 July - 1 August

Motovun Film Festival is an annual film festival established in 1999 and held in Motovun, Croatia. It usually takes place over 5–6 days in late July or early August. The projections rotate from 10 a.m. to 4 a.m. after the midnight in the open and at the cinemas. Motovun Film Festival is entirely dedicated to films made in small cinematography and independent productions In everything, except for the ambition and the quality, Motovun

DUBROVNIK SUMMER FESTIVAL

Dubrovnik Summer Festival took place in one of the most beautiful Croatian cities, Dubrovnik. The

whole programme of this year’s the 59th Festival was marked by Marin Držić’s work opus, one of the greatest Croatian dramatists, on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of his birth. The formal session that is traditionally held in the eve of Dubrovnik Summer Festival Opening was presided by Minister of Culture Božo Biškupić. Dubrovnik citizens and their guests were enjoying in a rich offer of dramatic, dancing and musical performances. Two premieres were held in the honour of Držić – dramatic workshop by Joško Juvančić Dum Marinu u pohode, presenting the works Venus and Adonis and Novela od Stanca, and Držić’s comedy Arkulin directed by Krešimir Dolenčić. There was a premiere of a Renaissance dramatist William Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night’s Dream directed by Dora Ruždjak Podolski, one of the most wanted Croatian woman director. Concerning the drama guest we should mention the Hungarian

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FESTIVAL SUMMER

FESTIVAL SUMMER

play of the National Theatre Miskole, Europe Adie, Adie Europe, directed by Paolo Magelli and the guest performance of Zagreb Youth Theatre with ˝On the other side˝ directed by Nataša Rajković and Bobo Jelčić. Among the more interesting dancing and musical performances for sure was the one by the dancers of Parisian Opera Ballet that was performed in a magnificent ambiance of Dubac quarry. Music programme was opened by Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra with Ivan Repušić, and the soloists were the laureates of the Tchaikovsky competition that has just ended in Moscow. The Festival hosted a grand Krzysztof Penderecki with his orchestra Sinfonietta Cracovia, and the Slovenian Philharmonic. Both the orchestras played the Croatian plays. A grand violinist Gidon Kremer, Vadim Rjepin, Midori, Stefan Milenkovich … the pianists Nikolai Demidenko, Alexander Ghidin, Olli Mustonen and Lovro Pogorelić, the diva of opera scene known as ˝The fifth element˝ -Inva Mula… and many other stars performed this summer at Dubrovnik ambiance stages. We should single out the visual-art

and musical-dramatic performance of Luko Paljetak and Rudolph Pater in a co-operation with the Croatian Heritage Dubrovnik, and the exhibition of Milovan Stanić ˝Festival’s Portraits˝ by Tonko Maroević.

LIBURNIA FILM FESTIVAL 28 - 31 August

The 6th Liburnia Film Festival was held at the end of August at the open stage at small port in Ičići, near Opatija. Eighteen best Croatian documentaries recorded in 2007 and 2008 were presented, together with another six movies, out of the competition. The festival was enriched by many accompanying programmes, like for example, Filmaktiv - Mobile Unit, at which the guests of the festival could shoot the festival events with their cameras and mobile phones, after which, with the help of an editor, they could edit a movie, that was presented on the last evening of the festival. There was a workshop about the basics of a documentary, and the viewers got a chance to ask the authors questions, within ˝Coffee with an author˝ project, the questions about the movie they were watching. So, the visitors were

able to talk to famous authors like Branko Ištvančić, Irena Škorić and Goran Dević. The award went to ˝Welcome to Igrane˝, a funny (anti) tourist movie that revealed the other, less known, side of the summer in a small Dalmatian place. The author was Kristina Kumrić. Special acknowledgements went to Rasim Karalić for ˝Centipede˝and Tomislav Mršić and Rober Zuber for ˝A Random Son˝. The award by the audience went to ˝You scratch my back I’ll scratch yours˝ by Irene Škorić.

re, the best action film was ˝The Deadlock˝, the best SF movie was ˝Civilisation of Doom˝, ˝Dragon Rage˝ was the best fighting film, while the audience was thrilled by ˝La imposicion de la ley 2˝movie.

THE 43rd VINKOVCI AUTUMS 5 - 14 September

Photo by: www.trash.hr

TRASH FILM FESTIVAL 11 - 13 September

Photo by: www.liburniafilmfestival.com

Trash Film Festival that is held in Varaždin is a multimedia event of an entertaining character that promotes the feature film, i.e. low-budget action and similar movies. The festival has been imagined to present primarily those works having accentuated the attributes of action, fight, fright and SF. The aim of the festival was to attract movie-fans, whether professionals or amateurs, who enjoy in entertaining, action component of movie art, and to award them for the contribution to the miraculous movie world. The Golden Chain Saw, the Trash Film Award, this year was given to the movie ˝Black Sheep in a Zombie Restaurant˝ in the horror gen-

Vinkovci Autumns, which took place in September, is the biggest and most attractive festivity of authentic folklore from Slavonia, Baranja and western Srijem; it consists of a series of varied folkloric, sports and commercial manifestations. The festivity was established more than forty years ago and presents an original group of authentic national culture that evokes the nourishment of the rich cultural heritage by a song and a dance. Vinkovci Autumns represents a huge contribution in saving forgotten customs, collecting and preserving inappreciable values of word by mouth, especially during the show ˝Šokački divani˝, the event whose purpose is to show the way of having fun, singing and dancing, after having work done in Slavonia. Traditional performances include ˝Children’s Vinkovci Autumn˝, then ethnographic, economic, vocational exhibitions and tourist promotions, concerts, scientific conferences, brandy fair and evaluation of the most quality ˝Kulen˝ (kulen sausage). Formal procession is the most attractive and most beautiful event of Vinkovci Autumns, with a special attraction of cavalcade preceding the procession. The central manifestation of the Vinkovci Autumns is the National review o authentic folklore, that astonishes with original songs that speak about village people doing bee-party, showing old customs during the harvest, sowing, mowing, wedding, the customs at Palm

Photo by: www.vbv.hr

Sunday, the blessing of the corn, picking feathers, brandy producing, the customs during asking in marriage and engagements, living in former cooperatives, and coexistence with river and water-well. In the past forty years the Vinkovci Autumns has accomplished more than its mere attempt, they have been enriched by new manifestations so we can say that it a retrospective of authentic folklore, but economic, cultural, tourist, sporting and entertaining manifestation as well, that can be placed in the range of the most developed and most significant reviews in Croatia. This manifestation completely succeeded in saving former village from oblivion, its people and customs, especially musical heritage.

had a chance to enjoy in a rich and interesting programme and authentic performance of the Baroque evenings, the audience in Jerusalem had a chance to enjoy in the performances of the plays of the Croatian composers and in the performance of the Barrocade Israeli Baroque Collective Ensemble. Besides the concerts in Varaždin, Varaždin Baroque Festival embraced the concerts in castles and churches in Ludbreg, Lepoglava, Krapina, Sisak, Čakovec, Sv. Križ, Začretje, Prelog, Koprivnica, Stubički Golubovac, Varaždinske Toplice, Osijek, Vukovar and Križevci. The concerts were held outside the borders of Croatia, in Ptuj, Leibniz, Zalaegerszeg, Bratislava, Ravens burgh, St Gallen, and for the first time, in Jerusalem. The day before the very opening of the Baroque Evenings, Opera ˝L´Orfeo˝ by C. Monteverdi was performed at the Varaždin Theatre. During the opening, the Israeli Ambassador in Croatia Shumel Meir said that he was proud of Israel to be the partner country and pointed out it was an opportunity for the strengthening of cultural relations between Croatia and Israel.

38th VARAŽDIN BAROQUE EVENINGS, 17 - 29 September This

year’s the 38th Baroque Evenings, the festival with the longest Baroque tradition in Croatia, was in the sign of Israel. Namely, on the occasion of the marking of the 60th anniversary of Israel State, the partner country of the festival was Israel, so the visitors could have enjoyed in the sounds of prominent Israeli musicians. While the audience in Varaždin

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NATURE PARK

NATURE PARK

NATURE PARK

KOPAČKI RIT

migration, Kopački rit represents an important resting site for many marshbirds.

TOURISTIC OFFER OF THE PARK

JOURNEY INTO THE HEART OF THE WETLAND

opački rit Nature Park is placed in the central part of the Danube floodplain, in the corner formed by the Danube and one of its five major tributaries, the Drava River. This is one of the most important alluvial floodplains in whole Europe and an inner delta with distinct morphological and sedimentation features. The appearance of the whole area depends on regular floods therefore terrestrial and aquatic parts change their shape and function according to the amount of floodwater. Kopačko Lake is the largest, while Sakadaš is the deepest lake in the area. The lakes are interconnected with rivers through the network of natural channels. Nature Park covers 23.891 hectares in total, including Special Zoological Reserve with 7.143 hectares.

K

under the terms of the Ramsar convention, especially as a marshbird habitat.

UNIQUE BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY

RAMSAR AREA

International significance of Kopački rit was confirmed in 1993 by its inclusion on the List of Wetlands of International Importance

Over 2000 biological species have been recorded in Kopački rit so far, among them many are rare and threatened on the European and global scale. Apart from the large number of invertebrates, mussles, snails, leeches, dragonflies, butterflies, mosquitoes and gad flies, a new form of mussel Unio tumidus kopaciensis was described in Kopački rit. The area is the most important spawning place for the fishes of the Central European section of the Danube River. Forty-four species were recorded among them: the Danubian bream, the Carp, the Sterlet, the Pike, the Perch and the European catfish. The wetland offers ideal conditions for the development of large amphibian populations – altogether 11 species of which 8 are

frogs. Extensive reedbeds, forests, marshes and wet grasslands provide ideal conditions for many mammal species including red deer, roe deer, wild boars, wild cats, badgers, European otters as well as 12 species of bats.

Cruising through Čonakut channel from Sakadaš Lake to Kopačko Lake, all the beauties of this wetland can be discovered. Thousands of wild geese can be seen in early spring, in summer it is a special experience to pass under the colony of thousands of cormorants while during autumn ten thousands of mallards are here. If you are lucky enough, grey herons and white egrets will show up to you with a slow and elegant wing beat. Observing over 30 different foraging behaviors used by the egrets or fights between male coots over the female affection represent special delight for the true nature and bird lovers.

Kopački rit represents one of the most significant touristic destinations in the continental part of Croatia with all its beauty and ecological value. Tens of thousands of birds, lakes and channels filled with fish, deer herds, wild boars and marsh pastures in blossom are only part of the treasures that can be seen and experienced in Kopački rit. The main entrance to the Nature park is «Mali Sakadaš» Visitors centre situated in an autochthon marshy environment by Kopačevo village, on the local road Bilje – Kopačevo – Kozjak. The visitors of the Park can use the parking area for personal vehicles and buses, an equipped reception with an information desk and souvenir shop, a gallery for multimedia presentations, exhibitions and lectures. The international bicycle routes

called «Pannonian Peace Route» and «Danube Route» lead through Kopački rit, which has become the first centre for cycle-tourists in Croatia. An Internet Centre has been set up inside the Visitors centre. It is possible to walk on nature trails «Mali Sakadaš» and «Veliki Sakadaš» from the Visitors centre, where the visitors can get information reading panels about the significance of Kopački rit and particular plant and animal species. The most attractive programme for visitors is the boat tour taking them through the Special Zoological Reserve. An empire of birds and fish discover the secrets of the enchanting marshland while the boat cuts through the smooth water surface. If you are lucky enough, the white-tailed eagle can fly above you while, very often, herons and egrets accompany you flying by the boat.

We invite you to come and experience a unique nature to search for peace and quiet where you will, at least for a moment, retire from everyday life.

MORE THAN 290 BIRD SPECIES

More than 290 bird species, with 141 regular or irregular breeders are the most popular feature of the Nature park. Those nesting in large colonies are particularly interesting, such as herons and egretts, whiskered terns, cormorants and common gulls. The white-tailed eagle nests in Kopački rit, which is the symbol of the Nature Park. Among the other threatened species like black storks, small egretts and wild geese nest here regularly. Several hundred pairs of ferruginous ducks, one of the most endangered european species, also nest here. During spring and autumn

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CROATIAN TOWNS

CROATIAN TOWNS

Magical

Fužine

Photo by: Milan babić

Photo by: Tourist Board of Fužine

F

užine is situated at 730 meters above the sea level, in the south-western part of Gorski Kotar region, surrounded by picturesque mountains, silence of centennial coniferous forests, and the beauty of its lakes. It is a true pleasure to spend time at the seaside in the summertime, and to spend a night in pleasant Gorski Kotar air at some of the numerous accommodation establishments. Fužine has always provided shelter for the night to travellers, summer and winter re-

sorts, and popular excursion sites. Fužine, stretched out along the Karolina road (1737), with its many lodging houses and rest places for the caravans became one of the oldest cradles of tourism on the Kvarner Bay, as well as in Croatia and Central Europe. People from all over Croatia, and foreign guests, come here mostly to enjoy preserved nature, mild climate, natural beauty, a broad range of leisure time activities, numerous tourist events, and gastronomic delights.

The town of Fužine was first mentioned in the 17th century., as a property of Counts Zrinski and Frankopan. Its name is derived from Italian word ˝fucina˝ or German word ˝Fussine˝ which means metal foundry, since the melting of iron ore was recorded in this area. Even though today Fužine is the official name of the town, older inhabitants still use the ancient name. It remains unknown when exactly the name Fužine came to be used for the town. The first president of the Croatian

Academy of Sciences and Arts, Franjo Rački was born in Fužine. Writing about him a famous scientist Tadija Smičiklas recorded that Rački was born in ˝Magical Fužine˝. Fužine has excellent traffic connection with other cities. The area is situated on the border of the Kvarner Bay. It is only 30 kilometres away from the sea coast, and some 22 kilometres away from the island of Krk. Teh new Zagreb-Rijeka motorway is within easy reach. Fužine is also

easily reached by a romantic train ride. The town of Fužine abounds in waters. There are three artificial lakes: Bajer, Lepenica and Potkoš which fit well into the Gorski Kotar landscape. The lakes abound in fish and are a true bait for fishermen. Clear waters are rich in trout, chub, marble trout, carp and pike. There are lots of yachting regattas, diving competitions, surfing, boating, and canoeing activities taking place at the lakes. Game animals in the dense Gorski Kotar

forests attract hunters. Vrelo cave is one of the most popular tourist attractions. It was discovered in the 1950s when the Bajer Lake was being built. It is well floodlit and visits with a professional guide are available. It is 300 meters long and is the only cave in Croatia which can be visited and explored by tourists. Underground water flows through the cave. There are no stairs inside the cave so it is wheelchair accessible. Due to its accessibility and attractive-

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CROATIAN TOWNS

CROATIAN TOWNS

ness it is visited by people of all ages. Fužine offers numerous sporting and recreation programmes. Around the town there are nine marked footpaths, cycle tracks, and hiking tracks. Tourists’ favourite spot is the promenade around the Bajer Lake with accompanying trim-track. A gorgeous Gorica park with three tennis courts is an ideal place for sports and recreation. In a little place called Vrata there is a sporting-recreation centre ˝Gmajna˝. There are many cultural and sacral monuments in the Fužine-Lika area. St George’s church is the oldest one, and dates back to 1662, while the Church of St Anthony of Padua was built for 25 years, from 1808 to 1833, and is the biggest one in the Gorski Kotar region. The Shrine of Our Lady of the Snow is also worth a mention. According to a legend it is a spot

where in 1733 Our Lady’s image appeared in the snow. For centuries people have been visiting the shrine in search of spiritual solace and a place to pray. Every year a traditional pilgrimage takes place on 5th August. Instead of a huge church that was ruined in the Second World War, today a little church built in 2002 stands on the spot. In the oldest settlement of Lič (which was drawn on the Venetian map in the 12th century) there is an extensive and unique Local History Collection containing some significant ethnographic items and archival material. Beginnings of education were very significant for the development of the Fužine-Lika area. The first school in Fužine was established in 1785. It is one of the oldest schools in this part of Croatia and it has contributed to a high level of literacy among the population. In the Fužine area three dialects

are spoken – stokavian, chakavian and kajkavian. Cultural societies have a long tradition in Fužine, and Croatian Red Cross Orchestra, which was established in 1848, holds a special place in the history of the town.. The Orchestra is the trademark of Fužine. It successfully performs in the country and abroad and has over 50 members. Fužine is famous for its gastronomic offer. Great restaurants offer a range of authentic domestic dishes, mushroom dishes, game dishes, and forest fruits prepared according to the original recipes. It offers cosy accommodation in private homes, hotels, apartments, and mountain cabins, and you can also enjoy wellness and spa programmes. There is always an opportunity for entertainment in Fužine. Some of the well known entertaining performances and events include
Photo by: Tourist Board of Fužine

Photo by: Tourist Board of Fužine

“Summer in Fužine˝, yachting regattas, bikers’ gathering, summer carnival, various music concerts, harmony-singing groups. During the winter months carnival festivals, and Christmas and New Year’s concerts of Fužine music are organized, together with the unique New Year’s Eve Party which is thrown on 31st December at the stroke of noon every year. We were inspired to write about Fužine after an article in a Croatian daily newspaper was published which said that many foreign guests favor Fužine over “trendy” seaside resorts on the Adriatic. Therefore, this feature has been intended as an invitation to all those who have never been to Fužine, as well as a reminder to those who visited it and couldn’t remain immune to the irresistibile charm of this small and picturesque destination.

Photo by: Milan babić

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SPORT NEWS FLASH

SPORT NEWS FLASH

29th SUMMER OLYMPIC GAMES
CROATIA WON 5 MEDALS

BEIJING 2008
The biggest sporting event in the world, Mount Everest of sporting career, the Olympic Games that were held from 8th to 24th August 2008, attracted a huge number of sport fans at the final strength testing. All roads lead to the Chinese sporting Mecca – Beijing. The number of participants grew to 10 500. The representatives from 205 countries were competing in 28 sports and 302 sporting disciplines. The competition took place at thirty-one competing sites, in seven Chinese cities. Croatian Olympians, 106 of them, tried their skill in fifteen different sporting disciplines: athletics, cycling, boxing, sailing, kayak, basketball, swimming, handball, table tennis, tennis, rifle shooting, taekwondo, water polo and rowing. On 28th July, at the Sheraton Hotel, on their way to Beijing Croatian athletes were seen off by Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader who gave them words of support and encouragement. The ceremonial send-off was attended by the Minister of Science, Education and Sports, Dragan Primorac, President of the Croatian

Olympic Committee Zlatko Mateša, and numerous reputable persons from political and sporting life, as well as the Head of Mission in Beijing, Damir Šegota. Some eighty world countries, together with the USA President George Bush, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, French President Nicolas Sarcozy, and Croatian President Stjepan Mesić witnessed a spectacular opening at the ˝Bird’s Nest˝ stadium, followed by fireworks and fantastic choreographies of 11 000 performers. This multi-sporting event of the year was covered by 20 000 accredited journalists, photojour-

flag, while in Athens Croatian flag bearer was Dubravko Šimenc. Five Olympic medals, two silver and three bronze, are the proof of an extraordinary quality of the Croatian sport. The Olympic winners are: Filip Ude, Blanka Vlašić, Snježana Pejčić, Martina Zubčić, and Sandra Šarić. Croatian Olympic history is emblazoned with their names. The first day of the Olympic competition brought good news for Croatia. The first medal was won by markswoman Snježana Pejčić, on 9th August. She won a bronze medal in the first discipline – airgun 10 m. This twenty-six-year-old girl from Rijeka officially became the first athlete to win a medal in Beijing. The bronze medal was presented by the President of the International Olympic Committee, Jacques Rogge. The second recognition for Croatia came on 17th August, when a young Croatian gymnast, Čakovec-born Filip Ude, came second in one of the toughest gymnastic disciplines, side-horse. In a stiff competition, the European vice-champion Filip Ude got 15.725 scores, taking the second place in the world and achieving the greatest success of his career. He was the last competitor to display his skill and he did it without mistake. A few days later, on 21st and 22nd August new accomplishments by two Croatian taekwondo heroines, Martina Zubičić and Sandra Šarić, followed. Martina, a nineteen-year-old Croatian taekwondo representative, in a competition in 57 kg category, won the

nalists and TV staff and witnessed by hundreds of millions of spectators all over the world. One of the best handball players in the world, Ivano Balić, was Croatian flag bearer and he led the Croatian Olympians. Before Balić, the same honour at summer Olympic Games was given to four Croatian athletes. After the proclamation of independence, the first sportsperson to carry the Croatian flag was Goran Ivanišević in Barcelona in1992. Four years later, in Atlanta, Perica Bukić did the same. In Sidney Zoran Primorac carried the

13th PARALYMPIC GAMES
BEIJING 2008
GOLD AND SILVER MEDALS FOR CROATIAN PARALYMPIC ATHLETES

third Croatian medal! She beat Sung Yu-Chi from Taiwan in an additional fourth round, and won the bronze medal Sandra Šarić, repeated the success of her colleague Martina by beating Asuncion Ocasio Rodriguez from Puerto Rico, in 67 kg category, winning a bronze medal. The grand final of the Olympic Games on 23th August was marked by success of our athletic heroine. Namely, our world champion Blanka Vlašić won a silver medal with a jump of 205 cm in her second attempt. Gold went to Tija Hellebaut from Belgium, who jumped over 205 cm in her first attempt. Russian high jumper, Ana Čičerova won the third place with a jump of 203 cm. That was the first Croatian medal at the Olympics and the fifth Croatian medal in Beijing. The Croatian medal winners and professional team were formally received by the Croataian Prime Minister, Ivo Sanader, and the President of the Republic of Croatia, Stjepan Mesić, who presented medals of the Order of the Croatian Wattle to the medal winners.

Another elite sporting event took place from 6th to 17th September 2008 in the capital of China – the 13th Paralympic Games. More than 4000 athletes from six different categories of disability represented 150 countries and regions of the world, in 471 competitions, through twenty differ-

ent sports. The honour of Croatia was defended by 25 athletes with disability who competed in: swimming, athletics, rifle shooting, table tennis, cycling and equestrian. At the opening the Croatian flag was carried by Marija Iveković. Croatian Paralympic athletes were encouraged by the VicePresident of the Government and Minister of the Family, Veterans’ Affairs and Intergenerational Solidarity, Jadranka Kosor, who also attended the formal opening of the Games. Our Paralympic athletes were extremely successful, winning four medals - three gold and one silver. Double champion Antonia Balek, gold medal winner Darko Kralj, and the owner of silver medal, Branimir Budetić, have proved that hard work and persistence are the characteristic of all Croatian sportspersons. With four medals, Croatia was ranked 37th on the medals scale. On 10th September the Croatian anthem was played for the first time at the Paralympics. It was a historic evening for the disabled athletes in Croatia. An athlete from Grubišno Polje, shotputter, with above knee amputation, Darko Kralj, became the first Croatian Paralympic winner. With a fantastic series, Kralj was trying to beat his own world record of 14.04 m for five times. A young javelin thrower from Kutina,

Branimir Budetić, threw 57.11 m in the last series and won the second medal for Croatia - a silver medal with golden shine. The seventh day of the competition at the 13th Paralympic Games brought another medal for Croatia, the shiniest one. A woman javelin thrower Antonija Balek took the first place and set the new world record of 12.82 m, competing in the category of tetraplegic athletes. For Antonija that was just a start of celebration. Two days later she won new gold medal in shot-put. Again she showed her superiority and dominance by adding another medal to the collection of the Croatian Paralympic medals. We may well say that day by day our athletes create history and leave their mark on Europe and the world. Unpretentiously, we can also add that Croatia is truly a sporting nation and that sport represents a part of recognisable Croatian identity, culture and a fairly young tradition.

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