Diplomacy&Commerce 38

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November / December 2021 | ISSUE No. 38 | ONLINE EDITION

14 NOV





Governor of Croatian National Bank


President of the Croatian Chamber of Economy



Head of the European Commission's Representation in Croatia




The Power of the Brand FOLLOW US TO STAY UPDATED




Magazine Director Croatia boban@diplomacy andcommerce.hr


Art director indigochild.ilija@gmail.com


Designer designamites@gmail.com




Predstavnik za RH



hen I received an invitation to attend the magazine licensing event World Media Marketplace in Dubai in December 2009, it was after a year of severe economic crisis that shook the entire planet. Before that, we purchased various other licenses at WMM, like the ones for “Hello!”, “Brava Casa” and similar other magazines. However, in 2009 it seemed that the time is not right for any kind of new business, many magazines were shutting down all over the world, and the media industry stumbled while receiving hits from two sides – from the


economic crisis on one side and from the change in media consumption that came with the first smartphone (iPhone 2007). Nevertheless, my colleague Vajda and I went to Dubai just to “stay informed” about was happening. Towards the end of the last day, we had a meeting at “The Economist” magazine’s booth. We were tired, but – I didn’t want to cancel the meeting. That’s when we reached an agreement to launch the annual edition of this magazine, “The World In…” for Serbia. Three years later, in 2012, along with The Economist magazine, we started organizing a conference where we discuss the year behind us and listen to the opinions of experts and decision-makers about expectations for the coming year. In 2016, we launched the “Diplomacy & Commerce” monthly in English language in Belgrade, where we also publish articles from “The Economist”, among other things. The next year, 2017, we launched “Diplomacy & Commerce” in Croatia, and in 2019 in Austria as well. In 2019 we launched the annual edition of “The Economist” in Croatia as well and organized a conference. That first year the conference was held at the Croatian National Bank, in 2020 at the National and University Library. This year, we will organize the conference on December 8th in Zagreb, at Lauba. Two years ago we launched this edition in Northern Macedonia as well, and this year we are working on

the issue and the conference in Sarajevo and Ljubljana for the first time. The story about the success of The Economist’s annual issue in our region, which started “at the worst possible moment” in the crisis year of 2009 – testifies that if “the power of the brand” exists, then anything is possible. It’s possible to start a project in a year of financial crisis and expand it in the second year of a global pandemic. Today, we have annual edition of “The Economist” in Serbia, Croatia, Northern Macedonia, Bosnia Herzegovina and Slovenia, and “Diplomacy & Commerce” is being published in cooperation with “the Economist” in Serbia, Croatia and Austria. At the end of the second year of tough topics and pessimistic predictions, I wanted to end the year 2021 with this story, which shows that “wonders” are possible even at times like these.






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THE FUTURE OF EUROPE OGNIAN ZLATEV Head of the European Commission's Representation in Croatia






MARRIAGE CONTRACT PETAR PETRIĆ Attorney at Law, Petrić & Kajić Law Firm LLC







Olaf Scholz’s “Traffic-light” Coalition is Taking Shape The broad outline has been agreed; details still to come

ne thing seemed clear during Germany’s topsy-turvy election campaign. Whatever the result, the negotiations required to form the first government of the post-Angela Merkel era would be complex, difficult and extremely long. A fragmented electorate was likely to force Germany into its first three-way coalition since the 1950s, binding together parties previously united only by distrust and disagreement. Mrs Merkel, mused some, would have to don one of her famous coloured blazers for one last New Year’s speech as chancellor, as the coalition talks ground into January. ONE THING seemed clear during Germany’s topsy-turvy election campaign. Whatever the result, the negotiations required to form the first government of the post-Angela Merkel era would be complex, difficult and extremely long. A fragmented electorate was likely to force Germany into its first three-way coalition since the 1950s, binding together parties previously united only by distrust and disagreement. Mrs Merkel, mused some, would have to don


one of her famous coloured blazers for one last New Year’s speech as chancellor, as the coalition talks ground into January. Seeking to prove that their putative alliance can be more than the sum of its parts, its members are promoting a narrative of “modernisation”. This finds expression in commitments to halve

proposed tweaks to the creaking public-pension system will not suffice to see off a coming demographic crunch. Its ambivalent statement on the European Union’s fiscal rules, over which governments will scrap early next year, “just shows that we couldn’t agree on anything consistent”, says Sven Giegold, a Green MEP

ALL BEING WELL, THE PARTIES WILL CONCLUDE A FORMAL COALITION AGREEMENT—LIKELY TO BE THE LENGTH OF A SMALL BOOK—IN DECEMBER the approval time for infrastructure schemes, accelerate digitalisation, loosen immigration laws, increase R&D spending and reduce the voting age to 16. There are also pledges to boost house building, tackle child poverty and to lift the hourly minimum wage to €12 ($14), the signature policy of Olaf Scholz, the SPD’s candidate for chancellor. Yet the paper is vague, or silent, on the trickiest issues. Its

involved in the negotiations. The biggest open question is how the government can hope to fund the huge investments needed for Germany’s promised energy and digital transitions. Pundits are buzzing with ideas, including the establishment of public companies or complex offbudget vehicles. But for now the parties promise merely to “ensure the necessary investments…within the framework of the constitu-

tional debt brake”. Threading this needle may be the trickiest part of the formal coalition talks to come. Almost 300 negotiators, spread across 22 working groups, will now spend the coming weeks thrashing out the details. Their bosses must manage the delicate question of apportioning government jobs: the FDP and Greens both have their eye on the finance ministry, currently occupied by Mr Scholz. (After the surprise resignation of Jens Weidmann on October 20th, they must also agree on a new president of the Bundesbank.) All being well, the parties will conclude a formal coalition agreement—likely to be the length of a small book—in December. Assuming it is approved by the Green membership, and perhaps that of the SPD, Mr Scholz will be granted his wish of being anointed chancellor before Christmas, and Mrs Merkel hers of leaving her blazer in the wardrobe on December 31st. From The Economist, published under licence. The original article, in English, can be found on www.economist.com



Adoption of the Euro – for the Benefit of All Croatia initiated the euro adoption process motivated by significant permanent benefits it will get by joining the Eurozone BORIS VUJČIĆ Governor of Croatian National Bank

ne of the criteria for the adoption of the euro is the price stability criterion. The inflation acceleration in 2021 was mainly influenced by the increase in energy prices, i.e. higher prices of crude oil and other energy materials on the global market, which are responsible for approximately half of the inflation in Croatia, and the situation is similar in other EU members as well, states NBS Governor Boris Vujčić for Diplomacy&Commerce.


You stated that you don’t expect a particularly high inflation rate this year. What is your estimate regarding the inflation, and what is causing it? Are the factors affecting the inflation growth temporary or are they last longer? — With the increase in energy prices, inflation growth was also affected by the increase in food prices, which is tied to severe weather conditions that have led to rising prices of certain raw food products on global markets, as well as the rising commodity prices and disruptions in supply chains that have limited the availability of certain goods, such as cars. For now, it is estimated that the factors inciting the inflation are temporary, and that the elevated inflation rates are primarily the result of the opening of the economy, i.e. increase in demand for goods and services compared to the peak of the pandemic. If the prices of energy and commodities stabilize, which is what markets currently expect, inflation could slow down slightly from 2.3% this year to 2.1% next year. However, the uncertainty is still high, so this projection is also exposed to significant risks. Major risk is the spill-over of higher energy and commodity prices into prices of other goods and services, as well as the risk that these indirect effects energy price increase could


THE LIVING STANDARD HAS NOT DECLINED DUE TO THE ADOPTION OF THE EURO IN ANY OF THE NEW MEMBER STATES THAT HAVE ADOPTED THE EURO IN THE PAST FIFTEEN YEARS be embedded in inflation expectations and trigger an inflationary spiral. If this risk starts to materialize, central banks of the biggest developed economies will also react by expedient tightening of the monetary policy so as to stop the forming of an inflationary spiral, just like the central banks in a number of countries in emerging markets have already begun to do. Monetary policy normalization proceed in a gradual manner even in case the inflationary pressures prove to be temporary. However, in that case, monetary incentives will be withdrawn more slowly, therefore the tightening of financing conditions will be very gradual. HNB is also prepared to act if we deem necessary and justified to adjust some instruments, although at this moment inflation

is primarily due to rising import prices. Also, at this stage of joining the Eurozone, during which we are in the Exchange Rate Mechanism, monetary policy is somewhat more constrained than it is usually the case for a small, open, highly euroised country on the edge of a large monetary area. However, the other side of this limitation is that due to accession to the Eurozone, we are more protected from deterioration of financing conditions, to which some emerging markets are already exposed.

How much can the inflation affect the euro adoption process? What is left to be done in this process and remind us again of all the positive consequences of the adoption of the euro, and

what might be potentially negative consequences for the citizens and the economy? — One of the criteria for the adoption of the euro is the price stability criterion, i.e. inflation in the reference year should be below the average of three EU member-countries with the best inflation performance plus 1.5 percentage points. This year, inflation rate in the Eurozone increased at a similar pace and intensity as in Croatia, but the recovery is not symmetric across countries, so the dispersion of inflation rates among EU members has greatly increased. Therefore, we will most likely have to wait until May for assessment of compliance with this criterion, when the inflation performance of each EU member state will be known, as well as the way European Commission's selected the three countries with the best inflation performance. The adoption of the euro eliminates currency risk, and thus introduces greater resilience to external shocks and financial crises, lower interest rates and more favorable access to financial markets. At the same time, it facilitates further trade and financial integration with other Eurozone members. Citizens are most concerned about the possibility of rising prices that would undermine their standard of living. However, living standard has not declined due to the adoption of the in any of the new member states that have adopted the euro in the past fifteen years. The experience of these countries shows that prices have increased only mildly and in a one-off manner due to the adoption of the euro, with annual inflation rate elevated by only 0.23 percentage points per in average. This was a consequence of rounding of prices during the prices changeover from the national currency into the euro, and such an increase in prices did not affect the citizens’ standard of living.



The Future of Europe The Conference on The future of Europe is a unique democratic exercise. citizens’ feedback to guide european institutions

OGNIAN ZLATEV Head of the European Commission's Representation in Croatia

he European Commission Representation in Croatia will continue with a series of discussions within the Conference on the Future of Europe throughout Croatia and a series of activities that will bring European policies closer to citizens, especially when it comes to the European Green Deal, digital transition and youth programs, says Ognian Zlatev, Head of the European Commission's Representation in Croatia. A number of other activities are planned in cooperation with our partners from the business sector, social partners, non-governmental organizations and the academy on various topics of interest to citizens, adds Zlatev.



THE EUROPEAN UNION IS LEADING THE GREEN TRANSITION AND SETTING AN EXAMPLE FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PARIS AGREEMENT European democracy, climate changes and the environment are currently most popular topics of discussion among the participants of the Conference on the Future of Europe, according to a recently published report listing the ideas submitted to the Conference Platform. Are the same topics at the top of the agenda in Croatia as well, and how much did Croats get involved and how much do they know about the said conference? — The topics you mentioned are indeed in the focus of debates in the context of the Conference on

the Future of Europe. So are other topics such as Europe's coordinated response to the COVID-19 crisis, European cooperation in the field of health, and here I am referring to the newly established European Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA), ALMA (Aim, Learn, Master, Achieve), youth initiatives and a range of other topics that are central for future generations. Our young fellow citizens are very active in these debates and are eager to make their voice heard, contributing with their ideas and suggestions.

This was clear fro a series of debates, organised in the framework of the Conference on the Future of Europe and launched a few months ago by our European Commission Representation in Croatia, in partnership with the European Parliament Office in Croatia, the European Documentation Centres and the Europe Direct network. Debates recently held in Rijeka, Slavonski Brod, Zagreb, Split and Zadar had a very good level of participation of youth. These will be followed by upcoming debates in Osijek, Pula, Karlovac, Varaždin and Dubrovnik in order to offer young people from all regions of Croatia an opportunity to actively participate in this unique democratic exercise. It is worth recalling that to date, four European Citizens’ Panels (at EU level) have been organised, bringing together citizens from across the European Union in order to discuss the future of our Union. More than 3880 events similar to those held in Croatia were organised across the European Union, with well over 1750 000 participants. The Conference on the Future of Europe is a unique democratic exercise. Citizens’ ideas and proposals will be compiled in a single document providing European institutions with guidelines for their further work. All citizens are welcome to join the discussion and they have the opportunity to do so through the multilingual digital platform of the Conference on the Future of Europe. So far over 9 950 ideas and 16 700 comments have already been submitted by more than 35 000 participants, of which some came from Croatia.

A new generation of more than 420 EUROPE DIRECT centers across the EU has started operating. Their activities will last until the end of 2025, and will enable people in all parts of Europe to become acquainted with the European Union and its policies and values. How did the


Representation of the European Commission in Croatia get involved in this project, how exactly will the citizens benefit and who are your partners? — Exactly, on 1 May, a new generation of more than 420 Europe Direct centres started its work across the EU. The Europe Direct network is our partner in reaching out to the public, informing them of their rights as EU citizens and about EU programmes, projects and initiatives. In Croatia, the network includes ten Europe Direct centres throughout the country, from Dubrovnik, Split, Šibenik, Zadar, Rijeka, Karlovac, Čakovec, Koprivnica, Slavonski Brod, all the way to Osijek and the European Commission supports its work in a number of aspects. Compared to the previous generations, the role and responsibilities of the new generation of the Europe Direct centres have been upgraded. The new generation of centres will organise citizens' dialogues and range of people-to-people activities. Plans for workshops, round tables, festivals and other activities are underway, especially within the framework of the Conference on the Future of Europe. These days, the UN Climate Change Conference is being held in Glasgow, where leaders from all over the world have gathered to urgently address the problem of climate change. The European Commission has adopted a proposal to protect human health and the environment from some of the most harmful chemicals in waste - persistent organic pollutants. This proposal tightens restrictions on these chemicals in the waste, preventing them from re-entering the economy. What else will the EU insist on when it comes to air pollution, climate change and which direction will we take in the years to come? — Scientists agree that climate change is caused by human activity, which is why we can and must act to stop this trend. The European Union is leading the green transition and setting an example for the implementation of the Paris Agreement. To meet our commitments, we have set up an ambitious and binding legislative framework that encompasses all economic sectors. Europe is on the right track to become the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. We are proud of the figures showing that we have re-

duced harmful emissions by more than 31% compared to 1990, while the economy has grown by 60% in the same period. This proves that our economy can grow stronger, not despite measures to combat climate change, but rather as a result of such measures. Our goal is to reduce CO2 emissions by 55% from 1990 levels by 2030 and to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. To be able to achieve that goal, we must act in this decade, which is why we have extended our emission trading sys-

veloping countries in the combat against climate change, which is affecting them even more than it is affecting us in the EU.

What will the EC insist on and draw attention to when it comes to the judiciary and the media in Croatia, and where were the problems in the monitoring reports? Where is Croatia today when it comes to these matters? — In its first annual Rule of Law Report in 2020, the European Commission concluded that the

THE EUROPE DIRECT NETWORK IS OUR PARTNER IN INFORMING THE PUBLIC ABOUT THEIR RIGHTS AS CITIZENS OF THE EUROPEAN UNION AS WELL AS ABOUT EU PROGRAMMES, PROJECTS AND INITIATIVES OF THE EUROPEAN UNION tem, introduced stricter rules, setting aside every 3rd euro from the Recovery and Resilience Facility funds to support Member States in adapting to the green transition. The European Union, its Member States and the European Investment Bank are also jointly allocating significant funds to combat climate change in developing countries as well, and in 2020 alone have provided €21 billion for this purpose. One such initiative is the Great Green Wall Initiative in Africa, to which the EU currently contributes €700 million per year. It is linked to a number of other initiatives that jointly provide significant support to de-

Croatian judiciary still faces challenges regarding the efficiency and quality despite progress achieved from the previous period in reducing the backlog of cases and improving electronic communication in courts. Continuous expansion of new electronic communication tools in courts has contributed to their gradual uptake, but unfortunately, the level of perceived judicial independence remains very low and shows a downward trend. When it comes to media, Croatia’s legal and institutional framework guarantees freedom and pluralism of the media. However, recent years have seen a considerable num-

ber of lawsuits against journalists, threats of physical attack and online harassment, which may have an impact on editorial policies of media and the work of investigative journalists. A legal framework for the protection of journalists is in place, but journalists remain a target of threats. In particular, the high number of strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPPs) targeting journalists continues to be a serious concern. Another problem is the fact that, while access to information is ensured by law, delays in the processing of requests from journalists persist. Although EU rule of law standards are high, not everything is ideal. Therefore, the European Commission will continue cooperating with national authorities in order to seek solutions and guarantee everyday rights and freedoms of citizens.

What are the plans of your Office here in Zagreb for the coming period and what will you focus on in your further work? — In the upcoming period, the European Commission Representation in Croatia will continue its series of debates in the framework of the Conference on the Future of Europe across Croatia and will organise a number of activities to bring European policies closer to citizens, particularly those on the European Green Deal, digital transition and youth programmes. A variety of other activities are planned in cooperation with our partners from the business sector, social partners, civil society, consumers and academia on various topics of interest to citizens. When it comes to activities related to the media sector, just a few days ago, we came back from Brussels, where, after an almost two-year break due to the coronavirus, we visited the European Commission with journalists from Croatia. During the visit, we had the opportunity to learn first-hand from European Commission officials up-dates on a number of European policies in the field of agriculture, health, the Recovery and Resilience Instrument and youth programmes. We will definitely continue with this, as well as with media seminars in Croatia. In any event, just like everyone else, we have adapted our activities to the new reality imposed by the pandemic, but we hope that we will soon overcome this crisis and return to live, faceto-face events.



Strong Foundations for the Changes Ahead If the situation with the coronavirus remains relatively stable, I expect positive trends to continue LUKA BURILOVIĆ President of the Croatian Chamber of Economy

he Croatian Chamber of Economy got a new/old president in early October. Luka Burilović will remain at the head of the Chamber, and this will be his third term. In challenging times for the economy, he shares with Diplomacy&Commerce his expectations for the next year, and sums up the results from the current year.


How would you describe the business year coming to an end? It seems that the economy is recovering after the coronavirus, albeit slower than we thought? This year was marked by a dynamic recovery - primarily thanks to a good tourist season, but also by economic challenges we have not yet encountered. The current return of the pandemic, disturbances in global supply chains and the rising prices of energy and certain raw materials are creating great uncertainty on a global level. Despite that, the planned GDP growth is around 9 per cent, which is a very high growth rate given the circumstances. We will still have to monitor the situation on a global market together and be very flexible – this primarily refers to entrepreneurs, but also to contractors. In expectation of 2022, what do you see as the biggest challenges for the economy and how to solve them? What do you expect in the period ahead in that regard? — The pandemic will continue to be our biggest challenge. If the situation with the coronavirus remains relatively stable, I expect positive trends to continue. The indicators on which I base my optimism are the strong recovery of export of goods, tourism and further growth and development of the IT sector. I must also point out the recovery of consumption, which is an extremely impor-


THANKS TO THE DIGITAL CHAMBER, WE ARE AMONG THE FIRST DIGITALIZED INSTITUTIONS IN CROATIA WITH MORE THAN 50,000 REGISTERED USERS tant component of domestic demand and GDP trends. Of course, the forecasts for 2022 should certainly include EU funds available from the previous and new financial perspective, further implementation of reforms, especially those defined by the National

Recovery and Resilience Plan and accession to the eurozone.

How is CCE adjusting to these constant changes in the economy? — CCE laid a strong foundation for the changes ahead. Thanks to

the Digital Chamber, we are among the first digitalized institutions in Croatia with more than 50,000 registered users. On the one hand, the internal processes and services of the Chamber have been digitalized, while on the other hand, members’ access has been personalized through modern tools and e-services tailored to them. We will continue to work on improving business processes so that we can perform our fundamental task - advocating and promoting the interests of the Croatian economy at home and abroad – as efficiently as possible.



Raising the Quality of Jobs and Improving Working Conditions Already a cursory comparison of the current Labour Law and the new wording shows that the new law would increase by as much as 50 articles, which may indicate the coverage of new content, such as the regulation of the so-called platform work, but it could also indicate a possible over-regulation


ATUC supports and encourages vaccination, but we believe that it has to be voluntary, i.e. left to the choice of each individual, states Mladen Novosel, President of the Union of Autonomous Trade Unions of Croatia. He gave an interview for Diplomacy&Commerce where he also talks about the position of trade unions in Croatia, and explains in more detail UATUC’s stance on the new Labour Law, but also talks about the new COVID certificates for the employees.


Negotiations between the proponents of the law and the stakeholders on amending the Labour Law continue. What will be the position of UATUC in this regard


and what gets the least understanding? What are your objections to that proposal? — After seven months of tripartite consultations, the Alliance of Independent Trade Unions of Croatia asked the Ministry of Labour

changes planned by the Ministry. In cooperation with our affiliate unions, UATUC closely monitored the implementation of the last Labour Law adopted in 2014. In addition, two independent surveys conducted by UATUC, the

UATUC ADVOCATES FOR INTRODUCTION OF THE RIGHT TO UNAVAILABILITY OUTSIDE WORKING HOURS, SO-CALLED RIGHT TO REST AND LEISURE to draft and submit to us the full text of the proposal of the new Labour Law, instead of the practice they started where they provided us with several articles for each meeting. Almost five months later, we received working material which shows the direction of the

first in 2018 on the quality of jobs and the second in 2019 on the organization of working hours, contributed to our initial positions. The biggest problems observed in practice concern the organization of working hours: the practice of non-payment of overtime work is

widespread, and too many workers cannot achieve a balance between work and private life due to poor organization. Many deliberately spread the mantra of the unpredictability of working hours in the modern world, to justify the uncertainty of workers’ lives and their inability to organize work processes. Also, a fixedterm employment contract is too often used in situations where the law does not allow it, which is why we are the worst in the EU in terms of the share of such work in total employment, especially for a short period of up to three months. Although the trade unions’ right to strike is guaranteed by the Croatian Constitution, the Labour Law does not provide for the possibility of organizing a general strike, which was one of the requirements of the UATUC.


Finally, the regulation of labour relations by the rulebook, which is a unilateral act of the employer, violates the principle of contractual labor relations, which should therefore be regulated by an employment contract or collective agreement. This makes the legal framework uninspiring for collective bargaining because employers and their associations have no interest in negotiating with the union if they can resolve the same issues unilaterally. In this regard, UATUC conducted a survey last year on public information and attitudes regarding collective agreements, which showed that the collective agreement must become the main instrument for conducting wage policy and regulating working conditions. Therefore, everything that employers in a particular sector would like to regulate more flexibly, they should be able to achieve only through a sectorial collective agreement and not through a general regulation. However, the working material we received from all of the above tries to better regulate only the provisions of the fixed-term employment contract, which is probably a consequence of the infamous record we hold in the EU, and of which the Government is aware. In addition, introduction of the right to unavailability outside working hours, the so-called right to rest and leisure, would benefit the workers. On the other hand, numerous changes do not benefit the workers and instead of further strengthening and extending the standard form of employment contracts and predictability of work and working hours to work for digital platforms, for example, changes are made according to which working conditions, place of work, working hours, etc. are generally considered volatile, unpredictable, changeable! It is difficult to say at this time how much this is an intention and how much it is a misunderstanding of ways to transpose the new EU directives into national legislation. UATUC believes that precisely the raising of the quality of jobs and improving working conditions must the main goal of amendments to the Labour Law, which MROSP had to recognize in light of mass emigration and labour force shortages in a number of sectors and, in general, poor demographic effects. Therefore, SSSH will continue to advocate for this as well as for the conclu-

pension reform referendum. Employers and their associations value unions more when you prove that you can cause them business damage through strikes and other industrial actions.

COVID CERTIFICATES OBVIOUSLY HAVE THE FUNCTION OF ENCOURAGING VACCINATION, BUT FOR NOW THEY ARE STILL FAR FROM IMPOSING THE OBLIGATION TO VACCINATE sion of as many as possible sectorial collective agreements, which must autonomously regulate the issue of labour relations of interest to both parties.

How does the inflation occurring in Croatia affect the workers? Which groups are most affected and what are your proposals to the Government to mitigate the consequences of rising prices? — Inflation in Croatia, which currently stands at about 3.5 percent on an annual basis, mainly disrupts the purchasing power of salaries, pensions and other fixed incomes such as social assistance, and devalues savings deposits. The most affected are those groups of workers whose net wages are rising below the inflation rate, and these are most often the ones with below-average wages, followed by those employed in agriculture and forestry and other service activities. The Government has a wide range of measures they can use to mitigate the effects of rising prices, from reducing excise duties on energy and VAT rates, through income tax interventions for the lowest classes in terms of property and

income, to, in extreme cases, setting maximum prices for individual goods and services for a specified period.

How do you rate the position of unions in Croatia and their role? How much do those you address “hear” you and participate in problem solving with you? — The role of unions is very important in every society precisely because work relations are fundamental social relations, the entire structure rests on them. It is also much broader than working for trade union members themselves, among other things also because trade union associations participate in tripartite social dialogue and seek to make policy-making of interest to society as a whole. However, unions are funded only by members, and the rights won and exercised apply to all workers. This is one of the reasons why the position of trade unions in Croatia is worse than expected in relation to the importance of the role and responsibility we have as trade unions. The ruling party has begun to appreciate the union more than was the case until recently, for example until the collection of signatures for the 2019

What is your/UATUC’s position on mandatory vaccination, i.e. COVID certificates? Are you in favour of mandatory COVID certificates vaccination or do you think that everyone has the right to decide about their health? To what extent are they a violation of the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia and of certain parts of the labour law? — UATUC supports and encourages vaccination, but we believe that it has to be voluntary, i.e. left to the choice of each individual. And we believe that this decision must not have any repercussions regarding labour relations, especially if the obligation to vaccinate is not prescribed by the law. COVID certificates obviously have the function of encouraging vaccination, but for now they are still far from imposing the obligation to vaccinate. There is still an alternative to vaccination, and that is testing. In any case, since the beginning of the pandemic, we have witnessed various restrictions on constitutional rights and freedoms, but rarely has any right ever been unlimited. It's just that we were used to living with the limitations we had before, so we didn’t see them being so hard on us. The second question is whether the restrictions that are now being imposed on us are justified and appropriate to the situation. There will be discussions about this for a long time and it will be a long time before we get a final answer. UATUC carefully monitors the development of events, we are focused on the labour law aspect of the whole situation, i.e. the consequences for the employment status and rights of our members, and we will react as needed. We think that decisions with such an impact on labour relations should not have been made through the Civil Protection Headquarters but through a legislative process. The way this has been done significantly increases legal uncertainty and it remains to be seen how the courts will react when issues related to COVID certifications reach them. In this situation, we will provide legal assistance to all members who need it, but we advise them to respect these decisions in their own interest.




NATASA RAPAIC AND IVAN BARTULOVIC Another term in the Management Board of Hrvatski Telekom Hrvatski Telekom's Supervisory Board reappointed Nataša Rapaić as a member of the Management Board and Chief Operating Officer for private customers, and Ivan Bartulović

as a member of the Management Board and Chief Human Resources Officer for a term of three years. Rapaić's new term begins on February 1, 2022, and Bartulović's on March 1, 2022.




Independence Day


BELGIUM King's Day


VANJA HANIC New President of the Management Board of “Žitoproizvod”


tart of the War of S Independence


energy independence and stability of the Republic of Croatia, as well as Central and Southeast Europe. Diversification of supply routes and investment in the construction of new interconnections with neighboring countries will enable the development of the gas network of southern Croatia and take an additional step in the implementation of the Ionian-Adriatic gas pipeline.

Vanja Hanić has held several sales positions in Kaufland and Konzum, and in the position of Sales Director in the Austrian company Spar for almost ten years he played a key role in opening and operating the management of a large number of supermarkets with over


Independence Day

DARIJA KRSTIČEVIĆ Extended term in the Management Board of Plinacro In the previous term of the Management Board of Plinacro, which, together with Krstičević, consists of the President of the Management Board Ivica Arar and a member of the Management Board Marin Zovko, significant steps have been made in improving the efficiency of the gas transmission system. Plinacro's management will continue to focus on strengthening the


seven hundred employees. He also gained significant experience in the South Korean company Samsung, where in the position of Director of the Consumer Electronics Division he was in charge of business and sales results for eight countries in Southeast Europe.


Independence Day



Independence Day



Independence Day



No More Abundant and Cheap Fuel The end of an era hen fossil fuels were discovered, they pushed forward the industrialization of all countries and globalization, but they also polluted our planet. Other alternatives have proven to be quite risky. For example, nuclear fuel - if a human error occurs, as in Chernobyl, tragedy strikes. If the human factor is flawless, and a tsunami occurs, as in Fukushima, part of Japan and the entire Pacific are polluted. The French don't seem to care, and the rest of the world is looking to find cheaper and cleaner fossil fuel, which is gas. Alas, gas has proven to be the most expensive fuel. Putin played a joke on Western Europeans, quoting a Russian fable in which a fox convinces a wolf to fish by drilling a hole in the ice and putting his tail in ice water. As the wolf freezes listening to the "well-intentioned advice" of the fox, the fox laughs away and says "Freeze, freeze, wolf's tail!" Similarly, the Americans have managed to persuade the Europeans not to buy Russian gas and sabotage Nord Stream-2, and now gas and electricity have become too expensive, just like pretty much everything. The Europeans themselves are to blame for everything. In the 1960s, they "cut" the railways in Britain to speed up bus and car traffic, and turned beautiful cities into cars galore. Many towns were deserted because they were no longer connected. Now, there are so many cars that there is not enough fuel for them when the crisis comes, and even when there is enough fuel to go around, there are no truck drivers to transport fuel. Power outages in parts of China stem in part from the country's attempts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which have reached enormous levels, so much so that life in Chinese metropolises has become unhealthy. The decline in coal stocks at power plants in India is linked to a growing import price of coal. However, the underlying factor is expected to exacerbate the shortage in the next few years, that is declining investment in oil wells, natural gas hubs and coal mines.


GAS WILL BE A LIFE-SAVING, MIDDLE-GROUND SOLUTION IN THE NEXT THREE DECADES IF THE WEST GETS RID OF THE PARANOIA CALLED "PUTIN'S FAUCET" All this is part of the pressure to decarbonise the economy. On October 23, Brent exceeded the $85 limit, and it will likely reach $100 again in a while. As the pandemic stretched out, the demand for crude oil plummeted. Now, the demand for crude oil has jumped with production unable to meet the. The crude oil prices are growing just like inflation. In Germany, in September, it exceeded 4% for the first time in many decades. And since more than 5 years of low crude oil prices have emptied the budgets of oil producers, from Russia to Saudi Arabia, from Algeria to Iran, from Venezuela to the Emirates, the priority of these countries is to fill budgets and restore social peace, not to reduce prices and increase capacity to make the world more comfortable. So, don't expect the crude oil price to drop shortly. Even in China and India, which are planning to build new coalfired power plants, the mood has changed against the dirtiest fossil fuel, both because of carbon emissions and its impact on air qual-

ity. However, given that demand is likely to increase as China potentially enters a cold winter, and with India struggling with small reserves, coal could have its last renaissance this year or over a series of years to come. Coal is making a comeback even in Europe, while President Aleksandar Vučić is rejoicing because of Serbia's ability to make electricity from coal. Pollution takes a back seat when compared to potentially having cold buildings and power outages or even planned restrictions which we have not had for the past twenty years. Oil reserves are only 94% of the usual level, European gas storage facilities are at 86%, while Indian and Chinese coal reserves are below 50%. High prices will remain in force because there are no investments in coal, crude oil and the like in many countries, due to carbon taxes. Until a very strong green fuel industry emerges, prices will be high and supply uncertain. And when will eco-fuels emerge that will suppress the use of fossil fuels? The question is difficult

to answer. The COP26 summit will have to tackle difficult problems this year, namely, figure out how to step up the transition to eco-fuels. The situation is very difficult. There are 3 obstacles to the green transition: first, investments in renewable energy are half the level needed to have zero emissions by 2050, secondly, the consumption of renewable energy sources must increase and thirdly, the supply and demand of dirty fossil fuels must be reduced at the same time, without creating dangerous discrepancies between them. Fossil fuels meet 83% of the demand for primary energy and, according to the plans of the brain trust, it should fall to zero. At the same time, electricity production must be switched from coal and oil to gas that produces less than half of the emissions of harmful gases from coal. However, legal threats, investor pressure and fears of regulations have led to a 40% reduction in investment in fossil fuels since 2015. So, gas is a life-saving fuel for the next two or three decades, which brings us to the West's paranoid fear of Putin and Russian gas, which paradoxically, is the only one that can satisfy these needs. At the same time, many countries swear to reduce emissions but are unwilling to increase taxes and investment and hence incur the wrath of their citizens. And the Catch 22 continues...



Marriage Contract PETAR PETRIĆ Attorney at Law, Petrić & Kajić Law Firm LLC

n Croatia, just like in Europe and around the world, people with higher incomes or the possibility of acquiring significant assets, such as entrepreneurs, managers, public figures and celebrities from the world of sports and showbiz, are increasingly thinking about how to arrange marital property relations differently than it is prescribed by the provisions of the Family Law. People get married later in life, and some maybe for the second, third or even fourth time. They often bring more assets and more liabilities into a new relationship, blending children from previous relationships, and in any case face new challenges to address. Why a marriage contract? A marriage contract can solve many important issues and avoid problems. Whether partners have large assets or live relatively more modest lives, they can certainly benefit greatly from the security provided by entering into a marriage contract. Even though the term pre-nuptial agreement, which is most often used in the Anglo-Saxon law (premartial agreement, abbreviated pre-nup) can be heard in everyday speech, our legislation does not recognize the term pre-nuptial agreement but uses the term marriage contract. The conclusion of a marriage contract is an option that modern legislation, including the Croatian legislation since 1998, provides for spouses, in order to regulate their property relations in a way that best suits their wishes and needs.


Marriage contract Marriage contract is defined as the legal business of the bride and groom or spouses to regulate property relations on existing or future property. Who can conclude a marriage contract? A marriage contract can be concluded by the bride and groom, i.e. spouses. Also, extramarital partners can regulate their prop-


COUNTRIES OF THE CONTINENTAL EUROPEAN LAW CIRCLE MAINLY RECOGNIZE THE SPOUSES’ RIGHT TO CONTRACTUAL REGULATION OF PROPERTY RELATIONS erty relations via contract, since the provisions of the Family Law on property relations of spouses apply to the extramarital union of an unmarried woman and an unmarried man which lasts at least three years or less if a joint child was born in it. Also, provisions of the Life Partnership Act, and of the previous Same-Sex Life Partnership Act, enable same-sex partners to contractually regulate property relations on existing and future acquisitions and property, by concluding contracts in writing and certifying the signatures of both partners. What can a marriage contract contain? A marriage contract may contain provisions on:

• determining different shares in matrimonial property or only on a certain specific type acquis • determining revenue as own property • determining the right of first refusal on the property • management or disposal of property • waiver of the right to demand the division of marital property for a fixed period of time • that the gifts made from matrimonial property are the property of the recipient • the manner in which the matrimonial property is dissolved so that certain things or rights become property of one spouse • dissolution of marital property • establishment of real or oblig-

atory rights (condominium ownership, easement, right of first refusal)

When can it be concluded and when does it become valid? A marriage contract can be concluded before the marriage or during the marriage. If it is concluded before the marriage, then the contract has a suspensive effect. This means that a marriage contract concluded before marriage begins to produce legal effects only through the concluding of marriage between the contracting parties. What is the recommended and permitted content? In Croatian law, a marriage contract can regulate property relations on existing and future property. Spouses are free to regulate their property relations and may regulate them in such a way that they completely or partially deviate from the legal provision that the property that the spouse has at the time of marriage is his


own property, and that the spouses are equal co-owners of the property acquired through work for the duration of the marriage marital property.

What is the necessary form and who can the spouses turn to? A marriage contract is concluded in writing and the signatures of the spouses must be certified by a notary public. For greater legal certainty, it is a good idea for the contracting parties to turn to an experienced professional, a lawyer, who will draw up a marriage contract according to their agreement. Is the marriage contract immutable? A marriage contract can be amended at any time by the consent of the contracting parties, and a new marriage contract can be concluded or an existing one can be changed. What is the point of concluding a marriage contract? Conclusion of a marriage contract is relevant in many ways.

Those who have already gone through one divorce know how difficult the divorce process can


be. Many who enter into a second marriage seek to ensure that property obtained from a previous marriage is protected. In addition, a marriage contract can help protect the financial interests of children from that first marriage. Similarly, if one or both spouses have children from a previous relationship, then many people think it is a good idea to enter into

a marriage contract. It can ensure that certain property is protected and set aside as the future inheritance of their children and is not subject to division of property if divorce occurs. Property acquired before marriage is generally exempt from division, but in practice it is often difficult to determine what was acquired before marriage or whether spouses have different views on it, and it is the marriage contract that can help determine which property belongs to each spouse, which ensures that these assets do not mix with other assets. Although trust between partners is desirable in all segments of their lives, including property, the advantage of mutual regulation of property relations through a marriage contract is especially evident in moments of termination of marriage or community in such a way that the existence of a marriage contract can certainly contribute to a more peaceful divorce or termination of extramarital or same-sex unions, thus avoiding lengthy litigation and high court costs related to property disputes resulting from such divorces. Some people think that concluding a marriage or prenuptial agreement is not romantic. Perhaps one of the answers to this could be that love is a matter of romance and the regulation of property relations is a practical matter.



Joint visit of the German and French Ambassadors to Dubrovnik-Neretva County The Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, HE Robert Klinke, and the Ambassador of the French Republic, HE Gaël Veyssière, jointly visited Dubrovnik-Neretva County in order to highlight both countries’ readiness to enhance partnerships, bilaterally and also as members of the EU family, with the county and the town of Dubrovnik

Ambassador Klinke and Ambassador Veyssière with the Mayor of Dubrovnik Mato Franković

he visit started in Ploče, location of Croatia’s second biggest industrial harbour, where the Ambassadors discussed development plans for the city with Deputy Mayor Ivan Marević. They then went on to visit the construction site of the Pelješac bridge, where they got an update from Hrvatske Ceste and the company Strabag on the current state of works of this important project funded by the European Union. The two Ambassadors stressed the importance of the European dimension of this strategic



THEY ALSO LOOKED INTO CHALLENGES OF HERITAGE CONSERVATION AND SUSTAINABLE TOURISM IN AND AROUND DUBROVNIK project, which is crucial for the county, Croatia and the region. In Dubrovnik, the Ambassadors had fruitful and friendly meetings with Mayor Mato Franković and County Governor Nikola Dobroslavić. They discussed current development plans for Dubrovnik

and the county, the impact of the support provided by EU funds also for cross-border and regional cooperation, as well as the economic and social impacts of the opening of Pelješac bridge, due in July 2022. At an academic conference on

“Multilateralism in Contemporary International Relations and the EU as an International Actor” with students of the Libertas University at the International University Centre Dubrovnik, the Ambassadors underscored the important contribution of the Franco-German initiated Alliance for Multilateralism as an informal and flexible network of dedicated countries and institutions for a rules-based world order. They also acknowledged Croatia’s substantial support for preserving its principles and, where nec-


Ambassadors in the company of General Vicar Don Hrvoje Katušić

essary, adapting to new challenges. The discussion also focused on lessons learned from the German Presidency of the Council of the EU (1st half of 2020) and offered an opportunity to take stock of preparations by the incoming French Presidency (1st half of 2022). Finally, the Ambassadors held an exchange of views with General Vicar Don Hrvoje Katušić, who informed them about the role of the Catholic Church in Dubrovnik. They also looked into challenges of heritage conservation and sus-

Visit to the construction site of the Pelješac bridge, accompanied by the representative of Hrvatske ceste, Mr. Davor Perić

THE TWO AMBASSADORS STRESSED THE IMPORTANCE OF THE EUROPEAN DIMENSION OF STRATEGIC PROJECT - PELJEŠKI MOST, WHICH IS CRUCIAL FOR THE COUNTY, CROATIA AND THE REGION tainable tourism in and around Dubrovnik in a discussion with Vjekoslav Vierda, lecturer at Libertas University. “This visit to Dubrovnik has been a great opportunity to see concrete examples of European

solidarity in action, one of them being the Pelješac bridge, which will soon be opened and will certainly have a great impact on Dubrovnik-Neretva County, Croatia and the broader region. We are really thankful to our hosts for

their warm welcome and we are definitely looking forward to coming back again soon!” said French Ambassador Gaël Veyssière. “Our joint mission to Southern Dalmatia is yet another expression of the importance both our Embassies attach also to the southern part of the country, its potential and prospects. The warm reception we received together with most substantive and forward-looking talks have been most encouraging for all of us as members of the EU family,” stated German Ambassador Robert Klinke.

Ambassadors in conversation with the Dubrovnik-Neretva County Governor Nikola Dobroslavić



Photo: Lucija&Rade Jug

Business and Pleasure in Heart of Plitvice Lakes National Park

ombine work, the pleasure of staying in nature and the tastes of Lika gastronomy in the congress and banquet offer of the Plitvice Lakes National Park! In this extraordinary beautiful and world reknown destination, we offer the organization of congresses, conferences, workshops and other business events in our hotels Jezero and Plitvice, with individualized approach and professional staff at your disposal, able to adapt to all your requirements and needs. Plitvice Lakes is the oldest and largest national park in the Republic of Croatia. With its exceptional natural beauty, this area has always attracted nature lovers, and it was declared a national park on April 8, 1949. The process of tufa formation, which forms barriers and thus creates lakes, is the outstanding universal value, for which the Plitvice Lakes were internationally recognised with




their inscription onto the UNESCO World Heritage List, on October 26, 1979. The Plitvice Lakes system consists of 16 named and numerous smaller, cascading lakes. Due to the geological background and characteristic hydrogeological conditions, the lake system is divided into the Upper and Lower Lakes. Situated in this oasis, located only about 300 m from the biggest lake Kozjak and its lush greenery, our hotels Jezero and Plitvice are hidden away in the quiet environment of Plitvice Lakes, which makes them a perfect location for business and leisure in nature. Nearest airports (distance from Plitvice Lakes National Park): • Zagreb: 143 km • Zadar: 139 km • Split: 228 km • Rijeka: 169 km • Pula: 276 km • Dubrovnik: 465 km


HOTEL JEZERO Located just a short walk from Entrance 2 to the National Park, Hotel Jezero is one of the leading congress hotels in Lika region, with 205 rooms, 19 suites, a congress hall with up to 220 seats, 4 meeting rooms with free Internet and excellent audiovisual equipment available on request. A pleasant break from business meetings can be provided with our gastronomic offer in the a la carte and hotel restaurant with terrace lobby bar. The restaurant’s rich gastronomic offer includes specialities prepared from locally sourced products carrying the Lika Quality certificate, which will please even the most sophisticated gourmets' and gastro-enthusiasts’ palates. In addition to that,

HOTEL PLITVICE, THIS EXCEPTIONAL ARCHITECTURAL ACHIEVEMENT WHICH IS INCLUDED IN THE PROTECTED CULTURAL ASSETS OF CROATIA, OFFERS ACCOMMODATION AND PROFESSIONALISM FOR SMALLER BUSINESS EVENTS IN THE VERY HEART OF THE NATIONAL PARK our wellness facilities, of which we highlight the whirlpool, Finnish sauna and massage & body care salon, will make stay in our hotel even more pleasant and relaxing.

HOTEL PLITVICE Hotel Plitvice, this exceptional architectural achievement which

is included in the protected cultural assets of Croatia, offers accommodation and professionalism for smaller business events in the very heart of the National Park. It has a capacity of 52 accommodation units, a la carte restaurant with 160 seats and a lobby bar, while the inspiration for work will not be lacking in the confer-

ence room for meetings and seminars, with the capacity for 40-50 participants, overlooking the enchanting greenery of the Park. Internet is free and audiovisual equipment is available on request. Provide your business partners and associates with memorable moments in the green oasis of the Plitvice Lakes National Park and contact us with confidence for the organization of your business event. For all inquiries, contact us at mice@np-plitvicka-jezera.hr

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Corporate Blogging As a genre of computer-mediated communication, corporate blog represents a unique tool of transmitting company's stories as well as creating new social realities

JAGODA POROPAT DARRER Business Communication Professional

logs as a confessional and epistolary type of communication has redrawn the line between the private and the public dimensions of our lives. The blog is a new rhetorical opportunity, made possible by technology that is becoming more available and easier to use, but it was adopted so quickly and widely that it must be serving well established rhetorical needs. Some questions arise as Miller and Shepard (2004) notice: why did blogging catch on so quickly and so widely? What motivates someone to begin--and continue--a blog? What audience(s) do bloggers address? Who reads blogs and why? In short, what rhetorical work do blogs perform, and for whom? And how do blogs perform this work? What features and elements make the blog recognizable and functional? To answer those questions the primarily task is to establish which genre do blog belong. Genre analysis has become important in understanding the discourse of the disciplines and the workplace, relatively structured arenas of social interaction in which, as Berkenkotter and Huckin (1995) note that genres are the intellectual scaffolds on which community-based knowledge is constructed. Miller and Shepard (2004) define a blog as a genre that addresses a timeless rhetorical exigence in ways that are specific to its time. In the blog, the potentialities of technology, a set of cultural patterns, rhetorical conventions available in antecedent genres, and the history of the subject have combined to produce a recurrent rhetorical motive that has found



a conventional mode of expression. Blog is an evolutionary product, as further state Miller and Shepard (2004), arising from a dynamic, adaptive relationship between discourse and Kairos, then if we wish to understand the rhetorical qualities of the blog as genre, we should examine the late 1990s, when the blog originated, as a cultural moment. By the year 2000, 98% of American households owned a television, according to a Nielsen Media Research survey and by 1999, over a third of all American households had a computer, and over half of those homes had Internet access. Within two years, half of all households had a computer, and Internet access had increased to 80% of those (Newburger, 2001). A search of the Lexis-Nexis database shows the first press mention in 1998, and by 2002 over five hundred articles referencing blogs. It appears that blogs originated to share information of interest. These ear-

ly blogs had three primary features: they were chronologically organized, contained links to sites of interest on the web, and provided commentary on the links. This confusion of public and private permeated other media in the late 1990s as well. Cell phone ownership increased rapidly from 5.2 million in 1990 to 55 million in 1997 (Eng, 2002). As people sacrifice privacy for the sake of convenience, one need but visit any public place to overhear the intensely personal conversations of total strangers on cell phones. Corporate blog performs a typified social action. As Miller and Shepard (2004) state, disclosure, however, should not be understood as the simple unveiling of a pre-existent or perdurable self, but rather as a constitutive effort. The importance of disclosure as a rhetoric strategy as well as a management tool explained Poropat Darrer (2019). The self that is "disclosed" is a construction, possibly


an experimental one, which takes shape as a particular rhetorical subject-position. In a blog, that construction is an ongoing event, the self being disclosed a continual achievement. Self-expression is a salient theme among some bloggers, who find the same opportunity that television talk shows afford their participants: the opportunity to tell their stories in a mediated forum to a potentially large, though distant and invisible, audience. Bloggers mark both their linking and their commentary as means of self-expression: as ways to foster "a unique voice, a definite attitude, a clearer motivation"(Graham, 2002). Corporate blog could be classified in several subgenres: product blog, image blog, executive blog, employee blogs as blog hubs. Perceived advantages of running a blog are many. While the goal of connecting more effectively with outside stakeholders (existing and potential customers and staff, investors, policymakers, activists, interest groups) is apparent, Hagenhjoff et al. (2010) state that the exact motivations are varied and depend crucially on the target audience, communicative goals and on how the individual company conceptualizes blogging. Zerfaß (2005) emphasizes that a clear strategic objective is required for a company blog. Thus, while private ego blogs can be characterized by the lack of a fixed external purpose, corporate blogs are not viable without explicit and stable communicative goals. It must be clear who is communicating, who is addressed and how the communication is conducted, but the stability of these factors is undermined in blogging, since anyone can blog, anyone can potentially be the reader of a blog and the content and style of corporate blogs is largely in the hands of individual employees who may in no way be prepared to achieve strategic objectives through blogging.






SLO CRO Business Club organized business breakfast for a members. Darko Skrnički, President of the Management Board of Intereuropa for Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Urban Mlakar, Logistics Director at AD-Vita (Svilanit), spoke at the working part of the event. President of SLO CRO Business Club Dr. Saša Muminović started the conversation with the question, why are transport prices rising!? Darko Skrnički, President of the Management Board of Intereuropa for Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina

Boban Spasojević, director of Diplomacy & Commerce, The Economist Croatia

Photos: Demjan Rožman

Darko Skrnički, President of the Management Board of Intereuropa for Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, Urban Mlakar, Logistics Director at AD-Vita (Svilanit), President of SLO CRO Business Club Dr. Saša Muminović

14 NOV


After more than 10 years, the Zagreb Film Festival returned to the Zagreb SC cinema, where in 2003 it began as the only international feature film festival in Zagreb at the time. The director of the festival Boris T. Matić and the executive director Hrvoje Laurenta were joined on the stage of the SC cinema by the producers of Košnica, Valon Bajgora and Agon Uka, and the deputy mayor of the City of Zagreb, Luka Korlaet. Representatives of the Ministry of Culture and Media and the director of the Croatian Audiovisual Center Chris Marčić also supported the new start of the festival, and the winners of the Albert Kapović Awards, presented by Sanja Ravlić on behalf of the Croatian Producers' Association, were traditionally announced at the opening of ZFF.

The director of the festival Boris T. Matić and the executive director Hrvoje Laurenta



by Robert Čoban

Istrian Montenegrins and the Tragic Death of Baroness Barbara Hiterot - part II Cycling in Istria - the wonders of St. Foška, the Montenegrins who settled in Istria in the 17th century in the Venetian Republic, the mysterious mummies in the church in Vodnjan and the exciting life and cruel death of Baroness Barbara Huetterott, once the owner of Red Island, situated across Rovinj couple of days later, we transfer to Crveni Otok (The Red Island) across Rovinj for a few more days of rest. Namely, Sveti Andrija is connected to the neighbouring island of Maškin by an artificial land, which created Crveni Otok. As the boat approached the island, I noticed the outlines of an old church and something that looked like a luxury summer house that resembled those “in the literature from the Habsburg days". However, the history of the island of Sveti Andrija is much more dramatic than what could evoke an idyllic view from the deck of a ship. In the 6th century, the Benedictines built the first church and monastery on the island. Their founder was the Archbishop of Ravenna, Saint Maximilian, and they survived until the 13th century. Remains of a pre-Romanesque church from the 9th century, in which walls were once decorated with frescoes, have been preserved. In the mid-15th century, the island was handed over to the Franciscans who restored the church and the monastery. They remained intact until the arrival of the French in 1809. Since then, the decline of the church and monastery began when Napoleon came to the area, in his revolutionary and conquering zeal, which happened to every territory he subjugated (he expelled the Knights of St. John from Malta, abolished all monasteries in Venice except the Armenian...). The monastery was abolished here in the same year, and in 1820, the building was sold and turned into an oil mill. In 1891, the Huetterott family bought the island. They converted the monastery into a family castle-summer house and decorated it with works of art. They transformed the island into a park in which they planted numerous plants brought here from all over the world, over 180 of them. That is why Sveti Andrija was a favourite destination for tourists from all over




THE BEAUTY OF ISTRIA FASCINATED JOHANN GEORG HUETTEROTT, BUT HE INVESTED VERY THOUGHTFULLY AND INNOVATIVELY AT THE TIME, WITH THE IDEA OF OPENING A CLIMATIC HEALTH RESORT Austria-Hungary. In 1892, a cement factory was launched on the island, with the church bell tower serving as the factory’s chimney. The central part of the medieval Benedictine church has been preserved, which was incorporated into a residential villa in the 19th century, and today it houses a small maritime museum. The island fell into disrepair between the two wars. It was nationalized after 1945. The tourist complex was built in 1969, and Rovinj's TDR privatized it during the 1990s. Today, it operates

under the Maistra Hotel. The turbulent life and tragic death of Baroness Barbara Heterot, the last owner of the Red Island, is worthy of a mention. She was a member of a German noble family whose grandfather Georg Karl Philipp Huetterott from Kassel, a German town in the province of Hesse, moved to Trieste, then the main Austrian port, in the middle of the 19th century, and her father Baron Johann Georg Huetterott moved to Rovinj a few decades later. Barbara was the co-founder of the first Istrian truf-

fle research, discovery and export company called Azienda del Tartufo - Sella, Hütterott and C. Levade, founded in 1933 in Livade. Barbara's father Johann Georg Huetterott was born in 1852 in Trieste, and he was educated in Germany and in Antwerp, the Netherlands, where he graduated from a merchant school. He was a very successful entrepreneur and branched out outside Trieste. He is also credited with establishing business ties between Austria-Hungary and Japan, which he visited in 1874 on his trip around the world. Japan inspired him the most, as he stayed in that country for the longest time and made significant business connections, so in 1879, he became the first imperial Japanese consul in Europe based in Trieste. Johann Georg Huetterott was only 27 at the time, and in the same year that he became the Japanese consul, he


married Maria Augustus and continued to accumulate wealth by being a successful businessman. He was so rich that, in 1890, he bought several islands in the Rovinj archipelago at once, and only a year later, he became the owner of parts of the Rovinj coastline. He owned the islands of Sveti Andrija, Maškin, Šturag and Sveti Ivan na Pučini near Rovinj, as well as estates on the coast: Montauro, Monte Mulin, Monvi, Lone, Punta Corrente and Scarab. The beauty of Istria fascinated Johann Georg Huetterott, but he invested very thoughtfully and innovatively at the time, with the idea of opening a climatic health resort. The estates he bought were covered in olive groves, figs and vines, but Huetterott changed the landscape by planting the Mediterranean and exotic trees on an area spanning 115 hectares and thus forming a park/forest. He invited European nobility such as Maria Joseph, the mother of the last Austrian Emperor Charles, as guests, and unofficially hosted Crown Prince Franz Ferdinand. While presenting the natural attractions of Istria to the European aristocratic elite, he prepared the surroundings for the construction of the Cap Aureo tourist complex which comprised three hotels, a swimming pool, sports fields and family villas. Johann Georg died in 1910, and there are two versions of the story about his death - according to one, he died of a stroke, and while others claim that he committed suicide because of the debt he had accumulated when building the Viribus Unitis ship for the Austro-Hungarian Navy. After her father's death, Barbara

CYCLING THROUGH ISTRIA: Mausoleum of the Huetterott family in the middle of the island of Maškin

stayed with her mother to live in a castle on the island of Sveti Andrija which was owned by the family. Huetterott's widow continued to run the business after her husband's death, but she did not do well, so she had to sell part of the property. In the 1930s, Barbara took over the business and successfully ran a truffle company. She ran newspaper advertising campaigns, attended trade fairs and worked to expand the market. To educate the Istrians about the value of truffles, she hired experienced truffle growers from Italy, and she especially took care of search dogs for whom, due to

dairy cows. They also owned fishponds in the bays of the island of Sveti Andrija and Maškin, as well as the Montauro quarry. Furthermore, they leased land, sold furniture, art, collections of weapons and jewellery. Difficulties in business became increasingly pronounced during the Second World War, which Marija and Barbara spent on the island, living rather modestly. After the end of the war, on June 1, 1945, the Huetterott family was declared an enemy of the state and all their property was confiscated. Since then, Barbara and Maria’s destiny are not known.

AFTER HER FATHER'S DEATH, BARBARA STAYED WITH HER MOTHER TO LIVE IN A CASTLE ON THE ISLAND OF SVETI ANDRIJA WHICH WAS OWNED BY THE FAMILY their great value, she bought insurance policies. The company also introduced a new product - canned truffles, which lasted longer in a can and were more accessible to geographically distant customers in Italy. In addition to truffles, Barbara was also involved in sailing, so in 1933, she founded the sailing association called Vela Arupinum in Rovinj, which was operative until the Second World War, and which members, like Barbara, participated in numerous regattas. Because of the economic crisis that had erupted before the Second World War, Barbara was forced to go into agriculture. She and her mother grew fruits and vegetables on the island, and they also fattened

Orthodox Church of St. Spiridon in Peroj

According to the documents in OZNA’s archives (OZNA was the Yugoslav counter-intelligence agency) relating to Istria, Barbara and Maria were arrested, although they did not behave in a hostile manner. The letters they wrote during the war testify to how it was not entirely clear to them what was happening in the world. Witnesses later claimed that the same people who arrested the baroness also looted her property and valuables. Given how ‘enemies of the state’ were punished, it’s not hard to guess what happened to Barbara and her mother. The fate of Barbara and Maria Huetterott is covered in the novel "Islednik", written by the Serbian writer Dragan Velikić. "Oh,

if that were the case, it would be an easy death. The next day, the bodies were loaded into a motorboat, taken to the open sea, and dumped near the Banjola reef, where the sea is deepest. It was a team of OZNA executors. Their commander was a man who went by the name Pulčinović. He was accompanied by Baba, Spalato and Benusi from Rovinj, who was also nicknamed Cvikeraš. You are wondering how I know all this? From Lizette. She recognized the Huetterotts' valuables that came to her for resale so many times,” Velikić writes. Academician Branko Fučić reported about the appearance of the Huetterotti family's summer house after its owners were taken away when the Ministry of Education from Zagreb sent him to Istria immediately after the liberation with the task of recording and listing cultural property: "There were several rooms which you couldn’t even enter into because there were food leftovers, empty wine bottles, broken glasses and empty jewellery boxes were strewn across the floor which were quite dirty. There were even dirty dishes. This was all reminiscent of a truly abandoned castle!" While cycling through the idyllic landscape of Crveni Otok, I come across a large circular mausoleum of the Huetterott family, built in the middle of the island of Maškin, in which Maria and Barbara are not buried. I think that there is some kind of curse by which the most beautiful and most romantic parts of the world are hiding the bloodiest secrets and testimonies of incomprehensible human cruelty. The island of Sveti Andrija is one such place.

QUEEN OF TRUFFLES AND SAILING: Baroness Barbara Huetterott



Republic or Monarchy? What Makes you Richer?

epublican and monarchist social orders are usually discussed from the stance of emotions, but rarely from the position of real arguments. Even when a reasonable argument is made, there is usually talk of abuse of presidential authority in terms of imposing a one-minded state or dictatorship, or of dual power or cohabitation, when the president is from one party and the prime minister and parliament from another. But wealth is rarely talked about. One theory on the Internet argues that monarchies are richer than republics. In this article, using the GDP (PPP by capita) method, we will



test that argument. The results are the following – using this criterion, the population of the Principality of Liechtenstein is the wealthiest, with $139,100 per capita, followed by the Grand Duchy

lics, Singapore and Ireland, followed by Qatar, Macao (Chinese autonomy), and the Isle of Man, Bermuda and Cayman Islands, all British territories, under the reign of Elizabeth II. In the Top 10, the


of Luxembourg with $122,740, and the Principality of Monaco with $ 115,800. Being small and a monarchy, is a winning solution for now. In 4th and 5th place are two former monarchies, now repub-

result is 7:3 for the monarchies, which turns into 13: 7 in the Top 20 and 29:21 in the Top 50. So, although the results are pretty even, but the monarchies are still richer. Out of a total of

225 territories, only few monarchies are not at the top. Republics, if not as well-organized as Ireland, Germany, Finland, or Iceland, seem to often suffocate in corruption, election fever, and coups in the Third World. How do countries and territories in our region fare? Croatia is the second poorest country in the EU, ranked 71st in the world, and Bulgaria is the poorest, ranking 81st in the world. Still, they are better ranked than the best WB6 countries - Montenegro is at the 87th place, Serbia at 92nd, North Macedonia at 101st, Bosnia and Herzegovina at 108th, and Kosovo at 136th place in the world.




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SVIJET U 2022. CONFERENCE Wednesday 08th of December 2021.


Lauba, Zagreb


Transformation of the Croatian economy through the National Recovery and Resilience Program