The first charter flight from China to Croatia is expected to take off in February 2015…
From next February, or March at the latest, a charter flight from the Southwest Chinese city of Chongquing will fly to Zadar on the Dalmatian coast three times per month, reports daily Slobodna Dalmacija. The flight from the city which boasts a population in excess of 30 million people, will land in Zadar as part of its 10-day charter route which will operate ‘pre’ and ‘post’ Croatia’s peak summer tourist season.
Confirmation of the first charter flight between China and Croatia comes on the back of a visit in October to Zadar from a Chinese business delegation. Last week the Croatian Ministry of Tourism met with officials involved and the deal was signed. Dubrovnik was talked about initially as the base where the charter would fly into, but it was decided that Zadar’s airport would be the base.
There are not too many trophies that a Croatian has not got their hands on in world football. There have been countless UEFA Champions Leagues, UEFA Cups, World Club Cups and League titles. Davor Šuker’s name is etched onto the Golden Ball from the 1998 World Cup in France, and Luka Modrić has a number of various awards at home. But it has taken a player of Croatian descent playing all the way down in New Zealand to be the first ever Croatian name on the FIFA World Club Cup Golden Ball award…
On Saturday night in Morocco after the final of the FIFA World Club Cup, Auckland City FC captain Ivan Vicelich (38) took to the stage to be presented with the Bronze ball after being named the third best player at the tournament, a tournament in which the tiny semi-professional club from New Zealand turned heads around the football world.
Vicelich amongst the greats of the game
Vicelich, who is New Zealand’s most-capped international in history and has now played in 4 FIFA Club World Cups, joins an illustrious list of names to have won the trophy. The former Roda JC star, who was the third best player at the tournament behind Cristiano Ronaldo (silver) and Sergio Ramos (gold), says what his side achieved at the tournament will be hard to beat.
“We’re thrilled to clinch third place at the Club World Cup. It’s a very special moment for a New Zealand club. We managed to recover from playing for 120 minutes in the semi-final, train well, and then give another strong performance. But we’re proud of everything we’ve achieved in the tournament, not just today’s game. We can say that we’ve made history,” said the towering defensive midfielder after what has been an amazing 10 days.
Auckland City, a club with strong Croatian roots in New Zealand, had to get past Moroccan champions Moghreb Tétouan in a play-off for the quarter-finals before they beat the African champions ES Sétif to advance to the semi finals for the first time. The plucky side, which boasted a number of players with day jobs, then took on the South American champions San Lorenzo and were unlucky to go down 2-1 in extra time. They did finish the tournament on a high however and beat the CONCACAF winners Cruz Azul of Mexico to finish third. An amazing achievement for a tiny semi-professional club in a rugby-obsessed nation.
Croatia’s Public Administration Ministry says that 3,779,281 voters will be eligible to vote in the upcoming presidential election later this month…
Out of the total number of eligible voters, 3,770,953 of them were registered residents in Croatia, whilst 8,328 were registered residents living outside of Croatia. There will be polling booths in 50 countries on 28 December when the presidential elections are held. The busiest booths abroad will be in Germany where 6,929 voters have registered, and in Bosnia and Herzegovina where 4,818 voters are actively registered. The Ministry says that of the 494,000 potential voters in the diaspora, only just over 8,000 were registered to vote.
Voters will have a choice from four candidates on 28 December - Ivo Josipović (SDP), Kolinda Grabar Kitarović (HDZ). Milan Kujundžić (Alliance for Croatia) and Ivan Vilibor Sinčić (Human Barrier NGO).
Croatia, Ireland and Cyprus were the only three nations in the EU which saw hourly labour costs drop in the third quarter of this year…
Wages and salaries across the European Union increased as a whole by 1.4% in Q3, but according to the Eurostat figures, in Croatia from July to September they dropped 0.3% compared with the same period last year. Ireland (0.8%) and Cyprus (2.8%) were the only other nations in the EU which saw drops.
In the euro zone area, hourly labour costs in Q3 grew 1.3% from the same period in 2013.
English Premier League side Leicester City have reportedly made a 10 million euro bid for NK Rijeka and Croatia striker Andrej Kramarić…
According to Goal.com, Leicester City’s director of football Terry Robinson met with NK Rijeka’s sports director Srećko Jurišić on Thursday where a 10 million euro offer was made for the 23-year-old goal scoring machine.
Croatian first division top scorer Kramarić, who was capped 53 times at the youth level for the Croatia national team, scoring twenty-two goals, has also attracted interest from the likes of Chelsea, Tottenham, Schalke, Hannover, Manchester City, Inter Milan and AC Milan, but it is the Leicester City offer which is first on the table. NK Rijeka will take their time before making a decision.
Kramarić began his career at Dinamo Zagreb and holds the record as the top youth goalscorer in the club’s history. He made his first team debut at 17 and this year made his senior international debut. (photo: Drago Sopta / HNS)
Croats in the capital Zagreb lit thousands of candles last night on the eve today’s Vukovar Remembrance Day, which is held to commemorate victims from the 1990’s homeland war in the eastern town of Vukovar…
Every year on the night of the 17th of November, Zagreb locals place candles along a 10 kilometre stretch on Vukovar Street to remember war victims from the eastern city.
Every year on the 18th of November the anniversary of the fall of Vukovar is marked in Croatia. During the 87-day siege of Vukovar by the Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA) between August and November 1991, 1,624 people were killed, including 12 children, 1,219 were wounded, and more than 350 Croatian soldiers unaccounted for. More than 22,000 Croats and other non-Serbs were also expelled from the city.
Vukovar was defended by around 1,800 lightly armed soldiers of the Croatian National Guard and civilian volunteers, against 36,000 JNA soldiers. On 18 November, the last defenders in Vukovar’s town centre surrendered.
Croatians all over the country will head to graveyards to light candles and lay flowers for deceased relatives as All Saints’ Day is observed in Croatia on Saturday…
All Saints’ Day, also known as Solemnity of All Saints, or The Feast of All Saints, is a solemnity celebrated on 1 November by parts of Western Christianity, and on the first Sunday after Pentecost in Eastern Christianity, in honour of all the saints, known and unknown. In Western Christian theology, the day commemorates all those who have attained the beatific vision in Heaven and is a national holiday in Croatia.
The beautiful Zagreb cemetery Mirogoj will again attract massive crowds with spectacular sights just before sunset as the candles begin to take effect. Croatian government officials again also will pay their respects to all those who died during Croatia’s war of independence at Mirogoj cemetery.
Busts, badges, a watch and a baton are just some of the memorabilia on display at the Josip Broz Tito museum which has opened recently in village of Kokorići, which is situated near Vrgorac in the Dalmatian hinterland…
The museum was opened by Zvonimir Pervan, who told news agency Hina that around 30,000 euros had been invested in setting up the Tito museum. Pervan says that the museum has created interest since opening, with a number of foreign tourists, notably Slovenes and Germans, visiting.
A number of items are on display at the museum, including over 2,000 badges, a gold watch owned by Tito, 20 Tito busts, 15 tapestries with his effigy, and a baton used in The Relay of Youth, a race which started in his birth town Kumrovec and ended in Belgrade on his official birthday.
The greatest basketballer to ever come out of Europe, Croatian Dražen Petrović, would have been celebrating his 50th birthday today….
A concert by the philharmonic orchestra to mark the occasion will be held this Saturday at Zagreb’s Vatroslav Lisinski hall in honour of the great man. Under the baton of Leopold Hager, the orchestra will play amongst other pieces, Mozart, fitting for a man who was nicknamed ‘Basketball’s Mozart’.
Born in Šibenik on 22 October 50 years ago, Petrović was just 28 years of age when he was killed in a car accident in Germany after returning from playing for Croatia in Poland on 7 June 1993. Voted the Best European Basketballer in History, Petrović enjoyed an illustrious career with the New Jersey Nets, averaging 20.6 points in 36.9 minutes on the floor, and nearly leading all NBA guards in field goal percentage (51%). He did not miss a single game. Dražen also won Olympic basketball medals, as well as a gold and a bronze at the FIBA World and European Championships.
A national holiday today marks Croatian Independence Day, a day where Croats celebrates the unanimous decision of the Croatian Parliament – Sabor to terminate the link between Croatia and SFR Yugoslavia….
“Dear citizens of Croatia, I wish you all the best for Independence Day. It is one of the most important days in Croatian history, which we remember with pride. This is also an opportunity to wish the Republic of Croatia, all citizens of our homeland, a prosperous future,” President Ivo Josipović said in an address to mark the occasion.
The Croatian referendum on independence was held in May 1991, with 93% of voters supporting the independence. On 25 June the Croatian Sabor proclaimed the Croatian independence and seven days later, on 7 July, Croatia and Slovenia signed the Brioni Declaration in which the two countries agreed to suspend all declarations and acts passed by the Croatian and Slovenian parliaments related to those states’ secession from Yugoslavia for a period of three months. On 8 October, the Sabor decided to end relations with Yugoslavia, in the Decision on the termination of the state and legal ties with other republics and provinces of Yugoslavia. That session was not held in the House of Parliament but instead in the basement of an INA building, because of the possibility of the repeat of an incident such as the bombing of Banski dvori.