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Why ‘Canadian-Croatians’ Are So Influential in Croatian Politics?


Last week Canadian citizen Tihomir Tim Orešković was named as Croatia’s new Prime Minister-designate, joining a growing list of Canadian-Croatians who have held senior political functions in Croatia…

A report in daily Novi List has highlighted just how well Canadian-Croatians have been represented in Croatian politics, state authorities and public administration positions. Croatians from no other country have even come close to leaving a mark in Croatia as those from Canada.

There have been four coming from Canada who have made it all the way to the position of Minister in Croatia. Former transport head Ivica Mudrinić, ex-Minister of Defence Gojko Šušak, Marijan Petrović, emigration, and current Minister of Health Siniša Varga, had all spent formative years in Canada.

There have also been a number of Members of Parliament, including Ante Beljo, Ruža Tomašić, Ratko Ferenčić and Željko Glasnović.

Ivica Mudrinić, Gojko Šušak and Siniša Varga (photo Novi List)

Ivica Mudrinić, Gojko Šušak and Siniša Varga (photo Novi List)

Marin Sopta, also a returnee from Canada, has long been involved with the Croatian diaspora and says that an important factor in such a strong presence was the visit of former President Franjo Tudjman in 1987 to Canada when he made contact with the local Croatian community there.

“It’s certainly contributed to the fact that a lot of us came back to Croatia. Moreover, I know first hand, that people from the state leadership in the 1990s had a high opinion of the Croats in Canada because of their education and political culture,” Sopta told Novi List.


Croatia's new Prime Minister-designate Tihomir Orešković (photo credit/pliva)

Croatia’s new Prime Minister-designate Tihomir Orešković (photo credit/pliva)


Born in Zagreb, new PM-designate Orešković was educated in Canada and spent a great part of his working career there. He recently returned to Europe where he held the position of C.F.O for Phara giants Teva.


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