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VIDEO: Zagreb Roundabout Ready to Open, Here's How It Will Look
Izvor:  Total Croatia News
Srijeda, 22 Siječanj 2020 20:02

VIDEO: Zagreb Roundabout Ready to Open, Here's How It Will Look

We've reported on the state of affairs of the works on the large Zagreb roundabout (Remetinec roundabout) which has been closed for a long time, causing changes and indeed sometimes issues with driving in the Croatian capital city. 

Recently, news appeared that the Zagreb roundabout itself had been completed after thirteen very, very long months of being closed to the public. Next came the announcement that there could be plans to introduce a new tram line in the city, which would be five or six kilometres long, be of importance to the future Blato hospital and also raise property prices in the surrounding areas.

It is expected that Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandic would readily approve such a plan and have the means provided for it quickly given the fact that it would be a major plus for the city for a multitude of practical reasons.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 22nd of January, 2020, the Zagreb roundabout is one of the capital projects of the City of Zagreb that should facilitate traffic in that part of the city, and it will also address the significant issues caused by one of the largest black traffic points in all of Zagreb.

Its value stands at an enormous 331.7 million kuna, while the grant amount is 321 million kuna, of which 272.8 million kuna is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund and 48.1 million kuna comes from the state budget of the Republic of Croatia.

Take at the video below of the now finished works on the Zagreb roundabout, which will finally officially open for cars this coming Sunday:

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for much more. If it's just Zagreb you're interested in, give Total Zagreb a follow or check out Zagreb in a Page for all you need to know about the bustling Croatian capital city.


Euro 2020: Croatia Water Polo Tops Greece for Spot in Semis!
Izvor:  Total Croatia News
Srijeda, 22 Siječanj 2020 18:42

Euro 2020: Croatia Water Polo Tops Greece for Spot in Semis!

January 22, 2020 - The Croatia water polo team met Greece for the quarterfinal match of the European Championships in Budapest on Wednesday. 

Croatia had the first attack of the game, which was unsuccessful. Greece came back to score the first goal of the game for 0:1.

Croatia quickly came back to equalize with a goal by Josip Vrlic a minute and a half into the game. 

Maro Jokovic increased Croatia’s lead to 2:1 with five and a half minutes to go. Andro Buslje made it 3:1 with just under four minutes to go. Marko Jokovic made it 4:2 with 2:15 to go in the first quarter. 

Lovre Milos hit a rocket for 5:2 with a minute and a half to go. Javi Garcia scored with 13 seconds left for 6:3 to end the first quarter. 

Vrlic scored his second goal of the game to open the second quarter for Croatia for 7:3. Jokovic increased the lead to 8:3 with five minutes to go.

Vrlic scored his third goal for 9:5 with less than three minutes to go, and Vukicevic made it 10:6 a minute later, which is how the second quarter ended.

Fatovic had a one-on-one with the keeper, which resulted in a 5-meter penalty. Jokovic scored for 11:7 with just over four minutes to go in the third quarter.

Vukicevic nailed the back of the net for 12:8 with three minutes to go, and Garcia scored for 13:8 with 1:22 left. The third quarter ended at 13:9.

Greece opened the final quarter with a goal for 13:10. 

Croatia scored its first goal of the fourth quarter with 3:26 to go - Garcia scored for 14:10.

With just 30 seconds to go in the game, Croatia had the final attack. Loncar lost the ball and Greece attacked for the final time. Bijac made the save to give Croatia the 14:11 victory! 

Our 'Barakudas' will play against Spain in the semifinal, who stopped Serbia in the earlier quarterfinal game on Wednesday.

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.


Handball EURO 2020: Croatia and Spain draw  
Izvor:  Croatia Week
Srijeda, 22 Siječanj 2020 18:34

(Photo credit: Croatian Handball Federation)

VIENNA, 22 January 2020 – Croatia has ended the Main Round of the 2020 European Men’s Handball Championship with a draw against Spain on Wednesday. 

Croatia had already qualified for the semi-finals and the match would decide who would top Group I of the Main Round. 

Spain would open the scoring and would have the advantage in the early stages of the match. Thanks to Igor Karacic, Croatia managed to take the lead for the first time in the match after 12 minutes when they went in front 6-5. 

Croatia enjoyed a two-goal lead and almost scored to stretch it to three goals at one stage before Spain staged a comeback towards the end of the first half. Spain would go into the break 12-11 up.

Errors at the start of the second half saw Croatia fall behind, 15-11 and it proved to be difficult to peg back. Spain would stretch their lead to six goals, 19-13, and after a fightback from Croatia, they would equalise 21-21 with four minutes left on the clock.

Captain Domagoj gave Croatia the lead once again, 22-21, with three minutes remaining. Spain would equalise and the match would end 22-22 which means Spain finish top of the group on goal difference.

Croatia now heads to Sweden for the semi-finals and will play either Slovenia or Norway. The semi-finals will be played on 24 January in Stockholm, with the final taking place on 26 January also in Stockholm. 


Ministry of Interior to Spend 5.9 Billion Kuna in 2020
Izvor:  Total Croatia News
Srijeda, 22 Siječanj 2020 17:49

Ministry of Interior to Spend 5.9 Billion Kuna in 2020

ZAGREB, January 22, 2020 - The Ministry of the Interior on Wednesday presented its financial plan for this year, worth 5.9 billion kuna, and signed about 30 contracts with domestic companies which will deliver their products to police and civil protection forces this year.

The financial plan is 228.3 million kuna or 4% higher than last year, it was said at the presentation.

The increase refers mostly to salary expenditures, funds for Croatia's EU presidency and the procurement of police equipment.

Assistant Minister Cvjetko Obradović warned about a decrease in the share of salary expenditures in the ministry budget.

"Salaries accounted for as much as 76% of the ministry budget in the previous period, last year they accounted for 66.13% and this year they are expected to account for 65.69%," he said.

Obradović said that the ministry's priorities included raising the quality of accommodation for police officers, energy renovation of buildings used by police and raising the quality of police work.

1.6 billion kuna of the 2020 ministry budget is intended for public procurement, mostly of equipment for police and civil protection units, mine removal and road safety.

Minister of the Interior Davor Božinović signed contracts with some 30 domestic companies for the procurement of equipment for police and civil protection units, equipment for EU presidency, equipment envisaged by EU projects, and mine removal. The total value of the contracts exceeds 289 million kuna.

More news about Interior Ministry can be found in the Politics section.


Life in Croatia as a Wounded Foreign War Veteran of the Homeland War
Izvor:  Total Croatia News
Srijeda, 22 Siječanj 2020 17:48

Nigs Balchin, left, with other foreign veterans, in Vinkovci

January 22, 2020 - With more than half a million registered war veterans, TCN meets a foreign vet wounded 5 times in the Homeland War, living out his pension in Krapina. 

Last November, TCN owner Paul Bradbury attended a rather unusual barbecue in eastern Croatia. The venue was an English pub in a field in the middle of nowhere outside Vinkovci, the guests all foreign veterans from the Homeland War, men who had volunteered to fight for Croatia. The barbecue was hosted by Steve Gaunt, a foreign vet from Leeds who now lives in Vinkovci, and his guests gathered - as they did every year - on the evening of November 18, having earlier taken part in the Vukovar Remembrance Parade. You can read about the barbecue here.

Among the foreign vets was a man from the north of England called Nigs Balchin, who volunteered to fight, was wounded several times, eventually became a Croatian citizen and received a war veteran's pension. He lives in Krapina, and we had a very interesting chat about his time in Croatia. I was shocked to hear that his pension has been dramatically reduced, so much so that is it not sufficient for the month. This, in a country where new veterans appear on the list almost 25 years after the end of the war, and Croatia now has more than 500,000 veterans. An incredible number, and one which has given more than a little idle speculation to the existence of a number of fake veterans. 

nigs-balchin (6).jpg

(Nigs Balchin at the November 18 barbecue where TCN first met him)

We decided to follow up the story with Nigs Balchin. Janja Sestak, one of our new TCN interns from Zagreb University, was doing a story for us from Krapina, and she met with Nigs to learn more of his story, which you can read in the interview below. 

1. How did you first get involved in the war? Did you have a Croatian connection?

To be honest, I don't think I would have been able to point out Croatia, or Yugoslavia, on a map at the time. If I had to, I would have probably pointed it somewhere closer to the UK. No, I didn't have any previous connection with Croatia, but when I saw what was happening on the news, it was wrong, and I wanted to help. So I came over. I was 27 years old.

2. What was the extent of your previous military training?

I had a little military training but nothing much. I was a member of the TA (Territorial Army), but only on a temporary basis. I trained with the TA every Tuesday evening after work for 14 months. 

nigs-balchin (5).jpg

3. There has been a lot of talk about mercenaries fighting for Croatia. Were you a mercenary? Did you know of others who were?

No, I was not a mercenary. I did meet some who were, however, several of them between contracts. 

4. Tell us how you found the unit you fought for, and where did you fight?

When I arrived at Pleso Airport, I was asked if I was here for business or pleasure. 

"I came to volunteer." They let me pass, but I got no directions on where to go. In Zagreb, I tried to contact the army, but nobody knew about a division for foreigners. I was sent over to HOS (Croatian Defence Force, the paramilitary arm of the HSP party). There were three teenagers dressed in black in front of the large building, all armed with pistols. The taxi driver explained that I had come to volunteer. 

"So you want to shoot Cetniks like John Wayne?" he asked me as he pulled his gun out and pointed right in front of my nose.

"Not with you, mate," and he turned around, called the taxi driver back and headed together to the train station. There he went in search of a policeman, as he thought he would get more reliable information. But information was conflicting, and he was told to go to Slavonski Brod, while a foreigner in front of him was told to go to Vukovar.  

His first unit was an independent group called Bura in HVO 103 Brigade, in June 1992. He got a Kalashinkow, was told how to strip it, clean it, and reassemble it. He did that three or four times, and that was his training.

Next Monday at 7 a.m., they were out there, in front of their lines, leading a 200-foot line of soldiers around a hill. They had to meet tanks and armoured vehicles, which were going the other way around the hill. It didn’t work. It was nice and dry weather. One tank driver from Slavonski Brod realized that he should drive his tank over the field which had just been ploughed. If he did that, he would have to clean his tank. So rather than going across the field, he turned his tank and went back. When other tank drivers and commanders saw that one guy was turning back, all of them turned back. All of a sudden, there was no army on one side of the hill. Nigel and other soldier came from their side and found out they were all alone. Serbs start to shoot from the hill. Nigel and his division had to crawl back.When everybody came back, 25 names were missing. One tank caused 25 deaths. He was never accused for that. But Nigel met him in Slavonski Brod, among his people and yelled “Coward!â€� at him. He told him how he is responsible for the death of 25 people. He started arguing, but in the end, he couldn’t do anything but cry. 

In Bosnia, we didn’t listen to their radio because it was all lies. We were listening to German radio, they told the truth. The Germans said on the radio there was an attempted attack by HVO forces and that there were so many killed and so many captured and other details. Serbs in Bosnia would give false information. “There were cases when we had actions in Domaljevac, and we would shoot Četniks with mortars. They would say on the radio that all of the victims were civilians, women and children. After a while, we would hear on the radio from Frankfurt that 3 Bosnian soldiers were killed and 2 wounded. Propaganda…�

nigs-balchin (3).jpg

5. You were wounded during the war. Tell us what happened?

I was wounded five times, but they only accepted 4 officially. Four times in 103. Brigade Denventar, and once in 104. Brigade Bosanski Šamac. The first wound was after just two weeks. It was a dislocated ankle. As someone stole my boots and we had to jump from a decent height in one action, I dislocated my foot. I couldn’t walk, I was helping myself with a rifle, but I was constantly falling down.

The second injury was in Koraće, and I was knocked out, so I don’t remember it. 103rd and 101st Brigade, they both had a report of the incident, but they are completely different. 101st Brigade had that I was attacked by military police and beaten up by them. 103rd Brigade had said I was close to the explosion and being hit by debris. I had injuries on my shoulders, writs, all down my back.

The third injury was in Slavonski Brod with the shrapnel to the arm, elbow, chest, stomach. I was seven days in hospital. Six days they left the wounds open. I had a reputation in Slavonski Brod of disappearing. I lay there twice and that room was in the basement with just one light. I wanted a cigarette, but at the same time, one mortar bomb landed on the hospital. As if that was going to stop me. So I went out of my room, sat on the stairs, and lit a cigarette. And everybody went crazy like, where is the Englishman? I sat there, smoking a cigarette, watching a damage control team checking out what damage the mortar did to the wall. All of a sudden, there was a nurse behind me. She started to shout at me because I’m went missing. I was like: “I’m having a cigarette, would you mind? Every time I am missing, I’ll be here, having a cigarette.�

The treatment in hospital was very good, and I even got a marriage proposal at that time from a nurse. She was a nurse with whom everybody fell in love with. But she wanted to marry me and go to England with me. I was here for the war and told her we can get married, but I won’t go to England until the war is over. So the answer in that time had to be no. I didn’t want to mix emotions because I saw what it did to the people on the front line when they had a family right behind the front line.

The fourth injury were the eyes. For a few months, I was with 106th Brigade. My unit was in southern Hercegovina. We were in a small bunker with two huge slits and no chance for a fire. In the night, when temperature hits minus 20 degrees, you need some heat. We stuffed blankets in these slits, and then we could make a fire. But there was a risk of snipers… So as I was responsible for this fire, all of a sudden, it somehow exploded in my eyes. I couldn’t open my eyes, and I needed to be taken out of the bunker. As we got to the ambulance, they tried to check my eyes, but they couldn’t. I was sent to the Red Cross, then in Tolisa in Monastir. They checked my eyes but still couldn’t see if there was some damage. So they put me some big cotton bandage and sent me to Slavonski Brod where they did a bunch of tests. It turned out I just had to wait until burnings stop. Even today, I have a problem with the wind which causes me teary eyes.

The fifth wound was the left knee, and I got damage on the ligaments and nerves, but this one was not accepted.

nigs-balchin (4).jpg

(Nigs Balchin, far right, with other foreign vets on Vukovar Remembrance Day 2019)

6. Moving to after the war, what compensation did you receive from the Croatian State?

I got a pension and citizenship in 1999, and a flat in 2007. The first commission gave me 70% invalidity, which was confirmed both from HVO and HV. In 1995, I was transferred from HVO to HV. Somebody in the Ministry of War Veterans (Ministarstvo branitelja) did that. I don’t even know who started the process for that. I just became a member of HV. But it was quite a disadvantage because in HVO I received HRK 2500 and in HV I got HRK 1400. I couldn’t survive with this amount of money for a whole month. I was like a tennis ball. They keep sending me from Zagreb to Orašje, then from Orašje to Zagreb. Since I was living in �akovo, I had to pay rent, food, and other stuff. Constantly traveling to Zagreb cost me too much money, so I moved to Zagreb. I went to the military base Borongaj and stayed there in what they called “Sobe prolaza�. I was there for a few days nobody said anything. But then one officer saw me and asked me who I was. I told him and he gave documentation to this commander officer. Since I didn’t even know that I needed permission to be there (I did not have any), I had to left the base. I tried to ask the officer where can I get this permission, but officers just showed me the door and said: “Get out and never come back.�

He ended on the streets without any money and had nowhere to go. He knew nobody in Zagreb. Nigel spent a few nights on the streets.

Then Mario Kirin arranged some lodging at the Red Cross for him. He was in Sesvete for three months, but the money wouldn’t last for the whole month. One of his friends (Scottish) who in that time lived in Krapinske Toplice, had a word with Vojna skrb in Krapinske Toplice. They found him a place to sleep, eat meals in hospitals etc., almost like in base in Borongaj. So he moved in Krapinske Toplice and stayed there for five years and then moved to Krapina. He became a member of a baptist church in Krapina in 1998. 

7. And what recognition of your sacrifice for the war effort?

One thing I learned very quickly when I came here is that there is no capitalist like a communist. I met them mostly in bureaucracy. A lot of people there still lived in the Yugoslavia dream. I especially had a bad experience in Vojna skrb, Ilica 210, who acted just like they were still in Yugoslavia. Their attitude was like I was there to serve them, not the other way around. The identical thing was in the workshops. Vojna skrb in Krapinske Toplice was 100% awesome. One woman who worked there (in Vojna skrb Krapinske Toplice) wrote to me on the paper exactly where I had to go, who I needed to search for etc. and gave this to me. I took this paper, went to Ilica 210, and said: “I’m looking for this person.� When I came to the person I was searching for, I gave him the paper with all of the information. But that woman told me: “No, no, no, I am not the person you need, I don’t know what are you talking about.� (She was, but she was too lazy to get this job done.) “You have to go to this place, the reason is well… Okay, but change it to this, and blablabla.�

I didn’t know the Croatian language well, so I kindly asked that woman to write me down where I have to go. But again, she was too lazy to do that, so instead of this, repeat these instructions on Croatian to an Englishman. Several times… When her boss arrived, she admitted with no shame what she had done.

nigs-balchin (2).jpg

8. Your pension has been reduced in recent years - why?

I could say that I got recognition by the fact they looked at my case and decided to reduce my pension. That was the time of great revisions. Every year or two, they would revise war invalids (their percentages and their pensions) because there were a lot of fake war invalids. These fake invalids paid somebody to get a pension. I was going through the process at that time, and they reduced my invalidity by 60%. And then again to 50%. I was talking to the doctors in Krapinske Toplice, and they said I should get 80% or 90%. Then, when I got a pension, the Ministry of Defence didn’t want to sign my paper. They reduce my invalidity to 55% so they could say to the others: “Look! We don’t pay them as much as you think!� They did it because I am a foreign, with no influence friends or family here. They literally cut my pension and gave it to the fake war invalids. So I ended up with 50% invalidity and a small amount of pension. I was again on HRK 2500.

9. As your pension is reduced, the number of war veterans increases every year, now over 500,000 - how do you feel about that?

I am not angry or frustrated, I am just sad that people with fake invalidity exist.

10. Tell us about your efforts to reassess your pension.

Every war invalid has a right to apply every six months to have his invalidity reassessed. I started asking around what I need to do, but apparently, nobody knew. It took me six months to gather all of what I needed. When I made an application for invalidity reassessment, they told me that I needed to give them everything from that day up to now. All documents from 1992 to this day. With the help of Mario Kirin, I wrote a complaint letter and handed it to the Upravni sud court in Zagreb. It took them two years, and during those two years, no alternation in status was permitted. For those 2 years, I was stuck on HRK 1400. It came out that they found out that the medical commission didn’t consider the evidence objectively. They found out that the percentage was too low, and it needed to be revised immediately. So, I handed out that to the Ministry, and they sent it to the medical commission for the new assessment. What they did was they removed diagnoses. I had 14-15 diagnoses in the beginning, and they removed 3 or 4 and gave me 50% of invalidity, but this time permanently. I realized that working out with the Ministry of Defence is like working with mafia.

11. You applied for 10% extra based on your PTSD, too. How did that go?

Yes, in 2001, I made an application for 10% extra for invalidity based on PTSD. I got a message that I had to revoke that application, or I would lose everything. My pension, my citizenship, and I would be kicked out of the country by the Ministry of Defence. Everybody who I knew and who I contacted about this problem, said to me: “Revoke it. They are too powerful. There is nothing you can do.� I got a friend to come with me to the office for war veterans as a witness. There was a woman who said to us that is entirely true. She went to the other room, came back 30 seconds later with the printed version of my revoking statement, and all I had to do was signed it. She didn’t have to type anything. It was ready for me to walk in. I just signed it, and that was it.

12. Looking back, almost 30 years later, what are your reflections on what you fought for. Would you do it again?

I have no regrets about coming, I would do it all again. I don’t consider or look at most Croats in the same way as the bad ones. The bad ones are a small percentage of Croatia, but unfortunately, a percentage with the possibility to harm me. However, if it weren’t for the good ones, I wouldn’t survive the bad ones.


Conflict of Interest Commission to Check Health Minister's Declaration of Assets
Izvor:  Total Croatia News
Srijeda, 22 Siječanj 2020 17:46

Conflict of Interest Commission to Check Health Minister's Declaration of Assets

ZAGREB, January 22, 2020 - The Conflict of Interest Commission will inspect the information registered on the Declaration of Assets submitted by Health Minister Milan Kujundžić following media reports about his purchase of a house in Zagreb and its value.

"The Commission will launch a procedure to check the information on Minister Kujundžić's declaration of assets and compare that with information that it will request from the authorised institutions - Tax Administration, Land Titles Department and so on," a spokeswoman for the commission, Martina Jurišić told Hina.

If any discrepancy is identified, the commission will request the official to submit his explanation and after that the commission will decide whether there are any grounds to launch proceedings, Jurišić added.

The Telegram news portal reported that Kujundžić registered a lower value for the house he is currently living in than is realistic.

The minister claims that the house is valued at 900,000 kuna even though a loan agreement that the Kujundžić's signed with the PBZ bank in 2010 estimated the value of the house at 2.37 million kuna and later when the loan was rescheduled, the property was appraised at 1.68 million kuna.

Kujundžić did not wish to comment on the Telegram article but said that everything was clear and transparent regarding his house and that he would inform the commission of everything when he is requested to do so.

"I'm obliged by law to answer to the commission, however, there is nothing to hide here, everything is transparent and clear. It is easy to check and see how much my wife and I earned in the past five years, just as it can be seen in my account that my savings increased by 7,000 kuna to 8,000 kuna each month," Kujundžić told Hina.

Telegram on Tuesday reported that Kujundžić's family bought another house in Zagreb late last year, which is owned by his wife Tatjana and that she paid 1.46 million kuna for the property located in the Zagreb suburb of Maksimir. The article however notes that it is not clear from Kujundžić's declaration of assets where the money to purchase that real estate came from.

Kujundžić reacted saying that the transaction was transparent and lawful and that he had informed the commission of the purchase.

Kujundžić noted that the house is estimated at 195,000 euro and that he and his wife bought the house with a loan of 100,000 euro with the PBZ bank, 55,000 euro of their savings at the PBZ bank and 40,000 euro that he borrowed from friends of theirs for which he signed an agreement that was certified by a public notary and that that money was paid directly into the seller's account.

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, who is currently attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, commented briefly on the entire case and said that he would meet and talk with Kujundžić on Thursday.

"I can't much comment, I believe that he will explain everything," said Plenković.

More news about conflict of interest issues can be found in the Politics section.


Zagreb Zoo – Visit Croatia Review
Izvor:  Visit Croatia - a travel guide
Srijeda, 22 Siječanj 2020 16:59

Zagreb Zoo is located in the very pleasant and tranquil Maksimir Park, in the east of the city of Zagreb. The Park and Zoo are just a short tram ride away from the main part of the city, and so very easy to reach no matter where you’re staying.

Combining a day out in this pretty park with a few hours in the Zoo is a great way to spend an afternoon in Zagreb, particularly if you have kids in tow! The Zoo is also astonishingly cheap compared to zoos in other European cities and is well run and maintained, with an interesting selection of animals.

Zagreb Zoo Sign

Covering an area of 17 acres, the zoo completed the first stage of a modernisation program in 2016. Zagreb Zoo is a member of the European and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums and a participant in the European Endangered Species Programme.

Getting to Zagreb Zoo

Trams 11 or 12 operate from the main square, Trg ban Jelacic, to the road just outside Maksimir Park. Trams 4 and 7 from elsewhere in the city and also stop near the park.

Entry

Tickets for the Zoo cost just 30 Kunas for adults, and 10 Kunas for children.

The Zoo is open 365 days of the year so, weather permitting, you can enjoy it any time of year! Do note that the Zoo has different opening hours at different times of the year – obviously, longer in spring/summer and shorter autumn/winter. For example, the zoo closes at 4pm November to January inclusive, whilst it stays open until 8pm May to August. The ticket office closes about a hour before the zoo does, so make sure you make it in time to buy a ticket.

Large scale map at Zagreb Zoo
A map of the grounds, soon after entry. We are visitor number 79 that day!

What to See and Do in Zagreb Zoo

You can explore and visit the animals in the Zoo taking a largely circular route past the many exhibits. Soon after you enter you’ll walk over a bridge to get to the main part of the zoo, passing by flamingos, storks and a funny collection of capybaras.

Zagreb Zoo - lynx
Can you spot the lynx? (in the middle of the picture, to the left)

On to the main part and there’s an insectarium and lemur island and an often snoozing but beautiful lynx. The Australian section – and its wallabies – follows before you make your way over to the European brown bear enclosure.

Zebras and tapirs follow, then pygmy hippos and some very interesting exhibits in the Twilight Zone (nocturnal animals) and Tropical House buildings, including assorted reptiles and crocodiles!

Zagreb Zoo - Zebras
Zebras in a nice open enclosure
Crocodiles in Zagreb Zoo
Crocodiles in the Tropical House

The Monkey Pavillion and its chimpanzees brings you to the zoo’s restaurant, right next to the playful sea lions. Swing by the wolves before heading into the petting zoo where you can indeed stroke some of the animals such as goats.

Next you’ll see bison and camels and a large enclosed aviary before coming to probably the premier exhibit – the gorgeous lions. Nearby is also a very cute and playful red panda that is definitely worth watching for a bit!

Zagreb Zoo - Lions
The lion enclosure
Lion and lioness in Zagreb Zoo

Playgrounds

As you wind your way around, you’ll also encounter a decent number of children’s play areas which – depending on the age of your child – may delight them more than the animals!

Talks and Animals Feedings

Some days of the weeks see talks and public animal feedings take place for a number of animals in the zoo. You can see the timetable of this here, or check when entering the zoo.

Historical sights in Zagreb Zoo

The Zoo first opened in 1925 so there are a number of older structures dotted about – including a small tower (which you can climb up) just after the main entrance.

Eating in Zagreb Zoo

There is a restaurant on site called “Kod morskog lava” (which means “By the sea lion”…for the restaurant is indeed next to the sea lion enclosure. The restaurant serves traditional continental Croatian fare – think soups, Schnitzel-type meats with accompanying veg side dishes and tasty desserts.

There is also a very reasonably priced kids menu; for about 30-40 Kunas there are different ‘packages’ which contain a main, a side (usually chips) and a drink. (The more expensive ones also include a dessert.)

There are also numerous snack carts dotted around Zagreb Zoo from which you can grab a snack (ice cream, no doubt, for the kids!) or a drink.

Kod morskog lava restaurant
The sea lion enclosure (they’re in there, somewhere!) next to Kod morskog lava restaurant

Shopping

There is a cute little gift shop located not too far from the entrance that has a nice range of animal-themed gifts – soft toys, books, jewellery and other assorted knick knacks. Any kids in your group will probably find it hard to resist the soft toys…

Our verdict

Zagreb Zoo is definitely a wonderful way to spend a few hours in this city, whether you’re an animal lover or if you’re visiting with kids. The Zoo isn’t particularly big, but that’s perhaps best as some larger zoos can be quite exhausting to visit or are a full day experience. There are are also very modern facilities and amenities (toilets!) that add to the whole experience.

All the exhibits in the zoo are very interesting, and most of the animals seem well kept indeed – it certainly looks like a considerable amount of money has been invested in the zoo, and the recent modernisation programme has really helped.

I did think the sea lions’ enclosure was a little on the small side, however, and unfortunately it looked like the chimpanzees had learnt to sit, arms outstretched, begging for food from passers-by – I did hope that the ‘no feeding’ signs could be enforced a bit better.

But, all in all, I’d definitely recommend visiting Zagreb Zoo!

More information

Full details on visiting the zoo can be found on the official website.

The post Zagreb Zoo – Visit Croatia Review appeared first on Visit Croatia.


Euro 2020: Croatia Handball Team 2nd in Group after Draw with Spain
Izvor:  Total Croatia News
Srijeda, 22 Siječanj 2020 16:42

Euro 2020: Croatia Handball Team 2nd in Group after Draw with Spain

January 22, 2020 - The Croatia handball team met Spain for their final game of the second round in the European Championships in Vienna. The meeting was crucial to determine first place in the group, and thus Croatia’s semifinal opponent. 

Croatia could not count on Luka Cindric for this game, who has been one of their best players of the tournament thus far.

Spain had the first attack of the game, which they scored for 0:1 in the 38th second. Croatia was unsuccessful in its first attack. 

Stepancic, however, equalized in the 2nd minute for 1:1. Karacic made it 2:2 in the 3rd minute, scored again for 3:3 in the 5th minute, and made it 4:4 in the 6th. 

Karacic continued with his brilliance to make it 5:5 in the 9th minute. Croatia and Spain were going-for-goal. 

Croatia took the lead for the first time in the game thanks to a Mamic goal in the 12th minute for 6:5.

Stepancic made it 7:6 in the 17th minute, and Sipic scored to increase Croatia’s lead to 8:6 in the 19th minute. Sego was brilliant in goal.

At this point in the game, there hadn’t been a goal for over three minutes.

Karacic scored his fifth goal of the game for 9:7 in the 23rd minute. 

Horvat scored a 7-meter shot for 10:8 in the 24th minute.

Spain equalized in the 25th minute for 10:10.

Croatia retook the lead in the 26th minute for 11:10 thanks to Karacic once again, though it was Spain to regain their lead one minute before the half for 11:12. 

Spain increased its lead at the start of the second half for 11:13, and they were up by three goals in the 33rd minute (11:14). It was 11:15 for Spain in the 35th.

Karacic scored his seventh goal of the game to make it 12:15 - but in the 37th minute, it was 12:17... and in the 39th, 12:18.

Duvnjak scored a 7-meter shot for 13:18 and Brozovic scored in the 41st for 14:19.

Karacic reduced Croatia's deficit back to -5 for 15:20 in the 46th minute. Sipic made it 16:20 in the 47th minute, and 17:21 in the 48th.

Karacic scored for -3 and 18:21 in the 50th minute, and scored his 10th goal of the game in the 52nd for 19:21!

Croatia was well on its way to a comeback and Horvat scored for 20:21 in the 53rd minute.  

Mamic scored the equalizer for 21:21 with five minutes to go!

Duvnjak scored a rocket in the 58th minute to give Croatia the lead (22:21).

Spain was given a 7-meter shot in the 58th minute, though Asanin was unable to make the save. Spain equalized for 22:22, which was the final score of the game.

Igor Karacic was named the man of the match.

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.


Krka National Park to celebrate 35th birthday with free entry  
Izvor:  Croatia Week
Srijeda, 22 Siječanj 2020 15:38

(Photo: Hrvoje Klarić)

ZAGREB, 22 January 2019 – One of Croatia’s stunning natural gems, Krka National Park, celebrates its 35th birthday since it was declared a National Park back in 1985.

To celebrate the occasion, Krka National Park will be offering visitors free entry to the park on Friday, 24 January until Sunday, 26 January.

A number of activities will be held to celebrate the birthday, including a kid’s drama about protecting nature to take place on 23 January in Šibenik.

On the 24th of January 1985, an area of 142 km2 from the early Croatian fortresses of Trošenj and Nev�en to the Šibenik bridge, including 3.5 km of the course of the Čikola River, was proclaimed a national park by the Croatian Parliament. 

Over one million tourists will visit Krka National Park in its 35th year.  The aim is to one day get Krka National Park added to the UNESCO World Heritage list. Another Croatian National Park – Plitvice Lakes  -was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1979.

Swimming ban announced

It was announced last week that swimming in the park will be banned, citing the need to conserve resources and the richness of biodiversity within the park as the main reasons for the ban. 

“The overall viability of the Krka River basin and its wildlife rests on the development of travertine barriers, so preserving the travertine deposition process is a fundamental goal of Krka National Park. For this reason, there will be a swimming ban in Krka National Park from 1 January 2021. Due to the centuries-old cohabitation of people with the river, swimming is allowed to the local population in the following locations: Stinice, Remetić – Pisak and downstream of Roški Waterfall,� NP Krka said. 

This means this will be the last summer which tourists will be able to swim at Skradinski buk, the longest, most-famous and most-visited waterfall on the Krka River. In 2017, the National Park announced that a maximum of 10,000 visitors would only be permitted at one time at Skradinski buk.


Zagreb Mayor Bandić Pleads Not Guilty to Waste Management Irregularities
Izvor:  Total Croatia News
Srijeda, 22 Siječanj 2020 15:17

Zagreb Mayor Bandić Pleads Not Guilty to Waste Management Irregularities

ZAGREB, January 22, 2020 - Zagreb mayor Milan Bandić appeared before County Court on Wednesday morning and pleaded not guilty to irregularities relating to waste management.

Also accused are the owner of the CIOS waste management company, Petar Pripuz, and another 15 defendants. They all pleaded not guilty to charges that the City had awarded the job of waste disposal to CIOS without a tender.

The trial was watched by civil society activists, including Dario Juri�an, who recently ran in the presidential campaign and publicly criticised Bandić for corruption.

A group of activists met Bandić outside the courthouse, booing at him and calling him a thief. They brought him a gift for prison: a toothbrush, a towel with his name, a bar of soap, a roll of toilet paper and a bag of mandarins.

Activist Gordana Pasanec of the Siget civil society group said the group wanted the court to finally pass a final and fair judgment. "It's impossible that he is never found guilty. It is disgraceful that witness testimonies and indictments are constantly changed because of somebody's interests," she said, adding that citizens would show today that they were fed up with bribery and corruption.

The anti-corruption investigating agency USKOK submitted the indictment against the mayor of Zagreb and his associates and business partners to the court back in December 2015. Seven counts of the indictment were upheld by the court in March 2018 and three were returned to the prosecution for completion.

In late March 2019 the Zagreb County Court suspended proceedings against Bandić in the part of the indictment that charged him with defrauding the budget by not paying taxes on donations he had received after the 2010 presidential elections.

At the end of October 2019, the court upheld the part of the indictment against Bandić and Pripuz relating to waste management.

More news about Milan Bandić can be found in the Politics section.


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