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NEWS FLASH DIPLOMATIC TOUR EPP-ED MEETING IN SPLIT CHENEY IN DUBROVNIK A MAJOR ANNIVERSARY INTERVIEW: MARTINA DALI THE 2006 TOURIST SEASON VUKOVAR CITY THE NORTHERN VELEBIT NATIONAL PARK OLIVE GROWING CULTURE SPORT

Croatia In Focus No. 15/16 May/June 2006

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Croatia In Focus, Croatian Government Bulletin


Publisher: Government of the Republic of Croatia, Ofce for Public Relations 10000 Zagreb, Trg sv Marka 2; tel: +385 1 63 03 050, 45 69 248, fax: +385 1 63 03 446, 63 03 022 E-mail: tomislav.mazal@vlada.hr; http://www.vlada.hr Editor in chief: Tomislav Mazal Deputy editor in chief: Sandra Puhovski Staff: Sanja Milinovi, Suzana Kovaevi, Jasna Sruk Vlah, Dubravka Belas, Ida osi, Igor arkovi, Nataa Hison, Paula Popravak, Vera Zebi Layout and Design: Massol design&marketing, www.massol.hr Print: Kersch Offset Edition: 1500

NEWS FLASH
Coreper greenlights opening of negotiations with Croatia on science, research
The Committee of Permanent Representatives in the European Union (COREPER) in Brussels greenlighted the launching of negotiations with Croatia on science and research, the first of 35 chapters in the accession negotiations. The ambassadors have just greenlighted the opening and probably closing of the first chapter with Croatia. The joint position of all 25 EU member countries was that the negotiations should be launched on June 12th this year. They are expected to be closed on the same day.

Golden Share for Dalekovod


The Zagreb-based company Dalekovod, which designs and builds transmission lines and substations, suspension and jointing materials, and lighting and floodlighting poles, is the winner of the Golden Share (Zlatna Dionica) award for 2005. The award was given at a ceremony organised this month by the Croatian Television broadcast Business Club, the Lider business weekly and the Kapital Klub company. Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader presented the awards to Dalekovod CEO Luka Milicic. According to Milicic, 60 percent of the companys revenues are earned on the foreign market. In the first five months this year, the companys exports were 30 percent higher than the entire export last year. The awards Zlatna Dionica and Zlatni Udjel have been conferred for nine years according to the performance of nominated companies whose shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Zagreb and Varazdin. This year, 42 shares were nominated for the awards. The Croatian Postal Bank (Hrvatska Postanska Banka) was given a special award for its contribution to the development of the Croatian capital market. A majority of the Zlatni Udjel awards went to the funds of Raiffeisen Invest, which was proclaimed the best society in the management of investment funds in 2005.

49 million euros for Mostar University


Croatian Science and Education Minister Dragan Primorac and the heads of the six Croatian universities visited the southern city of Mostar in BosniaHerzegovina and held talks with the head of the local university, Frano Ljubic, on funds which the Croatian government is planning to donate to that institution. Minister Primorac told the press that the Croatian Government had decided to earmark 360 million kuna for the construction of a university campus in Mostar. The first stage of construction works, which should be completed in the next three years, will be financed with 183 million kuna granted by the authorities in Zagreb.The minister described this as a historic event for Bosnia-Herzegovina as well as for the Croats living in the country. He said that Mostar University was the only institution of tertiary education in Bosnia with lectures in Croatian and that it could not function without assistance from Croatia. Primorac added that the financing of the entire project would be transparent, with the Croatian Science and Education Ministry supervising its implementation in compliance with Bosnian legislation. Of the 865 professors and lecturers working at the university, 250 are visiting professors from Croatia.

Foreign nationals buying real estate in Croatia will need approval only from Ministry of Justice
The Croatian government sent to parliament a final bill on changes to the Law on Ownership and other Proprietary Rights under which foreign nationals wishing to buy real estate in Croatia will need only the approval of the Justice Ministry, and the Foreign Ministry will no longer be involved in the procedure. The proposed changes remove administrative obstacles and shorten the procedure. Under the existing law, the Foreign Ministry receives requests by foreign nationals for the purchase of real estate and forwards them to the Justice Ministry, which in turn informs the Foreign Ministry of its opinion. Croatia has never discriminated against citizens of any country and has always acted in line with the principle of reciprocity in issues relating to the acquisition of real estate, foreign minister Grabar Kitarovic said. There are currently around 4,000 outstanding requests for the purchase of real estate by foreign nationals, the minister said. The proposed bill

also enables local government units to sell their real estate without a public tender if this is in the general economic and social interest of the public.

Highest U.S. military award presented to descendant of Peter Tomich


A Congressional Medal of Honour, the highest US award, was presented on Thursday to a family member of Croatian American Peter Tomich on board the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise, which is anchored off the southern Adriatic seaport of Split. Tomich was decorated posthumously 64 years ago by US President Franklin Roosevelt for courage demonstrated during the Japanese attack on Pear Harbour in 1941, when he risked his life to save the crew of the USS Utah. The award was presented to retired Croatian Army Colonel Srecko Herceg by the commander of US Naval Forces Europe, Admiral Henry Elrich, in the presence of Croatian Deputy Prime Minister Damir Polancec, Defence Minister Berislav Roncevic, and US Ambassador Ralph Frank.

DIPLOMATIC TOUR
Poland
The conclusion of the talks between the Croatian Prime Minister Sanader and the Polish Prime Minister Kazmierz Marcinkiewicz in Warsaw was that Croatia has Polands support to join the EU and NATO and Polands experience in the accession negotiations will help Croatia on its road to Euro-Atlantic integration. At the end of the meeting, the Polish Prime Minister said that the mood in Poland had swung in favour of the EU since it became a member in 2004, as the benefits for Polish society were already visible and he offered Croatia assistance and to pass on their experience in negotiations with the EU and NATO. Prime Minister Sanader said that Croatia and Poland have traditionally good relations, there were no unresolved political issues between them, and he added that Karol Woytila was also to thank for this, as he visited Croatia three times as Pope John Paul II. He expressed his satisfaction with the position of the Polish government that the EU could not be complete without Croatia and the countries of Southeast Europe. If we want the future of Europe to be different from its past, then there is no alternative to the EU and the unification of all its peoples, Sanader said. He stated that he expects quick and good quality negotiations with the EU, since both the previous and the present Government had already done a great deal in adopting European legislation, and he expected the negotiations to be completed in 2008 and that in 2009 the citizens of Croatia would take part in elections for the European Parliament. During the official visit to Poland, the Croatian Prime Minister, dr. sc. Ivo Sanader, opened the new building of the Croatian embassy in Warsaw. In his speech on that occasion, he pointed out that Croatia needed the support of friendly countries to join the EU and NATO. In order to join the EU and NATO Croatia needs the support of its friends and it expects it from Poland he said. He also emphasized that all the countries of Southeast Europe deserved a European perspective and that Europe would only be complete when all the countries were united in the EU. During his stay in Poland, Prime Minister Sanader met with the Polish President Lech Kaczynski, and visited the Polish parliament Sejm and the Senate.

Macedonia
The Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia Ivo Sanader and the Prime Minister of the Republic of Macedonia Vlado Buovski agreed that there are no open issues in the relations between Croatia and Macedonia and that they are improving constantly, especially in the area of moving towards Euro-Atlantic integration. Prime Minister Sanader, who was on a one-day visit to Macedonia, said that the European Union could not stop enlargement with the inclusion of Romania and Bulgaria, nor even Croatia, since if we want a new, more prosperous Europe without bloody wars from the past, then there is no alternative to European integration, and it must include Macedonia as well as the other countries in the region. Prime Ministers Sanader and Buovski were taking part in the foundation of the MacedoniaCroatia Business Club in the Chamber of Commerce, which includes all major Macedonian companies and 30 branches of Croatian companies in Macedonia. The founding of the club is expected to increase trade exchange between the two countries, which now amounts to 220 million euros a year. During his visit to Macedonia, Prime Minister Sanader met with the leaders of the Croatian community in that country who told him about their activities to preserve and promote the Croatian national and cultural identity.

officials. They also expressed their satisfaction with the growth in the number of tourists. Prime Minister Sanader commented how the opening of the branch office of Slovakia Export in Rijeka gave added importance to the Port of Rijeka for Central European Countries, and the improved transport links between Central Europe and Rijeka would encourage development even more strongly. During his visit to Slovakia, Prime Minister Sanader officially unveiled a bust of Marko Maruli at the Croatian Cultural Centre in Devinsko Novo Selo, the seat of the Slovak Croats, where the launch was held of the Croatian edition of the autobiography of the Slovak Prime Minister, Mikula Dzurinda, Where there is a will, there is a way, with a preface written by Prime Minister Sanader.

Slovakia
Fair accession to the European Union is individual accession, and we will always try to ensure that on Croatias road there are not too many hurdles or too many brakes, said the Slovak Prime Minister Mikula Dzurinda at the end of his meeting with the Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader, who was on a working visit to the Republic of Slovakia. The two Prime Ministers emphasized the excellent relations between the two countries and the frequent exchange of visits between Croatian and Slovak

Croatia takes over the Presidency of the SEECP


The Prime Minister of Croatia, dr. sc. Ivo Sanader took part in the South-east Europe Cooperation Process Summit in Thessalonica, where Croatia took over from Greece the one-year presidency of this association of ten countries in the region, whose aim is to strengthen relations with one another and cooperation on the road to Euro-Atlantic integration. South-east Europe should not be on the margin of European processes as it has the strength and knowledge to overcome historical misunderstandings and to work together with other countries on an equal footing in creating a new Europe, Prime Minister Sanader said. Presenting the plan for the Croatian presidency, Prime Minister Sanader announced that official Zagreb would continue along the same path set by Greece, the country that has held the presidency of SEECP for the past two years. This includes the operational strengthening of the organization, its links with the institutions of the EU and promotion of cooperation in general in order to overcome historical conflicts and establish peace, security and progress in SE Europe. The plan also includes mutual assistance in accession to Euro-Atlantic integration between the member countries, of which some are full members of the EU, some are in the screening process or have the status of candidate, and some have only just opened negotiations on stabilization and association.

We share the characteristics of Central and SE Europe. We combine the Adriatic, Aegean and Black Sea dimensions. We are linked by great European rivers and we are at the crossroads of cultural diversity. There is potential here which we must make use of for the benefit of the united Europe and a better future for our citizens Sanader said. The heads of state or governments of the member countries took part in the SEECP Summit at Thessalonica from Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Greece, Macedonia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro, Albania and Moldova. The high-ranking officials emphasized that the progress of each country towards membership of the Union depended on their individual achievements in meeting the Copenhagen criteria as well as the conditions set by the Stabilization and Association Agreement, including cooperation with the Hague Tribunal. They supported the modernisation of CEFTA with the aim of establishing a free trade zone in SE Europe, and condemned terrorism, violence and every form of extremism. During the Summit a Memorandum was signed on setting up a high performance railway network in SE Europe, which should cut travel time and raise the quality of the service, and indirectly promote regional and cross border trade and cooperation. The next SEECP Summit will be held in Croatia in 2007.

EPP-ED MEETING IN SPLIT


EPP-ED parliamentary groups meeting in Split
The European Peoples Party (EPP) is the largest political party in Europe. It was founded in 1976 and it includes member Christian Democratic national parties and other likeminded national parties from throughout Europe. Partys president is Mr. Wilfried Martens. According to its website the EPP is committed to a federal Europe, based on the principle of subsidiarity a democratic, transparent and efficient Europe. The vision of the Party is one of mutual respect, of inclusion of all free citizens, encompassing all European countries and regions, no matter how diverse a Europe for all. In the European Parliament the EPP cooperates with European Democrats faction to form the EPP-ED Group. The EPP has a youth political party called the Youth of the European Peoples Party (YEPP). In the southern Croatian town Split, on May 11th and 12th, European Peoples Party and European Democratic Christians (EPP-ED Group) held a twoday meeting. The main topics were those ones of great importance for the Southeast Europe as well as the presentation of Croatias way towards EU accession. The meeting was opened by Hans-Gert Poettering, chairman of the EPP-ED group in the European Parliament, who complimented Croatian Government and underlined the big friendship between Croatia and the strongest European Parliaments group. Croatias example is also a test for the European policies in this region which should be focused on establishing peace and stability in the Balkans, which will primarily be based on the rule of law and democracy, and the countries in Southeast Europe should base their future on it, as their accession to the European Union will depend on that said Hans-

Gert Poettering and promised that Croatia, which is thought of being the leading factor of peace and stability in the region, would be evaluated exclusively on the basis of its own merits, independently from any other country or any other process. In his address, Croatias PM Ivo Sanader welcomed the parliamentarians from all over Europe and stated the importance of this meeting for Croatia. Europe can create a peaceful future for all its citizens and European unification project is important for all citizens of the continent. Croatia serves as the EUs bridge to Southeast Europe and it is very important that Croatia, as well as other countries, become EU members as soon as possible said PM Sanader. EPP-ED parliamentarians reiterated their support for Croatian Governments plan for the admission of Croatia to the EU in 2009. Parliamentarians stated that Croatia must not be a hostage of other southeastern European countries, because Croatia is the most developed country in the region and a guarantee for the stability of this part of Europe. They had expressed conviction that Croatia would enter the EU soon after Bulgaria and Romania. Croatia is the leader of the entire region in the process of accession to EU, while the treatment of Croatia is a test and an example for the neighboring countries with the same aspirations, was one of the main conclusions of EPP-ED Group meeting.

CHENEY IN DUBROVNIK
US Vice-president Cheney in Dubrovnik
The Vice-president of the United States of America, Richard B. Cheney, visited Dubrovnik where he met with the Croatian President Stjepan Mesi and Prime Minister Ivo Sanader, and took part in a meeting of the American-Adriatic Charter with Prime Ministers of Croatia, Macedonia and Albania. The main subjects of the discussion between Vicepresident Cheney and President Mesi were the general relationship between Croatia and the USA, the situation in the region, the reforms Croatia is implementing on its road to the EU and NATO and Croatias contribution to the fight against terrorism. Just before the meeting with the American Vicepresident Cheney, the Prime Minister of Croatia, dr. sc. Sanader said that the visit by American Vice-president Richard B. Cheney to Croatia was a major step forward in the bilateral relations between the two countries. The visit by Vice-president Cheney is a major step forward in our relations. After President Bill Clinton, he is the first visitor on such a high level, now only President George W. Bush could come, Prime Minister Sanader said. Speaking of Croatias interest in developing many sided relations with the United States, Prime Minister Sanader said that the USA in recent history, especially in the 20th century, had shown that there was no alternative to transatlantic cooperation. In all crisis situations, from the First and Second World Wars, to the war in this region, Americans have been with Europe and tried to solve problems together, Prime Minister Sanader said. The United States strongly support Croatia becoming a full member of NATO and the European Union and appreciates its involvement in Afghanistan, American Vice-president Cheney said at the beginning of the working dinner with Croatian Prime Minister Sanader. We, the Americans, have been tremendously impressed with how far Croatia has come over the past few years. We are strongly supportive of Croatia becoming a full member of the trans-Atlantic community, both NATO and the European Union,

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said Vice-president Cheney, We also are deeply appreciative of the present engagement of Croatia in Afghanistan, in a very difficult situation in that part of the world, Vice-president Cheney added. Prime Minister Sanader emphasized that the visit by Vice-president Cheney was considered by the Government as an expression of friendship and support for Croatia, and also a major step forward in bilateral relations. We are looking forward to closely cooperating with the United States in the future. Croatia is preparing itself for full membership of the EU and NATO and we know we can count on the USs support Prime Minister Sanader said. He expressed strong belief in the trans-Atlantic partnership of the USA and Europe and the necessity for it to deepen in the future. On the second day of the visit by Vice-president Cheney to Dubrovnik, a meeting of member states of the American-Adriatic Charter was held. The American-Adriatic Charter is an American initiative launched in May 2004, with the aim of

speeding up, through mutual cooperation, preparations for membership by the three countries aspiring to membership of NATO, the implementation of military and political reforms and attainment of the necessary criteria and standards. Prime Minister Ivo Sanader, who hosted the meeting, expressed gratitude, in his opening speech, to the USA for its leadership in the region of Southeast Europe and the launch of the American-Adriatic Charter, which has been very useful for Croatia in joining NATO. Membership of NATO is Croatias strategic goal, as we are aware that peace and security cannot be achieved in isolation. In NATO we recognize a uniquely effective political and defence alliance founded on the values of peace, freedom, democracy and the free market economy Prime Minister Sanader pointed out. Vice-president Cheney expressed strong support of the desires of the three members of the American Adriatic Charter to join the Euro-Atlantic community, adding that great progress had been made.

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We deeply appreciate the fact that all the three countries are already engaged alongside the NATO and US forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, Vicepresident Cheney emphasized, believing the meeting in Dubrovnik to be an important opportunity to evaluate the progress in terms of becoming eligible for NATO membership. Prime Minister Sanader expressed the readiness and determination of Croatia to overcome the difficulties and challenges that occur on the road to NATO and to move forward with the process of reform, cooperating with the USA and other partners from NATO. He expressed the hope that the next NATO Summit in Riga would give a strong signal for future membership in the Alliance and a clear timeframe set for negotiations. The Prime Ministers of Albania and Macedonia Sali Berisha and Vlado Bukovski also expressed the strong aspirations of their countries for membership of NATO and their readiness to engage their forces anywhere in the world where NATO and US forces are stationed. They stressed that they expect a strong signal from the Riga Summit about their chances for full membership of NATO. At the end of the meeting the three Prime Ministers repeated their readiness to be part of the anti-terrorist coalition and each said on behalf of his country how much both the UN and NATO are contributing to the peace operations in the world from Afghanistan to Kosovo. Global terrorism is a problem that concerns everyone in the world and demands a united struggle, PM Sanader said.

The Albanian Prime Minister Berisha stressed at the meeting that Albania was and will be participating wherever NATO and United States forces are in the defence of freedom and common values and that it was ready and determined to pay any price to meet the conditions for membership in NATO. Membership of NATO will best secure the process of the transformation of this region of conflicts into a leader in peace and stability, said Prime Minister Berisha The Macedonian Prime Minister Bukovski assessed that the American Adriatic Charter had succeeded in articulating the aspirations of the three countries for membership of NATO and that he expects them to receive invitations in 2008. During his visit to Dubrovnik, Vice-president Cheney and his wife Lynn used the time to tour the cultural and historical sites of the Old City of Dubrovnik. In the library of the Franciscan monastery, the Mayor of Dubrovnik, Dubravka uica, gave Vice-president Cheney a reprint of a contract from 1783 signed by a delegation from the USA and an envoy of the Dubrovnik Republic, and his wife a statue of St. Blaise (sv. Vlaho). According to a source from the American delegation, the Cheneys were enthralled by Dubrovnik.

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A MAJOR ANNIVERSARY
Eight decades of Croatian radio and half a century of television
Congratulating the staff of Croatian Radio and Television on their major anniversary, the Prime Minister dr. sc. Ivo Sanader recalled HRTs beginnings, its technical development, its successful programs and the vital contribution made by HRT in the Homeland War. Welcoming HRTs enormous contribution to the development and transparency of public authority in the Republic of Croatia, he promised further Government support, alignment of media legislation with European standards, emphasizing the exceptional role of the professional media in building and preserving democracy. Croatia Radio and Television recently marked an important anniversary 80 years of Croatian radio and 50 years of television. In the same year when the BBC began work, the beginning of the life of Croatian radio was marked by the voice of Boena Begovi. It all started two years earlier, in March 1924, when many people in the world considered radio to be merely a modern invention without a future, a group of prominent intellectuals and business people in Croatia, led by the astronomer and physicists dr. Oton Kuer, founded the Zagreb Radio Club, which established the foundations of Croatian radio broadcasting. Through tireless work, keeping up with technological and technical development, thirty years later, the Croatian media world was enriched by television. From then until now, Croatian radio and television has become a modern, increasingly advanced and, in terms of programming, ever richer broadcasting company, which is now a public service to Croatian citizens, endeavouring to meet in the best possible way the need of the Croatian public for precise, objective, and quick information, for cultural and educational content, but also for entertainment and coverage of sporting events. Today Croatian Radio and Television is one of the most respected public television companies in Europe, and this years anniversary marked the beginning of the use of digital technology in the creation of its news broadcasts. The significant successes which we would like to recall on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of radio and the 50th anniversary of television include major projects such as the European skating championships in 1974 in Zagreb, the Mediterranean Games in Split in 1979, the Gymnastics World Cup in 1982, the Winter Olympics in Sarajevo in 1984, the World Student Games in Zagreb in 1987,theEuropeanBasketballChampionship in 1988, the Eurovision Song Contest in 1990, the European Athletics Championships in 1990, the visits by the Pope to Croatia in 1994, 1998 and 2003, two summit meetings of leaders from Central and Southeast Europe in Zagreb in 2000 and 2005 and two World Cup skiing competitions on Sljeme in 2005 and 2006. The successful programs have been many, and there have also been an especially large number of international radio and television awards. Over the years, the Drama section of Croatian radio alone has succeeded in winning 30 awards at respected festivals such as the PRIX ITALIA, PRIX FUTURA, PRIX JAPON, PREMIO ONDAS, PRIX CIRCOM and the international festival/ competition held in Croatia, the PRIX MARULIC. In marking this anniversary, we are obliged to remember the role of Croatian Radio and Television and all its employees during the Homeland War. Despite the systematic destruction of radio and television masts by the enemy, courageous journalists, cameramen and technicians brought the truth about Croatia and the war imposed on us to the world. With pride we mention the names of Gordan Lederer, who with his camera in his hand, died from sniper fire, Sinia Glavaevi, who, seriously injured, broadcast right up to the very last minute from the ruins of Vukovar hospital, but also Branimir Polovina, eljko Ruii, uro Podboj, arko Kai and Nikola Stojanac. Their contribution was immeasurable and their involvement in the Homeland War honourable. An impressive fact from recent research shows that Croatian Radio and Television is high on the list of institutions most trusted by citizens. In recognition of the need for media freedom and variety the Government of the Republic of Croatia, will support HRT in its contribution to the development of the economy, the creation of a stable political system, the fight against corruption and to build completely transparent public authorities in the Republic of Croatia.

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INTERVIEW
Interview with Martina Dali, State Secretary of the Central State Office for Development Strategy.
After Hitro.hr began work and public information services opened, such as the electronic land registry, the third successful step towards the complete computerization of administration is the foundation of the Agency for Support of Information Systems and Information Technology (APIS IT) What is this? APIS IT is being formed through the reorganization of the City Institute for Automatic Data Processing of the City of Zagreb, with the aim of performing tasks that are part of the implementation of the e-Croatia program for 2007, and offering additional staffing and infrastructure support to improve the implementation of the Hitro.hr project, which has already started. By bringing together the best quality technological base and IT personnel in the Republic of Croatia and the City of Zagreb, we obtain the more efficient and costeffective application of information technology and new infrastructure, equivalent to the systems in the European Union. Computerization is only one of the examples of how we should be preparing to join the European Union and to accept European standards, both for the needs of the state administration and for the needs of local government. Croatia has so far gone through the most demanding preparation for the pre-accession funds. Apart from Turkey, Croatia is the only candidate for membership of the European Union who has been requested to provide detailed procedures for preparation for use of funding from the Unions pre-accession funds. Yes, having gained the status of candidate the doors were opened for Croatia to the Unions pre-accession funds PHARE, ISPA and SAPARD, but it was necessary to go through a demanding accreditation process. This is in fact the procedure for making use of the Unions structural funds, aimed at the members of the integration. This kind of detailed procedure was not demanded of the countries that joined the EU in 2004, but the Union decided to tighten the conditions for the remaining candidates for use of the money from the pre-accession funds, even asking for confirmation from external auditors. Croatia at this moment is managing as many as five Union funds. The first money from the PHARE and ISPA funds is expected soon, whilst the process of accreditation for SAPARD is still pending. For which projects have you earmarked the first funds received? The ISPA program planned 60 million euros for Croatia for 2005 and 2006, aimed at transport and environment protection projects. The National Fund has received the first five million euros from the European pre-accession fund ISPA. So far two projects have been approved reconstruction of the Vinkovci-Tovarnik-state border railway line, and a water supply and sewer project for the City of Karlovac. We are expecting any day now EU approval for a waste disposal site at Bikarac. For all three projects national funding has also been provided, and the line ministries and end users, such as Croatian Railways, must be alert to ensure that during the implementation of the projects all agreements are honoured, since any irregularities in procedures may result in having to return the money. You mentioned that the Republic of Croatia is also involved in co-financing all these projects from its budget funds. Could you explain the financing method in more detail?

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By signing the memorandum, the European Union, through the ISPA program, is contributing 28.5 million euros to the reconstruction of the railway line. The difference up to the 75.5 million euros needed will be financed by the state from the budget. The Karlovac water supply and sewers project is worth 36 million euros. Of this 67%, or 22.5 million euros, will come from the ISPA program, and the remainder from Croatian national co-financing: 10 million euros from a loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the remaining 3.5 million euros from the Croatian state budget. The planned waste disposal site at Bikarac near ibenik, is to be financed with 6 million euros from the ISPA pre-accession fund, and 2.8 million would come from the Croatian Fund for Environmental Protection. Croatia is also making successful use of European Union money for research and technological development. How many contracts have been signed so far as part of the Sixth Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration activities? Croatia has so far signed 68 contracts as part of the FP6 program, with total co-financing by Europe of 5.2 million euros. This money has been taken up equally by both institutes and faculties, whilst about 350,000 euros, which is 7% of the total amount, has been given to projects within the state administration, and NGOs and other organizations. In order to take part in this program, Croatia has paid 3.1 million euros from the budget. The ratio of money invested and withdrawn ranks Croatia among the most successful countries in the region, more successful than most new member countries of the EU and candidate countries. The Croatian counties have shown a great deal of interest in the CARDS and PHARE programs for improving the economy and tourism. How will the planned European Union grants be distributed? 94 ideas from 13 counties were sent in, in response to the offer by the Ministry of the Sea, Tourism, Transport and Development. The Ministry selected 25 projects which will receive within CARDS support from Croatian and foreign experts for further preparation work and applications for grants. The training would include preparation of beneficiaries for future applications for

contests through which the EU offers grants. The content of the projects considered mainly relates to modernization and extension of infrastructure for development of the economy and tourism, the development of existing business zones, centres and incubators. The value of each project, as a rough estimate, is between 500,000 and one million euros, which taking 750,000 euros per project as an average, would mean that 13 counties with 25 selected projects could obtain 18.75 million euros in grants from the EU. However, how much money and for which projects it will be given will not be known until the PHARE 2005 contest is completed. Mrs. Dali, you are the head of the Central State Office for Development Strategy, and the deputy head negotiator with the European Union. You came to politics from the position of head economist of one of the largest commercial banks. What is the status of businesswomen in Croatia? Croatian businesswomen are in a better position than in the other transition countries with which it is mainly compared. This may be seen in their more or less equal salaries, the accessibility of all positions, and the institutional representation of women in the highest state institutions such as the Parliament and the Government. The legal regulations are satisfactory; I think we can be satisfied with the general climate towards women. About ten years ago in Croatia, with the aim of promoting women in business and the position of women in the economy, the Association of Croatian Business Women was founded, which will compete this year for two million euros from the European funds aimed at promoting womens rights in the economy, financing companies led by women, learning foreign languages and the development of business knowledge. The European Union has recognized women in business as one of its priorities, which it regularly supports through its funds. For the business emancipation of women it is important for their associations to be linked with each other and to exchange experience. Recently the position and achievements of businesswomen in their countries and the opportunities for linking together and cooperation were discussed at the congress of the Adriatic-Ionian Initiative in Dubrovnik. I believe that through working together we will leave our mark on the Croatian and European business scene, creating new value, with a visible feminine character.

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THE 2006 TOURIST SEASON


Croatia has become one of the most sought-after tourist destinations in Europe for holidays. The rocky coastline with its beautiful beaches and bays, and 1185 islands has, by its beauty, grabbed the attention of many visitors, whose numbers are increasing from year to year. This is borne out by the fact that as many as about forty thousand tourists flooded the Adriatic at Easter. Although it is still the pre-season period, the increase in comparison with 2005 is clear (3-4%) and is a foretaste of yet another successful year of tourism ahead of us. According to predictions, a record number of visitors is expected this season. For the first time there is talk of numbers above 10 million visitors. Destinations such as Dubrovnik, Istria, Kvarner and Dalmatia are already recording a huge growth in organized travel. Therefore, the 2006 tourist season presents a challenge, not only in terms of the number of visitors, but also in the realization of the greatest investment so far in tourist structures, and municipal and transport infrastructure. According to estimates by the Ministry of the Sea, Tourism, Transport and Development, these investments amount to 5.8 billion kunas, or 800 million euros, of which 3.2 billion kunas is earmarked for investment in reconstruction of existing or building new buildings, mainly hotels and apartment complexes. In this way Croatia will gain about twenty new fourstar hotels and for the first time have more than one million beds available. The trend is also for building wellness centres, indoor swimming pools, and larger rooms and bathrooms.

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The fact that Croatia is recognized in Europe precisely for its hotel business is seen in the nomination of the Dubrovnik Palace Hotel. That is to say, the Dubrovnik Hotel was the first Croatian hotel to be nominated for an award by the prestigious World Travel Awards.

This is the tourism Oscar award in the category of the best resort hotel in Europe, where it has to compete with tough competition from 19 luxury hotels from Spain, Italy, France, Greece and many others. This is only one of the factors, which should result in an increase in the number of tourists this season. An enormous influx of visitors is expected from Germany, Italy, Slovenia, Austria, Poland, France and the USA. The best-known American tourist guide,Arthur Frommers, has issued its first independent guide to Croatia, with 340 pages including all destinations in Croatia, from Dubrovnik, Dalmatia, Istria, continental Croatia, Zagreb and the surrounding area, Zagorje, Slavonia and Podravina. There is a great deal of interest being shown in the USA in terms of cruising tourism in Croatia, primarily in Dubrovnik, which is one of the worlds elite destinations. This year 17 cruising companies from the USA are bringing 30 floating hotels to the Adriatic coast, in package arrangements from Rovinj to Dubrovnik. As many as 290 visits by mini cruisers are planned to 15 Croatian towns. So the potential of Croatian tourism is enormous and to a large extent can be exploited. Beyond its rich and recognizable scenery, Croatia has a fascinating history and culture, which each year, in terms of the number of interested visitors, is rated ever higher on the international market.

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VUKOVAR CITY

Vukovar is situated in North-east part of Croatia and it is the centre of Vukovarsko-srijemska County. It lies on mouth of river Vuka in Danube. Thanks to the specificity of its geographical position, which is primarily noted by international navigable line river Danube, Vukovar presents significant traffic node of backbone directions. It has good traffic connections with neighbouring countries Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary and Serbia and Monte Negro. Vukovar is 16 kilometres away from City of Vinkovci, the biggest railway node in Croatia. By building airport Klisa, this area was also included in air traffic. Planed multipurpose canal Danube-Sava, which will connect those two rivers between Vukovar and Bosanski amac, is a part of the future Danube valley-Adriatic combined river-railway traffic corridor. Starting point of the canal is placed in the area of todays Port Vukovar. By this canal Vukovar will gain traffic and strategic importance for the transit of goods through this part of Europe. Vukovar is expected to be main Croatian river port with the characteristics of big international commercial, merchant and production zone. All this places Vukovar among most significant points of backbone traffic routes of Croatia, and especially of international goods transit. Inhabitation of Vukovar area is traced continuously throughout 5 thousand years by numerous archaeological sites. Dove of Vuedol (Vuedolska golubica) is an archaeological find from the era of Vuedol culture, which lasted from 3000 year B.C. to 2200 year B.C. This culture originated on the area of East Slavonija and Srijem, with the main finding site

in Vuedol, Sarva and Srijem, and it had spread to wide European areas. Ritual pot Vuedolska golubica is considered to be one of the symbols of Vukovar. Vuedol is also a well known excursion site, paradise for fishermen with marvellous sand beach on Eagles Island. Attractive mouth of river Vuka in Danube, boulevards along Danube and arranged beaches enables sports and recreation activities throughout the year. Complete progress of Vukovar area till 1945 is narrowly tied to Vukovar manor of Eltz Counts. In 1867 Vukovar founded a printing house, which printed the first Vukovar papers in German Der Syrmier Bote. The oldest literature pieces from this area originate from Vukovar and Srijem Franciscans. The most famous writers from Vukovar area are Nikola Andri, Julije Benei and Antun Gustav Mato. Vukovar has its own Nobel prise winner Lavoslav Ruika, who won the Nobel prise for chemistry in 1939. Castle of family Eltz from 18th century, baroque buildings in the towns centre, Franciscan monastery, St. Jakov church, orthodoxy church of St. Nikolaj and many other constructions, are excerpted among numerous attractive structures, unfortunately ruined during the war. Issues of Vukovar economy are exceptionally complex and need to be seen within consequences of war. Till 1991 Vukovar was one of the main carriers of economy progress of all Croatia, and ex Yugoslavia. Numerous facilities of the town till the beginning of the war are still even todays unrealized wishes to many other

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Dunav Sava Canal


Croatian government will start a new process of investment in infrastructure, by the end of this year. In explanation, construction of Dunav-Sava Canal, by its size, importance and value, surpasses previous projects, including actual construction of highways. This mega-project of Croatian government is based on exploitation of potential of Vukovar Port, as one of the most perspective Croatian river ports. Over 4.5 billion kuna is invested in the realization of this construction project. Construction is planned to be ended by 2013. Goal of the whole project is to transfer the majority of cargo traffic, from Asia to middle Europe, to Croatian river traffic corridor. Dunav- Sava Canal will be used for agriculture, traffic and water management, from Vukovar to amac. Its three main purposes are: watering, navigation and drainage. Canal also represents the shortest navigable connection towards Western and Eastern Europe. By its construction, navigable journey is shortened for 417 km towards west and 85 km towards east. According to construction plans, Canal is supposed to intersect Slavonija till Vukovar. The bottom of the Canal is 34 meters wide, (vodno lice?) is 58 meters wide and the depth is 4 meters. The dug up material from the Canal will be used to fill the highway of Corridor Vc. Furthermore, this Canal will enable watering of 30 percent of all anticipated surfaces, according to the National program of watering for all Croatia. By its construction, structure of agriculture in Slavonija will be significantly changed. Farmers will pass over to breeding cultures such as fruit and vegetables, instead of current extensive cultures which brings small profit pro hectare. Traffic capacity through the Canal will be 12 million tons of cargo annually, and it will have the same flotation as Sava has. This way Canal enables continuation of cargo traffic without trans-shipment. Economic validity of the Canal construction is clear, it opens new workplaces, continues construction employment even after the construction of highways and accents the importance of Vukovar Port, which will completely use its potential and become important node of traffic connection between North and Black Sea. By construction of the Canal and development of Vukovar Port, development of ports of Sisak, Slavonski brod and Osijek will be activated like domino effect. Traffic experts of European Union and traffic management in general tend to shift the traffic from roads to rivers. Besides being cheaper and ecologically more acceptable than road traffic, other advantages are incomparable: longer objects lifetime, smaller energy usage, higher safety, smaller transport costs, and competitiveness and placement of Croatian products in world market. Canal construction and Vukovar Port development project has exceptionally big economic importance for Croatia, and its realization will leave the mark, not only on European market, but also on process of accession negotiations with European Union.

Croatian cities. For example, just Borovo Combine halls and shops employed more than 22 000 workers. In addition to those facts, there was big number of employees in VUPIK, VUTEKS, as well as in many small economies, which placed Vukovar on the top of economy statistic lists. Vukovar has a huge potential definitely, and among many other advantages there is Port Vukovar, which could be the base of the future progress of town and this part of Croatia. Construction beginning of a new part of the Port has been announced and 40 million euros will be invested in this project in next five years. In spite of many problems Vukovar economy wins better and better results each year, which are the consequence of the great effort of domestic people. For further growth it is necessary to have investments from other parts of Croatia, as well as from abroad. Precondition of the progress is definitely privatisation. In Croatian economy chamber development of new productions is considered to be necessary for further progress. Today, Vukovar is peculiar for numerous benefits which can be gained only here. Besides Law of reconstruction of Vukovar and Law of the areas of special States care, local municipality offers many conveniences. Entrepreneur Zone Priljevo, which contains 18 parcels for entrepreneurs, opens this December, and opening of Economic and Free Zones is also in preparation. If we add to the Zones other advantages like Danube, Port Vukovar, road corridors, railway nodes in Vinkovci, geographic position and nearness of the borders, it is clear that Vukovar economy has a bright future. At the end, let us stress that Vukovar is not and can never be just a fact. It is way beyond any fact or any memory, weather it is beautiful or painful.

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THE NORTHERN VELEBIT NATIONAL PARK

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The Northern Velebit National Park


The whole Velebit mountain was designated a nature park in 1981, and today it embeds two national parks - Paklenica in the south and Northern Velebit (Sjeverni Velebit) in the northern part of the mountain. The Northern Velebit National Park is the youngest Croatian park, founded in 1999. The area was designated a national park due to its richness of karst phenomena, outstanding biodiversity and exquisitely beautiful nature on a relatively small area. The Parks surface is approximately 109 km2, and inside there is the Hajduki & Roanski Ledges Strict Reserve, founded in 1969, famous for its geomorphologic phenomena - the pits. Until now, there are more than 200 pits discovered, out of which the most famous is Lukes pit, 1392 meters deep, discovered in 1992. It is forbidden to tread through the reserve (except passing through the Premuis trail), and only scientific researches and educational visits are allowed. As parts of the park, there are the Visibaba botanical reserve, famous for its endemic plant Croatian Sibiraea (Sibiraea altaiensis ssp. croatica), and the Zavian-BalinovacVelika kosa botanical reserve, which is a collection of species of the mountain flora. Inside the reserve there is a widely known Velebit Botanical Garden, founded by the pharmacology professor Fran Kuan in 1967. The Park is striped with a dense net of mountaineering trails. The most famous and widely known is the Premuis trail, named after its constructor, forester Ante Premui, who built it in the period between 1930-1933. The trail runs through the most beautiful and the most interesting parts of the Park (the strict reserve). From the numerous peaks in the surroundings you can enjoy a magnificent view to the Adriatic Sea and its islands, as well as to the continental side filled with vast karst fields and numerous mountain peaks. The Parks cultural value is present in a form of a large number of ruins of the so-called summer lodges, which witness of the ages passed and long forgotten, when Velebit was inhabited by the numerous population of shepherds and cattle-owners. On its coastal banks there are many ruined houses, lodges and stonewalls which once marked the specific lifestyle of the local

population who scattered all around the globe in the days to come, leaving nothing but traces of their presence on this remarkably beautiful and exquisite land. The greatest wealth of the Parks natural values lie in the karst phenomena and the biodiversity of the mountain flora, which owes its existence to the fact that the mountain is actually a border between the two huge climatic regions - the Mediterranean and the continental. There are more than 1500 plant species inside the park, and many of those are endemic. The presence of all four large carnivores which inhabit Croatia (brown bear, wolf, lynx and wild cat) proves the stabile and sound ecosystem, still undamaged by generic pollution or the influence of men - the fact is that there are no permanent tenants inside the Park. The karst phenomena - pits, first of all, together with numerous karrens, sinkholes, valleys etc. are a result of the joint influence of water, wind, composition of rocks and tectonics. The rainfall gets more or less acidic while

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passing through the atmosphere, thus causing melting of the softer part of rocks (i.e., calcium carbonate) and the genesis of a variety of surface and subterranean karst formations, the Parks most important natural wealth.

Offer to the visitors


Inside the headquarters of the Public Institution which runs the Park, situated in the village Krasno, visitors can have all the necessary information they need regarding trails, paths and the most recent info about the conditons on the main access roads, as well as the multimedia presentation. It is also possible to hire a guide for a half-day or a whole-day period, which includes guidance to the Zavian weather station, the Velebit Botanical Garden and some parts of the famous

Premuis trail. The newly-opened visitors centre in Senj also offers all these information to the visitors coming from the Adriatic coast, as well as the large collection of souvenirs, posters, brochures etc, while on-line touch-screen info-kiosk provides an enjoyable and easy linkage to the entire world. In the Northern Velebit National Park the visitors can enjoy not only the pristine, intact wilderness and the magnificent views to the sea and the inland, but also experience the very intimate contact with nature and the times long ago passed beyond the horizon of time - the Park is far away from any large industrial objects or huge settlements, its remarkable features offer peace and consolation to anyone who is bold enough to tread its paths.

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OLIVE GROWING
water. The first presses were exclusively hand driven, using human muscle power, later hydraulics, motors, and then electricity. Today olive growing is considered to be a branch of agriculture, which for several years now has seen significant advances in the increasing number of fruit-bearing trees and an increase in the production of olive oil. The reason for this is the high price of olive oil. Due to the exceptionally favourable natural conditions, the long tradition in production and especially because this work is a supplement to work in tourism and other work, there is a great possibility that the number of olive trees will increase, along with the production of olive oil. The fact is that the natural conditions exist for planting a much larger number of olive trees and producing olive oil than we have at present and the potential has not been fully exploited. It is thought that about 40,000 olive growers are involved in this work today, with a very high average age (about 65 years). There are 100 oil works for processing olives. According to figures from the Central State Statistical Bureau, the largest number of olive trees is in the Split-Dalmatia County (34%), then the Dubrovnik-Neretva County (20%), the ibenik County (5%) and the Zadar County (15%), Istrian County (11%), the Primorsko-goranska County (4%) and Lika-Senj County (1%). About 30,000 tons of olives are picked each year in Croatia (in 2002 a record 45,000 tons were processed) and from this about 4,500,000 kg of olive oil is produced. According to figures from the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, in 2002 Croatia imported about 1,400 tons of oil from EU countries, and exported about 350 tons. In the planting season in 2003/04, according to figures from the Institute for Seed and Seedlings, 211,000 olive tree seedlings were produced in Croatia in 11 nurseries. It is thought that about 40,000 seedlings will be imported, and about 50,000 seedlings will be produced outside the Institute. The aims of the Operative Program for the four year period (2004 to 2007) are: to plant at least 5,500 hectares of new olive groves and become self-sufficient in the production of olive oil, being self-sufficient in the production of seedlings, providing all conditions (land, the production of seed material, subsidies, loans) vital for the continuous planting of new olive groves. The operative program to raise new plantations of olive groves to cover 5,500 hectares which has been adopted is considered to be most realistic in its implementation since it means raising 1,500 hectares a year, which has been achieved so far.

The olive is thought to be one of the oldest foods, originating in Crete. It is mentioned in the Bible, in works of ancient Egyptian civilization, and it played a major role in Greek mythology, where it is mentioned that the olive was created when the goddess Athena, in a contest with Poseidon, threw a drop of water onto a rock, from where an olive tree grew. From ancient times the olive tree has provided food, been used for fuel and building material, and its fruit for treating illnesses. It was considered to be a symbol of peace and wisdom. Olives are a kind of fruit from the Olea europaea tree. Due to their high fat content (15-35%) olives were named from the Latin word olea, which means oil. They blossom in April and May and their fruit is harvested in the Autumn. In the time when the technology of processing had not yet been developed, some of the unripe olives were picked in September and soaked for a while in sea water, after which they were washed and stored in stone or glass jars, and covered in sea water with the addition of sprigs of fennel. Prepared in this way, they could be eaten right up to the following Spring. Black, completely ripe olives were salted and stored in permeable jars or woven baskets. Today, olives are picked in October and November. Some are picked while they are still green and not yet ripe, and others are left to ripen completely and become black. However, the black colour may be attained it the unripe green olives are left out in the air, and they turn a darker colour by further oxidation. Olives were processed in two ways. In the old days, olives were crushed by foot, and even by hand, where hot water was poured onto them in specially made woolen sacks. More recently olives were ground and the flesh strained in special presses, also using hot

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CULTURE
The Schwarzoplan or the sad story of Mr. Schwarz
You probably have never heard of David Schwarz, a wood merchant from Zagreb, but also a gifted visionary, a self-taught builder and inventor of the controllable aluminium airship, with whom fate played cruel tricks. Count Zeppelin, of whom in contrast everyone has heard, apart from being a general in the German cavalry, was President of the Society for the Promotion of Air Travel and after determined efforts managed to buy all David Schwarzs plans and patents. Schwarz today is claimed by the Hungarians - he has been proclaimed a Hungarian inventor since he was born somewhere near Lake Balaton. He is also claimed by the Austrians, who consider him to be an Austrian inventor since he worked in Croatia, which was at that time only a province of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and he died in Vienna. Unfortunately, neither of them, and not even Croatia, the country he called his homeland and with which all his life and creative work were linked, did not understand him at that time, nor recognize his value. So not even in Zagreb did he find much understanding for his inventions, a lack of money determined his destiny on more than one occasion, along with the destiny of his inventions, and the indifference of those around him could be called the story of his life. After several attempts to interest investors in building an airship, he signed a contract with the Prussian government on building his flying machine. The German government, which hoped to find a new and powerful weapon in this airship, gave him a workshop with workmen at Berlin Templehof. The ironworks owner Karl Berg, Schwarzs future partner, also became involved in the work. With Berg he was to perfect the aluminium alloy dural known as Schwarzs aluminium, which was much stronger than ordinary aluminium, from which he built the framework of the airship. It was precisely this framework that was one of the special features of Schwarzs invention, in comparison with previous airship constructors, since the new alloy made it possible to reduce the weight and create the all important solution the use of a metal construction for a flying machine. Moreover, Schwarz introduced a new strengthening system based on the equal distribution of pressure throughout the shape and a firm system of clamps by which the gondola was connected to the frame of the ship. A major innovation was the possibility of steering the ship both vertically and horizontally. The entire construction was covered in a metal covering made of dural, thereby the idea of a balloon made of silk and wood was completely abandoned. With a great deal of difficulty, it was finished in the summer of 1896. It was 48 meters long, weighing three and a half tons, and 12 m in diameter. On the aluminium construction a gondola was fixed with a Daimler 16 horsepower engine, with a propeller almost three meters in diameter and two side propellers. The side propellers were Schwarzs original invention: he used them like rudders, with the possibility of individually altering the number of revolutions. The airship was

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photo courtesy of the Technical Museum, Zagreb

covered in aluminium foil 0.2 mm thick, could travel at a speed of 25 km/h with the possibility of rising to a height of 250 m. An unofficial flight took place on 8th October 1896. The airship was flown by Schwarz himself, rising above the ground with the engine and propellers working correctly. Despite problems with fuel, Schwarz was overjoyed, and already had visions of increasing the power of the engine, which would make it possible to transport larger weights and more passengers. But the experiment remained unofficial and unknown to the wider public, since only those taking part in it were present at the time, and so they were not competent to confirm the authenticity of the flight. A new test flight was planned officially for 15th January 1897 before Kaiser Wilhelm II and a military commission. General Ferdinand von Zeppelin was also extremely interested in the experiment; in fact he offered to cooperate in the work, which Schwarz determinedly rejected, believing the idea of a controllable aluminium airship to be solely his. A few days before the flight, Schwarz, who was mocked for having creating a flying cigar, said goodbye to his family in Zagreb with the fatal words, They dont believe me now, but they will when I am dead! His first stop on his way to Berlin was in Vienna, where he spent the night, sending a telegram to the organizing committee announcing his arrival and asking them to begin filling the ship with hydrogen. On the following day, at lunch, he was suddenly taken ill and, suffering a

stroke, he fell dead to the floor. The flight was naturally cancelled, and his unhappy widow, who at first refused to talk to Count Zeppelin, gave in after several years and signed a contract handing all the plans for the airship over to him under title Schwarz II. The contract did not deny the fact that the controllable airship was the invention of David Schwarz, but with the building of successive airships it was gradually and unjustly kept quiet. Major Gross, although he was a German officer, led by a feeling for justice, exposed the Count however, publicly stating that he was wearing borrowed plumes, for which Zepplin challenged him to a duel. Kaiser Wilhelm II himself prevented the duel and adjudicated predictably: the controllable airship was to be a German invention. Major Gross did not dare confront the Kaiser, and the name of David Schwarz, the creator of the first controllable airship with a metal construction and a built-in petrol engine, gradually faded into obscurity. The airship LZ-129 even flew around the world, but the development of the Schwarzoplan was halted with the crash of the most perfect airship of its kind, the Hindenburg, in 1937 exactly 40 years after the death of the inventor, David Schwarz. His premature death and the influence and position of Count Zeppelin contributed to the fact that the history of inventions records the would-be Schwarzoplan as the Zeppelin. Right up until the present day, Schwarzs contribution to the world history of air travel has not been truly appreciated.

Some Croatian families still keep antique Christmass tree ornaments in shape of the rst zeppelin model

photo courtesy of Mr. Drago Krajcer

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SPORT
The Snow Queen of the Worlds Ski Slopes
Croatia is a small country, but a small country with great sporting achievements! We can say with complete assurance, that Croatian sportsmen and women have left their clear mark on a world scale. But one name amongst them stands out in particular. The name of the Croatian Snow Queen of the slalom and giant slalom, the name of Janica Kosteli! A girl, whose appearance and presence evoke fear and respect on the icy slopes of the world. She has now modestly added one more title to all her sporting achievements. Simply: the best sportswoman in the World! That is to say, in the Barcelona Forum, at a glamorous dinner at the Laureus Academy, 42 retired sporting legends of all time, such as Pele, Becker, McEnroe, Jordan, Navratilova, Moses in tough competition, and in seven categories, selected the inner circle of the sporting elite for the title of the best of the best. Although this was not the first, but the fourth nomination for Croatia, only Goran Ivanievi received the award in 2002. His magnificent victory at Wimbledon in 2001 made him the Comeback of the Year. Janica Kosteli had been nominated as many as three times. But she finally attained the Laureus statuette, regardless of the epic victories she had been collecting, only on her fourth attempt. She succeeded after two nominations for the Comeback of the Year and her second nomination for the sportswoman of the year. Finally the Croatian snow queen became the worlds snow queen of the ski slopes, on 22nd May 2006. Janica Kosteli walked down the red carpet of the Barcelona Forum, as the best sportswoman on earth. For the first time a Croatian woman deservedly walked in amongst the worlds sporting legends!

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But after receiving the award, after the most glamorous sporting election in the world, recognition for all her effort did not end there. These were definitely days of gathering in a harvest for Janica Kosteli, in the course of only two days. For after the dazzle of Barcelona, Janica Kosteli shone once again on 24th May 2006 in Paris. This time it was the award by the French Sporting Academy known as Monique Berlioux. It is awarded to the sportswoman who is outstanding in the year by her results and personality. The three gold medals won by our Janica Kosteli at the world championships in 2005 were the winning combination, raising her up onto the pedestal in the city of lights. However this is only one of her exceptional sporting achievements, there is no end to our Janica Kosteli! She is unstoppable, indestructible, unbreakable and simply unbeatable. She is definitely the Croatian but also the worlds snow queen of the ski slope.