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By Nenad N. Bach | Published 05/8/2003 | Business | Unrated



The American-Croatian Chamber of Commerce for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut was established on March 12, 1999. In the past four years, the Chamber has worked as a not-for-profit organization. The members of the Chamber, through their work and contributions, have promoted the development of business links among Croats in this part of the United States.
We believe that the time has come for the Chamber to professionalize its activities. Our members and other Croatian-Americans in our community have told us that they want an organization that will provide quick dissemination of information concerning economic matters in Croatia and the possibility of investing there, and which will build links with those who have had a positive experience in working with Croatia. As a result, we have decided to propose the professionalization of the American-Croatian Chamber of Commerce.
We invite business people of Croatian descent to come together on May 9, 2003 at the Terrace in the Sky located at 400 West 119th Street, New York, New York to support the growth of a professional, non-political organization to represent our common interests.
In order to professionalize our organization, it is necessary to employ at least one person and acquire necessary equipment to work on, among other things, the following projects:
- publishing a Croatian-American Yellow Pages which will contain information concerning business people and business in this area as well as important contact information for institutions in Croatia and America which deal with economic and immigrant issues;
- publishing a newsletter containing current news, reports and interviews with successful business people and economists as well as creating and maintaining a web site;
- providing quick and current information concerning relevant laws and information regarding investments in Croatia;
- investigating the market (in cooperation with marketing companies in the US and Croatia) for the needs of the members of the Chamber;
- cooperating with Croatian and American businesses in promoting exports and imports between the US and Croatia; and
- providing other services which a professional Chamber of Commerce can provide to its members.
We believe that you will agree with us that the successful professionalization of the work of the Chamber would be of great use not only for business people but for the Croatian community as a whole. We believe you already know the importance of establishing ties between Croatian-American business people. As a result, we ask that you join us at the Terrace in the Sky on May 9, 2003 to collect the necessary funds to professionalize the work of our Chamber.
For further information, please call 718 219-9172, or call Terrace in the Sky for reservations at 212-666-9490.

Board of the American-Croatian Chamber of Commerce.

Sanja Floricic-Bogovic

translated by John Kraljic

» (E) Croatia - Sweden 2:0
By Nenad N. Bach | Published 05/4/2003 | Sports | Unrated


Croatia- Sweden 2:0

Sweden's Christoffer Andersson, left, follows Croatia's JosipSimunic during the friendly national soccer match Sweden vs Croatia at RasundaStadium in Stockholm, Sweden Wednesday April 30 2003. (AP Photo/Pressens Bild/OlaTorkelsson)

» (E) Zvonareva wins in Bol, Croatia
By Nenad N. Bach | Published 05/4/2003 | Sports | Unrated


Zvonarevawins in Croatiafor first title

Posted: Sunday May 04, 2003 10:43 AM

BOL, Croatia (Ticker) -- Vera Zvonareva earned her maiden victory Sunday witha 6-1, 6-3 rout of Conchita Martinez Granados in the final of the Croatian BolLadies Open claycourt tennis event.

The 18-year-old Russian triumphed in her second career championship match,earning $27,000. She lost her first final in Palermo last year in three hours toMariana Diaz-Oliva.

Zvonareva was a lot fresher Sunday. The third seed won her third consecutivematch in straight sets and dropped just one set this week.

Zvonareva, had a breakout year in 2002 when she went from No. 371 to No. 45.She has stepped up to the next level this year, reaching quarterfinals at herfirst two events in Auckland and Hobart and two more at Tier I events at IndianWells and Charleston. This win will help her reach her goal of joining the top20.

It was the first WTA Tour championship match for Martinez Granados. The27-year-old Spaniard had won 10 career ITF crowns but has not been able totranslate that success to the top circuit.

» (E) Picula Powell
By Nenad N. Bach | Published 05/4/2003 | Politics | Unrated


Picula - Powell

U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell (R) posess forphotographers for a family photo with the foreign ministers of Albania Ilir Meta(L), Croatia Tonino Picula (2L), and Macedonia Ilenka Mitreva, in Tirana, May 2,2003. Powell signed with the three Balkan countries that were left out from thelatest NATO enlargement round, the Adriatic Charter, envisaging theircoordinated efforts to achieve NATO membership with U.S. backing. REUTERS/ArbenCeli

» (H) Filip Malaric
By Nenad N. Bach | Published 05/4/2003 | People | Unrated


Filip Malaric

Pobjednik Djecijeg Festivalau New Yorku 2003


Bok Gosp. Bach,

Ja sam rodjen 22.05.1992.godine,u Zaboku. Sa pune cetiri godine dosao sam
u Ameriku. Sada zivim u Queens-u. Idem u peti razred. Odlican sam ucenik. Gotovo
sve predmete volim u skoli, ali odvajam matematiku i povijest. Pjevam u skolskom
zboru. Volim igrati tenis. U slobodno vrijeme citam knjige i pisem price. Volim
crtati, ali kao i svaki moj vrsnjak, volim provoditi vrijeme istrazivajuci na
kompjuteru. Bio sam ucesnik na djecjem festivalu svake godine. Puno hvala svima
koji su omogucili da se ta manifestacija odrzi. Ja volim sve sto me okruzuje.
Evo, to bi bilo sve za sada. Puno pozdrava.

Bog i Hrvati,
Filip Malaric  

Croatian Children's and Youth Festival
Croatian Children Festival
Sunday March 23, 2003

Photos available at:

» (E) CNN Why do people love to wear fatigues?
By Nenad N. Bach | Published 05/4/2003 | Opinions | Unrated


Why do people love to wear fatigues? 

This must really hurt - to make so obvious how irrelevant the 
biggest news network may become if it looses its independence.

Saddam was never in army, but his entire tenure as president he 
wore military garb. GW Bush was dodging his military duty as 
much as he could, yet know he hails us from front pages of 
American dailies in an air force suit, modern day's Ceasar's choice 
of clothes. Why do people, who were awkward, good-for-nothing as 
soldiers, love to wear fatigues? I mean I am one of them and I don't 
know the answer...


» (E) A boy and A Veteran
By Nenad N. Bach | Published 05/4/2003 | In Memoriam | Unrated


A Croatian army veteran of the 1991 war in a wheelchair and aboy attend the funeral of Croatian Army Gen. Janko Bobetko at Zagreb's Mirogojcemetery Friday May 2, 2003. Wartime army chief Bobetko, hailed at home as ahero of Croatia's 1991 struggle for independence but charged with war crimes bya U.N. court, died Tuesday April 29. He was 84. (AP Photo/Hrvoje Knez)

» (E) Dubrovnik: A History by Robin Harris - Important new book
By Nenad N. Bach | Published 05/4/2003 | History | Unrated


Dubrovnik: A History

by Robin Harris

Dear All 

An important new book is coming out in a few weeks
time. It is entitled Dubrovnik: A History and is by
Robin Harris, a top adviser to Margaret Thatcher.

Prominent Croat linguist and historian Dr Branko
Franolic who helped Mr Harris on the book, praises it
most highly. 

It is important this book does well, and should be
purchased for yourselves, friends, family, libraries

Order now from your bookstores. I note it is
available for pre-order already at amazon UK, at a
reduced price. (at the moment!). They take overseas

Details: Saqi Books, London. ISBN: 0863563325 
550 pages

Amazon UK link at: 


Brian Gallagher

» (E) Encyclopedia Britannica 2002 Year in Review - CROATIA
By Nenad N. Bach | Published 05/2/2003 | Data | Unrated

Encyclopedia Britannica 2002 Year in Review

by Max Primorac

Area: 56,542 sq km (21,831 sq mi)
Population (2002 est.): 4,405,000
Capital: Zagreb
Chief of state: President Stipe Mesic
Head of government: Prime Minister Ivica Racan

In 2002 Croatia continued to see its political landscape fragment and the broad-based ruling coalition split further amid slow economic recovery. On July 5 the five-party coalition government of Prime Minister Ivica Racan re-signed, only to reconstitute itself absent the second largest party in the coalition, the Croatian Social Liberal Party (HSLS), following the latter’s refusal to support ratification of a Croatia-Slovenia agreement concerning joint custodianship of the Krsko nuclear power plant. The break between Racan’s Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the HSLS, led by Deputy Prime Minister Drazen Budisa, reflected long-brewing ideological differences over basic policy decisions made by the SDP-led government. Disaffected deputies from the HSLS, led by Defense Minister Jozo Rados, who had been soundly defeated by Budisa for party president on February 2, rebelled in support of the SDP and founded a new party, Libra. 

The flap over Krsko, however, was just one of many disputes between the two neighbours. In August and September a squabble over territorial boundaries in the Bay of Piran that pitted Slovenian against Croatian fishermen turned into a full-fledged diplomatic crisis. These and other serious border disputes with Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Serbia highlighted the country’s inability to extricate itself from unresolved post-secessionist problems stemming from the breakup of Yugoslavia more than a decade earlier. Though Croatia was admitted into NATO’s Membership Action Plan and initialed its formal application for full membership on May 14, it was apparent by year’s end that the government would fail to deliver on its major electoral promise of securing Croatia’s early admission into NATO and the European Union—essential steps in the country's integration into Western Europe. The end of the United Nations’ monitoring mission in the strategic Prevlaka Peninsula on December 15 restored Croatia’s sovereignty over its full territory, however. 

With hopes for early integration dashed, public confidence in the government's ability to resolve the many pressing economic problems—especially an unemployment rate of 22% and the need to face further painful cuts in social welfare spending—also lessened. Revenues expected from the privatization of major energy state enterprises did not materialize, and the foreign investment needed to boost job creation remained weak. The important tourist trade proved resilient, however, increasing 4% and helping the government to register a modest 4% growth in gross domestic product. 

The truncated SDP-led coalition still enjoyed a comfortable parliamentary majority after the split with the HSLS. Growing public dissatisfaction with its performance at home and abroad, however, coupled with the reemergence of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), the party that previously had governed the country, as a viable centre-right alternative to the centre-left coalition, raised speculation about early elections. Moderate nationalist Ivo Sanader, a former deputy foreign minister, was elected president of the HDZ on April 22, and the expulsion of the HDZ’s hard-line wing a few months later gave new shape and vitality to the Croatian political scene. The prospect of an HDZ-led centre-right coalition with participation by the HSLS and other like-minded smaller parties invigorated the country's political scene. 

Croatian politicians were of a single mind on one issue, however. On September 27 Parliament unanimously backed the government's legal challenge to the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, which had indicted retired general Janko Bobetko, a wartime commander and Croatian hero, as a war criminal. This rare broad-based political consensus reflected frustration with recent indictments by the tribunal in The Hague that seemed implicitly to revise and even criminalize Croatia’s homeland war for independence. 

Croatia’s skiing sensation Janica Kostelic became a national icon in February after winning a record four medals at the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah. (See BIOGRAPHIES.) On March 11 Franjo Cardinal Kuharic, one of Croatia’s most influential post-World War II religious leaders, died. (See OBITUARIES.) Kuharic was a symbol of the nation's resistance to communism and an advocate of ethnic and political tolerance. 

» (E) DruzbAdria and The Goose?s Golden Egg
By Nenad N. Bach | Published 04/29/2003 | Politics | Unrated


StoryAbout The Goose

Do you remember the story about the goose which delighted her owner by laying one golden egg each morning? But that because of his greed and impatience, the owner decided not to wait for the solitary egg, concluding that if he killed the goose and took that magical source of gold from her belly, he would have as many golden eggs as he wanted? 
Then you already know the end to that enlightening tale.

The agreement which the Croatian government initialed at the beginning of this year regarding formation of the multinational oil cartel DruzbAdria, and expansion of the terminal in Omisalj (on Krk Island) for loading oil, is vividly reminiscent of this story. Leaving greed aside, there is not one sensible reason for such a decision, while reasons against it are plentiful. 

Let us begin with the economic benefits, of marked importance in this era of Croatia’s post-war economic development. As I read in the Croatian press, servicing Russian exporters would garner revenues of around $30.000.000 in the first year, $50.000.000 in the second, and $80.000.000 in the third.

According to some sources, Croatia made 4.5 billion dollars last year from tourism. According to other sources, that number was 7.5 billion. Economic projections for the future are even better. And one day, when roads are modernized and some bright soul plans how to develop tourism by relying on local suppliers of healthy, good-tasting and organically-produced food and local drink, as well as adequate cultural, entertainment and sports offerings – Croatia’s tourism will be golden. 

Given the relatively humble revenue that the dirty industry of oil would generate, why, then, would the sensible champions of the Croatian nation play with fire?

A claim such as: “because Croatia has international responsibilities that it must respect, above all the responsibility that it provide everyone free access to its capacities without discrimination,” made by Vesna Trnokop-Tanta (Janaf Administration’s president), is misplaced. According to which international statute does any country have this responsibility?

“Novi List” from Rijeka reports that Croatian experts in the Scientific Council for Oil and in the Organization of Oil Engineers and Geologists at their recent meeting concluded that: “in the 80s, and again at the beginning of the 90s, all ecological issues relating to this project were resolved.” It also states that some scientists advised that the “furor about ballast water which tankers would dump in the Adriatic Sea, is unnecessary.” Namely, they are convinced that the danger of pollution from oil is minimal if “great care” is taken in security measures and strict ecological protection is carried out. The claim is that even though the Janaf terminal on Krk Island has functioned for several years already, serving to load oil intended for Croatian refineries for domestic use and to export oil derivatives to neighboring countries, it has not caused any “great problems”. (The fact that Omisalj and its environs is a dead tourist zone appears to be the problem of the local population.) Aside from this, Janaf will undertake “all necessary measures” so that every accidental leak of oil is immediately attended to. Someone even stated with pride, “We already have $12.000.000 in the clean-up fund!” Is that a bad joke, or are Croatian geologists and engineers really so inexperienced? How many of them carefully studied the “Exxon Valdez” accident and the billions upon billions of dollars of damage that it caused (and continues to cause today!) to Alaska’s tourism and fishing industries? Great economic damage was caused in Europe by accidents of the “Erika” and the “Prestige” tankers in the Atlantic. Do those Croatian experts really believe that America, France, Spain, and other countries are so reckless in their unquenchable thirst for oil, that they have not paid attention to navigational security and their own national ecologies? Or, perhaps they think that they know more than foreign geologists and engineers? (If the clean-ups of microscopic leaks of mazut and oil in Solin’s Jadra River, by Dobro-Lesce, Brodski Stupnik, Gracin, and elsewhere, and the pollution of the Kastel Bay and Croatian rivers are anything to go by, the opposite could be readily concluded. Just one accident by a slightly larger tanker in the closed Adriatic Sea would pose an ecological catastrophe with unforeseeable consequences, endangering the flora, fauna, fishing industry and tourism of Istria, Croatian Primorje and Dalmatia for a long (if not for all) time.

What are the chances that such accidents will occur with the massive increase in the number and size of tankers and, the more decisive variable, with the loading of oil in Omisalj? Simply put, the likelihood is far grater than the aforementioned Croatian geologists and engineers foresee (at least in the press).

However, even if such accidents do not occur in the near future, the danger posed by waste water, poisonous gases, oil and other waste, ballast water, and smaller leaks which accompany almost every loading (and unloading) of oil would soon rob the unique beauty from a small, closed sea such as the Adriatic, which is finally beginning to attract tourists on a global sale and of which Croatia has every right to be proud. Despite Janaf Administration president Vesna Trnokop-Tanta’s claims, that “oil and tourism can go together” it is sufficient to take one look at the once beautiful Kastel Bay in order to understand how industrial development and natural beauty can not coexist. It is only a matter of time before tourists will become convinced that Adriatic beaches are not any cleaner than Spanish, Italian, Greek or Turkish ones. 

Have those responsible studied the experiences of other countries with “zebra” mussels? They live in ballast water or attach themselves to the exterior shell of ships and are able to devastate local shellfish in a relatively short time or with types of algae which use up oxygen necessary for the survival of fish and underwater flora.

And what about disposal of the enormous amount of sea water which (for buoyancy) tankers must pump in wherever they unload oil, and pump out wherever they load it? Some solutions have been mentioned, including the possibility of disposing those waters at a depth “greater than 500 meters” or purifying them on shore. Anyone can see the fallacy of the first solution. And when we talk about “purification on shore,) where are facilities to dispose of the huge amount of polluted, oily sea water?

On the basis of previous experience with loading oil in Omisalj, Janaf’s experts suggest (or wish to convince themselves and the public) that the loading of oil is similar, more or less, to the unloading. This is far from the truth. First of all, the tankers which transport oil to Omisalj in order to unload, pump sea water from the Adriatic into their empty reservoirs. The tankers which will come to Omisalj will be filled with sea water from distant oceans, and will have to release ballast into the Adriatic before loading. These are clearly two very different things. 

Recently, someone threw another argument into the mix: that Trieste was just waiting for Zagreb to reconsider, so that the Italians and the Slovenians could move in on the profitable deal. The claim is that then our beautiful coastline will be polluted, while all the revenue will go to Rome and Ljubljana. After recent talks about the plan for exporting Romanian oil through the terminal on Krk Island, Romanian Premier Nastase stated: ”We wish to operationalize the Constanza-Omisalj oil pipeline project.” He pointed out the importance of the Omisalj terminal, which can take tankers with carrying capacities of up to 500 tons, unlike Trieste, which can only take tankers with capacities of up to 80 tons.” And Vesna Trnokop-Tanta adds: “Competitive oil pipelines in other countries such as Macedonia threaten Croatia, so we must not decide against DruzbAdrija.” Let us contemplate the more salient points in these statements. The truth is that Italy’s sandy Adriatic beaches are no match for the beauty of Croatia’s coast. But tourism on Italy’s Adriatic coast generates enough revenue that Rome would think seriously before making a decision that would endanger its territorial waters. We hardly have to mention the livelihoods of thousands of people who live from tourist services and who, in Italy, have a say, or to speak about “bella Venezia”. Italy would never endanger Venice’s lagoon and the gargantuan revenue which millions of tourists generate there. Trieste is practically across from it. As far as Slovenia is concerned – their politicians are sufficiently intelligent, and their coastline is short. 

Let us now consider the Constanza-Omisalj pipeline project, which is, according to Premiere Racan (as reported in the Croatian press) “no competition to the DruzbAdria project, but complimentary to it.” One glance at a map shows that Constanza is a large port on the Black Sea. Why, then, does Bucharest wish to build a pipeline hundreds of kilometers long across its territory (practically from the country’s east to west), through Vojvodina (or Serbia) to Croatia’s eastern border, and then through all of Slavonia to Sisak and to the island of Krk? If the answer is that the “Black Sea is closed” and free movement through the Bosporus and the Dardanelles questionable, why would they not build the three-times shorter pipeline Constanza-Thessaloniki, the Greek port on the Aegean Sea??

The Croatian government’s rash decision to initial DruzbAdria’s international agreement and to accept the Constanza-Omisalj project may have such disastrous consequences that both decisions ought, at the very least, to be put to a general referendum by the Croatian people. Dr. Branko Bosnjakovic, an environmental protection advisor with many years of experience in EU institutions, recently stated, according to a report in Vjesnik: “without public consensus and analysis to examine the economic, ecological, and social implications, we should not embark on a project such as DruzbAdrija”! He is right. 

Barry Brkic is a journalist who lives in Washington, DC. 

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