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This category contains 10 posts

Ban on protests in a Zagreb square ‘only slightly unconstitutional’

Croatian Constitutional Court has struck down the ban on holding protests in St. Mark’s Square in Zagreb – the location of the seat of the Parliament, the Government and the Constitutional Court itself – but has decided the ban, although unconstitutional, should be in effect for another year to give the Government enough time to … Continue reading

Viviane Reding says Croatia is doing great in EU negotiations. But does it really?

Feathers were flying the last time the European Commissioner for Justice Viviane Reding was in Zagreb in September, as she blasted the Croatian judiciary for being inefficient and slow.   “Madame Prime Minister, we will not accept half-solutions,” she said in the press conference with the Croatian head of government. “We will not be looking … Continue reading

Croatia to introduce prison sentences for libel

The new Croatian Penal Code might introduce prison sentences for journalists who deliberately spread lies, and fines for ‘gossip’ even if it is true. The mere fact that our Penal Code will have a section called Crimes Against Honor and Reputation reminds me of countries like Iran. I wonder if law professors who support it … Continue reading

‘Welfare state chauvinism’, pension reform and Catholic Church’s office for relations with Islam: What I’ve learned during a week in France

The French embassy in Zagreb brought four of us journos from Croatia for a week in Paris in December. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Well, in certain ways it was: we had tons of rendez-vous with people from various institutions. It was all off the record though. But, in no particular order, here’s what I’ve learned: … Continue reading

24 Hours of Journalistic Hell: How I Wrote an Article Faster Than the Times

I was translating Slavoj Zizek’s essay for my paper yesterday, struggling with Lacanian terminology in Croatian, but actually enjoying it. I didn’t complain, though some of his sentences drove me crazy. Everything was great until 4 p.m., which is the time when I normally start thinking about going home. And then it struck. My editors … Continue reading

Women, politics and fashion

Croatian Prime Minister recently complained about the media writing about her clothes, instead of what she does, and I was there to hear it. Speaking at the conference titled Women Leaders in Politics in Zagreb, Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor said: “It is extremely important that the media promote gender equality in political life. Because, it … Continue reading

Yes, I’m that naive, I gave money for Haiti

I was so happy that my paycheck finally arrived yesterday that I immediately donated a small amount to the Red Cross for Haiti. “Really? I was thinking about it too, but then thought of all the aid abuse and corruption,” said a colleague. “In that case, of course, doing nothing is way better than doing … Continue reading

Poverty in Europe & Relative Truth

About 17 percent of European Union citizens lived in poverty in 2008, according to a new Eurostat study. The rates of poverty are the highest in Latvia (26%), Romania (23%), Bulgaria (21%), Greece, Spain and Lithuania (20%). But, these figures actually conceal the truth – because the line of poverty in this study is different … Continue reading

Croatian and Slovenian prime ministers ‘flirt’ for the camera

Meeting at Slovenian ski resort of Kranjska Gora, prime ministers of Slovenia and Croatia radiated today in front of more than 100 journalists accredited for their meeting. As the photographers clicked away at the two heads of government sitting in front of the fireplace, Slovenian PM Borut Pahor said that the “flame might die” before … Continue reading

Rules of life from a polling station

Croatia voted for its third president (in fact, if we counted it like Americans do, it would be the fifth) today. I voted, not early and only once, but still. My polling station is in a school, the classroom 2A. On their walls, rules of life: We use only nice words. We comfort those who … Continue reading