Zoran's Feed
Mar 31, 2015

Croatian franc loan holders threaten mass protests

ZAGREB, March 31 (Reuters) – Croatians with Swiss franc
loans have announced mass protests from April after their group
quit talks with the finance ministry and the central bank over
how to deal with the franc’s surge in value.

About 60,000 Croatians hold loans in Swiss francs, mainly
taken out during the 2000s when many in Central and Eastern
Europe were attracted by low Swiss interest rates. Since then a
strong franc has driven the loans’ costs sharply higher and
governments across the region have been grappling for solutions.

Mar 13, 2015

Croatia abandons tender to lease motorways, eyes local funds

ZAGREB, March 13 (Reuters) – Croatia has abandoned a tender
to lease the operation of its motorways to foreign companies and
will instead offer motorway shares to local pension funds and
citizens, Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic said on Friday.

Addressing a conference of exporters outside the capital,
Milanovic said there was a lot of resistance in the newest
European Union member to leasing out motorways, with opponents
calling it selling off the family silver.

Feb 27, 2015

School maths answers only a scan away with Croatian app

ZAGREB, Feb 27 (Reuters) – Damir Sabol, Croatian computer
expert and entrepreneur, was helping his son with his maths
homework when he had an idea.

“I found it a bit tedious, all those additions and
multiplications, so I reckoned, ‘We already have intelligent
software, why not make it deal with maths?’” Sabol said.

Jan 27, 2015

Croatia mulls long-term lease deal for Swiss franc home loans

ZAGREB, Jan 27 (Reuters) – Croatia is considering turning
Swiss franc-denominated home loans into long-term lease
agreements to help thousands of families hit by the surge in the
value of the Swiss currency, Finance Minister Boris Lalovac said
on Tuesday.

About 60,000 Croatians hold loans in Swiss francs, mostly
for housing. Croatia’s stock of Swiss franc loans stands at
about 27 billion kuna ($4 billion) or a little under 8 percent
of gross domestic product (GDP).

Jan 23, 2015

Swiss stability proves bad bet for some European homeowners

ZAGREB, Jan 23 (Reuters) – Damir Hajduk likens paying off
his mortgage to the tale of Sisyphus in Greek mythology,
condemned forever to push a boulder uphill, only for it to roll
back down again and again.

“You keep paying and the debt never goes down,” said the
47-year-old Croatian father of three. “After ten years of
monthly payments, if we calculate in the (local currency) kuna,
today I owe more than the principal I originally took.”

Dec 29, 2014

No outright winner in Croatia’s presidential vote, run-off on Jan. 11

ZAGREB (Reuters) – Ivo Josipovic faces a tight run-off next month to try to win a second five-year term as Croatia’s president after failing to secure a majority from voters frustrated by the country’s economic malaise.

With 98 percent of Sunday’s ballot papers counted in the European Union’s newest member, Josipovic was on top with 38.5 percent, followed closely by Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic from the HDZ, the main conservative opposition, on 37 percent.

Dec 28, 2014

Croats vote for new president as economy struggles

ZAGREB (Reuters) – Croats were voting for a new head of state on Sunday but none of the four candidates for the largely ceremonial post in the European Union’s newest member seemed likely to win outright.

Incumbent Ivo Josipovic, supported by the ruling Social Democrats (SDP), is seen as a front runner even though the government’s failure to halt economic decline has greatly eroded the SDP’s popularity ahead of a general election in late 2015.

Nov 6, 2014

Book Talk: Slovenia’s Feri Lainscek on Facebook writing

MURSKA SOBOTA, Slovenia, Nov 6 (Reuters) – Slovenia’s
best-selling author Feri Lainscek published most of his 21st
novel, “Fear for Butterflies in the Storm”, in instalments on
Facebook over several months this year.

It was an attempt to interact with his readers and share
what he had written almost in real time, but the final chapters
will only be published when the book comes out this month.

Nov 3, 2014

Latecomer Croatia finds no easy access to EU prosperity

ZAGREB, Nov 3 (Reuters) – At midday, the main food market in
Croatia’s picturesque capital is a feast of colour, sounds and
smells.

By mid-afternoon, when vendors pack up their stalls, the
European Union’s newest member shows its flip side; the poor
move in to collect fruit and vegetables discarded on the
concrete floor.

Nov 1, 2014

Washington tries to check Hungary’s drift into Kremlin orbit

ZAGREB/BUDAPEST, Oct 31 (Reuters) – The United States is
mounting a diplomatic offensive to stop Hungary selling a stake
in a Croatian energy firm to Russia, part of what Western powers
see as Budapest’s dangerous drift into Moscow’s orbit.

The U.S. government has already taken the highly unusual
step of blacklisting six people with ties to the government in
Hungary, a NATO ally and European Union member, from entering
the United States, accusing them of involvement in corruption.

    • About Zoran

      "Based in Zagreb, Croatia, I oversee the political and financial coverage of Croatia and Slovenia and help coordinate regional efforts in the Western Balkans, comprising Albania, Bosnia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Kosovo and Serbia. Have been with Reuters since 1993."
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