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Simon Redman Of Los Alamos Covers Croatian Presidential Inauguration In Zagreb

on February 15, 2015 - 10:57pm
Former Los Alamos High School graduate Kolinda Grabar Kitarović takes the Oath of Office Sunday as President of Croatia. Photo by Simon Redman/ladailypost.com
 
Kolinda Grabar Kitarović becomes the first woman and fourth president of Croatia. Photo by Simon Redman/ladailypost.com
 
By SIMON REDMAN
Los Alamos Daily Post

Editor's note: Simon Redman is a 2013 LAHS graduate studying in Stuttgart, Germany who traveled to Croatia to cover the presidential inauguration of LAHS graduate Kolinda Grabar Kitarović for the Los Alamos Daily Post.

ZAGREB—Former Los Alamos High School graduate Kolinda Grabar Kitarović became the first woman president of Croatia during Sunday's inauguration ceremony.

The event was attended by thousands of people at a square in the country's capital city including dozens of regional leaders and foreign officials.

Bells rang out at 11:45 a.m. throughout the city. They fell silent five minutes later as people began chanting "Hrvatska! Hrvatska!" ("Croatia! Croatia!") before launching into song. At noon, Constitutional Court justices and a soldier carrying the presidential sash take the stage.

At 12:05 p.m., Grabar Kitarović reaches the stage accompanied by her husband, Jakov Kitarović, and the National Anthem is officially sung followed by a minute of silence. The president of the Constitutional Court begins the proceedings and delivers the Oath of Office to the 1986 LAHS graduate. She signs the oath at 12:15 p.m., and accepts the sash of office, which she will wear on state occasions.

Grabar Kitarović shakes the hands of the Constitutional Court justices while the choir sings and a Croatian flag is brought onto the stage, which Kitarović embraces with her whole body.

She begins her Inaugural Address calling for unity and national consensus.

"All of our differences were brought to the forefront during the campaign, but starting today we have to turn them into our strength,” Grabar Kitarović said.

She gave special thanks to Croatia's war veterans for their contribution to the country's independence, which received very loud applause. She pledged to be the president of all citizens saying, "I will be president to all Croatian citizens, regardless of their political affiliation or ethnic, religious or sexual orientation."

She addressed Croatia's troubled economy saying, "We find ourselves in a time that calls for a broad national consensus on key issues. There is no time for divisions ... It is time to rise above our individual and political party interests in order to overcome the economic crisis."

On the debt she said, "We must stop living on money borrowed from future generations" and on jobs, "Our strategic national interest must be creating new jobs." She addressed corruption saying, "I am a proponent of zero tolerance for corruption."

Grabar Kitarović urged the government to improve the investment climate by providing tax incentives and removing administrative obstacles to doing business. She pledged to be an economic ambassador.

"I will be our leading economic diplomat and tirelessly back our exporters to forge new ground that may seem impossible today," she said.

In addressing education, Grabar Kitarović said, "We must focus on practical knowledge and skills to prepare our students for the life challenges ahead."

Grabar Kitarović concluded her address at 12:40 p.m. and left the stage as the choir broke into song.

Normally, the presidential inauguration would have been held Feb. 18, but for scheduling reasons was held Sunday and as such, Grabar Kitarović does not officially take office until Feb. 19.

Note: People in Zagreb know and are interested in the Los Alamos connection of their new president. One of the members of Croatia's National TV station interviewed Redman as part of the station's coverage of the inauguration. 

About Zagreb

By its historical tradition, cultural relations, and above all, its urban planning, Zagreb is a distinctly central European city situated in the middle of the triangle of Vienna, Budapest and Venice. It has always been and remains a part of the cultural circle of central Europe.

The city with a tradition of almost one thousand years celebrated its 900th birthday in 1994. Zagreb University was founded in the 17th century, and it is one of the oldest in Europe. Nine hundred year old Zagreb, capital of Croatia, lives a rich cultural life, with more than 20 theatres, 3 concert halls, around 60 museums and art galleries. It is a big center of congress tourism, economic and business events, and trade fairs not only in Croatia but also in this part of Europe.

We could summarize the impressions of the growing number of foreigners who visit Zagreb in one sentence: a city of a million inhabitants that has managed to stay romantic, clean, and which offers visitors pleasant walks and enjoyment in a city full of parks and pedestrian zones. In short, it is a city that has managed to preserve its soul and identity, its cultural and historical heritage, and we are very proud of this.

Source: www.zagreb.hr

 
New Croatian President Kolinda Grabar Kitarović signs official papers following her swearing in ceremony. Photo by Simon Redman/ladailypost.com
 
Flag ceremony. Photo by Simon Redman/ladailypost.com
 
Kolinda Grabar Kitarović faces the flag as her husband Jakov Kitarović looks on at center. Photo by Simon Redman/ladailypost.com
 
Presentation of the presidential sash. Photo by Simon Redman/ladailypost.com
 
The case carrying the presidential sash. Photo by Simon Redman/ladailypost.com
 
Former Los Alamos High School student Kolinda Grabar Kitarović is presented the presidential sash. Photo by Simon Redman/ladailypost.com
 
Croatian President Kolinda Grabar Kitarović shows the crowd her sash. Photo by Simon Redman/ladailypost.com
 
Croatian President Kolinda Grabar Kitarović shakes hands with Constitutional Court justices. Photo by Simon Redman/ladailypost.com
 
Kolinda Grabar Kitarović during Sunday's inauguration. Photo by Simon Redman/ladailypost.com
 
Croatian Presidential Inauguration Ceremony. Photo by Simon Redman/ladailypost.com
 

The presidential sash. Photo by Simon Redman/ladailypost.com

Croatian President Kolinda Grabar Kitarović delivers her inaugural speech. Photo by Simon Redman/ladailypost.com

President Kolinda Grabar Kitarović shakes hands with Constitutional Court justices. Photo by Simon Redman/ladailypost.com

Croatian President Kolinda Grabar Kitarović with her husband Jakov Kitarović. Photo by Simon Redman/ladailypost.com

Military standing at attention. Photo by Simon Redman/ladailypost.com

Croatian President Kolinda Grabar Kitarović shakes hands before leaving the stage. Photo by Simon Redman/ladailypost.com

The choir sings. Photo by Simon Redman/ladailypost.com

Croatian President Kolinda Grabar Kitarović shakes hands with people in the crowd as she leaves Sunday's event. Photo by Simon Redman/ladailypost.com

Setting up for Sunday’s inauguration. Photo by Simon Redman/ladailypost.com

The media room. Photo by Simon Redman/ladailypost.com


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