The former Croatian president has a strong personality. Everyone remembers his presence in the stands during the 2018 World Cup final won by France.
Portrait of Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic
Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović was born on April 29, 1968 in Rijeka. She spent her childhood in a small village where her family owned a ranch, as well as a butcher’s shop. Her dream was to become a hostess, but she went to school first. At the age of 17, Kolinda is a “youth” figure skating champion. She went to study in the United States. Upon her return, she attended the University of Zagreb. She became interested in politics from a very young age.
Married to Jakov Kitarović, engineer and corporate security consultant with the AD Plastik group, the couple have two children.
A graduate in foreign languages and international relations, she worked in the early 1990s as a senior ministerial official. In 1997, she joined the Croatian diplomatic corps. In 2003, she was elected Member of the Diet as representative of the HDZ (Croatian Democratic Union).
She then became Minister for European Integration in Ivo Sanader’s first government. In 2005, after the reshuffle, she was the first woman to become Minister of Foreign Affairs. In 2008, she obtained the post of Ambassador to the United States, before being appointed in 2011 as NATO Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy.
Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović president
After 3 years, at the end of her term, she is running for the 2014-2015 presidential election. She won in the second round with 50.74% of the vote ahead of outgoing president Iso Josipovic. Kolinda, as the people call her, becomes the country’s first female president but also the youngest at the age of 46. So she said: “I will not let anyone doubt that Croatia will become a prosperous country”.
The president speaks several languages (English, Spanish, Portuguese and a little Italian, French and German), which simplifies her international exchanges with the heads of state that she has met.
Considered more conservative, nationalist, even populist right-wing, she does not hesitate to stand out as in 2015. She refused to participate in the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. However, she went to Austria to the site of the Bleiburg massacre.
On August 4 of the same year, it celebrates the 20th anniversary of Operation Storm, which took place at the end of the Croatian War with the unofficial assistance of American advisers.
His term of office is marked by a reform of the electoral law aimed at limiting the rights of minorities, in particular Croatian Serbs. She also tempers the positions of her party, which is traditionally reluctant towards homosexuality and abortion.
Her popularity stems from the fact that she enjoys caring for every citizen of her country, regardless of age and social status. In addition, she goes to popular restaurants with her fellow citizens, and she often travels by public transport. Sometimes she goes to the market on her own to do her shopping.
In 2000, she ran for office, but the former Social Democratic Prime Minister Zoran Milanović won in the second round.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup
A very popular president, Forbes ranked her among the 40 most powerful women in the world in 2017. This popularity transcends borders and becomes global thanks to the World 78. Very involved, she goes to Moscow for the final between France and Croatia. She is alongside Russian and French presidents Vladimir Putin and Emmanuel Macron, to whom she presented a Croatian team jersey, flocked in their name.
Second in the competition, Croatia reached a level never achieved in its history and Luka Modrić is the best player in the competition.
Another anecdote: the one the Croats call the “People’s President” arrived at the World Cup in economy class. She attended all of her team’s games.
A new path: Actress in a tv series
Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic turns to a new direction. She takes the opposite path of Volodymyr Zelensky in Ukraine, a former comedian who became president.
At 52, Kolinda has just shot in the very popular comedy series “Remue-household” (Dar Mar), produced by the private channel Nova TV. The series tells the story of life in an imaginary lost village, without a wifi signal, through the adventures of Bozena, head of the smallest police station in Croatia, and his two fellow police officers.
The channel will air the episodes in which she appears in January 2021. Nothing has been revealed about her role, with the terms of the contract obliging the former head of state to keep a secret.