President Milanović Congratulates Toljanić Family from Vrbnik on European Large Family of the Year Award

09. June 2021.

During his stay today on Krk Island, the President of the Republic Zoran Milanović attended the presentation of the European Large Family of the Year Award to the Toljanić family in Vrbnik and met with the island’s winemakers at the Vrbnik Agricultural Cooperative.

President Milanović attended the presentation of the 2020 European Large Family of the Year Award, which was presented by the European Large Families Confederation (ELFAC) to the Toljanić family from the town of Vrbnik. Congratulating Mrs. Toljanić on the award, the President of the Republic said that he does not see families with more children as something related to a religion, but primarily as a commitment of women and men to raising children. “It’s incredibly difficult. It used to be completely normal, and now to have more than three children, let alone twelve children, demands not sacrifice, but incredible commitment and dedication by the parents” given the needs that arise from having so many children, said President Milanović.

He added that he does not condemn people who decide to embark on a more comfortable path or focus on a career. “I am here because I am fascinated and I admire the few people who have a lot of children. Because children do not come on a whim. Children are a dedication, an obligation, work, effort, duty and everything that we want to see in the community in which we live, in Croatia. But again, this is not a matter of having as many Croats as possible, but of living as well as possible,” said the President.

Apart from the President of the Republic, the ceremony was attended by ELFAC Secretary General Raúl Sánchez, the President of the 3plus Family Association Ivan Malbašić and the Head of the Municipality of Vrbnik Dragan Zahija. The European Large Families Confederation bestowed the European Large Family of the Year Award on the Toljanić family from Krk Island for the year 2020. The Toljanić family was nominated for this major prize by the 3plus Family Association, which has brought together almost 1,000 Croatian families with three or more children, including the Toljanić family that has twelve children.

While in Vrbnik, President Milanović met with winemakers from Krk Island at the Vrbnik Agricultural Cooperative. The farmers’ co-op was established in 1904 under the name Gospodarsko trgovačko društvo Vrbnik [Vrbnik commercial company] and like all co-ops in the Croatian Littoral and Istria regions at the time, it was founded at the initiative of Dr. Dinko Vitezić, a lawyer and delegate of the Diet of Istria and a member of parliament in Vienna. The cooperative has 125 members and 15 subcontractors. At the meeting with President Milanović, winemakers from Krk Island presented their products, among which the golden žlahtina of Vrbnik is paramount, with the most common variety being the white žlahtina that is found in almost 98% of the vineyards. 

PHOTO: Office of the President of the Republic of Croatia / Ana Marija Katić