Sunday, 26 September 2021

1,326,000 Citizens Self-Enumerate by 3 PM Sunday, Says Statistical Office

ZAGREB, 26 Sept, 2021 - More than 1,326,000 Croatians have self-enumerated by 3 pm on 26 September in the first phase of the 2021 census of population, households and dwellings, the national statistical office said on Sunday.

According to data on the number of persons who have self-enumerated at the e-Građani portal, most or 403,183 of the people who have self-enumerated live in the City of Zagreb.

Zagreb is followed by Split-Dalmatia County, with 132,662 self-enumerated citizens, and Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, with 113,518 citizens who have completed census questionnaires online on their own.

The first phase of the 2021 census, during which citizens can self-enumerate, ends at midnight on Sunday, by which time all citizens who wish to self-enumerate, can do so.

On Monday, 27 September, the second phase of the census starts, with census-takers conducting the census by visiting households. Census-takers will take from citizens who have self-enumerated the control codes that prove that they have successfully self-enumerated.

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Sunday, 26 September 2021

Scientists Call for Concrete Action Plan to Protect Adriatic

ZAGREB, 26 Sept, 2021 - A group of Croatian scientists has issued a public letter underlining the importance of adopting an agenda or a specific action plan for the protection of the Adriatic Sea, vital for the sustainable development of the Croatian society, and their appeal was forwarded by the Eko Kvarner NGO on Sunday. 

The scientists, who in September attended a conference on the Adriatic Sea eco-system on the island of Krk, say in their appeal to the prime minister, the parliament speaker and the public that the research of the Adriatic had been conducted for years but that there was a lack of systematic interdisciplinary research to account for "galloping changes."

They say that the changes are irreversible and that the rise of the sea temperature also causes a rise in the sea level and sea salinity, as well as increased sea stratification, and storm tides.

They warn about a growing number of alien species in the Adriatic, of which many are invasive and even poisonous, as well as about the loss of biodiversity.

Tourism-related activities, along with climate change, account for most of the pressure on the Adriatic, the scientists say, stressing that with waste water and intensive farming, more food and various harmful substances end up in the sea, accumulating in sea organisms through food chains.

"On top of that, plastic and other waste is becoming an increasingly big problem, with potentially far-reaching consequences for the quality of life in the sea and human health," they warn, pointing also to the problem of uncontrolled construction in the coastal areas, which results in the loss of the coastal seabed necessary for the propagation of sea organisms.

The scientists consider more active protection of the Adriatic, a better understanding of how its eco-system functions, and the adoption of regulations aimed at its protection as the solution for more sustainable development.

They propose the establishment of an advisory task force comprising scientists to participate in defining the agenda on measures of protection and underline the importance of developing IT technologies to monitor changes in the marine environment and involving citizens in monitoring those changes.

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Sunday, 26 September 2021

Zagreb Hosting Jazz.hr/jesen Festival From 30 Sept to 2 Oct

ZAGREB, 26 Sept, 2021 - Zagreb will host the 31st Jazz.hr/jesen music festival from 30 September to 2 October, consisting of five concerts, including by the 18-member avant-garde conceptual world jazz ensemble Mimika Orchestra.

The festival will also feature the Croatian Radio-Television Jazz Orchestra together with several soloists and composers, the Zvonimir Šestak Groove Assembly and guests, vocalist Daniel Caccia, and the piano-vocal-percussion duo freekind.

The concerts will be held at Tvornica kulture.

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Sunday, 26 September 2021

Croatia Has Imported Thousands of Unskilled Single Men, Says Večernji List

ZAGREB, 26 Sept, 2021 - While Western countries are looking to attract highly skilled workers, Croatia has been importing unskilled labour, mostly single men who with their low wages cannot afford to live with their families, reads an article in the Večernji List daily edition of Sunday.

How many foreign workers should Croatia, being a small country, import to reach the average standard of living in the EU, so that all those who work today do not sink into poverty when they retire, says the daily.

What makes a state a state are its residents, with the standard of living being ensured by employed citizens and institutions that work for public welfare, while its future is ensured by its children and youth, says the daily.

In a period of only 30 years Croatia has lost close to one million residents, and according to demographers, today it has a population of only 3.85 million, with the share of citizens aged over 65 exceeding the share of children and young people under 19, which puts Croatia among the world's oldest nations.

With such a population structure, intensive emigration over the past eight years, and a brain-drain, Croatia cannot have stronger economic growth but has been keeping afloat with uncontrolled labour imports, hopeful that at least some of those who have emigrated will return so that all citizens could have a decent life, says the daily.

According to UN projections from 2015, Croatia's population was to have shrunk to 3.9 million only in 2030, but those projections have turned out to be optimistic, as the figure has been reached a decade earlier, the daily says.

Speaking at the recent conference "The Croatia We Need", Finance Minister Zdravko Marić said that raising the standard of living should be a goal for everyone and that between 100,000 and 150,000 new jobs would mean less worry and a much stronger and more sustainable growth with the help of which the average European standard of living would be achieved more easily.

But he did not say if he meant that the 100,000 to 150,000 workers should be imported or that some of the 119,000 domestic job-seekers should be activated as well, the daily says, noting that Croatia has 1.236 million pensioners and 1.604 million employed persons.

The government has not answered either if the minister was referring to labour imports and where those workers would be imported from, the daily says.

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Sunday, 26 September 2021

15th Lifelong Learning Week to Take Place on 27 Sept – 3 Oct

ZAGREB, 26 Sept, 2021 - The Agency for Vocational Education and Training has announced the 15th Lifelong Learning Week, a national education campaign aimed at promoting the acquisition of knowledge even after completing the usual stages of education.

During the Lifelong Learning Week, citizens will be able to attend free workshops, lectures, round tables, concerts, and many educational institutions will open their doors to acquaint potential students with their educational programmes.

The Lifelong Learning Week will be held from 27 September to 3 October, and the opening ceremony will take place at the PISMO 2 Business Incubator in Novska, a town in Sisak-Moslavina County.

At the opening ceremony, awards will be given to those who have, through their active work in this field over more than 40 years, greatly contributed to adult education in Croatia.

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Sunday, 26 September 2021

46th Samobor Music Autumn Festival Starts

ZAGREB, 26 Sept, 2021 - The 46th Samobor Music Autumn festival of classical music started at the St. Anastasia Church in that town west of Zagreb on Saturday evening with a rendition of the Symphony No. 1 in D major by Gustav Mahler, performed by the Festival Chamber Orchestra under the conductorship of Veton Marevci.

The festival, to last until 3 October, will feature 13 concerts by first-rate musicians from Croatia and abroad.

The festival in Samobor, which includes the Ferdo Livadić international competition of young musicians and the New Note international competition of composers, was opened by Culture and Media Minister Nina Obuljen Koržinek's envoy Iva Hraste Sočo.

During the eight-day event, lovers of classical music will be able to hear established performers, new talents competing at the 18th Ferdo Livadić competition of young musicians, as well as the award-winning composition of the 10th New Note international composers competition.

The event is being held under the auspices of the Culture and Media Ministry, Zagreb County and the City of Samobor.

Tickets are available at www.ulaznice.hr and information on the festival is available at the festival's website www.samobor-festival.com.

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Sunday, 26 September 2021

Croatian Seismologist Kresimir Kuk Talks Ins and Outs of Earthquakes

September the 26th, 2021 - As Central Croatia continues to battle with earthquakes of varying strengths with the horrid memory of the devastating one which struck Petrinja in December last year still fresh in collective memory, Croatian seismologist Kresimir Kuk seeks to answer some pressing questions.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, just a few days ago, two moderate earthquakes hit the Banovina area once again. At 01:32, seismologists from the Seismological Service recorded a moderate earthquake with the epicentre near Petrinja. The magnitude of the earthquake was 3.7.

Following that, seismologists from the Seismological Service recorded another moderate earthquake with the epicenter near Cuntic, a mere eight kilometres south of Petrinja. The magnitude of that earthquake was 3.6. 

Croatian seismologist Kresimir Kuk told RTL.hr that these earthquakes are part of a series of earthquakes that are still unfolding and which started with the main Petrinja earthquake which caused sheer devastation back on December the 29th, 2020.

"These earthquakes aren't coming as a surprise us. We've said many times that these sorts of series of them go on. The fact is that in the last month, I'd venture to say, we've had more frequent earthquakes and greater seismic activity and slightly stronger earthquakes than some multi-month average,'' explained Croatian seismologist Kresimir Kuk.

He also commented on the thesis that appeared on social media that the Petrinja fault had finished ''rocking'' and that the Pokupsko fault is now the active one, which is why many people were worried that there could be a stronger earthquake along the Pokupsko fault yet to come.

"All of it is a fault zone. We have a few bigger ones that are better known. The whole area is seismically active and this is a normal, common occurrence. We can say that the epicentres migrate. We have the entire area between Sisak, and even further down south, the entire radius of a few 10 kilometres around Sisak or Petrinja and the narrower epicentral area, we have earthquakes there that constantly occur for several months. They go down to Jasenovac and then go a little north, north-west... and that's normal. It isn't that one fault was activated by another, but rather that we have an epicentral area that is active,'' Cuk said.

After the Petrinja earthquake, about 40 accelerographs and seismographs were installed in the Banovina area. Croatian seismologist Kresimir Cuk said a lot of earthquakes are still being recorded in the area and that the data they're collecting is being constantly looked into and more deeply analysed.

"We're getting large amounts of valuable data that will provide some significant information about this earthquake in Petrinja for many years to come," Kuk said.

Asked whether the Petrinja earthquake may have relieved the energy in some of Zagreb's own faults, such as the Kasinski fault, Kuk said that the interaction of the two epicentral areas would take much longer to see and that only time would tell how truly interconnected they are.

“The fact is that they're far enough away that they aren't directly connected. The Medvednica epicentral area is still active, which is normal, but it's weakly active and it's rare that we have earthquakes which are actually noticed. That's something to be expected. When they do occur, then they release energy, but it's more about establishing a new equilibrium state after the events of the main earthquakes and a series of subsequent earthquakes. It's the establishment of a new equilibrium that will last for some time,'' he said.

He also said that the thesis that it is better to have more small earthquakes that will relieve the energy that accumulates on a fault is theoretically justified.

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Sunday, 26 September 2021

Croatian Schools Do Not Offer Systematic Education About Climate Change

ZAGREB, 26 Sept, 2021 - Croatian schools still do not offer systematic education about climate change even though transition to a climate neutral economy will create more than one million jobs in the EU in the period until 2030, teachers interested in the topic of climate change have said.

Croatian students acquire most of the knowledge about climate change by participating in projects.

Sanja Turčić Padavić, a teacher at a Rijeka secondary school, says that young people are aware that the new time brings new challenges that will be easier to deal with with green skills but that school curricula make no mention of such education.

Teachers who consider the topic important find a way to include it in their work with students, but there has been no incentive from the Science and Education Ministry, Turčić Padavić says.

"I convey the knowledge I have acquired through the subject I teach. If I were not involved in projects, I would probably not know what to teach about climate change or how," she says.

A study on climate change in the EU, of which she is a coordinator and which is part of the Erasmus+ programme, will be conducted over a period of three years.

It will focus on 243 endangered animal and plant species in three countries. The focus in Croatia is on fauna and based on the study's results, an innovative plan of recovery will be proposed for each of the species.

Several Croatian schools regularly take part in a national reforestation campaign, which is designed to point to the importance of trees in mitigating climate change.

There are also other forms of education, including a workshop organised by the Tatavaka association in July, which also involved members of the Civil Protection who as part of the school curriculum, have been preparing a handbook on how to reduce disaster risks.

Italy is the first country in the world to have officially introduced education about climate change and sustainable development in the school system, owing to efforts by former Education Minister Lorenzo Fioramonti.

Education on climate change received a lot of public attention with the climate marches of  2019, organised by students.

A 2020 survey on climate education in Europe collected 1,101 responses, with 89% coming from education workers. Almost all agreed that school is responsible for climate education, however, 70% said climate education was insufficiently present in school curricula.

Lack of competence and training was cited as the most frequent reason why teachers could not include it in curricula, the second reason being lack of resources.

A small percentage of respondents expressed doubts as to the existence of evidence about climate change being a serious problem.

The importance of education for strengthening the European framework for green competencies has been underlined at this year's EU Green Week.

Today there are initiatives such as UNESCO's education on climate change, eTwinning, Erasmus+, the European Parliament Ambassador School Programme (EPAS), and others.

The Green Deal and the fight against climate change are among priority policies of the European Parliament and special attention will be paid to these topics through activities, seminars and programmes that are organised by the EP Office in Croatia, the Office has said.

EPAS has been implemented in Croatia since 2016 and so far more than 60 secondary schools have attended it.

The European Parliament in 2019 declared a climate crisis, calling on the European Commission to harmonise future legislative and budget proposals with the objectives of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

In June this year the EP approved a new regulation on climate increasing the target reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the EU in the period until 2030 from 40% to at least 55%.

It also adopted a position on the Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 which aims to put under protection at least 30% of land and sea in the EU.

Transition to a low-carbon economy will create more than one million jobs in the period until 2030, which requires retraining and additional training for more than 120 million Europeans in the next five years.

According to OECD data, many countries have already included topics related to environmental protection in their school curricula, however, there is still no comprehensive strategy at the EU level.

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Sunday, 26 September 2021

COVID-19 Update: 837 New Infections, 15 Deaths

ZAGREB, 26 Sept, 2021 - In the past 24 hours 837 coronavirus cases and 15 related deaths have been confirmed in Croatia, while the number of active cases stands at 8,184, the national COVID-19 crisis management team said on Sunday.

A total of 692 persons are hospitalised, including 99 on ventilators, while 23,028 persons are self-isolating.

Croatia has registered 399,891 coronavirus cases to date, including 8,595 deaths, and 383,112 recoveries, of which 1,215 in the past 24 hours.

To date 2,790,935 persons have been tested for the virus, including 9,098 in the past 24 hours, and 44.49% of the population has been vaccinated, including 53.38% of adults, of whom 50.14% fully.

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Sunday, 26 September 2021

Fresh Details Emerge in Harald Kopitz Children Deaths

September 26, 2021 - New details have emerged in the Harald Kopitz children deaths on September 25 in the Zagreb neighborhood of Mlinovi. 

Harald Kopitz, a 56-year-old Austrian from Vienna who lives and works in Zagreb, killed his three children at 2 am on Saturday, September 25. He is said to have strangled his 7-year-old twins and 4-year old son. He also posted a haunting message on Facebook before the crime and tried to kill himself. But many questions have been left unanswered. 

Police found the lifeless bodies of three children, two seven-year-old twins, and a four-year-old boy, and their stunned father, who tried to kill himself, in an apartment in Zagreb's Mlinovi neighborhood. He was transported to KBC Sisters of Charity, where he is now being treated. He is guarded by the police at all times.

Harald Kopitz was a businessman that worked for several large companies as a financial consultant and negotiator.

The parents of the murdered children were divorced, the mother was not in Zagreb at the time of the crime, and the children were spending the weekend with their father. The police say that there were no reports of domestic violence in that family before. However, the Zagreb County State's Attorney's Office, which investigated the Mlinovi neighborhood, reported that their 56-year-old father, an Austrian citizen, was suspected of killing the three minor children.

The Prosecutor's Office stated that, in cooperation with the police, it took further measures and actions within its competence to determine all the circumstances of these criminal offenses.

But while the police and the Prosecutor's Office are trying to unravel all the circumstances of the horrific crime, information is leaking to the public about the murder and the killer, reports Index.hr.

According to the latest information obtained by Index from sources close to the investigation, investigators, who first believed that Kopitz strangled his children, are increasingly inclined to think that the key to death was poisoning, probably pills.

However, suffocation injuries were found on the bodies of the three children, so investigators suspect that the father poisoned and suffocated the children, Index has learned.

But what exactly caused the deaths of the children will be determined by the expected autopsy results, as well as by toxicological expertise.

It is also possible that some of the children died of poisoning and some by suffocation.

The cause of death of the three children is one of the critical questions to which there is no answer yet. In addition, in the coming days, investigators will search for answers to questions that prompted the perpetrator to commit such a crime, whether he planned everything, but also whether he was under the influence of any means that would affect his judgment.

The children were with their father for the weekend as the ex-wife left them on Friday to go on a business trip to Dubrovnik. Around midnight, it is suspected that Kopitz got the children ready for sleep and gave them a cocktail of various pills and medicines before. According to Večernji List, the children, or one of them, started to wake up, and Kopitz then began to choke them.

However, it is not yet known what exactly the children died of and whether it was suffocation or poisoning, as investigators increasingly believe.

When he was convinced that none of the three children were breathing anymore, one by one, he took them in his arms and carried them to the couch in the living room. He laid them next to each other and placed their favorite toys around them.

A gruesome scene greeted police officers who came out to report a possible suicide. Namely, shortly after midnight, the 56-year-old Austrian posted a farewell status on Facebook and Instagram.

 

169ca431ac8676a339b7.pngOne of his acquaintances noticed this status and informed the police, who immediately went to the apartment. But it was too late. The status has since been removed from Facebook but remains on Instagram and Linkedin. 

The officers were shocked by the horrific scene, and to experienced investigators, this was one of the scariest scenes they had ever witnessed. Children's clothes were hanging on the window of the apartment where the horror took place that morning.

The officers at the scene will require psychological help.

"I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere condolences to my mother and extended family members as a police officer, but also on my behalf, a mother and parent. Given that this is a very traumatic event, the police officers will be provided with professional assistance," said Nikolina Grubišić Požar from the Zagreb Juvenile Delinquency Department in a statement in front of the Zagreb police headquarters.

Grubišić Požar added that upon arriving at the scene in Mlinovi, a man was found in poor health and three minor children who showed no signs of life.

"The arrival of the emergency medical doctor confirmed the death of the children and that it was a violent death. The citizen was provided with medical assistance and placed at Sisters of Charity Hospital, where he is hospitalized," Grubišić Požar added, concluding that a criminal investigation was underway.

The Zagreb police had no information, nor had they ever intervened in a family in the Zagreb neighborhood of Mlinovi.

The director of the Sisters of Charity Hospital, Davor Vagić, said that 56-year-old Harald Kopitz is stable for now.

"Tonight, a 56-year-old man with a narrowed consciousness was brought by ambulance accompanied by the police. The patient was treated in our unified Emergency Hospital, after which he was transferred to our intensive care unit, where further diagnostics and treatment were made," said Vagić in an extraordinary address to the press in front of the Vinogradska Hospital.

According to him, the patient is stable and with no life-threatening conditions.

"The man is conscious. Absolutely all possible findings are being made under the suspicion that he was under the influence of psychopharmaceuticals, but we cannot say that definitively," Dr. Vagić emphasized.

Psychopharmaceuticals are generally considered drugs that affect mental processes, so they are used to treat mental illness and disorders. They include several groups of drugs such as psycholeptics (antipsychotics, anxiolytics, hypnotics, and sedatives), psychoanaleptics (antidepressants, psychostimulants, nootropics, and anti-dementia drugs), and other drugs that act on the central nervous system. However, in a broader sense, psychopharmaceuticals are considered chemical substances that, in a specific dose, have a special effect on mental life and cognitive behavior.

Psychiatrist Herman Vukušić said that mentioning psychopharmaceuticals, in this case, could be harmful because it could lead to patients shying away from them and that it is almost impossible for these drugs to be the cause of such a crime.

State Secretary at the Ministry of Family and Social Policy Margareta Mađerić said that the competent Center for Social Welfare had no information about domestic violence.

"The Center for Social Welfare did not have any reports, of individuals, mothers, but also of any other bodies, which would indicate domestic violence against children or mothers," Mađerić said at a press conference.

She pointed out that this family was in a mandatory consultation at the competent Center for Social Welfare in 2018, adding that this is the standard procedure for all divorced couples.

She said that the father and mother of the children then came to the Center together and agreed to have joint custody of their three children.

"After that, there was no action by the Social Welfare Center. The center could not act because they did not have information that there was violence," said Mađerić.

At the same time, she called on the citizens to immediately report any suspicion of violence in their environment to the competent institutions.

While investigators are trying to unravel all the circumstances of the horrific crime, the mother, devastated by what happened, went to Neum, where she was born.

According to unofficial information, Bosnia and Herzegovina's Dnevni Avaz writes that the children will be buried in Neum.

Dragan Jurković, the mayor of Neum, explained the connection between the mother and Neum. He also said the children were there this summer.

"She finished primary school in Neum, her parents live in Neum, and the children stayed in Neum over the summer," Jurković told Avaz.

He announced a day of mourning if the funeral is in Neum.

"If the funeral of the children is in Neum, we will declare a day of mourning on that day. I am very sorry. I express my sincere condolences," concluded Jurković.

TCN will be updating this story as things develop. 

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