Monday, 22 November 2021

Croatian Contingent Given Send-Off to Kosovo Without Presence of Media, Minister

ZAGREB, 22 Nov 2021 - The 36th 130-strong Croatian Army Contingent, including six servicewomen, is being given a formal send-off on Monday to join NATO's KFOR peacekeeping mission in Kosovo. The media and the defence minister are not present at the ceremony.

The ceremony is taking place in the barracks of the 132nd Croatian Army Brigade in the eastern city of Našice without the presence of the media. It is being attended by President Zoran Milanović in his capacity as Commander in Chief of the Croatian Armed Forces, while Defence Minister Mario Banožić has canceled his attendance.

The Defence Ministry said that Banožić had canceled his attendance because neither he nor the contingent commander was scheduled to address the ceremony and because the media were not allowed into the barracks to cover the event.

"The Croatian Army is above all of us politicians. We are all transient, and it will exist as long as there is Croatia. I did not go to Našice for the send-off ceremony because I wanted no part in a show by the gentleman who unfortunately does not understand the first two sentences in this post. I wish the members of the 36th Croatian Contingent a safe journey and a successful mission. See you soon," the defence minister wrote on Facebook.

Although the Ministry's press office on Sunday invited the media to cover the event, the President's Office later said that the ceremony "does not envisage the participation of the media," adding that the public would be informed about the event in a press release which would include photographs.

Representatives of the media gathered outside the barracks gate on Monday morning but were denied entry.

The President's Office said that the sole purpose of the send-off ceremony was to show the commander in chief, military commanders, and the defence minister the contingent's readiness for the mission. "Such an important event for the military cannot and will not be used for anyone's daily political interests," it said.

For more on politics, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Monday, 22 November 2021

Croatia Reports 1,327 New Coronavirus Cases, 73 Deaths

ZAGREB, 22 Nov 2021 - Croatia has registered 1,327 new coronavirus cases and 73 COVID-related deaths in the last 24 hours, the national coronavirus response team reported on Monday.

This is the largest number of deaths in a single day during the fourth wave of the pandemic, while the absolute record of 92 deaths was registered on 16 December 2020.

Currently, there are 29,725 active COVID-19 cases in the country. Among them are 2,583 hospitalized people, including 324 patients placed on ventilators. 20,555 people are self-isolating.

Since 25 February 2020, when the first case was confirmed in Croatia, 571,707 people have been registered as having contracted the novel virus, of whom 10,376 have died and 531,606 have recovered, including 5,237 in the last 24 hours.

To date, 3,354,103 people have been tested, including 3,546 in the last 24 hours.

As of 21 November, 3,985,860 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, with 52.38 percent of the total population, or 62.54 percent of the adult population, having been vaccinated. 2,125,514 persons have received at least one dose, while 1,896,361 have been fully vaccinated, which is 56.04 percent of the adult population.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section and select your preferred language.

Monday, 22 November 2021

Croatia's Social Protection Expenditure Amounts to Mere €3,000 Per Capita

ZAGREB, 22 Nov 2021 - Croatia's social protection expenditure amounted to €11.2 billion last year, or slightly less than €3,000 per capita, which is a quarter of the country's GDP and around the European average, Večernji List daily said on Monday.

According to Eurostat's methodology, expenditure on social protection benefits includes allocations for the elderly, health care, persons with disabilities, family and children, war veterans, unemployment, social exclusion, and housing.

Slovenia allocated for social protection slightly more than Croatia - €11.6 billion. In the year of coronavirus, expenditure on social protection in Croatia rose by 5% on the year, which was the second most modest increase among EU member states, ahead of Sweden, which increased its social protection expenditure by 4%.

However, unlike Croatia, which provides about €3,000 per capita, Sweden provides €13,000. By comparison, Bulgaria sets aside about half as much as we do, while Hungary's expenditure on social protection is at about €2,500 per capita. Slovenia spends €5,500 per capita on social protection, the Czech Republic €4,300, and Poland €3,000.

Three European countries which spend the most on social protection per capita are Norway (€18,000), Denmark (nearly €17,000), and Austria (€14,000). They are followed by Germany (about €13,000), France (€12,000), Ireland (€11,000), and Italy (€9,000).

The highest amount of funds in all countries is spent on the elderly and health care. Measured as a percentage of GDP, social expenditure is the highest in France, where it amounts to nearly 36% of GDP, while in Croatia the expenditure is between 24% and 25% of GDP. Slovenia has a similar percentage, while social expenditure measured as a percentage of GDP is the lowest in Ireland, a mere 15%. In the year of coronavirus, Ireland increased its social protection budget by 20%, Germany and France by 7%, while Austria and Hungary increased it by 12%, Večernji List reported.

For more on politics, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Monday, 22 November 2021

Croatia Donates 490,000 Doses of Vaccine

ZAGREB, 22 Nov 2021 - Croatia has donated 490,000 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to eight countries, including Bhutan, Vietnam, Rwanda and Kosovo, the Jutarnji List daily reported on Monday.

Croatia has ordered enough vaccines so it was able to donate 490,000 doses to lower-income countries in which vaccine is less available or too expensive. The donation was made through the WHO's Covax program.

By mid-November, Croatia has donated 420,000 doses of AstraZeneca to eight countries. Montenegro, Kosovo, and Bhutan received 10,000 doses each, Bosnia and Herzegovina received 170,000 doses, North Macedonia 30,000. Vietnam 60,000 doses, Rwanda 100,000 and Albania 30,000. Last month 70,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine were sent to Bosnia Herzegovina.

Contrary to popular belief, the donated vaccine is not stored in Croatia but the producer ships the doses originally intended for Croatia directly to other countries, Jutarnji List said.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section and select your preferred language.

Monday, 22 November 2021

Međimurje County Tourism Grants: Over 130 New Projects in 10 Years

November 22, 2021 - Međimurje County tourism grants have allowed for 130 new projects over the last 10 years. 

Ten years ago, Međimurje County started a tourism grants program, thanks to which 2.8 million kuna has been awarded so far to develop tourist products and improve the tourist offer in Međimurje, reports HRTurizam.

Through non-refundable grants, Međimurje County supports the development of tourism as an income branch based on sustainable development through expanding the existing tourist offer, activating untapped tourist potentials, creating new tourist products, and promoting Međimurje as a desirable tourist destination.

In mid-June this year, a public call for grants was opened in 2021, and a record number of applications were made again. Thus, for 29 approved projects, HRK 400,000 was provided from the county budget, according to Međimurje County.

"Every year we record an increasing number of applications, so this year we received a record number of applications, 44. Also, the largest number of grants has been approved so far, thanks to which 29 new tourist facilities will be realized in Međimurje," explained the head of Međimurje County's Administrative Department for Economy, Agriculture, and Tourism - Darko Radanović.

In this year's call, the content of the program was adjusted to the strategic development document "Međimurje County Tourism Development Master Plan" as a fundamental determinant to effectively managing and developing the tourism sector. This year, new criteria have been added, such as ecology and the generation of new values, and there are a total of 14 acceptable measures for project approval.

The director of the Međimurje County Tourist Board, Rudi Grula, pointed out that the funds allocated through the program are just a drop in the ocean of total investments that need to be invested to develop a quality tourist product or content.

"It is a great fact that despite the difficult times for tourism, our people from Međimurje are seriously investing in projects, and in very high quality and long-term sustainable ones. Although tourism is a small part of Međimurje's economy, it is an important added value because through tourism we place our domestic products, culture, customs, and values," says Grula.

He added that the grant program aims to place as much emphasis as possible on projects that are green, long-term sustainable, and energy-efficient.

"Since 2016, we have been encouraging the development of sustainable tourism, and now it is the mantra of the European Union as well. Thanks to the continuous support of Međimurje County, every year we get more and more quality projects. This year, we realized 80% of arrivals and overnight stays compared to 2019. We are slowly achieving our goal, which is to attract more and more of those guests who are ready to set aside for quality service," said the director of the Međimurje County Tourist Board. 

Among this year's approved applications is the Biserka and Zvonko Lajtman project, creating a small corner of paradise in Pleškovac, in the holiday house "Lina", which is part of the Mohokos family farm.

"We hope that we will justify the allocated funds, which we will use to obtain the European Ecolabel certificate. Our house would be the first in Croatia with the mentioned certificate. Through family farms, we deal with ecological and biodynamic production, and with the certificate, we will complete the story and offer our guests a new service and quality of accommodation. The goal is that all stakeholders in tourism, the surrounding family farms, can complete their offer with their products," concluded the Laitman family.

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Monday, 22 November 2021

Grlić Radman Meets with Croatian Community in Canada

ZAGREB, 22 Nov 2021 - Croatia's Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Gordan Grlić Radman, met with members of the Croatian community in Canada in the Croatian Martyrs Parish in Mississauga on Sunday, the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs said in a press release.

In his speech, Grlić Radman highlighted the role of Croatian parishes in fostering Croatian national identity, notably language, culture, and tradition. He described the parish in Mississauga as one of the best examples of dedication to promoting national consciousnesses and connections with Croatia.

The minister said that the Croatian government would continue to support the Croatian community in Canada by financing projects, Croatian language learning and scholarship programs, and supporting publishing activities.

"We will continue to support projects to preserve and promote cultural, scientific, economic, sports and other cooperation between Croatia and Canada," Grlić Radman said.

Grlić Radman thanked the Croatian community in Canada for their continued support to Croatia, including at the time of the Homeland War and last year's earthquake in Petrinja. He also emphasized their important role in strengthening the very good relationship between Croatia and Canada, the press release said.

For more on politics, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Monday, 22 November 2021

Air Serbia Belgrade-Zagreb Flights Running Daily in December

November 22, 2021 - Air Serbia Belgrade-Zagreb flights will run daily in December, so long as the Zagreb fog allows it! 

Serbian national airline Air Serbia will increase the number of operations between Zagreb and Belgrade, operating daily in December, reports Croatian Aviation.

Since the pandemic's beginning and immediately after the lockdown, Air Serbia resumed traffic between Belgrade and Zagreb, constantly changing the number of weekly operations and adjusting them to the demand itself. Until December 5, six flights a week have been announced, every day except Tuesdays, and from December 7, Air Serbia will introduce a flight on Tuesdays, meaning they will run between the two cities every day. 

From December 10, there are two flights a day on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays, which will increase the number of weekly frequencies to 10!

Namely, on certain days, Air Serbia will land late at night in Zagreb, while the return flight to Belgrade will be before dawn, around 4 am. Given that the difference between the incoming and outgoing flights will be short, it is to be expected that the crew will wait for the return flight on the aircraft.

ATR72 aircraft with a capacity of 70 seats have been announced for all flights. However, Croatian Aviation states that the problem for the airline is the weather conditions in Zagreb, i.e., the thick fog due to which ATR72 aircraft are often unable to land in the Croatian capital. In that case, the airline is forced to either cancel the flight, delay the flight and wait for the weather to improve, or do what was done last night due to fog - replace the aircraft on the line with a larger type for which fog is not an obstacle.

For example, the visibility in Zagreb last night was only 200 meters, so instead of the ATR, the A319 landed in Zagreb with an hour delay, carrying 52 passengers. As a result, only 30 passengers left Zagreb for Belgrade on Sunday night.

For more on flights to Croatia and other travel announcements, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Monday, 22 November 2021

2022 World Cup Costs: How Much Will Croatia Fans Spend in Qatar?

November 22, 2021 - Now that Croatia has qualified for Qatar and we can start making rough plans for next year, what are the 2022 World Cup costs for Croatia fans in Qatar? 

We are one year away from the 2022 World Cup. It will be opened by the host Qatar in the 1st round Group A match on November 21, 2022, starting at 1 pm local time, or 11 am Croatian time, at Al Bayt Stadium.

Four matches will be played every day in the competition's group stage at 11:00, 14:00, 17:00, and 20:00 Croatian time in the first two rounds, and at 16:00 and 20:00 in the third round when teams from the same group will play at the same time. The final is scheduled for December 18 at 16:00 at Lusail Iconic Stadium.

Croatia will play in its sixth World Cup, and since its debut in France in 1998, it missed only South Africa in 2010. Croatia became the seventh national team to qualify for the World Cup and did so earlier than ever. Qatar, Germany, Denmark, Brazil, France, Belgium, Spain, Serbia, England, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Argentina have also qualified. So far, only 13 national teams are known. The remaining national teams will be learned in January, February, March, and June.

Asia has four more rounds in their two qualifying groups. The top teams leading to a spot in Qatar are Iran, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Japan, while the third-placed teams (the winners play each other and the winner goes to the intercontinental playoffs) are the UAE and Australia. Another 12 national teams from the Asia zone will qualify for the World Cup.

There are 10 teams from Africa, and a draw for the play-off pairs next week in which, according to the FIFA ranking, the seeded teams will be Senegal, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, and Nigeria, and unseeded Egypt, Cameroon, Ghana, Mali, and DR Congo. After that, two matches will be played in March, and the winners will go to the World Cup.

There are six rounds left in the CONCACAF zone, and all eight national teams still have mathematical chances. Canada, the US, and Mexico are in the lead for a spot in Qatar, while Panama could see an intercontinental play-off.

No one has dropped out yet in South America. Brazil and Argentina have secured the World Cup, and eight spots can still be claimed. Ecuador and Colombia are the most likely, and if Peru finished the qualifications now, they would go to the playoffs. 

Eleven national teams should participate in Oceania qualifiers next year, and the winner will also go to the playoffs. In Europe, on the other hand, there are 12 more nations fighting for Qatar, which will be divided into three tournaments. The winners of each will go to the World Cup.

Thus, there are 19 places left and 61 national teams fighting for Qatar. 2022 World Cup matches will be played at eight stadiums in five cities, Al Khor, Al Rayyan, Al Wakrahu, Doha, and Lusail. Qatar is a country with about 2.8 million inhabitants, located on 11,581 square kilometers, which is less than the area of the four Dalmatian counties combined (12,951 km2), so distance is no problem. Namely, the southernmost Al Wakrah to the northernmost Al Khor is only about 70 kilometers by road.

But coming to the Arabian Peninsula from Croatia is another story. 

Jutarnji List made an approximate estimate of how much the World Cup in Qatar would cost for Croatia fans if the World Cup were played in November and December this year, and if Croatia remained in the tournament from start to finish, like in Russia 2018.

The cheapest direct return flights from Zagreb - Doha today are around 4,600 kuna, with the possibility that you can find flights of up to 4,000 kuna for fans who have no problem changing several times and extending the trip to ten hours. The direct Zagreb - Doha flight lasts 5 hours and 15 minutes.

FIFA has not yet announced ticket prices or ticket sales. Suppose the amounts are in the range of the 2018 World Cup, the total consumption of a Croatia fan who would stop watching Croatia only in the final is 13,000 kuna. The cheapest tickets for three matches in the group stage would cost $315, for the round of 16 $115, for the quarterfinals $175, for the semifinals $285, and the final $455. In total, it is $1,345 US dollars or almost 9,000 kuna.

There is currently a lot of affordable accommodation in Qatar, though the quality is questionable. For example, you can find an apartment in Doha for 9,200 kuna for four people (two beds) via Airbnb for a month, which is 2,300 kuna per person. Admittedly, there are few of these offers, but likely none like this during the 2022 World Cup. However, it's safe the say that private one-month accommodations could be found for 5, 6, 7 thousand kuna per person.

The cheapest accommodation for an individual through Booking.com is currently 14,000 kuna/month. Jutarnji thus calculated a minimum of 15,000 kuna/month plus the daily cost of food, drinks, and transportation in Qatar, requiring at least 20,000 kuna for those who do not seek luxury but see Qatar as a great adventure.

A large pizza is around 90 kuna in well-known branded pizzerias and fast food menus around 40 kuna, calculated from Qatari riyals (1 rial is around 1.8 kuna). If the World Cup starts today, between 25,000 and 30,000 kuna would be needed for the average Croatia fan in Qatar for a month, providing Croatia goes to the final. 

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Monday, 22 November 2021

HNL Round 16 Recap: Hajduk Beats Rijeka at Rujevica, Dinamo-Osijek 1:1

November 22, 2021 - The 16th round of the Croatian First League was held from November 19 to 21, 2021. This round saw two of the biggest derbies in Croatian football, as Hajduk topped Rijeka at Rujevica and Dinamo and Osijek drew at Maksimir. Here is our HNL round 16 recap. 

Hr. Dragovoljac v. Slaven Belupo (1:2)

Dragovoljac and Belupo opened the 16th round on Friday, November 19, 2021, in Zagreb. 

Bosec opened the match for an early Belupo lead at 0:1 in the 3rd minute. Krstanovic increased their lead with a penalty in the 10th minute for 0:2. Majstorovic gave Dragovoljac some hope with a goal in the 73rd minute, but after a Lukic red card in the 87th minute, the match ended 1:2 for Belupo. 

 

Dragovoljac is currently in the last place with 7 points, while Belupo is in 9th with 13. 

Dinamo v. Osijek (1:1)

Dinamo and Osijek met on Saturday, November 20, 2021, at Maksimir Stadium. 

Fiolic put Osijek ahead in the 16th minute for 0:1 at the half. Petkovic equalized in the 80th minute for 1:1, which was the final score. 

 

Dinamo is currently in 3rd place with 28 points (and two games less), while Osijek is in 1st with 31 (and one game less).

Istra 1961 v. Sibenik (3:4) 

Istra and Sibenik met in Pula on November 20, 2021. 

Jakolis put Sibenik ahead in the 38th minute for 0:1, before Marin scored the equalizer 6 minutes later for 1:1 at the half. Beljo missed a penalty for Istra in the 59th minute, and Sibenik retook the lead thanks to Delic two minutes later (1:2). Delic scored again in the 72nd minute for 1:3, before Beljo redeemed himself and scored for 2:3 in the 82nd. Miskovic equalized 5 minutes later for 3:3, but it was Jakolis to score the winning goal for Sibenik in the 7th minute of stoppage time for the final 3:4. 

 

Istra is in 8th place with 15 points (and one game less), while Sibenik is in 7th with 18. 

Gorica v. Lokomotiva (2:2)

Gorica and Lokomotiva met in Velika Gorica on Sunday, November 21, 2021. 

Fruk put Gorica ahead in the 2nd minute for 1:0. Prsir increased Gorica's lead to 2:0 in the 24th. Ibrahim gave Lokomotiva hope before halftime, scoring in the 34th minute for 1:2. Pivaric scored the equalizer for Lokomotiva in the 60th minute and the final 2:2. 

 

Gorica is currently in 6th place with 22 points, while Lokomotiva is in 5th with 22. 

Rijeka v. Hajduk (2:3)

Rijeka and Hajduk closed out the 16th round with the Adriatic Derby at Rujevica on Sunday, November 21, 2021. 

After his first goal was called offside, Livaja scored just before the halftime whistle to put Hajduk ahead 0:1. Drmic equalized in the 53rd minute for 1:1. Rijeka was awarded a penalty in the 79th minute, which Muric scored for 2:1. Hajduk followed suit with a penalty five minutes later. Livaja was solid for 2:2. Hajduk had a corner in the match's final play, which found Mlakar's head for the 2:3 Hajduk win. 

 

Rijeka is currently in 2nd place with 30 points (and one game less), while Hajduk is in 4th with 27 (and one game less). 

You can see the full HNL table HERE.  

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Monday, 22 November 2021

Croatian State Support Rose to 21.1 Billion Kuna in 2020

November the 22nd, 2021 - 2020 was a year unlike any other for the vast majority of people, if not everyone. A global pandemic had taken the entire world by storm and countries all scrambled to try to find solutions in a truly unprecedented global crisis. Croatian state support reached a massive 21.1 billion kuna during that extraordinarily challenging year.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, back on Wednesday, the Government accepted the report on Croatian state support for 2020, which shows that a total of 21.1 billion kuna aid/support was granted in that period, equal to 40 percent more than in 2019, while aid to support the economy during the coronavirus pandemic amounted to 1.64 billion kuna.

State Secretary at the Ministry of Finance, Zdravko Zrinusic, stated at the recent Government session that "the movement of allocated Croatian state support in 2020 is marked by the negative impact of the coronavirus pandemic, which in part affected the structure of granted aid." He pointed out that the continuous growth of granted aid continued and that it increased by 40 percent when compared to 2019.

The share of subsidies granted in GDP stood st 5.68 percent. Per employee, subsidies in 2020 amounted to 13,666.64 kuna, which is an increase of 3,977.93 kuna or 41.1 percent when compared to the pre-pandemic year of 2019.

Last year, the agriculture and fisheries sector received a massive 7.7 billion kuna in support payments, an increase of 15 percent when compared to the previous year, while aid in the industry and services sector amounted to 13.4 billion kuna or 60 percent more in total.

Croatian state support paid out to support the domestic economy during the coronavirus pandemic throughout 2020 was granted and paid out to various industries and companies for the first time ever, with job preservation measures included, and that all amounted to 1.64 billion kuna, representing a share of 7.8 percent in the total support granted.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated politics section.

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