Thursday, 19 May 2022

IBM iX Agency to Open Brand New Osijek Office by End of 2022

May the 19th, 2022 - The IBM iX agency has announced the opening of its Osijek office, which will be another positive economic move for this particular Eastern Croatian city in a part of the country known for migration and demographic issues.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the digital agency IBM iX Croatia recently announced the opening of an up and coming Osijek office, which will be the company's third office in the Republic of Croatia, after the ones located in Zagreb and Varazdin.

The company's CEO, Mario Horvat, said at a press conference that Osijek has grown into one of the largest IT hubs in Croatia over more recent years, with large capacities, quality faculties and highly educated young people, so he believes the company will find a suitable number of experts to work there.

He pointed out that IBM iX is a broad-based digital agency that uses agile software development methods, so it will need classic developers, integration engineers, business consultants and user interface designers, as well as various other professionals.

He expects the Osijek office to open by the end of this year and added that seven employees are currently working in the City of Osijek. He also believes that in the next two to three years, that number will reach 100 to 120, which is a growth that the company can handle. Here in Croatia, IBM iX currently has 202 employees.

The director of digital platforms of the company, Daniel Strmecki, stated that the main reason for heading further east and opening an Osijek office is the existence of established technical faculties, which is important for a company that is looking for highly educated IT staff.

Osijek Mayor Ivan Radic is more than pleased that the company has recognised Osijek as a centre of positive economic trends, adding that the city has had the highest employment and enjoyed record low unemployment in the last ten years.

He pointed out that more than a billion kuna is being invested in the city, 609 plots have been sold in Osijek's IT park, and a public procurement is underway for the construction of a central IT park building, mostly co-financed by European Union (EU) funds.

He believes that the project will soon be successfully completed, which will be an additional motive for companies to come to Osijek.

For more, check out our dedicated business section.

Thursday, 19 May 2022

Jadrolinija Ferries Postira, Premuda and Tijat to be Replaced

May the 19th, 2022 - Three Jadrolinija ferries which have gained ''legend'' status in their own respective rights, Premuda, Tijat and Postira, are all set to be replaced as the company moves towards new goals.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, for the very first time, Jadrolinija has initiated the procedure of purchasing fully electric vessels that will transport passengers in the Dubrovnik, Sibenik and Losinj areas, as was confirmed by the President of the Management Board of the national shipping company, David Sopta, for Rijeka portal Novi list.

A preliminary consultation procedure has since been initiated, as part of the public procurement procedure for three Jadrolinija ferries which will be up to 55 metres long and boast a transport capacity of at least 370 passengers, with fully electric propulsion.

Jadrolinija intends to finance the construction of these new vessels through the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, as has been announced on several occasions, Sopta pointed out that this is only the first step in a comprehensive fleet renewal which is set to continue over the coming years, all of which will be in full accordance with the guidelines of the Croatian Government and the European Commission.

"Jadrolinija is continuing the process of investing in its fleet by using electric passenger ships. The boats will be intended for islanders and passengers in the Dubrovnik and Sibenik areas, as well as in the waters around Mali Losinj. This is a big step for Jadrolinija towards turning to green technologies with low greenhouse gas emissions. Jadrolinija is developing, adapting and following the trends of sustainable development, and our goal is for Jadrolinija to become a modern shipping company,'' said Sopta.

The new Jadrolinija ferries will maintain lines between Dubrovnik and the surrounding islands, ie the Elafiti islands, as well as between Sibenik and some of the surrounding island, as well as in Mali Losinj, Unije, Susak, Srakan and Ilovik. The new vessels will replace the already legendary ships; Postira, Tijat and Premuda, which are among the oldest in the national shipping fleet, some of which were built back in the 1950s.

As Novi list has also learned, all of these new Jadrolinija ferries will be fully equipped with additional classic, diesel engines, along with a system of batteries and electric motors, in case of bad weather or any other situation in which electricity will have to be produced on board. Under normal circumstances, the batteries of new ships will be recharged each time they dock in the port, which is why Jadrolinija has already initiated agreements with HEP and local port authorities. Ideally, depending on possible appeals and issues in the tender procedure, the new ships should be launched within about two years.

For more, make sure to check out our business section.

Thursday, 19 May 2022

First Crikvenica and Selce Outdoor Defibrillators Installed

May the 19th, 2022 - The very first Crikvenica and Selce outdoor defibrillators have been installed and are ready to use, although the general hope is that they won't need to be, or at best very rarely.

As Morski writes, the first Crikvenica and Selce outdoor defibrillators are up and running, and these much needed medical devices can save the lives of people with heart failure quickly. The plan is to install two more automatic external defibrillators on the city beaches.

The defibrillators are a donation from the Red Cross, which purchased the devices back in 2020 and 2021. For severe acute conditions such as cardiac arrest, an emergency response is essential, and ambulances aren't always able to arrive quickly at the event's location, especially during the very height of the summer tourist season, which is characterised by crowds and congestion. In that case, these remarkable devices help, and they can also be used by lay people because of their ease of use.

The first devices were installed in the very centre of Crikvenica, in the TIC (Tourist Information Centre), on the ground floor of  Hotel International, and in the building of the Tourist Agency in the very centre of Selce.

By the height of the summer this year, two more such devices will be installed on the beaches in Dramalj and Jadranovo, and after the tourist season they will be moved to the Crikvenica City Sports Hall and to the Dr. Antun Barac High School. The purpose is to bring the devices as close as possible to the places where a large number of young people and athletes gather and are very active.

The Red Cross soon plans to start educating employees of the Crikvenica TIC and other interested parties, who could be able to use the AVD and help those who suffer from sudden cardiac episodes get the urgent care they need in such situations.

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

Thursday, 19 May 2022

Dalmatian Coast Particularly Vulnerable to Fluctuating Tourism Trends

May the 19th, 2022 - It's not exactly news that Croatia as a whole is heavily dependent on tourism, with the sector being this country's strongest economic branch. The Dalmatian coast, however, is the most vulnerable location of all in this country when it comes to tourist trend fluctuations.

As Morski writes, the Institute of Economics in Zagreb recently conducted the first comprehensive study called: "The vulnerability of local self-government units of the Republic of Croatia to tourism activities" which reveals interesting trends related to the exposure of the Croatian economy and local units to tourism activities and trends. The study was implemented as part of the Mastercard project Uplift, which is intended for the development of micro, small and medium enterprises with a focus on tourism.

The results of the study, made as a step in promoting sustainable tourism and integrating tourism into the broader context of the country's overall economic development, were presented at a panel discussion.

Croatian tourism and the country's GDP

Tourism is the most important Croatian economic sector. Back in pre-pandemic 2019, tourism activity in Croatia directly generated 11.8 percent of the country's total GDP. At the same time, the gross value added of tourism activities in that year amounted to a massive 82.8 billion kuna, which is 24.4 percent of the total gross value added that year. Croatia is also much more dependent on tourism revenues than its Mediterranean competitors are. As such, tourist revenues back in 2018 and 2019 amounted to as much as 18.3 and 21 percent of GDP, and in 2020 and 2021 were reduced to 8.9 and 15.8 percent of GDP due to the negative effects of the coronavirus pandemic on tourist and travel demand. Even such reduced revenues from tourism in the two pandemic-dominated years were still, when expressed as a share of GDP, by far the largest in the entire European Union (EU).

A study by the Institute of Economics in Zagreb further analysed the situation as it was from 2012 to 2021.

Some of the interesting data from the study shows that a comparison of the values ​​of the seasonality index in 2021 compared to 2012 suggests that the shortening of the tourist season was recorded by local units in the Dalmatian hinterland that have started to engage in tourism more intensively during the summer tourist season.

When the value of the index of vulnerability to the concentration and seasonality of Croatian tourism is observed, it grows across most local units in the analysed period. This is happening because the demand for Croatian tourist products is growing intensively, so the concentration of demand in a large part of local units is increasing. The most vulnerable are the local units of Zadar County, followed by Split-Dalmatia County, Dubrovnik-Neretva County, Sibenik-Knin County and Istria County. With only Istria County standing out, it's obvious that the Dalmatian coast is extremely vulnerable to any alterations when it comes to tourism.

In addition, the study shows that the share of private accommodation in terms of total accommodation capacities has increased significantly in the vast majority of local units, while the share of accommodation in hotels, hostels and camps is declining. The most unfavourable structure of accommodation capacities is recorded by Split-Dalmatia County, which has 87.8 percent of private accommodation capacities, and the most favourable is the City of Zagreb, with 52.7 percent of accommodation capacities in hotels, hostels and camps.

Compared to the competition, the demand for Croatia is stronger

Compared to 2012, the number of beds per capita increased by 38.3 percent, which is the largest increase in the concentration of accommodation facilities among Mediterranean countries. At the same time, the number of tourist overnight stays increased by 38.2 percent in the period from 2012 to 2019, reaching 7.05 million overnight stays in 2019.

"The good news is that, compared to the competition across the rest of the Mediterranean, Croatia is also recording a significant increase in demand for its tourism. If we analyse this increase in intensity by counties in more detail, we come to an interesting conclusion: the wave of interest in Croatia spilled over from the usual coastal destinations to the interior, to locations not so much engaged in tourism - such as units in Istria, Dalmatia, Lika and Gorski Kotar, and even in the continental part of the country,'' pointed out Maruska Vizek from the Institute of Economics in Zagreb.

"We're aware of the challenges in the structure of accommodation focused on private renters and the further development of tourism should go in the direction of building accommodation facilities of this type that will allow the extension of the tourist season and create additional value. In coastal areas, the emphasis should be on quality, while in areas that are becoming increasingly interesting for tourism, such as Baranja, Lika and Gorski Kotar, we need both quantity and high quality of accommodation,''said Slavko Steficar from the Ministry of Tourism and Sport.

For more, make sure to check out our travel section.

Thursday, 19 May 2022

Luka Modrić Wins Marca Leyenda Award for Outstanding Career in Spain

May 19, 2022 - Luka Modrić received the Marca Leyenda award, given by the respected Spanish newspaper to the best sports professionals in Spain.

Croatia captain Luka Modrić has been awarded another great recognition for his impressive career. On Wednesday, Modrić received the Marca Leyend award, given by the respected Spanish newspaper to the best sports professionals in Spain.

Luka arrived in the company of his wife, Vanja Modrić, and was accompanied by the director of Marca. The Modrić couple shone on the red carpet, took photos, and headed to their seats.

Luka walked into the hall of the Madrid casino through a line of kids in Real Madrid jerseys on one side and Croatia jerseys on the other. In his introductory words, he said that he was very emotional to receive this award, given to legends like Messi and Ronaldo.

"I am aware of what the people at Real want from me; it is clear that this is something amazing, and I am very grateful for that love. I will do my best in every game to reciprocate that love. Real Madrid is everything to me. This is my home; I am very happy here. I am living these moments, and they make me very happy. I am just another 'Madridista; it's for life," said Modrić.

Former Croatia captain Zvonimir Boban and another Real Madrid legend, Emilio Butragueno, sent him a message at the award ceremony, calling Modrić, a real example for children.

"Modrić has spent many beautiful days in football; he is a special player, a special man, an exceptional person. He gave us exceptional football beauty, but becoming Marca's legend is something few of them experience. This award remains with him forever. Marca is a mythical world newspaper, not only in Spain but like Luka, in the world. We Croats are proud of you, Luka," said Boban. 

After six Croatian championships with Dinamo, the Croatia captain has won 19 trophies in the Real Madrid jersey. He also left a deep mark at Tottenham, and in 2018 he led the national team to the World Cup silver medal, where he was named the best player in the World Cup for the Golden Ball.

Luka posted a photo of the award on Instagram, where he was congratulated by Karim Benzema, Marcelo, Lucas Vazquez, Isco, Narco Asensio, Iker Casillas, Mladen Petrić, and many others.

Source: HNS

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

Thursday, 19 May 2022

SplitX Summit: An Exclusive Gathering of XR, Metaverse, and Web3 Experts

May 19, 2022 - What happens when you invite an exclusive group of experts and leaders, put them in a venue like no other, and immerse them in a program designed to maximize creative collaboration? Many would call it a fantasy. They call it SplitX Summit. 

Held in Split's most stunning locations like Diocletian's Palace, Prokurative, Klis Fortress, and more, SplitX Summer is held from May 27 to 29, as a gathering of XR, Metaverse, and Web 3 experts. 

The Summit traditionally gathers the world’s greatest minds as a way to foster relationships and drive new opportunities with lasting impact far beyond the event. Featuring panels, fireside chats, parties, and outdoor excursions, the Summit topics are also crowdsourced, meaning members can suggest the topics they want the group to discuss at the event, with a collective decision on the final topics.

The event this year is kicking off with pre-Summit activities as a warmup before the main event. It all begins on May 21 at noon with the incredible Anouk Wipprecht, a fashion-tech designer who has worked on many projects and partnered with companies such as American multinational technology company INTEL, software producer Autodesk, internet giants Google and Microsoft, car brand AUDI, crystal creator Swarovski, and leading 3D printing innovators amongst others. Anouk researches and develops how future wardrobes would look by embedding technology into what we wear.

A lecture on Anouk’s work in the fashion tech industry will be held for girls aged 8 to 16, followed by questions and answers. During the workshop, participants will learn to build, engineer, code & test electronic kitty ears! Limited to 10 participants, you can register at https://lnkd.in/eq3RCzUm.

Furthermore, prominent Croatian personal trainer Dalibor Petrinić will host a workshop on May 23! 

After 18 years of researching the human body and its abilities, he reached his maximum potential and shared his tricks with the public thanks to his online presence and three best-selling books. This two-day on-site workshop will uncover what participants are capable of and how to reach more productivity in everyday life. You can find more information here: https://summit.splitx.com/dalibor-petrinic/

Pre-summit activities also include a hillside wine tasting experience at a 300-year-old winery and a sightseeing tour of ancient Salona and the Jadro River to discover Dalmatia's history and gastronomy! 

All information about the SplitX Summit can be found here

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

Thursday, 19 May 2022

16 Wizz Air Flights to Split and Dubrovnik this Summer!

May 19, 2022 - The latest flight news to Croatia as 16 Wizz Air flights to Split and Dubrovnik will run this summer, offering more than 370,000 seats to and from Croatia during the tourist season. 

Hungarian low-cost airline Wizz Air plans to operate to two Croatian airports, Split and Dubrovnik, on a total of 16 international routes this summer, which is more than last year's summer flight schedule, reports Croatian Aviation

Wizz Air is still negotiating with certain airports in Croatia, so there is a chance that more new routes will be announced in the peak season, although the chances are getting smaller as we approach the summer.

Currently, 16 international lines to Split and Dubrovnik are available for booking. 

Lines from Split to:

Vienna, from 1 June, three times a week, until the end of September,

Rome, from June 6, four times a week, until the end of September,

Vilnius, from June 13, twice a week, until the end of September,

Gdansk, from June 13, twice a week, until the end of September,

Katowice, from June 4, three to five times a week, until the end of October,

Krakow, from June 4, three to five times a week, until the end of October,

Lublin, from June 13, twice a week, until the end of September,

Poznan, from June 17, twice a week, until the end of September,

Warsaw, from June 14, three times a week, until the end of October,

Wroclaw, from June 6, two to three times a week, until the end of October,

London (Luton), from June 13, daily, until early October

Lines from Dubrovnik to:

Vienna, from June 4, three times a week, until the end of September,

Rome, from June 13, three times a week, until the end of September,

Warsaw, from June 13, twice a week, until the end of September,

Wroclaw, from August 4, twice a week, until the end of September,

London (Luton), from July 4, four times a week, until the end of October.

Currently, 1,778 operations have been announced on these lines for this summer, with most, of course, to Split Airport. A320 and A321 aircraft with a capacity of 180 to 230 seats have been announced on all routes.

Thus, 282,150 seats are available to and from Split on Wizz Air, while 89,452 seats are available to and from Dubrovnik Airport.

The Hungarian airline is offering more than 370 thousand seats to and from Croatia in the upcoming summer season, and most of the routes will start operating in the first half of June, or in a little less than a month.

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

Wednesday, 18 May 2022

Statehood Day and 30th Anniversary of Croatia's International Recognition Celebrated in New York

May 28, 2022 - The celebration of Statehood Day was held last Friday in the restaurant Dubrovnik in New Rochelle, NY.

The ceremony was opened by Lidija Babić, Consul of the 1st class, and then the Consul General of the Republic of Croatia in New York Nikica Kopačević greeted everyone on her own behalf and on behalf of all employees of the Consulate General. He emphasized that this year also marks the 30th anniversary of Croatia's international recognition and thanked all Croatian veterans and their families, especially those who laid down their lives in the Homeland War, which is the foundation of the creation of a free Croatia. Kopačević also emphasized the importance of the unity of Croats in the homeland and Croats in the diaspora and thanked emigrated Croats around the world and especially Croats in the United States and New York for all they have done to create a free and independent state of Croatia.

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In his speech, he also referred to the words of the first Croatian president, Dr. Franjo Tuđman, who said that May 30 was the constitutive creation of a new and democratic Croatian Parliament, which was the beginning of modern Croatia and the long-term dream of many Croats. and emigration. A minute of silence was observed in honor of all the fallen Croatian defenders who built their lives into the foundations of Croatia.

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The program of the celebration began with the performance of the American and Croatian anthems, which were magnificently sung by the klapa Astoria from New York, accompanied by Viktor Šarić. Along with the klapa Astoria, everyone sang “God Save Croatia”, and later during the party they were joined by Joško Grbac, a member of the group Dalmati from New York and Croatian-American music artist Tommi Mischell.

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The celebration of Statehood Day in New York was enhanced by representatives of the Society for the Preservation of Šibenik Heritage Juraj Dalmatinac (http://www.jurajdalmatinac.com/) led by its president Nikola Grubić, who set up the exhibition Šibenik Through the Centuries and presented the work of the society on rebuilding fortresses and portals in the city center of Šibenik, the Geonucleus project, magazine Juraj and other projects.

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Special thanks for preserving Croatian national and cultural identity in New York was given to the Croatian Catholic priests from the Croatian Church in Manhattan and the Croatian Catholic Mission in Astoria, as well as to the Croatian Radio Club NY - "Voice of Free Croatia", which has been operating in New York for more than 50 years. Among the representatives of the Croatian Radio New York, the celebration was attended by Zvonimir Crnogorac, the oldest member and one of the hosts of that radio since 1972.

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(Photos credit: Ane Strazicic Rodriguez)

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

Wednesday, 18 May 2022

SDP Chief Doesn't Want Developments in USA to Happen in Croatia Too

ZAGREB, 18 May 2022 - Social Democratic Party (SDP) leader Peđa Grbin said on Wednesday that the left-wing opposition groups in parliament had agreed that it was necessary to launch an initiative to amend the constitution to include the right to abortion.

"We from the seven groups that represent the progressive opposition in parliament have agreed today that it is necessary to amend the constitution to enable women to have the right to choose when it comes to abortion," said Grbin, adding that they do not want current developments in the USA concerning abortion happen in Croatia.

In early May, foreign media outlets reported that the US Supreme Court might overturn the nationwide legal right to abortion, according to a leaked draft of a court document.

Grbin told a press conference today that representatives of the left-wing opposition parties would in the coming days discuss and agree on how to amend the constitution. He said that one option was to collect the signatures of a fifth of MPs in the 151-seat legislature for a motion to amend the constitution while the other was to start collecting signatures for a referendum petition.

Grbin said the opposition was discussing whether to request a hearing of Health Minister Vili Beroš in parliament, adding that he did not rule out that the opposition would table a motion of no confidence in the minister.

For more, check out our politics section.

Wednesday, 18 May 2022

Ministry to Find Solution to Non-emergency Medical Transportation Drivers' Strike

ZAGREB, 18 May 2022 - The Ministry of Health stated on Wednesday that it was taking steps for a solution to demands by striking non-emergency medical transportation drivers, adding that their strike was illegal because it affected the rights of numerous patients.

Ambulance drivers have been striking for three days and have said they would continue until their demands are met for their wages to be equalised throughout the country as now their wages can differ up to HRK 1,500 depending on which county employs them.

"The ministry and government are doing everything within the framework of financial abilities to resolve the status and financial problems of non-emergency medical transportation drivers and paramedics which dated back from the period of the government of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and their coalition partners 11 years ago. We believe that we will very quickly find a satisfactory solution to that issue," the ministry said in the press release.

Regarding the protest calling for wage indexes to be equalised in calculating wages based on job complexity, the ministry noted that it understands the justified demands, however, it cannot support an illegal strike that the unions organised contrary to regulations.

The ministry says that the strike has unjustifiably deprived numerous patients in the entire country of their right to medical transport which is of exceptional importance in their treatment and providing daily medical services.

About 400 non-emergency medical transportation drivers and paramedics in eight counties started their industrial action on Monday.

Unlike the ministry that claimed that the unfavourable status of ambulance drivers dates from the period of the SDP government, unionists told a press conference last week that the problem has existed since 2011 when the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) was in power and Darko Milinović served as the health minister.

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

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