Thursday, 20 January 2022

"It's Time" Campaign Launched for National Cancer Strategic Framework

ZAGREB, 20 Jan 2022 - The public health campaign called "It's Time" was presented in Zagreb on Thursday, with the aim of encouraging the implementation of Croatia's National Cancer Strategic Framework which has been delayed for a year during which time 15,637 people died of cancer, or 20% more than the European average.

The National Cancer Strategic Framework was adopted in the parliament a year ago and the campaign was launched by associations of oncology patients who wish to bring together the most important stakeholders in the health system and stimulate them to start implementing the plan.

An estimated 170,000 people in Croatia are suffering from some type of cancer, which is the second-highest cause of death in the country.

"Every day an estimated 30 people die of cancer and each year more than 25,000 are diagnosed and that is why we are saying that it's time to get moving. We've lost one year of the national plan and more than 15,000 lost their lives and it's time for us all to be actively involved," the president of the coalition of associations in the healthcare system, Ivica Belina, told a press conference on Thursday.

Assistant Health Minister Vera Katalinić Janković said that an action plan for the fight against cancer would be put into the procedure in the next week or so, to cover the next three-year period, as a first step in implementing the plan.

"The national plan will not be just a paper tiger nor a list of good wishes and it will be implemented, however, this is a process that cannot be conducted overnight. The ministry has formed task forces and I can add that the Action Plan is finished," she said.

The plan includes new radiology equipment, setting up an oncology network and database, as well as prevention, early detection, adequate treatment, and patient rehabilitation, said Katalinić Janković.

Cancer, a major health problem in Croatia, accounts for 27% of deaths in the country. It is a leading cause of death in people under the age of 65 and is the cause of every second death among women and 35% of deaths among men.

Make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Thursday, 20 January 2022

Changes to Vocational Education Regulate Learning Based on Work Practice

ZAGREB, 20 Jan 2022 - In a bid to enable better integration on the labor market and more practical knowledge of vocational students, changes to vocational education are defined to base learning on work practice and determine locations to achieve such goals: at school, with an employer or at a regional competence center.

Outlining the draft amendments, Education Minister Radovan Fuchs presented the cabinet meeting on Thursday with the findings of a survey conducted by the ministry together with the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (CEDEFOP) in the period from 2016 to 2018 which show that there is a growing gap between the supply of qualified workers and demand on the labor market.

The survey showed that more intensified cooperation is required between vocational schools and employers included in training students.

The results show that employers' stances indicated that young people have an insufficient level of competencies after they finish vocational school and that the main problem is the lack of practical knowledge required to perform certain jobs.

That is the reason for reforms in this segment of education, said Fuchs, and they are related to the further upgrade of the system, developing a new curriculum with emphasis on the green and digital transition, establishing a firm framework of support to employers and schools to further develop educational institutions.

In addition to strengthening learning based on work practice by connecting schools and employers, a key change relates to improving the system to ensure quality vocational education, setting up mechanisms and criteria to motivate students to choose skills needed in the labor market, improve the conditions for the further development of regional competence centers, and to ensure a quality curriculum.

"The amendments are aimed at improving the connectivity between the education system with the labor market," he said.

The amendments introduce, among other things, the expert overseeing of students in work practice activities, and for that purpose, a commission will be set up consisting of representatives of the economy ministry, the vocational education institution, the agency for vocational education, and adult training, the Croatian Chamber of Commerce and the Croatian Chamber of Trades and Crafts. Also, the duties of leaders at Vocational Education and Training are being defined.

For more, check out our dedicated politics section.

Thursday, 20 January 2022

EHF Euro 2022 Main Round: Croatia Falls to Montenegro in First Match of Group I (26:32)

 January 20, 2022 - Croatia falls to Montenegro 26:32 in the first match of Group I in the EHF Euro 2022 main round in Budapest. 

The main round of the European Handball Championship began on Thursday. Croatia met Montenegro in their first match of Group I.

Croatia enters the second round of the competition without points. Denmark, France, and Iceland transferred two points each, while Montenegro and the Netherlands also entered without points.

In Group II, Germany, Spain and Russia have two points each, while Norway, Sweden, and Poland have no points.

Croatia coach Hrvoje Horvat was not able to count on Valentin Ravnić today and invited three new players to the national team as COVID-19 plagued the roster. Thus, Mirko Alilović, Ivan Slišković, and Veron Načinović joined the Croatia squad. 

Recap

Cupic scored the first goal for Croatia for 1:0. Cindric scored for 2:2 in the 5th minute. It was 3:3 in the 8th minute. 

Montenegro was leading by 2 goals in the 12th minute - (3:5). Cupic scored for 4:6. Cindric scored for 5:7 in the 18th - and Cindric made it 6:8 in the 20th. 

Cupic scored his 3rd goal of the game for 7:9. Lucin made it 8:10 in the 24th and 9:11 a minute later. 

Montenegro was leading 13:9 with two minutes to go in the first half. A catastrophic end to the first half - Montenegro was up by 6 goals - 15:9.

Croatia goalkeeper Alilovic saved Montenegro's first attack of the second half. Cupic scored for 10:15 in the 31st minute. 

Alilovic saved Montenegro's next attack and Nacinovic scored for 11:15! 

It was 13:19 for Montenegro in the 38th minute before Cindric scored for 14:19 a minute later.

Gadza brought Croatia back to -5 in the 41st minute - 15:20. Cupic scored from 7 meters for 16:21 in the 43rd. Gadza scored again for 17:21. Mandic scored for 18:22 a minute later. 

Cupic and Martinovic made it 20:25 in the 48th. But Croatia's hope quickly dwindled - they were behind by 6 goals entering the final 10 minutes of the game, and Montenegro was up by 7 goals moments later. It was 28:20 for Montenegro in the 51st minute. 

Lucin scored for 21:28 with 7 minutes to go. Jelinic scored for 23:29 with 4 minutes left. Cupic scored for 24:30 with 3 minutes to go and it was 25:31 with 2 left. Cindric made it 26:31. The match ended 26:32 for Montenegro. 

Croatia plays Denmark next on Saturday. 

For today's remaining matches of Group I, France and the Netherlands play at 6 pm and Denmark and Iceland at 8:30 pm. In Group II, Russia and Sweden also met at 3:30 pm, Germany and Spain (6 pm), and Poland and Norway (8:30 pm).

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

Thursday, 20 January 2022

National Passenger Shipping Company Jadrolinija Marking 75th Anniversary

ZAGREB, 20 Jan 2022 - The national passenger shipping company Jadrolinija is marking its 75th anniversary on Thursday.

Upon its establishment on 20 January 1947, it had 41 vessels and in the following 75 years, it has operated 184.

Jadrolinija has been a leader in passenger transport in the Adriatic for more than 50 years, according to a press release, and this year it plans to invest in the development of the fleet, the digitalization of business and the development of services as well as signing strategic partnerships.

Jadrolinija currently has 54 vessels - ten catamarans, four-passenger ships, three international navigation, and 37 local navigation ferries.

These vessels operate on 37 local and two international lines connecting the Croatian and Italian coasts, with most lines operating year-round. The busiest lines during the summer season operate round the clock with nearly 600 departures a day.

Even during the past two pandemic years, Jadrolinija has demonstrated its ability to adapt and respond promptly, continuing to connect the mainland with the islands, the press release said.

Last year saw the beginning of recovery, with 85% of the turnover registered in the record year 2019 and a 40% increase from 2020.

Crew and passenger safety remains a priority, as confirmed by the national designation "Stay safe in Croatia" obtained last year, the company said, adding that it is designing new vessels that would include green technology in cooperation with the Kvarner Lürssen Design Centre.

Board president David Sopta said on the occasion of the 75th anniversary that Jadrolinija is "striving for excellence in every area - renewing the fleet with more modern vessels, investing in green technology, increasing business efficiency through digitalization and increasing passenger satisfaction by developing service quality."

For more, check out our dedicated travel section.

Thursday, 20 January 2022

Plenković: Omicron Seems to Be Less Dangerous Variant of Coronavirus

ZAGREB, 20 Jan 2022 - The Omicron variant of the coronavirus has been present in Croatia for several weeks now, but it "seems slightly less dangerous than was previously the case," Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said in his opening remarks at a regular cabinet meeting on Thursday.

"The number of new infections is not proportionately reflected in the number of hospitalizations and those placed on ventilators," Plenković said, adding that this was why the Omicron variant seemed less dangerous.

He, however, noted that the COVID-19 pandemic was continuing to spread and that Omicron was spreading faster and was more infectious.

"I call on the people who have not been vaccinated yet to get vaccinated, and those who have to take a booster dose. Over 700,000 people have so far received a booster dose," the prime minister said.

Stressing the importance of trust in science and medicine, he said that the only way to protect oneself from getting infected with the novel coronavirus was a combination of vaccination and compliance with epidemiological measures.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, make sure to bookmark our dedicated section and select your preferred language if it isn't English.

Thursday, 20 January 2022

Contactless Terminals at INA Petrol Pumps Never Made Operational in 18 Months of Testing

January 20th, 2022 - INA plans to implement contactless pay at their petrol pumps, but the terminals installed in the pilot phase haven’t had a trial run in over a year

Croatia’s leading oil company INA has been testing contactless payment at petrol pumps for a year and a half, reports Jutarnji list/Dora Koretić.

Petrol pumps at INA’s petrol station in Resnik were fitted with contactless payment terminals in 2020, aiming to limit close contact during the pandemic by allowing customers to pay for fuel without having to enter the store.

The terminals were recently removed because the company decided to test ‘other technical solutions available on the market’. This wouldn’t be an issue in itself, but as it turns out, the contactless payment terminals at the Resnik station were never made operational, making it unclear what exactly INA has been testing over the last 18 months.

The company stated this was a pilot project aiming to gather user feedback on contactless payment at petrol pumps using bank cards or fleet cards.

‘Customer satisfaction is our no.1 priority, which is why the company continuously works on developing new solutions to enable customers to purchase products and services at our stations in the simplest way possible. [The project] is still in the pilot phase, and for the sake of establishing the best technical solution the terminals have been removed temporarily. Installation of new ones is underway so that we could carry out an analysis of other technical solutions that are available on the market’, stated INA.

Despite how long it’s been since the pilot project was launched and the fact that the terminals were never put into use, INA state they consider digitalization a critical factor of business, especially in a time where preventative measures, such as maintaining physical distance and limiting the number of customers in stores, are of great importance.

The company has so far introduced contactless payment at the pump through the INA PAY mobile app, which is currently only available for corporate users holding an INA card. Coffee machines at INA  petrol stations are also equipped with contactless terminals. However, it still hasn’t been determined when mobile payment or other forms of contactless pay at the pump will become an option for private customers.

In contrast, many petrol stations in Slovenia offer customers the option to pay contactless at the pump. This mode of payment gained in popularity after the Slovenian government made Covid certificates a prerequisite for in-store payment at service stations, but not for contactless payment at petrol pumps.

 

Thursday, 20 January 2022

Opposition Strongly Criticises Social Welfare Reform Bills

ZAGREB, 20 Jan 2022 - The parliamentary opposition on Thursday strongly criticized a reformed set of social welfare bills, saying that the opinions of professionals have not been taken into account, that the system is being unnecessarily centralized, and that there might be long-term negative consequences.

Despite some improvements, the reform is going in the wrong direction and might have far-reaching negative consequences, and it is also contrary to everything professionals have said, Davorko Vidović of the Social Democrats' parliamentary club said in a debate on seven social welfare reform bills.

Anka Mrak Taritaš of GLAS said the aim of the bills should be making life easier for beneficiaries but that these bills were about form, not content.

Sandra Benčić of the Green-Left Bloc said two World Bank loans were taken out since 2003 for decentralizing services and reforming the social welfare system and that tens of millions of euros were absorbed from the EU for the same purpose.

What have been the effects of that and why is the course being drastically changed, she asked.

The ruling majority commended the reform, saying that it will result in a more efficient and more transparent system in the service of its beneficiaries.

The centralization refers only to administrative and legal affairs, Nada Murganić of the HDZ said, adding that the reform is timely as it envisages raising almost all allowances.

The guaranteed minimum allowance and the disability allowance are being raised while means' tests and other tests for persons with disabilities are being rescinded, said her colleague Vesna Bedaković.

Presenting the bills, Social Welfare Minister Josip Aladrović said the goal was to enhance the system's organization and coordination, strengthen social welfare centers, increase the availability of services, standardize action, and increase allowances.

"This set of bills is just the first step in improving the system in the long term," he added.

For more, check out our dedicated politics section.

Thursday, 20 January 2022

Croatia's Average Take-Home Pay for November €977

ZAGREB, 20 Jan 2022 - The average take-home wage earned in Croatia in November totaled HRK 7,333 (€977.7), rising 6.8% in nominal terms and 1.9% in real terms in comparison to the average salary in November 2020, the national statistical office (DZS) reported on Thursday.

The average wage rose 2.7% in nominal terms and two percent in real terms from October 2021.

The median net pay in November was HRK 6,149, which means that half of the people employed earned wages below that amount, and half earned wages above that amount.

From the start of the year until the end of November 2021, the average take-home pay in legal entities amounted to HRK 7,115 which was an increase of 5.5% nominally and 3.1% in real terms, on the year.

(€1 = HRK 7.519819)

Make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Thursday, 20 January 2022

Volume of Construction Work Up 18th Month in a Row

ZAGREB, 20 Jan 2022 - The volume of construction work in November 2021 was 4.5% up from the same month of 2020, while compared to October 2021 it was down 1%, preliminary data from the State Bureau of Statistics (DZS) indicate.

November 2021 was the 18th consecutive month to see a year-on-year increase in the volume of construction work.

The volume of construction work on buildings was up 6.9% compared to November 2020 while the volume of work on other structures was up 1.2%.

Compared to October 2021, the volume of work on buildings was 0.4% greater while the volume of work on other structures was down 3.3%.

A total of 60.8% of hours worked in November 2021 referred to work on new structures while 39.2% referred to repair works and maintenance.

For more, check out our dedicated business section.

Thursday, 20 January 2022

Average Age of Vehicles in Croatia Worrying 14.34 Years

ZAGREB, 20 Jan 2022 - Vehicles in Croatia are on average 14.34 years old and last year 19.74% did not pass a technical inspection at first go, the Center for Vehicles of Croatia said on Thursday.

In 2020, the average age of vehicles was 14.18 years.

Of 2,271,201 vehicles inspected last year, 448,386 were faulty, with an average of 5.14 faults detected per faulty vehicle.

Most of the faults were detected in lighting and light-signaling devices (560,000) and braking devices (537,000).

As in past years, more than 65,000 vehicles did not pass an eco test and more than 45,000 errors were found in control and signaling devices.

Last year saw an increase in hybrid and electric vehicles, with 15,918 hybrids, up from 8,080 in 2020, and 3,054 electric vehicles, up from 1,343 in 2020.

Last year the average distance traveled by vehicles in Croatia was 10,016 km, down from 12,542 km in 2019.

Make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

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