Monday, 27 June 2022

Arriva Travel Looks to Make Croatian Danube River Cruises a Hit

June the 27th, 2022 - One company is making a comeback following a two year coronavirus pandemic-induced break with Danube river cruises, providing a chance for people to see part of Croatia and of Europe that few pay much attention to - a river known as the main artery of this part of the continent.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Mladen Miletic writes, the Danube is known by many as the main artery of Europe, it's the mighty river that both connects and separates. It used to be the border of worlds, and for some it is still to this very day. The Danube is sung about in the Croatian national anthem (Croatian: himna), it's in the title of the most famous Strauss composition and in countless verses sung by the Pannonian sailor Djordje Balasevic, born in Novi Sad, Serbia, on the Danube.

The eternal inspiration of poets, painters and novelists, Italian writer Claudio Magris dedicated a famous novel to this river, following the flow of the Danube to the mouth of the Black Sea, revealing that there are still disputes among towns in southwestern Germany about exactly where the Danube originates.

All of the above is only a small part of the reason why at least once in a lifetime, it's worth embarking on a voyage along the great river that flows through the far east of Croatia, in an area very few people from abroad ever visit or think of. The starting or ending point of the cruise, depending on the choice, is in the port of the Croatian hero city of Vukovar.

The Arriva travel agency has been organising river cruises for years, and following a pandemic-induced break, they're now offering Danube river cruises - the Vukovar-Vienna route, as well as the even more eastern variant of Vukovar-Vidin (an ancient city in northwestern Bulgaria).

''We also offer cruises along the Rhine, but we don't have any realisations for that yet this year. However, the Danube river cruises are more attractive to people precisely because of the departures being from Croatia, where we organise group departures,'' explained Tamara Cerneka, the director of Arriva Travel.

''The specificity of the Danube river cruises and indeed most others is that passengers board at one port and disembark at another, which requires a transfer in one direction. That's why group departures are more attractive. The first group of Danube river cruises organised by Arriva travel started this year on May the 27th, and by mid-June, we'd realised four departures,'' Cerneka added.

Cruises, both those at sea and those along rivers, are still a segment making a more slow and cautious return following the global coronavirus pandemic. Travellers are still unsure and have their eyes fixed on autumn, afraid to book a cruise in advance for fear of new epidemiological measures being introduced as has been the case over the past two years.

Danube river cruises will certainly be a way for visitors to Croatia to spend time in a part of the country which is the bipolar opposite of the likes of Dalmatia with its rugged mountains, intense dry heat and crystal clear waters. It's also wildly different to Kvarner and Istria, known for similar traits. Eastern Croatia, once the breadbasket of the country, heavily wounded during the Homeland War and now shamefully neglected and suffering from a severe demographic crisis, has a lot to boast about when it comes to its natural and cultural charms - this might just be the perfect way to see that.

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

Monday, 27 June 2022

Osijek Company Barrage Opening Another Office, Hiring More Employees

June the 27th, 2022 - The Osijek company Barrage is set to open yet another office, this time in Nasice, and employ even more workers. The move being made by this software company will surely help ongoing Eastern Croatian demography issues.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Josipa Ban writes, the Osijek company Barrage, founded a mere six years ago, should open an office in Nasice by September this year, in addition to their exisitng office in the City of Osijek.

This company has been growing both in terms of revenue and number of employees since its establishment. Back in 2016 they started out with 5 million kuna in revenue and ended in 20 million kuna in consolidated revenue, as well as 8 million kuna earned in 2021. They decided open their office in a small Slavonian town of only 14,000 residents because they noticed that this is a city where they have the talent they need.

Plans in Nasice

"Through the Croatian Association of Linux Users (HULK), which has a long tradition, they showed interest in software and we estimated that no other place in the area has the potential we need," explained Luka Striskovic, the director of Legal Affairs and Human Resources within the Osijek company Barrage.

Six engineers have already been employed by the company, and a total of ten should be working there by the end of the year. Work on the landscaping should be completed soon, but with the move of engineers currently working from home, they will wait until the end of summer, ie September.

This company is engaged in a wide range of software activities, which makes them specific here on the domestic market; as they deal with the development of custom software systems, the development of data centers and digital products, and it's a fact that by the end of this year they plan to increase their number of employees from the current 108 to 150.

The increase in the number of workers should come as no surprise given the number of projects the Osijek company Barrage is currently working on and developing, especially given the fact that this is a company that generates 99 percent of its revenue on foreign markets.

One of the projects is the development of the digital product Travelspot for business travel management. The other is Roango, a platform specialising in hiring professionals in the ICT sector. Both of these platforms were created during the coronavirus crisis and during lockdown, in response to the problems they themselves faced.

While they predict that this year, Barrage's business results will be better than last year’s, they're still looking at 2023 with a healthy dose of caution.

A less than certain 2023...

“We need to be moderately optimistic because the current phase of financial planning comes down more to prophecies than it does to stable planning. Looking at the global economy, there's definitely a difficult time ahead of us,'' pointed out the director of legal affairs and human resources of the company, whose philosophy is that healthy local patriotism can result in something big.

"We believe that a lot can be done here in Slavonia. In many areas, such as industry and agriculture, Slavonia has been struggling for years. We're ready to change all that by enabling people to get a job here at home and not have to head elsewhere,'' concluded Striskovic, noting that their upcoming office in Nasice is the first step towards that.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated Made in Croatia section.

Monday, 27 June 2022

Croatia Beach Handball Team Wins 2022 World Championships in Greece!

June 27, 2022 - After the Croatia junior beach handball team brought home the gold medal just one week ago, the senior Croatia beach handball team recorded their third world title and 30th medal total after winning the 2022 Men's Beach Handball World Championships in Greece!

The Croatia men's senior beach handball team took home the title at the World Championships in Heraklion on Sunday! 

In the final match, Croatia was better than Denmark 2-0 (24-22, 21-18) in sets and thus secured their third world title and the 30th medal for Croatia beach handball.

After six days of competition and nine wins in nine games, Lucian Bura was named the best right-winger and the best scorer of the championship.

This year's World Championships final was a replay of last year's final at the European Championships, but this time with a happy ending and Croatia's victory.

Denmark tried to catch up and get closer to Croatia to bring the game to a penalty shootout, but they could not threaten the extremely collected Croatia throughout the tournament.

"The final match, the only match in which you have nothing to lose, and you can only win. Against Denmark, it was exactly as we imagined, challenging and on one ball. 

This time it turned out that we reacted excellently. They respected our agreements, and we responded skillfully defensively, especially Valentino and Jurić, who agreed and made it easier for our goalkeeper in the defense.

This is our third title, something we always strive for. I always have the feeling that gold is coming home, and we had that feeling throughout the tournament. And all credit to the boys for a great game," pointed out Croatia's coach Mladen Paradžik.

"A tough match, a match decided by details, literally small misses. In the first set, we missed a lot - maybe two, three shots, maybe one more for them, and we played maybe a better defense, which brought us victory.

We were both nervous in the second set, and it was clear that it was the final, but the last couple of defenses were great; Domi picked up something and, in the end, I think, a well-deserved victory.

Of course, it is a great success, especially after the junior national team also won the title a few weeks ago. An excellent three weeks in Greece for Croatia handball," commented Nikola Finek, a Croatia national team member who recorded an outstanding performance at the World Championships. 

Croatia's new world champions in beach handball:


Congratulations to the players and coaching staff on this exceptional achievement!

Source: HRS

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated sports section

Monday, 27 June 2022

Split to Have Mayoral Runoff between Last Mayor and HDZ Candidate

ZAGREB, 27 June 2022 - Ivica Puljak, who was short 1.3 percentage points for the victory in the first round of the election, and Zoran Đogaš, the candidate supported by the HDZ party will vie in Split's mayoral runoff, according DIP's first results of the snap elections held on Sunday.

The first results released by the State Electoral Commission (DIP) on Sunday evening after all of the 163  polling stations were closed in this second biggest Croatian city, show that Puljak of the Centar party  won 48.73% of the vote (22,561 ballots), while Đogaš came as second with 25.67% of the vote (11,887 ballots). Thus they will run in the second round of the mayoral election on 10 June.

Other mayoral seven candidates won below 10% of the vote: Željko Kerum of the HGS (7.94%), Josip Markotić of the Bridge party (4.53%), Aris Zlodre of the Homeland Movement (3.89%). Davor Matijević of the SDP (3.84%), Tamara Visković of the We Can and the New Left (1.85%), Kristina Vidan of the Pametno za Split i Dalmaciju (1.28%) and an independent Ante Franić (0.66%). 

Puljak's Centar party wins a relative majority in city council

Also, the early elections were held for the 31-seat city council, and according to the returns from the polling stations the Centar party won 42.47% of the vote. The slate of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and the Croatian Peasant Party (HSS) follows with 23.81%, while the HGS party of a former mayor Kerum ranks   third with 7.11% of the vote. 

The other three slates that passed the 5% threshold are Bridge with 6.61% of the vote, the SDP/HSU with 5.75% and the Homeland Movement (DP) with its partners HDS and HSP and the Sovereignists (5.63%).

The turnout at the polls was 31.6%.

Early elections for the mayor and the city council were in Split on Sunday, slightly more than 12 months after the ordinary local elections which were held in Croatia in May 2022. The snap polls were called after Mayor Ivica Puljak and his two deputies tendered their resignations on 8 April following a scandal involving Deputy Mayor Bojan Ivošević, who threatened a local reporter and was subsequently indicted for intimidation. The Office of the State Prosecutor (DORH) in Spit issued the indictment on 23 March.

After their resignation, the members of the 31-seat city council also stepped down, paving the way for an early election for the city council.

Monday, 27 June 2022

National Croatian Wine Day Celebrated in the USA

June 27, 2022 - Did you know that for the last 2 years, there is a registered wine holiday in the USA that celebrates - Croatia!? A look at national Croatian Wine Day!

This wonderful initiative came from Anna M. Viducic, a founder of Aroma Wine Co. As she explained: "#NationalCroatianWineDay celebrates Croatia's Independence Day on June 25, and it highlights Croatia's unique wine history dating back to 2500 years", said Ms Viducic, adding that "Croatia is a home to an estimated 120 indigenous grape varietals and four key wine regions - Croatian Uplands, Dalmatia, Istria and Kvarner, and Slavonia and Croatian Danube, 16 sub-regions and 66 appellations..." She is born into a Croatian family and raised in Paris, France, and she spent most of her summer vacations in Croatia, enjoying everything that the country has to offer, including working in her family’s vineyards. “Wine is in my DNA, and I am making it my mission to promote Croatian wines globally”, said Ms Viducic.


Since June 2020, ‘National Croatian Wine Day’ has been a registered wine holiday in the United States.

National Croatian Wine Day will be celebrated each year on Croatia’s Independence Day on June 25, the day when the Croatian Parliament declared its independence from Yugoslavia in 1991. National Croatian Wine Day highlights Croatia’s unique wine history dating back to 2,500 years.


Here is how you can help spread the word about the quality of #Croatian wine:
1) pour #croatian #wine for you and your friends
2) share this to your friends and colleagues - pls don’t just “like”
3) take photos and share on social media letting everyone know
4) tag your local importer, distributor, restaurant or store Croatian Premium Wine Imports, Inc. (USA) Croatia Unpacked @adriaticwines (EU) @adriaticgourmet @croatian_vintage (Australia) Vinum USA @4240brands (CO) or any others
5) ask your neighborhood wine bar, restaurant or a store if they have #Croatian wines to serve

Use any hashtag with “wine” and “Croatia” you can find, particularly in your local area. You can read more about Croatian wines at Cheers! - Živjeli!

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Sunday, 26 June 2022

Turnout For Early Local Election In Split At 21.7% By 16:30

ZAGREB, 26 June 2022 - A total of 27,468 voters, or 21.74 per cent, turned out by 4.30 pm on Sunday for an early local election in the southern coastal city of Split, which is 12 per cent less than at the same time at last year's ordinary local elections.

The citizens of Split are choosing a mayor among nine candidates, and 31 city councillors from 11 lists of candidates. Voters can cast their ballots at 163 polling stations, which opened at 7 am and close at 7 pm.

The State Electoral Commission (DIP) is due to announce initial results on its website at 9 pm.

The nine mayoral candidates are: Ivica Puljak of the Centre party; Zoran Đogaš, who is supported by the HDZ and HSS parties; former mayor Željko Kerum, backed by his HGS party; Josip Markotić of the Bridge party; the SDP's candidate  Davor Matijević; independent Ante Franić; Kristina Vidan of the Smart (Pametno) party; Tamara Visković of the We Can and New Left parties, and Aris Zlodre of the Homeland Movement.

The snap election in Croatia's second largest city was called after Mayor Ivica Puljak and his two deputies, who were elected in 2022, resigned on 8 April following a scandal involving Deputy Mayor Bojan Ivošević, who threatened a local reporter and was subsequently indicted for intimidation. After their resignation, members of the 31-seat City Council also stepped down.

(Hina) vm

Sunday, 26 June 2022

Three Reasons to Visit the Croatian Adriatic Coast in September

June 26, 2022 - Summer has just arrived and in what could be called the first year back to normal since the pandemic began, and the country is preparing for a big wave of tourism in the next two months. But have you thought about September as the ideal time to visit the Croatian Adriatic coast? Here are three reasons you should. 

Ferries everywhere, parties along the coast, film and music festivals, Instagrammable landscapes, and much more. There is no better time to visit the Croatian Adriatic coast than in the height of summer... or is there?

It is not a secret that many seek to anticipate the high season, or wait a bit for it to pass. Before the pandemic began, months like May, June, September, or October attracted many tourists from abroad and there was no shortage of flights arriving at Croatian airports. Unfortunately, the situation in recent years has forced many to focus their efforts on July and August, due to the uncertainty caused by travel restrictions in Europe.

However, it is almost impossible to deny that the situation seems to have finally reversed. After two difficult years, travel restrictions to Croatia are almost non-existent. Although the current Russian invasion of Ukraine has also generated a great deal of uncertainty for companies linked to tourism, as well as for tourists themselves, the Ukrainian resistance and the progressive retreat of the Russian invasion seem to offer a more positive outlook.

If you don't feel like visiting the Croatian Adriatic coast in the high season or you're still not sure when to book your tickets and accommodation, here are three reasons why you should consider September as a good month to travel to Croatia.

Fewer crowds

It is not an accident, nor a miscalculation. Not a single space to lie on the beach, you have to wait to walk through the narrow streets in the old towns, no tables available at restaurants, sold-out tickets for ferries... July and August are crowded months all over the Croatian Adriatic coast, and for many, this is not very pleasant. In September, however, you will notice how the beaches begin to empty and the number of tourists in the coastal cities and on the islands begins to decline week after week.

Many returning to work, young people preparing to go back to university, and the little ones are back at school... the holidays are over! And this is where yours begin, without crowds. 


Photo: Mario Romulić

Hot, but not too hot

By the time this article was written, weather forecasts anticipate temperatures above 33 degrees for the last week of June. Although there is a heat wave that will hit much of the region, temperatures between July and August on the coast average between 29 and 32 degrees, and do not drop below 24 degrees at night. This may not be so bad for some, such as those who come from cold or sea-less countries, as they can take full advantage of the freshness of the Adriatic Sea.

However, there are others who can feel really hit by the strong heat, and it is totally valid to avoid places with very high temperatures, as it can be even dangerous. In September, the weather is still very pleasant to take a dip in the sea and there is even no need to bundle up at night, because during the day the maximum temperature averages between 25 and 26 degrees, while at night it can drop to 18 degrees. And not only is it good to go to the beach without fear of burning, but September is also a good month to visit the National Parks without a crushing sun to stop you.


Photo: Mario Romulić


Perhaps the first two can be reasons that one can anticipate, but when it comes to prices between July and August, things can be very unnerving. Landlords raising their prices at the last minute, taxi drivers charging fortunes from here to there, or tickets to certain places of interest at an exorbitant cost, visiting Croatia in the high season can give one goosebumps when it's time to do the maths. Some say it's fair, others say it's scandalous, but the truth is that many will raise their eyebrows after seeing the prices of accommodation, ferry tickets, or the taxi meter.

You can already see the prices in September, and the difference is noticeable almost immediately. While they are not as low as in April or October, when you consider that there will be fewer crowds and the weather will still be spectacular, prices in September are surely a bargain.


Photo: Mario Romulić

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

Sunday, 26 June 2022

Croatian Police Working on Implementing New IT Systems

ZAGREB, 26 June 2022 - National chief of police Nikola Milina said on Sunday that Croatia was fully ready to apply the Schengen acquis and was working with others in the European Union on the implementation of new information technology systems.

"The Croatian police service has done all, and there are already several decisions saying that Croatia is technically fully ready to apply the Schengen acquis. Now this process is at a political level," Milina told the press during a visit to Glina, where he attended a ceremony marking the 31st anniversary of the start of armed resistance against the Serb military aggression.

He said that the police were working with others in the EU on the implementation of new large information technology systems and adjustments relating to a new package that is under preparation.

On Friday, the European Council endorsed the recommendation for Croatia's accession to the euro area, and next week the French EU Presidency will start the decision-making process on accession to the Schengen passport-free area. A decision on accession on 1 January might be adopted in the autumn.

Asked about migration, Milina said that the Croatian police were highly trained and prepared, but that this process never stopped.

For more, check out our politics section.

Sunday, 26 June 2022

New National Addiction Action Strategy in Final Stage of Preparation

ZAGREB, 26 June 2022 - Health Minister Vili Beroš announced on Sunday that the new National Addiction Action Strategy was in its final stage of preparation.

The main aspects of the new strategy will be presented at a round table on addiction-related policies in Zagreb on Monday.

"The price of drug addiction, which is paid by the citizens of Croatia and other EU countries, is very high, given addiction-related allocations for public health," Beroš said on the occasion of the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, observed on 26 June.

Drug addiction is one of the longest-standing threats to our society, directly and indirectly affecting the lives of millions of people, and the struggle against addiction requires a multidisciplinary and integrated approach at the national, local, and international levels, he said.

Within 30 days of the adoption of the strategy by parliament, the government will adopt an action plan for 2022-2026 specifying steps in the implementation of the defined measures, the Health Ministry said in a press release.

The European survey on smoking, drinking and drug use among students, cited in the press release, shows that Croatia is above the European average regarding the use of illegal substances among young people.

"Specifically, 21 percent of students said they have tried drugs at least once in their lives, mostly cannabis. As for the use of new psychoactive substances, Croatia is also above the European average, with 5.1 percent against 3.4 percent in the EU," the press release said.

Particularly alarming is the finding that 17 percent of 15-year-olds have tried marijuana at least once in their lives.

The negative trends in drug use and a dynamic market that produces new psychoactive substances at a great speed multiply health risks to citizens, which adversely affects the clinical picture of the nation, Beroš said.

He said that the National Strategy is consistent with the National Health Development Plan 2021-2027 and the reform measures promoting prevention and healthy lifestyle habits.

For more, check out our politics section.

Sunday, 26 June 2022

Four Croatian Healthcare Innovation Projects Selected for EU Funding

ZAGREB, 26 June 2022 - As many as four Croatian healthcare innovation projects are included among 20 projects from central, eastern and southern Europe selected for financing by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) under the Regional Innovation Scheme.

Eighty projects have applied for funding, and four Croatian ones have been selected, more than from any other country in the region, the Večernji List (VL) daily said on Sunday.

The EIT Health Regional Innovation Scheme supports the development of  innovation in healthcare in the countries of central, eastern and southern Europe. The consortia behind the selected innovations will be granted up to €75,000 for further development of products or solutions, mentoring, a place at a bootcamp, and access to potential investors and partners through EIT Health, a network of top healthcare innovators in Europe.

The selected Croatian projects are: MEGI, PsyFlux, StressLyft and the Human-Machine Interface.

MEGI aims to develop an AI-enabled virtual cardiovascular health assistant that uses personalised protocols to remind patients to take medication and measure their blood pressure at home.

The PsyFlux consortium is developing a telemetric intracranial pressure monitoring device that can be used outside the hospital without infection risks, allowing the patient to partake in everyday activities.

StressLyft is an educational course about workplace stress and stress relief skills, based on interactive video content, which companies provide for their employees to prevent work-related stress.

The gesture-based human machine interface for guided orthopaedic surgery aims to develop novel medical devices that help surgeons to make millimetre-precision measurements during hip replacement surgery and possibly other types of operations.

"Our aim is to find the best ideas and early-stage innovations in the region and encourage players from business and academia to build consortia and turn their concepts into realities," Mónika Tóth, EIT Health InnoStars RIS Programme Manager, was quoted as saying.

For more, check out our politics section.

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