Monday, 11 October 2021

Šeparović Reelected Constitutional Court President

ZAGREB, 11 Oct 2021 - The Constitutional Court on Monday re-elected its president Miroslav Šeparović for another four-year term in office, the court said in a press release.

Šeparović has been at the helm of the court since 2016. His new term expires on 12 October 2025.

The president of the Constitutional Court is elected at a closed session by secret ballot, and seven out of 13 votes are necessary for the Court's head to be chosen. Šeparović has been head of the Constitutional Court since 2016. He was first elected in June 2016, and in October 2017 he was re-elected for a term of four years.

Šeparović told Hina today that the aim of his new term "is to boost the efficiency of the Constitutional Court" and improve the court's ratings.

Šeparović, born in the town of Blato on the island of Korčula on 18 July 1958, graduated from the Law School of the University of Zagreb in 1981. In 2013 he earned a doctoral degree.

He was the justice minister from 1995 to 1998 and performed some other high-level public duties.

For more on politics, CLICK HERE.

Monday, 11 October 2021

Zagreb Holding to Be Subjected to Debt Enforcement Over Millions of Kuna in Debt (Jutarnji List)

ZAGREB, 11 Oct 2021 - The Zagreb Holding utility conglomerate could soon be subjected to debt enforcement over the debt of several dozens of millions of kuna, Jutarnji List daily reported on Monday.

According to the daily, the potential debt enforcement was initiated by the Reoma waste management company, which on Friday sent enforcement documents to the Čistoća public sanitation company. The reason, they said, is that Holding hasn't paid them HRK 14 million for the removal of bulky waste.

Also, the Ce-Za-R company, connected with C.I.O.S. owner Petar Pripuz, is today also initiating debt enforcement collection against Holding, they confirmed, over a debt of HRK 11 million, while the construction company Ingra, or Lanište, is demanding about HRK 30 million from Holding, which Holding owes it for the lease of the Arena sports hall.

Ingra also warns Holding that the termination of the contract with their company Lanište would result in the City and Holding having to pay €120 million and a takeover of the Arena hall. All these sums come on top of an already difficult financial situation for the City and Zagreb Holding, which has now become a debtor (although it conducts about 500,000 debt enforcement proceedings per year over unpaid bills).

Holding ended last year, Jutarnji recalls, with a loss of HRK 250 million, which former Management Board chair Ana Deban Stojić said was due to the pandemic, and last week, about several dozens of millions kuna of unplanned expenses was incurred due to the rupture and reconstruction of water supply pipes in Selska Street.

At the beginning of Mayor Tomislav Tomašević's term in office, the City borrowed HRK 400 million from banks, and the budget is also burdened by loans of HRK 750 million from the state (due in May 2022), as well as by an additional loan of HRK 150 million from the state for repairing the damage from the earthquake.

As for Holding's current debts, those are mostly outstanding liabilities in the new management's term. The Reoma Group is therefore claiming HRK 14 million for the period from April to August for the removal of bulky waste (invoices are issued with a 60-day delay) plus default interest of HRK 100,000.

This is a HRK 90 million deal from 2019, which Holding closed during the term of Milan Bandić with the Reoma Group and the Ce-Za-R company. The contract expired in August this year due to the capacity being filled up, and Tomašević then cancelled the new tender for bulky waste removal and announced the procurement of two crushers so that the City could do the job on its own and save HRK 33 million, Jutarnji List reported.

For more on politics, CLICK HERE.

Monday, 11 October 2021

Croatia's Kardašević Wins Bronze at Free Diving World Championship in Turkey

ZAGREB, 11 Oct 2021 - Croatian Mirela Kardašević clinched a bronze medal at the Free Diving World Championship in Kaş, Turkey, setting a new Croatian record.

In the free diving discipline CNF (constant weight without fins) with a 63-meter dive, she set the national record and won medals in both pool and depth world championships.

The CMAS 5th Free Diving World Championship Outdoor took place in Turkey from 30 September to 10 October.

"Bronze at a depth world championship is a great success for me since I have very little time for preparation for depth. I am one of the few divers competing both in the pool and outdoor, so the success I have achieved makes me very happy."

At the Free Diving World Championship that took place in Belgrade in June, Mirela Kardašević won three medals -- one gold and two silvers. This is her eighth medal from Free Diving World Championships (two golds, three silvers, and three bronzes), and she has two bronze medals from European championships. Mirela Kardašević also holds six world records.

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Monday, 11 October 2021

Croatia Logs 170 New Coronavirus Cases, Six Deaths

ZAGREB, 11 Oct 2021 - Croatia has registered 170 new coronavirus infections and six related deaths over the past 24 hours, and the number of active cases stands at 8,285, the national COVID-19 crisis management team said on Monday.

There are 868 COVID patients in hospitals, and 131 are on ventilators.

Since 25 February 2020, when Croatia recorded its first case, a total of 418,028 people have been registered as having contracted coronavirus, 8,778 of them have died, and 400,965 have recovered, including 1,302 in the last 24 hours.

There are currently 17,029 people in self-isolation.

To date, a total of 2,916,030 people have been tested, 2,854 of whom over the past 24 hours, when the share of positive tests was 6%.

As of Sunday, 3,486,793 vaccine doses against this novel virus were administered, and 45.66% of the total population or 54.75% of the adult population was vaccinated.

The share of the adult population fully vaccinated stood at 51.37% on Sunday.

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, 11 October 2021

Petrokemija Fixes Glitch At Its Production Plants

ZAGREB, 11 Oct 2021 - Petrokemija, a leading producer of artificial fertilizers in Croatia, reported on Monday morning that it had fixed a glitch that had appeared in two of it units -- Urea and Amonijak-- however, the production in these Kutina-based plants would still not restart.

The relaunch of the production cannot be expected for the time being due to the optimization of business operations and record-high prices of natural gas and CO2 in Europe," Petrokemija says in a press release issued on the Zagreb Stock Exchange on Monday morning.

"The technical failure at Urea and Ammonia production plants has been successfully repaired," reads the press release.

"The plants will remain shut down until further notice in order to optimize and align business
operations to the conditions on the gas market and the record-high prices of natural gas and
CO2 in Europe. Pursuant to the regulations, the Company will report on the trends and further
adjustments to its business operations, as well as the duration of production downtime.

"Sufficient mineral fertilizer quantities have been secured to maintain the supply of domestic
and regional markets during downtime," the company says.

On 30 June, Petrokemija posted a net profit of HRK 48 million in the first half of 2021, which was 80% less than in the same period of 2020, according to the company's financial statement.

Total operating revenue fell by 3.0% to HRK 936 million, with sales revenue declining by 5.0% to HRK 918 million. Operating expenditure increased by 23% to HRK 888 million.

Davor Žmegač, President of the Management Board, was then quoted as saying that the results were affected by increased prices of natural gas, higher CO2 emission charges, and lower sales, mostly as a result of the planned overhaul early in the year.

Negative effects were partly offset by higher selling prices of mineral fertilizers and the business efficiency measures implemented, Žmegač said then.

For more, check out our business section.

Monday, 11 October 2021

Major Nomad List 2021 Survey: Croatia 2nd Most Liked, Zagreb in Top 5 Cities

October 11, 2021 - A major Nomad List 2021 survey of the travel and lifestyle habits of digital nomads has some encouraging news: Zagreb, Split and Croatia are officially hot.

Let's start with what the data is based on, as explained by Nomad List:

Remote work is now on an exponential trajectory and growing fast. With its growth, millions of people who are now newly working remotely from home, a cafe, or coworking space, will start to realize how mobile they've come and hit the road. In this report, we try to figure out who these nomads are, what work do they do, and how they spend their life based on data from tens of thousands of Nomad List members.

This page is generated live with data pulled straight from the database. Conclusions you can derive from this are always limited and merely indicative but possibly interesting. Nomad List is a paid membership community, which means there's a selection bias as people who do not or cannot pay are not in the dataset. On the other hand, free digital nomad communities, like on Facebook, require no commitment to join, therefore it's not clear if these people are merely aspirational or active nomads or not. On Nomad List we can confirm they are active based on their travel logs.

There are lots of interesting insights into the digital nomad lifestyle, which you can browse through on the link above.  

Before we get to Croatia, here are some interesting - at least to me - findings. According to the survey:

80% not religious

66% are single

66% earn between $50,000 and $250,000 a year

12% are vegetarian

13% are vegan

Favourite activities are hiking, fitness and running 

97% are vaccinated

88% had a happy childhood

The average stay in a country is 69 days

Only 7% of nomads stay in a location for a year, (which ties in with last month's TCN editorial Has the Croatian Digital Nomad Permit Been a Success So Far?)

And now, let's get to Croatia.

Most liked country - Croatia,number 2, after Japan. 

Most liked city in the world - Zagreb, number 5, after Tokyo, Taipei, Mexico City and Cape Town

Most liked city by male nomads - Split, number 9

Most visited country - Croatia, number 27

You can see the whole Nomad List 2021 survey here.

For more news and features on digital nomads in Croatia, follow the dedicated TCN section.


Monday, 11 October 2021

Immunologist Luka Cicin Sain: New Vaccine to Come at End of Year

October the 11th, 2021 - Croatian Immunologist Luka Cicin Sain is part of a team researching a new vaccine intended for use against the novel coronavirus, which has put the world more or less on hold for over eighteen months now. He claims that this new and ''improved'' vaccine could make an appearance on the market as soon as the end of the year.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, immunologist Luka Cicin Sain has stated that the question is what the response will be in regard to a third dose of the vaccine when new ones are placed on the market.

''We could have new, improved vaccines that are currently being worked on in just a few months,'' noted immunologist Luka Cicin-Sain, whose team is also involved in research into new vaccines.

"The Wuhan virus and the Delta variant aren't the same, but the differences between them aren't big"

Despite the fact that so far we have had several different strains of the novel coronavirus that have each at some point dominated and spread among the population, such as the British, South African, and now the Delta strain - the coronavirus vaccines which are currently available for use have all remained the same, more or less meaning that they've been adapted to the very first Wuhan strain which is now virtually non-existent, overtaken by various other strains. The question on the lips of many is: Why get vaccinated with a third dose in that case at all?

“The Wuhan virus and the Delta virus aren't the samw, but the differences between them aren't big. The difference lies in the spike protein, and that’s what our antibodies recognise when we get vaccinated against a virus, they’ve only changed a few amino acids out of a thousand amino acids that make up this protein. Antibodies that are created after vaccination, which recognise these strains, can block both strains from entering the cells,'' explained viral immunologist Luka Cicin Sain recently for Dnevnik Nova TV.

"It's realistic to expect that some new coronavirus vaccines will be on the market at the end of the year"

He added that laboratories around the world are working on modifying the current vaccines.

"Vaccines that have a Delta strain spike instead of a Wuhan one are already being tested," said the Croatian immunologist, who is also participating in such research.

"We've seen that it works very well with animals, that we can see longer-term protection, but we haven't yet come to ask the regulatory agencies to start experimenting on humans. That said, others certainly already underdoing clinical trials in humans. It's realistic to expect that new vaccine formulations will be on the market at the end of this year or the very beginning of next year,'' he pointed out, but stressed that it isn't yet known how much the vaccine will protect against strains which are yet to appear.

"There will be more types of coronavirus vaccines, just as there are with influenza vaccines"

He said there would be no single vaccine, but more types, which is done in a similar way each year for new influenza strains.

“Some of them will insert several variants of the spike, which is the case with influenza vaccines,” he explained.

Some people have been getting tests to check their antibody levels and see how protected they are. How good is that as an indicator?

"It’s not really ideal because there are cases where someone may have high levels of antibodies but that aren’t particularly effective, and vice versa. If you have a high amount of antibodies, it probably means that you don't need a third dose of the vaccine,'' immunologist Luka Cicin Sain stated.

He pointed out that there is still no clear information about people who have been infected with the novel coronavirus several times. It’s hard to say who contracted it and then recovered twice because some of them weren’t symptomatic the first time.

"With vaccines, it's clear - if someone has been vaccinated, there's information about it. It isn't to be expected that vaccination and natural immunity will be the same, but natural immunity is acquired in a very expensive way, because it can cost lives,'' concluded immunologist Luka Cicin Sain.

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

Monday, 11 October 2021

German TikToker Jackthebackpacker Complains About Croatian Coast

October the 11th, 2021 - German TikToker Jackthebackpacker has publicly complained about the Croatian coast, more precisely Dubrovnik and some of the prices and services there.

If there is one complaint that the Croatian coast gets each and every summer (one of the very few), it's that things are too expensive. While those of us who live here often disagree, because you quite simply need to find the more local and out of the way places and not expect a coffee on the UNESCO protected Stradun to be cheap, the comments keep on coming. The issue of parking continues to be a big one, and most people would agree it's problematic in most coastal cities.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, German TikToker Jackthebackpacker, who is otherwise from Berlin, recently arrived in Croatia, more precisely Dubrovnik, but he is not as enthusiastic as many other tourists are about Croatia's stunning southernmost city. He recorded a video and explained what disappointed him about Croatia's tourist Mecca.

Right at the beginning, he pointed out that he thinks this is one of those cities that just wants to get the last coin out of the pockets of tourists and not much else.

"An hour of parking is 5.5 euros, but well, they are kind, so they give you 24 hours for only 65 euros," he said ironically, adding that insanely high prices continue in other services, especially in restaurants and cafes, according to a report on the topic from Vecernji list.

“A portion of french fries is 5.5 euros, a hamburger costs 11 euros, which isn't so terrible, but then again... some coke costs 5.3 euros? What robbery,'' stated German TikToker Jackthebackpacker.

He also complained about the crowds in the city, which are unbearable and which make it impossible to visit everything you want to see.

“This is another big scam - if you want to walk along those famous walls, you have to pay as much as 26 euros! They also have a selfie museum where you can take pictures… Who would even want that?!''

In the end, he said that he what he did like was the prices of fast food restaurants and supermarkets because they are the only places with down to Earth prices - he paid three euros for a sandwich.

“I don’t want to be too negative, there are nice things here, but there are also better destinations. It's insanely expensive!'' concluded Jackthebackpacker.

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

Monday, 11 October 2021

KBC Osijek: Tragedy as Young Slavonia Man Dies from Hornet Sting

October the 11th, 2021 - A young Slavonia man has tragically died at KBC Osijek after having been stung by a hornet, one of Croatia's most dangerous insects that we've all been taught to do all in our power to avoid.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the young man from Slavonia passed away following the incident with the insect at KBC Osijek on Thursday.

The man, who is unofficially known to be 33 years old, was brought by ambulance to the intensive care unit of the Clinic of Neurology at KBC Osijek, local portal Glas Slavonije writes. As a result of several hornet stings, his central nervous system was severely damaged, which eventually led to his death.

The young man was attacked and stung by the hornet in a forest in the Nasice area.

A close encounter with these dangerous and notoriously aggressive insects was experienced last month by a group of Croatian students who were out on a field trip with their teacher in the woods near Pozega. The hornets, offended by their presence, succeeded in stinging several children who also ended up in requiring hospital treatment, and as many as ten hornet stings were obtained by a member of the HGSS (Croatian Mountain Rescue Service) who was called for help.

Dr. Visnja Prus, head of the Department of Rheumatology, Clinical Immunology and Allergology at the KBC Osijek, warned that hornet stings, especially ones from the well known Asian hornet, can cause organ failure. Stings from these insects can also be fatal to people who aren't otherwise allergic to insect stings such as those from the likes of wasps.

“It also matters where the hornet stings you and whether it’s in the head, neck or periphery. Therefore, care should be taken when outdoors, especially if you're going into the woods. Insects can easily get into bottles or cans and stay in them, so you should be careful. Forest workers and even fishermen are usually alone, so it is certainly advisable to have a mobile phone with you so that you can call for help in case something happens,'' Prus explained for Glas Slavonije, pointing out that an urgent reaction is very important after a hornet sting.

The puncture site where the sting has gone in should be first cooled down with ice and then you should make your way to the local hospital. Attention should also be paid to symptoms such as shortness of breath, a drop in blood pressure, and possible fainting.

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

Monday, 11 October 2021

CNB Governor Boris Vujcic: Croatian Inflation Rate Could be Higher

October the 11th, 2021 - CNB Governor Boris Vujcic has stated that the Croatian inflation rate could be higher, adding that while forecasts of domestic economic growth are positive, there are many negative risk projections to take into proper consideration, too.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, CNB Governor Boris Vujcic spoke in Croatian Parliament on Thursday and explained that, unlike the forecasts for Croatian economic growth, which are generally very good, the projections of inflation are dominated by negative risks, ie those that could lead to higher inflation rates.

In Parliament, where he presented the Croatian National Bank's semi-annual piece of information on the nation's overall financial situation, price stability and the implementation of monetary policy in the second half of last year, Vujcic reminded those present of the CNB's projections for economic growth of 8.5 percent this year, and of 4.1 percent in 2022, which, he estimated, will have a positive impact on both the situation with employment and the situation with average wages.

"Due to the sheer amount of uncertainties which still remain in place, it's possible that these projections will not end up actuallybeing realised, but unlike the previous ones, the positive and negative risks are balanced," said Vujcic. He explained that the negative risks to the domestic economy relate to the possibility that the epidemiological situation in the Eurozone will worsen in the fourth quarter and that any remaining restrictive measures will be tightened once again, which would result in weaker foreign demand and as such, negatively affect Croatian exports.

When it comes to the situation with inflation, it will accelerate to 2.3 percent this year, and slow slightly to 2.1 percent in 2022. In the previous part of the year, the acceleration of inflation occurred mainly under the influence of rising energy and food prices, said CNB Governor Boris Vujcic, emphasising the fact that the current projections of inflation are dominated by negative risks, ie those that could lead to higher rates eventually.

For more on Croatian monetary policy, follow our politics section.

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