Thursday, 30 June 2022

Finmin: Fuel Vouchers Being Considered

ZAGREB, 30 June 2022- Finance Minister Zdravko Marić said after a government session on Thursday that one of the measures being considered was the introduction of fuel vouchers, but added that he didn't want to prejudge anything.

Since the decision to cap fuel prices at petrol stations not located on highways expires next week and since it is certain that oil prices will continue to rise on the markets, reporters asked Marić what further measures were being considered by the government, to which he responded that the government was waiting for all calculations regarding oil prices and that Economy and Sustainable Development Minister Davor Filipović was in additional talks with distributors and producers.

Asked about the possibility of fuel vouchers being introduced, Marić said that this was one of the measures being considered, but that its preparation required some time.

It has to be considered whether the measure would apply equally to everyone or not.

"We have been working on that, among other things, for the last few days and weeks," Marić said.

Asked by reporters whether food vouchers were also being considered, Marić recalled that VAT had already been reduced to the lowest possible level for fresh food, such as meat, fish, fruit and vegetables.

He reiterated that the government expected other "links in the chain" to contribute and that now was the time for joint action.

Government to support consumer protection associations

Asked about the remarks from consumer protection associations that they had been allocated too little money for monitoring the rounding of prices in the process of changing over to the euro, Marić said that "as a rule, no matter how much you give, more is always asked for".

He said that HRK 700,000 was earmarked in the budget for that purpose, and there were also European sources, but that the government would find the money for such an important purpose as consumer protection.

"They should not worry. If they have good suggestions as to how to better monitor prices and prevent unjustified price increases, we will be very happy to support that," Marić said.

As of 12 July and the final formal decision on Croatia's entry into the euro area on 1 January 2023, it will possible to show dual prices, and some businesses will start doing so then, but this will become mandatory on 5 September, said Marić.

For more, check out our politics section.

Thursday, 30 June 2022

Funds For Lending By HAMAG-BICRO To Be Ensured Under NRRP

ZAGREB, 30 June 2022 - The Croatian government on Thursday adopted schemes under which the HAMAG-BiICRO agency will approve loans for the green and digital transition from the funds of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP).

The scheme called "investment loans from the funds of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan" refers to giving the green light for loans provided by the HAMAG-BICRO agency for small and medium-sized enterprises for the green and digital transition, Economy Minister Davor Filipović informed the government on Thursday.

The upper limit of a loan under this scheme is €100,000 at an interest rate of 0.8%, a grace period of up to 12 months and a maximum repayment period of 10 years.

The government also adopted a programme for subsidising the interest rate with funds from the NRRP.

This scheme aims to boost the resilience and competitiveness of SMEs, and the interest rate could be subsidised up to 50%.

Loans with at least five years of repayment are entitled to this facility.

The two schemes go into effect on the day of their adoption and are in place until the absorption of all the available funds for this purpose or until 30 June 2026 at the latest.

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković described these schemes as a strong encouragement to the Croatian economy.

 

For more, check out our politics section.

Thursday, 30 June 2022

PM Says Government Systematically Making Strategic Headway For Prosperity Of Citizens

ZAGREB, 30 June 2022 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said on Thursday that the government was "very systematically making strategic headway" to improve the lives of citizens and the economy, referring to Croatia's admission to the euro area and the Schengen Area, as well as to the upgrade of the country's credit ratings.

At its last summit, the European Council confirmed Croatia's entry into the euro area on 1 January 2023, and the government expects that Croatia will also join the Schengen area then too.

"We are very systematically making these strategic steps forward for the prosperity of our citizens and economy. They (that headway) are here, they will last, they will remain, and they will be a kind of legacy of the two terms of our government," Plenković said at a cabinet meeting.

"These are really great strategic achievements. They do not just come with some routine schedule. They come on the basis of the implementation of reforms, the fulfillment of benchmarks, the adoption of laws, and our political and diplomatic engagement," he added.

The Moody's agency has recently announced that it could raise Croatia's credit rating to the investment category following the EU's recommendation for Zagreb's entry into the euro area.

Croatia's current rating of 'Ba1' signals investors that the agency considers the purchase of Croatian government bonds a speculative investment.

Last Friday Moody's announced that it will raise Croatia's rating by two levels, to 'Baa2', investment category.

Plenković said that Croatia will have the best credit rating so far in the investment level, according to the assessments of all the three largest global credit rating agencies.

"We are sending a message of confidence to financial markets, investors, partners (...) There will be many more such positive messages. Only now will we appear on the radar of some serious stakeholders on the market since we have been given a sort of tick from all three agencies," he underscored.

Council's conclusions on BiH call for limited constitutional and electoral law reforms

Commenting on the conclusions of the last European Council on the possible candidate status for Bosnia and Herzegovina, Plenković said that the Croatian initiative included the wording that the European Council is ready to give BiH candidate status if it meets reforms in 14 areas, including limited constitutional and electoral law reforms. They "should address the issue of the inequality of Croats as the least numerous constituent people in the country among other things, said the PM underscoring that Zagreb has been systematically advocating the BiH Croats' rights for years.

Plenković also commented on a decision at the NATO summit in Madrid to give the green light for Swedish and Finnish membership in NATO.

He said he was "glad" that President Zoran Milanović agreed with the government's position, who had previously said that it was necessary to block the Swedish and Finnish request for NATO membership until the election law in BiH was changed.

A proposal on initiating the procedure for concluding a protocol to the North Atlantic Treaty on the accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO was adopted during Thursday's cabinet meeting.

 

For more, check out our politics section.

Thursday, 30 June 2022

Government Declares Two Seaside Resort Projects Strategic Investments

ZAGREB, 30 June 2022 - The Croatian government on Thursday declared the "Marina Cavtat & Resort" project, estimated at HRK 625 million excluding Value Added Tax, and the "Frapa Resort Medine" project, estimated at HRK 1.04 billion including VAT, to be investments of strategic importance.

"Marina Cavtat & Resort" is a project to be developed on 6.4 hectares in the coastal town of Cavtat, southernmost Croatia. The project consists of a future five-star hotel with 260 accommodation units, that is with 900 beds.

Upon its completion, the resort will hire 250 permanent workers and 150 seasonal workers.

The "Frapa Resprt Medine" project in the coastal town of Rogoznica envisages the construction of a five-star hotel with over 300 beds, and spa facilities.

Furthermore, the whole resorts will offer up to 700 beds on aggregate, and will include villas, and other accommodation facilities within the resort.

Upon the implementation of the project, 110 permanent workers will be hired in the resort, plus 50 seasonal workers.

For more, check out our politics section.

Thursday, 30 June 2022

Petra Martić Books 3rd Round of Wimbledon for Fourth Time in Career!

June 30, 2022 - Petra Martić has booked the 3rd round of Wimbledon for the fourth time in her career, defeating Kristina Kučová on Thursday. 

Croatia's best female tennis player Petra Martić (WTA - 80) advanced to the 3rd round of Wimbledon for the fourth time in her career, defeating Slovak Kristina Kučová (WTA - 91) 7-6 (4), 6-3 after one hour and 42 minutes, reports Gol.hr

For a spot in the round of 16, the 31-year-old will play against the 8th seed American Jessica Pegula (WTA - 9), who defeated Harriet Dart (WTA - 94) 4-6, 6-3, 6-1. In the first round, she was better than Donna Vekić in two sets.

Martić and Pegula will be scheduled for Saturday, and it will be their sixth mutual match. In the previous five, Martić achieved four victories, two of which were on hard courts and two on clay.

In the duel against 32-year-old Kučová, Martić showed a great deal of patience, and in the key moments of the match, Kučová's mistakes came in handy.

Martić took a 3-1 lead in the first set, but lost the advantage she gained already in the next game. Along the way, she spent all three challenges checking the decisions of the referees. That, in the end, didn't cost her.

The first set went to a tie-break in which the first six points were won by the tennis players on the serve. Martić came to the first advantage and took a 5-3 lead. She lost the next point and earned two set points with an excellent defense. She only needed one, as Kučová finished the set with her sixth double fault.

Such an outcome did not affect the fighting spirit of the Slovak player, who won the first two games in the second set. However, in the next four games, Martić left only three points to her rival and thus came to a key advantage.

When Kučová served at 3-5 to extend the match, Martić reached the match point at 30-40. She decided to wait for her opponent's mistake. Two points later, the scenario was the same, but with a different ending - Kučová sent the ball into the net and ended the duel with 30 unforced errors.

Martić had two unforced errors less (28) but had a big advantage in direct points (33-20). Petra scored 10 aces, with three double faults, and had an excellent first-serve percentage of 85%. She took advantage of three of the six break points.

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

Thursday, 30 June 2022

'Dubrovnik Football History' by Željan Konsuo Chronicles 115 Years of Football in Adriatic Pearl

June 30, 2022 - Željan Konsuo, the author of the first book on the history of Dubrovnik football, meticulously presented the last 115 years of football in the city with several unknown details and historical facts.

Marking the 100th anniversary of the first official match in Dubrovnik, Željan Konsuo, an excellent chronicler of Dubrovnik sports, will present to the public "Dubrovnik Football History," his third book, which this time is entirely dedicated to the beginnings and development of football in Dubrovnik.

"Dubrovnik Football History," in addition to providing a chronological overview of football clubs and notable results, reveals many unknown details and historical facts and some intriguing misunderstandings that have been skillfully established in recent decades in the Dubrovnik sports public.

The book contains records from the Dubrovnik archives, never-before-published photographs, and conversations with deserving Dubrovnik football players and coaches. Well-known collaborators such as sports historian Jurica Gizdić, lawyer and sports enthusiast Saša Pavličić Bekić, and sports journalists Bernard Jurišić and Tonći Vlašić also contributed to the book with their football stories and views on football in the area. 

In his latest project from 2019, Konsuo covered 95 years of the most trophy-winning Croatian sports club, Jug. After publishing "Five to a Hundred," a significant work on which he worked for two whole years, he dedicated himself again to the south, but this time is looking at all those segments for which there was no place in the first water polo 'encyclopedia.'

The publisher of the first book and the coordinator of editorial and graphic design is the newspaper company Dulist. With the book "Dubrovnik Football History", DuList continues a series of publishing and editorial design of excellent works from the Dubrovnik area - "Mljet, Sadržaj sreće" by Dr. Siniša Car and "Svi Vlahovi ljudi," a monograph authored by Dulist previously published as a bestseller of this Dubrovnik company.

The book's presentation by Željan Konsuo will take place on Tuesday, July 5, at 8 pm at Hotel Lacroma, Iva Dulčića 34, Dubrovnik. Barbara Đurasović, editor-in-chief of DuList, who is the book's editor, will also participate.

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

Thursday, 30 June 2022

Croatia Reports 1,148 New COVID Cases, Five Deaths

ZAGREB, 30 June 2022 - In the last 24 hours 1,148 coronavirus cases, out of 3,532 tests, and five related deaths have been registered in Croatia.

There are 5,261 active cases, including 245 hospitalised patients, five of whom are on ventilators, while 2,682 persons are self-isolating.

To date, Croatia has registered 1,148,528 coronavirus cases, the death toll is 16,065 and 70.82% of the adult population has been vaccinated.

 

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

Thursday, 30 June 2022

Banning Abortion Would Be Against Constitutional Court Decision, PM Says

ZAGREB, 30 June 2022 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said on Thursday the US Supreme Court ruling, which leaves the legality of abortion to the federal states and has led to big divisions, would not impact Croatia as banning pregnancy termination would be contrary to a Constitutional Court ruling.

Speaking at a cabinet session, he said pregnancy termination was an extremely complex legal, ethical and medical issue on which it was often impossible to reach a consensus, but that it was necessary to consider the matter.

"This ruling won't impact Croatia. In Croatia, the right to pregnancy termination is regulated by law and the Constitutional Court has found that the law is in line with the Constitution."

As the Court's president Miroslav Šeparović said recently, banning pregnancy termination would be contrary to the Court's ruling, as would a referendum to restrict or ban pregnancy termination rights, Plenković said.

"In the political sense, there's no need to misinform people with the goal of scoring political points and there's no need to include in the Constitution regulations on an already existing right. We won't agree to such changes."

He called on the opposition to be constructive about this issue and to support changes to the constitutional law on the Constitutional Court, which he said were aimed at additionally protecting constitutional rights, those that cannot be decided in referenda.

Plenković said the ruling HDZ was a Christian Democrat centre-right party advocating the protection of life from conception, while also respecting a woman' right to choose and health.

"Our wish is that there are as few pregnancy terminations in our society as possible, that they are the exception, but statistics and other countries' experience show that this is not achieved by bans. Bans don't lead to fewer abortions, but can make them unsafe and dangerous for a woman's life and health."

Politics: For more, check out our politics section.

Thursday, 30 June 2022

Portuguese Ceramic Tiles Exhibition Opens In Rijeka

ZAGREB, 30 June 2022 - An exhibition called "Azulejo - the Art of Portuguese Ceramic Tiles" was opened at the Maritime and History Museum of the Croatian Littoral in Rijeka on Wednesday.

The exhibition was organised in cooperation with the Zagreb Museum of Arts and Crafts and the support of the Croatian Foreign Ministry, which donated the exhibits to the Zagreb museum in 2015.

The exhibition shows products of Lisbon workshops from the first half of the 18th century on 11 display boards containing compositions of blue-white, glazed and painted ceramic tiles which have become a distinctive symbol of Portuguese culture and tradition.

Portuguese Ambassador to Croatia Maria Paula Vieira Leal Da Silva attended the opening.

The exhibition can be seen until 6 September.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Thursday, 30 June 2022

First Electric Vehicle Charger In Lamppost Installed In Croatia

ZAGREB, 30 June 2022 - The first electric vehicle charger in a lamppost has been installed in the Zagreb suburb of Buzin, and trial chargers will be installed in 200 lampposts in several cities next year as part of a pilot project, while more than 100,000 will be installed across Croatia in the next decade.

This is part of a project aimed at expanding the electric vehicle infrastructure launched by the Strujni krug e-mobility association.

Taking part in the pilot project are Zagreb, Velika Gorica and Osijek.

The Smart Energy company, which is part of the M SAN group, designed the first 3.5 kW charging station. Since it is still being tested, its use is possible, free of charge, via the PlugSurfing app. Although this is the first prototype that can be used this way, three or four other operators are expected to install their trial chargers in lampposts in the weeks ahead.

There is a considerable number of charging stations in Croatia and the number of electric vehicles is increasing by the day, which calls for increasing the number of chargers.

A Strujni krug survey shows that 60% of electric vehicle owners charge them at home, in their garages or backyards, but people who live in flats, notably in city centres, cannot do it without the adequate parking spaces.

For more, check out our business section.

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