Saturday, 28 May 2022

Croatian Olive Oil Wows in New York, 3rd in World in Terms of Quality

May the 28th, 2022 - Croatian olive oil's top quality is recognised throughout the world and has won countless awards in numerous prestigious international competitions. Croatian olive oil has once again wowed in the Big Apple, with Croatia being placed third in terms of the quality of its much loved produce.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, at the recently held New York International Olive Oil Competition, NYIOOC World, Croatia came in third place in terms of the number of medals won, right after Italy and Spain, as reported by Maslina/Olive.

Croatia has outdone itself when it comes to its olive oil yet again by coming third, as last year the country came fourth in this, the largest and most prestigious olive oil competition held in Manhattan, right in the middle of New York, Croatian olive oil also overtook the USA, leaving the Americans in 4th place.

In addition, Croatia is the best in terms of the percentage of success of its reported olive oils. Out of 112 registered samples from across Croatia, 96 of them received medals, representing 86 percent of success, and this is by far the best performance of olive oil from all countries that registered more than 40 of their samples.

Croatian olive oils won a total of 96 medals, of which 66 were gold and 27 were silver. Dalmatian olive growers won the most medals for the Republic of Croatia with their oils - a total of 55 medals.

Admittedly, the highest number of gold medals for Croatia was won, unsurprisingly, by the Istrians this year. Last year the Dalmatians took that place. The Dalmatians won 29 gold medals, while the Istrians took home 37.

Olive growers from Zadar County won a total of 11 awards, of which seven were gold medals and four were silver. Gold: Lepur (2), Bovan, Plastic, Lalin, Vulin and Morovic. Silver: Dr. Vlatkovic (2), Skopic and OP-Ko-milfa.

Olive oils from all over the world competed in this New York competition, and a total of 543 gold and 257 silver medals were awarded globally.

In terms of the number of medals won, Italy came first place with 158 medals, followed by Spain with a total of 128 medals, Croatia took third place with 96 medals, the United States came in fourth place with 94 medals and Greece landed fifth place.

For more, check out Made in Croatia.

Saturday, 28 May 2022

Hrvatska Postanska Banka Celebrates 30 Years With New Acquisition

May the 28th, 2022 - Hrvatska postanska banka has celebrated thirty long and successful years of operations with the acquisition of a brand new bank, Nova hrvatska banka (New Croatian bank).

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the celebration of 30 years of Hrvatska postanka banka's operations comes after a record 2021 in which the bank achieved the best net profit in history in the amount of 202 million kuna, asset growth increased to a massive 27.9 billion kuna, and it enjoyed a capital adequacy ratio of 25.7 percent.

“At Hrvatska postanska banka, we have many reasons to celebrate, in addition to achieving the best business results in history, we've got a new member within our group, Nova hrvatska banka, which is now stabilised and operating successfully. After a successful 30 years of doing business, we're continuing to strongly build the development path of the bank, providing significant support to the economic recovery of the country,'' said Marko Badurina, President of the Management Board of HPB.

The recently held celebration was also attended by Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, who said that he congratulated Hrvatska postanska banka on everything they had done for the Croatian banking system, especially in terms of the bank's distribution, which is very accessible to Croats today. The Prime Minister emphasised the exceptional readiness of Hrvatska postanska banka to integrate Nova hrvatska banka, along with the approach of the Croatian Government and the Croatian National Bank.

Hrvatska postanska banka was first founded in October 1991 with its headquarters in the City of Zagreb, and throughout a history full of milestones, it has continuously strengthened its market presence. It established its first branch in Split in 2003, when the network began to expand rapidly throughout the country, and its presence in Dalmatia was further strengthened by the successful merger of Jadranska banka back in 2019.

With a strong step towards digitalisation which began back in 2014, Hrvatska postanska banka will soon become a leader in digital trends. It was the first in all of Croatia to introduce access to the e-Citizens (e-Gradjani) platform, biometrics for logging in to mobile banking, enabling online account opening, cash withdrawal at ATMs with mobile phones. Thanks to its own network and a partner network of about 1,000 Croatian Post offices, today it is the most accessible bank in all of Croatia.

Hrvatska postanska banka marked its three decades of work in the Republic of Croatia with specially designed activities and socially responsible projects, and it also realised the video series which deals with financial education entitled ''HPB for financial literacy'', which will continue throughout 2022. Continuing the focus on sustainable business and the well-being of the community and its customers remains one of HPB's priority goals for this year.

For more, check out our business section.

Saturday, 28 May 2022

HBOR Loans: Favourable Investment Lending From Recovery Funds

May the 28th, 2022 - HBOR is set to facilitate favourable lending to investments through new HBOR loans from the Croatian recovery and resilience funds (Croatian: NPOO).

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, as part of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NPOO), HBOR has started implementing financial instruments that enable extremely favourable lending terms for investments of both private and public sector entities - with interest rates of 0.4 percent or interest rate subsidies of up to 75 percent.

Direct loans with an interest rate of as little as 0.4 percent

Direct loans from NPOO funds will be available to start-up companies (who have been in business for up to 3 years in total), young companies (up to 40 years), companies owned and/or managed by women, enterprises investing in special areas of the Republic of Croatia (assisted areas according to the development index, mountainous areas and islands) and enterprises investing in the commercialisation of research, development and innovation-based projects (RDI projects).

The interest rate for favourable HBOR loans to projects that are mostly focused on green or digital transition and the commercialisation of RDI projects will be a mere 0.4 percent per year, while the interest rate for other investments in competitiveness and resilience will be 0.8 percent per year. Loans will be approved without a fee for processing the request and without a fee for reserving the funds, with a a repayment period of up to 15 years, which includes the possibility of using a grace period of up to 3 years.

Up to 75 percent lower interest rate on existing HBOR programmes

HBOR loans will enable a significant reduction in interest rates for businesses of all sizes in both the Croatian private and public sectors within its existing investment financing programmes: Private Sector Investments, Public Sector Investments and Youth Entrepreneurship, Women and Beginners.

For investments in green or digital transition projects, the interest rate for the borrower can be reduced by up to 75 percent; for investments in special areas of the Republic of Croatia, including public sector investments in earthquake recovery, and investments in RDI projects up to 65 percent, and for other investments that increase competitiveness and resilience - up to 50 percent.

For example, the interest rate for a user of a direct HBOR loan who invests in the green transition project of his manufacturing company under the Private Sector Investment Programme would be 0.375 percent, instead of the current 1.5 percent. This interest rate can be further reduced depending on the area of ​​investment (thanks to subsidies from individual LRUs) and if the company employs a person under 30 years of age.

When HBOR loans are approved by a commercial bank or leasing company, the interest rate it sets for each project is reduced in the same way, thus providing enterprises with a significant reduction in interest rates. Loans from commercial banks and placements of leasing companies with a subsidy from NPOO funds will be available after concluding an appropriate agreement between HBOR and commercial banks, ie leasing companies, and until then, interested parties can apply for loans directly to HBOR.

The total value of these financial instruments, the implementation of which HBOR started, amounts to a massive 1.1 billion kuna. The goal of the financial instruments that HBOR will implement is to encourage the strengthening of investment activity, but also to enable a successful transition to green and digital technologies as the basis for the future sustainability and competitiveness of the Croatian economy as a whole.

Any project that uses NPOO funds through HBOR loans must meet the principles of non-significant damage to environmental objectives (Do No Significant Harm) in terms of excluding ineligible activities, sustainability testing and comply with relevant EU legislation. More details as well as the questionnaire that must be filled out when applying for a loan can be found on HBOR's website.

For more, check out our business section.

Saturday, 28 May 2022

Komiza Residents Invited to New Bisevo Hotel's Public Presentation

May the 28th, 2022 - The residents of Komiza have finally been invited to the public presentation of the new and rather controversial Bisevo hotel, which has attracted reactions across the spectrum from locals.

As Morski writes, a series of controversies has been connected with the project of building a new hotel in Komiza, which resulted a real wave of dissatisfaction among locals, but also from regular guests of this picturesque fishing village on the gorgeous island of Vis.

What exactly is planned to be built, as well as all of the details, should finally be revealed at the public presentation of the project which will take place on Sunday, at 10:00 in the "Boris Mardesić" gallery in Komiza.

The public has been struggling to come across any real details surrounding the Bisevo hotel project, which caused a real storm among the people of the west side of the island of Vis. The initial plan was to build a hotel with 700 beds, which caused justified fears that the communal and traffic infrastructure of this small town with a little more than a thousand inhabitants, wouldn't be able to cope with it.

Then new information came out that the President of the City Council, Edo Bogdanovic, was also the director of Modra spilja d.d., ie a representative of an investor who intends to invest in the new hotel, which has raised the issue of conflict of interest. He said in several media appearances that he didn't see anything controversial in what he was doing.

Then, the investor of the new hotel sued the representative of the civil initiative (SVEZAK) for posting on Facebook regarding the construction of the new Bisevo hotel, so another local group sued Mayor Tonka Maroevic and City Council President Edo Bogdanovic.

After that, the local political party MOVI SE - Nezavisna lista/Independent list Komiza announced that the investor had given up his intention to build a hotel with 700 beds and that he had lowered that number down to 450. 

Then the story began to circulate in the public that Bogdanovic gave the founder of the Independent List MOVI SE attractive space on the waterfront for a restaurant in order to stop his name being withdrawn from the media, which was denied. All in all, there has been a lot of back and forth surrounding the mysterious Bisevo hotel's construction.

In any case, Komiza's locals are eagerly awaiting much more detailed information about the project that awakened many dormant resident spirits, but also raised a number of questions to which the general public has not yet received any clear answers.

For more, check out our business section.

Friday, 27 May 2022

KK Split Gives Away Shot at the Title to KK Zadar 77:84 (36:31)

May 27, 2022 - Defending champions KK Zadar overcome home-court disadvantage and come back from behind to win the final game of this year's semifinal series 2:1.

Entering tonight's game both teams had won their home games clearly. Split had opened last Friday with a 74:64 (39:33) victory and Zadar answered with 76:57 (34:36) on Monday to tie the series and enforce today's decisive final encounter. 

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The guests had to deal with internal problems during the last days after the police and justice system needed to get involved at the request of board members claiming that management was involved in embezzlement. The hosts were able to celebrate Shannon Shorter receiving the ABA League Top Scorer award last night. 

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The 2000 spectators at Gripe saw a proper derby fight in which the Yellows for most of the game looked like they would win this one tonight. In the beginning, it was Zadar who had the better start. It took some time until close to the end of the first quarter before Split conquered its first lead at 16:14 but Zadar closed the quarter with the final points to make it 16:17.

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During the second quarter, Jones had an impact with two blocked shots and 4 points from well-executed pick and rolls with Shorter. Ukić came off the bench and also took over more responsibility. The former NBA player scored 10 points and together with some strong effort by Jukić, the home team pulled away to a 36:31 lead at halftime.

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Lots of drama then in quarter 3: Split was about to pull away in the race at 47:37 when two fouls against Žganec were not called by the referees, but his unlucky foul as a response was called an intentional one as it stopped a potential fast break. During the following discussion between coaches, players, and referees, a technical foul was issued against the Split bench and Zadar immediately came back to 47:43 and then to 47:45 before recovered Toni Perković gave short relief with a 3 pointer which was directly followed by a 3 from Drežnjak (50:48), an offensive rebound and Drežnjak's 50:50. A foul on Ukić who successfully finished his lay-up lit the gym on fire. Srđan Subotić's Yellows closed the quarter at 62:59 and then recovered their 10-point lead at 67:57 with 7 minutes left to play. 

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The summer break will probably not be long enough to analyse what happened next. Even though a 10-point lead is not considered much, it is still a lead that a home team in a decisive game should manage to hold on to. But Split couldn't and it was the players with the blue jerseys once again who managed to celebrate as so often this season. 

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Srđan Hellbich's team (top sorters scorers: Thompson 23 points Mavra 18, Drežnjak 14, Carter 13) will now have a chance to defend their title against Cibona Zagreb in a best of 5 series which will begin on Monday in Zagreb. 

Result by quarters: 16:17, 36:31, 62:59, 77:84

Referees: Jovović Alfred, Hadžić Denis, Kruljac Bojan

Boxscore: https://fibalivestats.dcd.shared.geniussports.com/u/HKS/2097197/bs.html 

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

Friday, 27 May 2022

€1.5 M Maritime Heritage Interpretation Centre Opens In Malinska

ZAGREB, 27 May 2022 - A maritime heritage interpretation centre - DUBoak - that was built as part of the Arca Adriatica project, opened on Friday in Malinska on the Island of Krk.

The project is aimed at protecting, promoting and adding tourist value to the Adriatic's maritime heritage.

The premises are valued at about HRK 11.5 million and exhibit rich maritime heritage, shipping culture, shipbuilding skills and the life of islanders.

The design for the centre was prepared by a team of architects, heritage interpreters, marketing experts and experts in the field of multimedia.

The centre's name - DUBoak - recalls the unbreakable tie between the sea and traditional boats on the coastal side facing the mainland and the Dub oak on the forest-covered side of the island. The name reminds of the deepness of the sea and is a play on words, combining the local (dub) and English (oak) terms for oak trees.

The centre is located on the Malinska promenade where residents from Dubašnica in the past used to unload oak trunks transported on ox-driven carts and then would load them into wooden boats and transport them to Rijeka and as far as Venice.

 

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Friday, 27 May 2022

Graševina Wine Has Great Export Potential, Conference Hears

ZAGREB, 27 May 2022 - Graševina, that is Welschriesling, a white wine grape variety,  is the most important and most prevalent wine variety in Croatia with great export potential but a lot of effort is needed for this wine to become known outside Croatia, it was heard at an international conference - GO - Graševina Osijek.

The conference was organised by the Croatian Agriculture and Food Agency (HAPIH), Osijek-Baranja County Tourist Board and the Graševina Croatica Association as part of the Wine Tour Across Borders project that is co-financed through the Hungary-Croatia EU Programme.

HAPIH Director Darja Sokolić said that in 2020 37,000 tonnes of Graševina grapes were produced, or 44% of Croatia's total grape production, producing 255,000 hectolitres of Graševina wine which is almost 40% of all the wine produced in Croatia.

More than 40% of the wine placed on the Croatian market is Graševina which comes in all wine categories -- table wine, quality wine, quality wine, classy wine and even a sparkling, Sokolić said, adding that she sees great potential in that wine variety.

President of Graševina Croatica Josip Pavić believes that in reference to laboratory and organoleptic evaluation, Slavonia and the Danube region produce the best quality wines but they have a lower sales price and low market potential.

Hence, he said, it is necessary to promote Graševina through wine and gastronomic tourism and a wine development strategy that will enable significant investment.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Friday, 27 May 2022

Montenegrin And Croatian Fms Push For Resolving Open Issues As Good Neighbours

ZAGREB, 27 May 2022 - Croatia wants to continue developing good neighbourly relations with Montenegro, help it on its journey to the EU as well as discuss outstanding issues in the spirit of good neighbourly relations, Croatia's Foreign Minister said after meeting his Montenegrin host in Cetinje on Friday.

Underscoring that this was his third visit to Montenegro in a short period, Croatia's minister of foreign and European affairs, Gordan Grlić Radman, said Montenegro could continue counting on Zagreb's support on its path to full membership in the EU.

However, he underscored that it is important to open dialogue and address outstanding issues between the two countries.

"I believe that issues need to be resolved in the spirit of mutual respect and good neighbourly relations and within the framework of international law. That implies the resolution of the fate of missing persons, prosecuting war crimes and the rights of war victims," said Grlić Radman after the talks with Montenegro's Ranko Krivokapić.

Grlić Radman added that that also involves the problem of border demarcation and the ownership of the Jadran training ship which is now in the hands of the Montenegrin navy.

The two ministers discussed changing the name of the winter swimming pool in Kotor which was renamed last year after water polo player Zoran Džimi Gopčević, who was a guard of the infamous Morinj war camp which led to Croatia sending a protest note to the then government in Montenegro.

Grlić Radman said that he hoped an agreement would be reached for the long term lease of premises in Donja Lastva near Tivat by the Croat minority.

The two officials also discussed an initiative to erect a monumental plaque as a sign of respect to a Montenegrin JNA general, Vladimir Barović, who committed suicide on Vis Island during the JNA aggression against Croatia because he refused an order to bomb Croatian coastal towns.

"Barović showed humanity in a way that decent and fair people do, people who do not wish to cause damage to a nation that did not do any harm to his compatriots," said Grlić Radman.

He further underscored Croatia's support for the Croat minority in Montenegro and to its organisations: the Croatian National Council and Croatian Civil Initiative. He welcomed a decision by the new Montenegrin government to appoint a Croat - Adrian Vuksanović - as a minister in the government.

Krivokapić thanked Croatia for its support to Montenegro in efforts to fulfill the EU accession criteria.

"Croatia has given us unreserved support in that area with the wish to resolve some outstanding issues as soon as possible. Fostering historical remembrance, repentance and reconciliation on the examples of Morinj, Dubrovnik and some other issues, we are building a new trust, showing our readiness to apologise and take responsibility for all the mistakes, primarily by Montenegro," Krivokapić said.

The two officials agreed that the current geopolitical situation has opened the door to the EU for new members and that Montenegro needs to fulfill all the membership benchmarks as soon as possible and start closing negotiation chapters.

After the meeting, Grlić Radman and Krivokapić laid wreaths at a monument marking the Christmas uprising of 104 years ago and Montenegro's struggle for independence.

For more, check out our politics section.

Friday, 27 May 2022

Pelješac Bridge Opening Confirmed for End of July

May 27, 2022 - Minister of the Sea, Transport, and Infrastructure Oleg Butković has confirmed that the Pelješac bridge opening will be at the end of July.

Most of the works on the access roads to the Pelješac Bridge are nearing completion. Minister Oleg Butković visited the bridge to confirm that everything was ready for the July opening, reports Dalmacija Danas.

Works on access roads are in full swing. However, everything will depend on July 13, when the technical inspection of access roads and connections with the bridge is scheduled. Then it will be known whether the access roads and the Pelješac bridge have a use permit. In that case, the bridge's grand opening would be in late July. The most distinguished guests from Croatia and the EU are expected at the opening.

Currently, the largest works are on access roads, more precisely at the Brijesta junction. New forces are constantly being brought in to finish everything on time. One of the major problems that emerged during the construction of access roads is the rage in prices on the global market, which has led to an increase in the cost of road connections in Croatia. It is estimated that there was a difference in costs of 100 to 150 million kuna.

"The bridge is finished; as far as access roads are concerned, we can say that at the end of July, we will open the Pelješac Bridge with part of the access roads, more precisely the second and third phases. The second phase goes from Duboka to Sparagović and the third phase from Sparagović to Prapratno. A total of 25 kilometers of roads. We still have eight kilometers of the Ston bypass and the connection to the state road D8, which should be completed by the end of the year," said Oleg Butković, Minister of the Sea, Transport, and Infrastructure.

"The contractors are working in challenging circumstances due to global market disturbances, but nothing will be called into question," the Minister said.

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

Friday, 27 May 2022

Catering to Digital Nomads: Official Dubrovnik Long Stay Website Launched

May 28, 2022 - A destination long associated with short visits continues its journey of diversification aimed at the digital market and longer-stay tourist. Meet Dubrovnik Long Stay, a new official website. 

It has been a really interesting two years working with the City of Dubrovnik and tourist board since my first meeting with Dubrovnik Mayor, Mato Frankovic back in July 2020. His receptiveness to explore new tourism avenues was very refreshing, and we started working on some new digital nomad initiatives with Saltwater Nomads. With many destinations simply waiting for the pandemic to pass, Croatia (with its new digital nomad permit) and Dubrovnik were busy and prominent. Saltwater Nomads delivered the first-ever digital nomad conference in Croatia, Dubrovnik for Digital Nomads, which was followed by the award-winning Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence programme (DNIR) in April 2021, and recent Work. Place. Culture. conference which took place earlier this month. 

The DNIR project was particularly illuminating, and it was a pleasure to watch the city, tourist board, community and resident nomads co-creating a strategy for the city to become more attractive to remote workers in the future. One of the many recommendations from the resident nomads was that Dubrovnik was perceived as a 2-day destination, whereas many nomads on social media were looking to try a Croatian destination for 30 days or so. If there was no information or marketing about longer-term stays, then there was little chance that nomads would be heading in that direction. A suggestion to create a website called Dubrovnik Long Stay could promote a different image of the city, catering to the needs of those who were more interested in spending a longer period, perhaps with working remotely built into the plan.

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One thing that has really impressed me with the cooperation with Dubrovnik has been how willing both the city and tourist board have been not only to implement recommendations, but to go even further. Making lasting change takes more than a couple of conferences and strategy exercises if the recommendations are not followed up. Changing the perception of a destination takes time, but there are already some encouraging results, as the two British newspaper headlines - one from 2017 and one from 2021 - show.  

Dubrovnik has responded well to the challenge, and the city has some pretty cool features for nomads. In addition to adding co-working (and soon co-living) spaces, the tourist board has reached out to local businesses to see who would like to support the digital nomad community in the form of discounts and special offers. There has been a great response, and the Dubrovnik Digital Nomad Card will soon be available. The tourist board has also established a digital nomad concierge service point at its main Pile Gate office, where digital nomads can register and receive a DN information pack. 

Nothing spreads faster than the spoken word or a hearty recommendation, and the latest collaboration between the City of Dubrovnik, Dubrovnik Tourist Board and Saltwater Nomads has been the Dubrovnik Digital Nomad Ambassador program. Mandy Fransz (one of the top 10 LinkedIn voices on remote work), and Yvette Pelgrom, have done an excellent job and are now continuing their ambassadorship on Korcula. So what did they make of Dubrovnik as a nomad destination? Read more in The Ultimate Guide for Digital Nomads in Dubrovnik.

The latest addition to Dubrovnik's impressive digital nomad offer went live this week - the latest implemented recommendation from DNIR - the Dubrovnik Long Stay website - check it out here

Lots of practical information for longer-term renters, including accommodation options and co-working spaces, as well as the latest news and events. More details on the DN card will appear once it is launched, and if you are considering coming down to the southern coast of Croatia for an extended stay, a website to bookmark for sure. 

To learn more about Dubrovnik, check out the TC Dubrovnik in a Page guide

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

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