Monday, 20 June 2022

Croatia to Boost its LNG Capacity from 2.9 to 6.1 Billion Cubic Metres

ZAGREB, 20 June 2022 - Croatia will expand the capacity of its LNG terminal off Krk Island from 2.9 billion to 6.1 billion cubic metres, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said in Riga on Monday while attending the Three Seas Initiative summit meeting.

The Three Seas Initiative, launched by Croatia and Poland, is an informal political platform of 12 countries located between the three seas -- Baltic, Adriatic and Black -- with the aim of boosting their energy, transport and infrastructure connectivity.

Addressing the meeting in the Latvian capital city, PM Plenković said that the increased capacity of the LNG terminal to 6.1 billion cubic metres was far above Croatia's needs.

This increase will enable Croatia to become a regional energy hub, which is also beneficial to our neighbouring countries: Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Hungary said Plenković.

The premier also commented on transport connectivity and highlighted the pan-European 5C corridor from Hungary via Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina reaching the southern Croatian seaport of Ploče.

The Three Seas Initiative was born out of a shared interest in developing transport, energy and digital infrastructure connections on the EU’s north-south axis.

The initiative was launched in 2015 at the proposal of the then Croatian president Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović and her Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda.

The very first summit meeting was held in Dubrovnik in 2016, while the initiative's investment fund now stands at €928 million.

According to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken who addressed the summit meeting via video, new American contributions will raise this amount above a billion euros.

Plenković said that the Three Seas Initiative Investment Fund (3SIIF) is the most logical way for making investments in energy, transport and digital projects in Croatia.

The contribution of Croatia's development bank (HBOR) in this fund stands at €20 million. Croatia is currently proposing 11 projects to be funded under the 3SIIF-financed schemes.

Apart from Plenković, several heads of state or government arrived in Riga for the two-day event.

The executives of several Croatian companies, including Končar, the Luka Rijeka port, and Plinacro, are also taking part in the business conferences in Riga today and tomorrow.

Tourists from the countries covered by the Three Seas Initiative account for 40% of guests visiting Croatia.

This group of countries is interesting for Croatia, and furthermore, they are also part of our Central European identity, said Plenković.

During his visit, he will hold several bilateral meetings, including a meeting with Latvian President Egils Levits and Google Vice-President Karan Bhatia.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr  Zelenskyy addressed the Riga event via a video link.

The next summit meeting will take place in Romania.

These countries: Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia make up the initiative.

For more, check out our politics section.

Monday, 20 June 2022

Number of Unaccompanied Children Migrants on Rise

ZAGREB, 20 June 2022 - Croatia's ombudsman for children, Helenca Pirnat Dragičević and the UNHCR said on Monday that there had been headway in the protection of children asylum seekers lately in the country, however there were more and more unaccompanied minors arriving in Croatia.

During a round table discussion, held on World Refugee Day, Pirnat Dragičević ad UNHCR representatives highlighted the adoption of the protocol on the treatment of unaccompanied children migrants in 2018 and the recent amendments to the Foster Parenthood Law as positive things.

They also praised Croatian hosts for their heartfelt reception of Ukrainian refugees, including unaccompanied minors.

However, they said in a joint press release that there is still room for improvement, which requires the attention of all stakeholders, and they are pushing for the full adjustment of Croatia's child protection system with international principles and standards.

They also called for boosting translation resources for Ukrainian school-age children.

In 2020, Croatia registered 942 children asylum seekers, and in 2021, this number increased by 25% to 1,181. The number of unaccompanied minors seeking asylum has increased by 5%.

For more, check out our politics section.

Monday, 20 June 2022

307th Sinjska Alka Preparations Begin!

June 20, 2022 - The 307th Sinjska Alka will be held on August 7, 2022 - and preparations on the grandstand have already begun! 

Sinjska Ulica Alkarsko trkalište has been closed to all traffic since Monday as they assemble stands for the 307th Sinjska Alka, which will be held on August 7 under the auspices of the President of the Republic of Croatia, Zoran Milanović, reports Slobodna Dalmacija.

The installation of the 5,200-seat grandstand and the dirt track on which Alkars will gallop atop Alkar horses should be completed by July 15 at the latest. On that day, the arrival of Alkars at the racetrack is planned to practice hitting their Alkar targets as the last phase of preparations for this year's celebration.

As every year, due to the closure of Alka Racecourse, motor vehicle traffic is diverted to other city streets.

Mario Šušnjara will make his debut in the role of the Alkar duke at this year's Sinjska Alka. Vojvoda Šušnjara invited 36 candidates, including several trainees, to prepare for this year's event. On July 1, they will complete the first part of the preparations through which they practice riding and adapting to the horses.

The Duke will then make the first selection, so about 30 candidates will remain in the further course of preparations. The last selection will be at the beginning of the Alkar week, when Šušnjara, with the help of Ivica Filipović Grčić, will determine 17 Alkar men who will compete to win the 307th Sinjska Alka, the Duke's adjutant, flag bearers and five flag attendants. The Alkar boys, led for the 17th year in a row by Ivo Vukasović Parin, will begin preparations at the beginning of Alkar Week.

Preparations for the Alka, Bara, and Čoja will be supervised by the Honorary Court, which includes Boško Vladović, President and members Dr. Tomislav Župić and Mladen Pletikosić Micko. Their task is to insist on observing the Alka regulations and customs that have been passed down for centuries and which make the Sinjska Alka. 

For more, check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Monday, 20 June 2022

Ex-Officials Aladrović, Tolušić, Žunac Being Questioned by USKOK

ZAGREB, 20 June 2022 - A former minister Tomislav Tolusic of the Croatian Democratic Movement (HDZ) was questioned on Monday by the USKOK anti-corruption office as a suspect in an alleged case of corruption while another former minister Josip Aladrović of the HDZ party is due to give his deposition on Monday afternoon.

Tolušić was accompanied by his defence attorney Ilija Stanić.

Before Tolušić was questioned, a former state secretary in the Ministry for Regional Development Velimir Žunac was also questioned whose defence attorney Fran Olujić said that Žunac had said he did not feel guilty however, he refrained from answering any of the prosecutor's questions.

Aladrović's defence attorney Nikola Mandić confirmed earlier to Hina that his client is expected to be questioned today. Aladrović is charged with favouritism on two occasions concerning employment in 2018 and 2019 while he was the director of the Croatian Pension Insurance Fund (HZMO).

Without revealing their identity, the prosecution said that this was an extension of a previous investigation of former Minister of Physical Planning, Construction and State Assets Darko Horvat (HDZ), who, along with his assistant Ana Mandac, is suspected of illegally inciting four co-suspects to award HRK 2.6 million in grants to enterprises he was personally interested in.

Horvat and Mandac along with Tolušić and Žunac, former deputy prime minister Boris Milošević and the head of the ministry's department for areas of special state concern, Karica Mišković, are all suspects in this case.

The extended investigation into Aladrović also implicates the Mayor of Županja Damir Juzbašić, a former member of the HDZ, turned Independent candidate on the Homeland Movement's slate.

For more, check out our politics section.

Monday, 20 June 2022

NGO: Croatian Policies Marked by Violence Towards Refugees

ZAGREB, 20 June 2022 - Croatia's refugee policies are full of violence and human rights violations, Sara Kekuš of the Centre for Peace Studies (CMS) nongovernmental organisation said on Monday, World Refugee Day, recalling the need to build a more open, solidary and inclusive society. 

"World Refugee Day is a reminder that we can make this society more open, more solidary and more inclusive," Kekuš told a news conference outside the government and parliament buildings.

She noted that state policies towards refugees should be solidary but were currently not and were actually full of violence and violations of human rights, including those of children as the most vulnerable group.

Ahead of a free screening of the documentary "Shadow Game", to be staged by the CMS at Zagreb's Tuškanac cinema on Monday evening, Kekuš introduced the film's protagonists - Sajid Khan from Afghanistan and Jano from Syrian Kurdistan, who experienced pushbacks on Croatia's border as unaccompanied minors.

Please treat all people, including children, equally, said Khan, who at the age of 15 found himself in a situation in which he had to cross the green border, walk through the woods and climb mountains and encounter Croatian police.

The film's director, Eefje Blankevoort, said that it was time to stop and look at what was happening not only on Croatia's but also on Europe's borders.

She said that while making the movie she spoke to many refugees who had experienced violence and violent pushbacks on European and Croatian borders.

A boy in the film, Mustafa, was pushed back 50 times and tortured on the border. Croatian police officers, 14 of them, tortured him, broke his arm and used a taser on him, she said.

As part of events marking World Refugee Day, the CMS and the Stress and Trauma Rehabilitation Centre will hold a panel discussion on unaccompanied children in Croatia at the KIC venue in Zagreb's Preradovićeva Street at 5 pm Monday.

For more, check out our politics section.

Monday, 20 June 2022

Summer in Trešnja Rich Programme Announced: Books, Workshops, and More

June 20, 2022 - Zagreb's Trešnja Theatre is preparing a rich programme for the Summer in Trešnja event from June 25 to 29, as part of which visitors will be able to participate in educational and entertaining workshops, book promotions and theatre costume auctions, and see the play ''Hedgehog's House''.

Summer in Trešnja begins on Saturday, June 25 at 17:00 with an exhibition of children's acrylic works 'I recycle with a picture' organised by the Croatian Foundation for Children, which carried out this ecological-creative project in the earthquake-stricken area of ​​Topusko, reports

Every day at 18:00, children will be able to watch the play "Hedgehog's House", directed by Helena Petković, and after the play, visitors can expect an interesting programme in the summer courtyard of the Trešnja Theatre, the organisers announced.

Zoran Pribičević, Sanja Pilić, Silvija Šesto, and Jelena Veljača will present their books and picture books for the children, who will be able to ask questions and take photos.

The Trešnja Theatre also announced that an auction of unique theatrical costumes from plays that are no longer in the repertoire will be held on this occasion as well.

Facepainting will also be organised, so children will be able to get their favourite animals painted on their faces or hands, a cartoon character or motif of their choice, and in cooperation with the Zagreb Film Institution, visitors will be able to watch some of Croatia's cult cartoons every day at 21:00, such as "Balthazar", "Little Flying Bears", and "Surrogate".

In addition to the external programme, the theatre will host special workshops. Among them is the Summer Theater Camp, which will combine drama, ballet, and creative workshops over a five day period; the interpretation tour Hidden Treasure of the theatre, a visit to the lighting booth and the play "Hedgehog's House" and a one-day STEAM workshop on Saturday, June 25th.

Admission is free, and you only need to buy tickets for the "Hedgehog's house" in time.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Monday, 20 June 2022

Croatia Logs 29 New COVID-19 Cases, One Death

ZAGREB, 20 June 2022 - In the past 24 hours, 29 new cases of SARS-CoV-2 virus have been recorded in Croatia, and one person has died, the national COVID-19 response team reported on Monday.

There are currently a total of 2,017 active cases, including 167 hospitalized patients, of whom six are on ventilators.

Since the first case was recorded in Croatia on 25 February 2020, a total of 1,141,948 cases of the novel coronavirus have been recorded to date and 16,031 people have died as a consequence.

Currently, 833 persons are self-isolating. A total of 4,916,450 persons have been tested, including 379 in the last 24 hours.

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

Monday, 20 June 2022

Lorde Sibenik Concert Delights Fans St. Mihovila Fortress

June 20, 2022 - As part of her ''Solar Power'' tour, New Zealand singer delighted fans with a double-dose of a Lorde Sibenik concert at St. Mihovila Fortress. According to the Grammy-award singer with Croatian roots, she'd been waiting to hold a concert here for more than two years.

New Zealand singer Lorde (25), held two real spectacles in Sibenik at the St. Mihovila Fortress, and for one local Šibenik portal, she said that she had a great time and that she was delighted with her Croatian fans, reports

"I spent a wonderful day in Sibenik and I wanted to come to Croatia for ages, everyone here looks like my brother and sister. I'm grateful to have had an audience like this because you never know when you come somewhere what people who listen to your music look like, but all of them are so cool. Much of this album is about family, home, and history and I often think about what my kids will look like and what their future will be like. But I just feel good to be here at the top of a cliff and being able to sing about my life stories,'' said the 25-year-old singer from New Zealand.

The wait for a Lorde Sibenik concert, or indeed a Croatian concert of any kind, had been on for two years.

Her parents were also at the concert

"I have been waiting for this concert for more than two years. When we started the tour, I asked everyone to go to the two countries where my family comes from: Croatia and Ireland," she said.

Lorde's name is Ella Maria Lani Yelich-O'Connor, and the mother's family has its roots in Dalmatia. Her parents Sonja Yelich and Vic O'Connor were also present at her concert in Sibenik .

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Monday, 20 June 2022

Parliamentary Delegation Pays Tribute to Stjepan Radić, June Victims

ZAGREB, 20 June 2022 - A parliamentary delegation on Monday laid wreaths and lit candles at Zagreb's central Mirogoj cemetery to commemorate the 1928 killing of two Croatian deputies and the fatal wounding of Croatian Peasant Party (HSS) founder Stjepan Radić in the parliament of the then Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes.

The Croatian parliament in 2015 proclaimed Stjepan Radić and the June Victims Memorial Day in tribute to HSS founder and MP Stjepan Radić and Croatian MPs Pavle Radić, Đuro Basariček, Ivan Pernar and Ivan Granđa.

Pavle Radić and Đuro Basariček were killed in the parliament of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes on 20 June 1928 by Serbian Radical Party politician Puniša Račić while HSS founder Stjepan Radić was fatally wounded in the attack and died several weeks later. MPs Ivan Granđa and Ivan Pernar were wounded.

Parliament Deputy Speaker Željko Reiner, who headed the parliamentary delegation, said today they were paying tribute to the Croatian greats.

"Stjepan Radić brought together a large number of those who... opposed the Great Serbian hegemony in the then Kingdom of Yugoslavia and Belgrade's anti-Croat policies," said Reiner.

Radić is doubtlessly one of the great historical figures on Croatia's long, difficult and bloody journey to freedom, Reiner said, adding that Radić, just like Ante Starčević and Eugen Kvaternik, had dreamed of what was achieved by Croatia's first president Franjo Tuđman and Croatian defenders - a free, independent and democratic Croatia.

For more, check out our politics section.

Monday, 20 June 2022

Gov't Caps Fuel Prices at Petrol Stations Not Located on Highways

ZAGREB, 20 June 2022 - The government has decided to cap fuel prices at petrol stations that are not located on highways, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said on Monday after a government conference call meeting.

Thus one litre of Eurodiesel at petrol stations that are not located on highways will cost HRK 13.08 while a litre of Eurosuper 95 petrol will be sold at HRK 13.50.

Blue-dyed diesel will cost a maximum HRK 9.45 per litre.

The government decree capping fuel prices, to go into force on Tuesday, refers to 94% of petrol stations in the country.

It will be in force for the next two weeks.

The decree does not refer to premium fuels.

If the government had not acted, petrol would cost HRK 14.57 per litre as of Tuesday, while diesel would cost HRK 14.06 and blue-dyed diesel HRK 10.93, Plenković said, adding that petrol stations on highways would sell petrol and diesel at those prices.

The PM added that owing to the measures taken by the government so far, the price of a litre of petrol had been lowered by HRK 2.45, while the prices of diesel and blue-dyed diesel had been lowered by HRK 3.56 and 2.38 respectively.

(€1 = HRK 7.524861)

For more, check out our politics section.

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