Sunday, 9 May 2021

Bozinovic Discusses Digital Green Certificates for Travel During Pandemic

May the 9th, 2021 - Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic has discussed the controversial new ''covid passports'' which he insists are not passports and must not be referred to as that, despite it being both easier to remember and easier to say. Could Croatia's digital green certificates be ready by next month?

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Bozinovic stated that ''they aren't passports, let's not call get into the habit of calling them that, maybe it's easier to say that these are digital green certificates that refer to facilitating international travel. They will be interoperable, and they'll allow mutual recognition of vaccination, recovery and testing certificates.

By a majority vote, European Union lawmakers backed the digital green certificates proposal, Bozinovic noted, adding that the final proposal has yet to be adopted, and that it will likely happen in the first half of June.

"Croatia is in the advanced stage of implementing a national technical solution and we're ready to test it on the available European Union platform. Particular emphasis should be placed on the importance of databases, the accuracy and entry of all data as certificates will be issued based on the databases of people who have already recovered from the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, those who have been tested in the last 48 hours and people who've been vaccinated.

We're in favour of the adoption of these regulations as soon as possible. With out participation in the pilot project, we've become one of the EU member states that will be ready to issue certificates as early as June the 1st. In Croatia, these certificates will be issued in digital PDF format, and people will be able to submit their applications through the e-citizens system. Certificates in physical form for people who request them will be issued in some of the 150 HZZO offices. The verification of these certificates will be carried out by reading QR codes, and 250 certificate readers have already been deployed at the country's border crossings,'' pointed out Bozinovic.

The portal will provide announcements for the arrival of foreign nationals, which will shorten the time spent at Croatian borders. Passengers will be able download their receipts for their digital green certificates in PDF format on the aforementioned page before their arrival for the purpose of verification as soon as possible.

For more on coronavirus in Croatia, from border, travel and quarantine rules to the locations of vaccination points and testing sites across the country, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section and choose your preferred language.

Sunday, 9 May 2021

Following Noise Issues, More Problems Plague Zagreb Cable Car

May the 9th, 2021 - There was much talk about the much anticipated Zagreb cable car which was in the works for a significant amount of time. The project was surrounded by issues and problems with time despite the fact that works had continued relatively normally up until recently.

As we previously reported, the Zagreb cable car failed to get the necessary permit to be put into function due to noise issues which need to be fully rectified before another request for a permit can be sent, with the State Inspectorate giving a very firm no at the moment. However, that isn't all, and now accusations of political motives for throwing a spanner in the works of the Zagreb cable car are being thrown around.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the conflict between Zagreb and the State Inspectorate, headed by HDZ member Andrija Mikulic, still hasn't abated. While the State Inspectorate claims that the Zagreb cable car cannot start working due to noise issues which need to be rectified, the City of Zagreb says that they're deliberately making it harder because of the local elections looming.

After the State Inspectorate recently deemed that the Zagreb cable car is the cause of excessive noise, the would-be Sljeme attraction now has another problem at its doorstep. The substation. Namely, as has unofficially been found out, the substation didn't pass the necessary inspection protocols either, and the contractor was given a period of two weeks to fix the problems found.

As 24sata has learned, the Zagreb cable car's substation doesn't have enough voltage to be able to supply electricity to the cable car itself, nor to the Mihaljevac-Gracansko dolje tram line.

As a reminder, the Zagreb City Office for Spatial Planning rejected the opinion of the Sanitary Inspection on Thursday last week, which refused to give a positive opinion to the Zagreb cable car for a permit due to its excessive noise.

Namely, inspectors determined that the City of Zagreb didn't provide evidence of noise measurement, and from the City Zagreb they claim that this isn't true and that they submitted all the necessary documents for the future cable car.

For all you need to know about Zagreb in 2021, make sure to bookmark Zagreb in a Page and choose your preferred language.

Sunday, 9 May 2021

Croatian Producers Achieve Record Export Figures, Growth in First Quarter

May the 9th, 2021 - Croatian producers have managed to deliver an excellent result in 2021's first quarter, recording record export figures and surprising growth of 9.5 percent.

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic is continuing to throw proverbial spanners in the works for almost everything imaginable, and the global economy is suffering tremendously and in a truly unprecedented way. The Croatian economy, which relies heavily on tourism as it makes up a huge amount of the country's GDP, has been far from immune from the negative trends caused by the measures introduced to try to prevent the spread of the novel virus.

Croatian producers, particularly exporters, have been as plagued by the virus and intermittent lockdowns as the vast majority of other sectors across Croatia and Europe, but 2021 has managed to bring with it some surprising and encouraging results which might well mean that things are finally on the up again.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, in the first two months of 2021, Croatian exports were down 1.4 percent (when looking at it from the perspective of the Croatian kuna) and 2.8 percent in euros on an annual basis.

2021's first quarter also saw a significantly more favourable ratio between the value of exports and imports, as the coverage of imports by exports improved significantly and amounted to 64.6 percent. In the first quarter of last year, the ratio stood at a lesser 60.3 percent.

The more favourable ratio is a direct result of slower growth in imports, which was 2.1 percent higher in Croatian kuna and 0.6 percent higher in euros. Since this is the first data without details on the structure to have been made available, there is no precise data on what contributed most to this promising export jump, and it can only be established that growth also took place on most important single market (7.3 percent in euros), and to a somewhat stronger scale outside of the single market (9.2 percent in euros).

In absolute numbers, in the first three months of 2021, the Croatian economy exported products worth 30.0 billion kuna, or 3.97 billion kuna. 46.48 billion kuna or 6.15 billion euros worth of goods were imported, which is a record result for that particular period.

For more on Croatian producers, exporters and figures, make sure to follow our dedicated business section.

Sunday, 9 May 2021

Tourism Minister Brnjac: Season Could be Better Than 2020's

May the 9th, 2021 - Croatian Tourism Minister Brnjac has stated that she feels that Croatia has done all it can to send out the message to its emitting markets that it is taking the pandemic seriously and that all epidemiological rules are being fully respected.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Nikolina Brnjac said that she believes that the Republic of Croatia has successfully met all of the preconditions for tourists eager for a holiday following a terrible 2020 to recognise the country as safe for precisely that purpose.

The summer tourist season could be better than last year for Croatian, Tourism Minister Brnjac told Vecernji list on Saturday.

"The good news is coming from Germany, Poland, Italy, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands… which shows that Croatia is high on the list of priorities for their residents when choosing a holiday destination," said the minister, commenting on forecasts that tourist traffic in 2021 could reach about 60 percent of pre-pandemic, record 2019.

In the latest European Commission (EC) report, she added, Croatia has climbed up and is now among the top 10 most desirable European tourist destinations for travellers this summer.

"This is certainly supported by the announcements of as many as 180 airlines from Croatia's emitting markets. Especially good news about new airlines is the latest from New York to Dubrovnik. This is a sign that everyone is seriously counting on coming to Croatia this summer. If the epidemiological situation in Croatia and on our emitting markets is favourable, with all the activities we're carrying out, I believe that we can achieve a better season than the one we had last year,'' Tourism Minister Brnjac stated.

"The borders are open, the Safe Stay in Croatia project has more and more users every day, we've defined more than 300 points for testing tourists in tourist centres/destinations, which can be found at We're co-financing antigen tests for tourists, we've started vaccinating Croatian tourist workers, we'll have special epidemiological data for the islands, and we have launched the Experience local campaign, with which we want to attract domestic tourists as well.

We're ready for the season, and the epidemiological situation is crucial to that,'' Tourism Minister Brnjac stated.

For more, follow our travel section.

Saturday, 8 May 2021

PM Defends His Government's Proposal to Partly Ban Sunday work

May 8, 2021 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenković on Saturday defended his government's proposal to partly ban Sunday work, rejecting President Zoran Milanović's assessment of the proposal groundless and describing his statements to the press as political barbarism and rudeness.

Earlier in the day, Milanović told the press that Plenković's speech on the ban was insincere and a gimmick ahead of the 16 May local elections.

"I did not see what he said. I presume he is still on the campaign trail trying to keep the remaining SDP pockets in the counties, municipalities, and towns alive because what he is doing is a local campaign by the President of the Republic, a former leader of the SDP (Social Democratic Party), which has never been seen before. But I guess this is a new outlook on democracy along the lines of all those salvos of insults directed at other political actors, such as the HRT (public broadcaster), your journalist colleagues in Split," Plenković told the Croatia media in the Portuguese city of Porto where he was attending the EU Social Summit.

"That's outrageous! I expected that the HRT and its reporters, who are otherwise quick in contacting the European Federation of Journalists, would promptly respond and seek protection as they have in the past, that they would condemn that act. Such political barbarism and rudeness towards the media is unprecedented, it is a new dimension, and we should talk about it," he added.

Milanović commented on the statement made by Plenković in Porto on Friday that a ban on Sunday work would be good for "balance between work and family life."

"(Milanović) obviously did not follow last year's election campaign for the Croatian Parliament because that was one of the key messages from our election manifesto. Over the previous months, we have been working thoroughly on the proposal to amend the Commerce Act, conducting consultations and surveys. A majority of Croatian citizens are in favor of banning Sunday work. Since Croatia is a tourist country, businesses would be allowed to work on 16 Sundays a year, whereby all the needs of the tourist season would be met," the prime minister said.

"At the same time, shopping centers would be allowed to work on holidays, and balance would be achieved between work activities and family life. It is a well-balanced and appropriate proposal that will be put to public consultation and come before Parliament, and it is in no way connected with this election campaign. After all, proposals like this are not adopted by local councils or elected leaders but by the Croatian Parliament," Plenković concluded. 

For more, follow our politics section.

Saturday, 8 May 2021

Croatia Willing to Help Coronavirus Hit India

May 8, 2021 - Croatia on Saturday confirmed its commitment to help coronavirus hit India in dealing with the difficult healthcare situation caused by the pandemic.

On Friday, for the second day in a row, India reported a record number of over 400,000 new coronavirus cases in a single day, and nearly 4,000 people died.

European leaders, including Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, discussed the situation with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the EU Social Summit in Porto. The meeting was held by video link because Modi had to cancel his trip to Porto because of the pandemic.

Plenković expressed solidarity with India on Croatia's behalf and announced assistance as part of the European Union. Some of the member states, such as Spain, which has sent 167 ventilators this week, announced material aid.

Some EU heads of government, including Plenković and Spain's Pedro Sánchez, said during the EU summit that it was essential that COVID-19 vaccines reached all parts of the world.

Some countries, led by Germany, where pharmaceutical companies are based, opposed the initiative to waive patent protection for COVID-19 vaccines. The initiative was launched by India and South Africa, and last week it was joined by the new US administration of President Joe Biden.

 Plenković told the Croatian media on Friday that this was a positive initiative because vaccine doses would become cheaper, while Sánchez said that there was no point in the EU achieving its vaccination goal if the rest of the world lagged behind.

For more news, follow TCN's dedicated page

Saturday, 8 May 2021

Milanović: Croatian Troops in Kosovo "No Provocation Against Serbia"

ZAGREB, 8 May (Hina) - President Zoran Milanović said on Saturday that the decision to increase Croatian troops in Kosovo was not an act of provocation against Serbia. 

"That's no provocation against Serbia. The Serbian authorities do not know how to get out of the trap into which they fell 30 years ago with Milošević's orgy in Kosovo that caused the war in Yugoslavia. ... The question of the independence and status of the Albanian people is a topic that brought about the war, actually several wars," Milanović said in response to questions from the press during a visit to the eastern city of Đakovo.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić said Serbia wanted to have good relations with all its neighbors but that Croatia's actions and statements showed no respect for Serbia but attempted to humiliate it.

Vučić said that Croatia could have refused to send more troops to Kosovo as part of the NATO-led KFOR peacekeeping mission and that its decision was aimed at "further humiliating Serbia."

Milanović recalled that the Croatian contingent has been present in Kosovo for years and that its presence has been increased now that Croatian troops have left Afghanistan.

"I have already signed this order, but had I been aware that it would bother them so much, we might have discussed it," said Milanović, who also serves as Commander in Chief of the Croatian Armed Forces.

As for the presence of Croatian troops in other countries, he said that the Croatian military need not always be present somewhere and that its primary task was to protect Croatia.

"Croatian soldiers are here, first and foremost, to protect Croatia. It is their main and sole basic task, while these other forms of cooperation are welcome," Milanović said.

"Kosovo has been recognized as a state virtually by the entire EU, except five member states. I understand why two of them have not, but as for the other three, I do not understand because I followed this matter and talked with their prime ministers and presidents several times in the past," Milanović said.

Cyprus, Greece, Romania, Spain, and Slovakia are the only EU members that have not recognized Kosovo, a former Serbian province, as an independent state.

Milanović also noted that the Serbian authorities "are doing all they can so as not to join the European Union, even though they are ostensibly negotiating."

"We are not on an equal footing. We are an EU member, and they are not. If they want to join, we have to talk. It never occurred to us to treat other countries so rudely and presumptuously, for example, Slovenia, which is smaller than Croatia but was an EU member (before Croatia joined the EU)," Milanović said.

Serbia was granted EU membership candidate status in 2012. It opened accession talks in 2014 and has provisionally closed only two chapters to date.

"I do not want to use Croatia's position to blackmail Serbia, but my impression is that there is no real ambition at all on Serbia's part to join the EU in 15 years. That is perhaps because in that case, all the people now ruling Serbia would have to look for their homeland elsewhere," the Croatian president said.

For more news, follow TCN's dedicated page

Saturday, 8 May 2021

Milanović: Government's Proposal on Sunday Work an Election Gimmick

May 8, 2021 -  President Zoran Milanović on Saturday reiterated his view on Sunday work, saying that the government's plan to ban Sunday work partly was an election gimmick. 

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković announced amendments to the Commerce Act on Thursday, under which the number of Sunday shopping days would be limited to 16 a year. He said that the move was not contrary to the government's desire for greater employment and higher growth, stressing the need to balance work and family life.

Answering questions from the press during a visit to the eastern city of Đakovo, Milanović said that the government's proposal was insincere. "It's always the same election gimmick by the government. They don't need it. Again, it won't change anything," the President said.

"People work from morning to night, and they don't have time to go shopping" except on Sundays, he said, noting that he personally would prefer if shopping centers were closed on Sundays, "but that is not about work." He said that another problem was that "we would be telling people when they can go to the shops." 

Milanović said that he personally does not go shopping on Sundays but that he is aware that most people "do not have this comfort."

Asked to comment on the union's proposal for workers who are not union members to be taxed, Milanović said that he generally supported the work of the unions, particularly those in private companies.

"However, this has become very difficult because of atomization. People used to work in large companies, and it was relatively easy to organize them, while that is more difficult today. This is now reduced to public-sector unions in which fewer people work because most work in the private sector. If the unions are weak, the employers will trample them. The state is still the most decent employer," Milanović said, reiterating that "in the end, it all boils down to the trade unions in the public sector, state administration, and hospitals."

For more, follow our politics section.

Saturday, 8 May 2021

Foreign Parents in Split Region Mostly Content with Croatian Public Schools

May 8, 2021 - Foreign parents in the Split region are mostly content with Croatian public schools, reveals a survey conducted amongst volunteering expat parents.

The survey conducted amongst volunteering expat parents shows that most families are content or even very happy regarding their experience with public schools in Croatia. The scale went from 5 for perfect to 1 for failure, where the middle ground (3) was that the experience had ups and downs and that families would either recommend others to look for a different school or be prepared for a bumpy ride. The perfect experience meant that the child was happy in school, the teachers gave a good education, and the parents were treated well. A failure meant that the parents felt that the experience was a total disaster, that they either thought about changing the school or actually did, and that child and parents were relieved and happy when that time was over. 


Forms response chart. Question title: The public school our child(ren) went to during our time in Dalmatia/Croatia was.... Number of responses: 20 responses.


It is not hard to guess that the experience was better the younger the children were when they arrived in Croatia, and the more the family spoke Croatian at home. In general, it looks like there is a very different perspective based on the three schooling systems of lower primary school/ niži razredi osnovna škola (1st-4th grade), higher primary school/ viši razredi osnovna škola also called middle school in many countries (5th-8th grade), and high school/srednje škole also called middle school or secondary school in Croatia (9th-12th grade).


Forms response chart. Question title: While living in Croatia, our child(ren) went to - (choose all that apply). Number of responses: 20 responses.


In general, most families felt very well about the schooling in grades 1-4. This is probably not only because the children are still more open to learning a new language but also because the schooling system is still mostly aimed at "entertaining" the children and caring deeply for the well-being of the children rather than focusing on the transfer of knowledge. Also, the peer pressure is more positive as local children at younger ages welcome foreigners and love interacting and playing with anyone regardless of the background or the language barrier. 


Forms response chart. Question title: Where in Dalmatia did your child(ren) go to school (choose all that apply)?. Number of responses: 19 responses.


However, when children are in grades 5-8, there seems to be a huge discrepancy between newcomers and children who have already been to school in Croatia before or have spoken Croatian at home. The school system changes from a single class teacher in classes 1-4 for most subjects to many specialized teachers in most subjects, while the class teacher is then only a teacher that sees the children in one or two subjects. Also, the general approach to education seems to take its toll on the children. Apart from what happens in school, this is a demanding time for children due to entering adolescence and seeing life and others with different eyes. Peer pressure seems to take on negative aspects that are not being channeled properly.

For this age group, parents who have just arrived with their kids and who have little Croatian language skills have a rather negative or stressful experience, whereas parents who have been living in Croatia for some time or who have been speaking Croatian at home seem to have a mostly positive experience with the public school education in classes 5-8.


Forms response chart. Question title: Our Children speak - choose all that apply. Number of responses: .


This discrepancy in experiences then not only increases even more for grades 9-12, but the number of parents who decide to move to Croatia with children in that age group also shrinks dramatically compared to families who moved to Croatia with younger children. 

Unfortunately, two families had to go through a terrible experience with their children. In both cases, bullying is mentioned explicitly as the encountered problem. In both cases, the families felt that the school (not the same school) could not deal with the problem properly and protect the children. It is unknown if the parents chose to change the school because of such problems, but it is unfortunate to hear that the families felt like the teachers did not do enough to help remedy the situation in both cases.

For further reading about the structure of Croatian public schools, you may want to read: 

About the author:

We moved to Croatia together with our son almost 5 years ago and had some mixed experiences since he started to go to school here in 3rd grade. We built a little web project for the idea of an international school in Split and continue to share our experience happily. The site has been live now for almost 4 years at Now we cross-checked ours with the experience of other parents. 

We will soon share with you some more information on what you may want to know and what you can do to get ready for your move to Croatia and to be better prepared to face the challenges of the Croatian public school system.

For more, follow our lifestyle section.

Saturday, 8 May 2021

First Croatian-Korean Film 'Crisis' Recently Finished Filming in Zagreb

May 8, 2021 - The fiction film Crisis will be the first Croatian-Korean film and the first Croatian film to feature an Asian actor as the protagonist.

The short film will follow the day in the life of 20 something-year-old Ji-Hu, who is working for his father's Korean restaurant in Zagreb, as the delivery boy, during the current global pandemic. Throughout his delivery runs across Zagreb, he will not only have to deal with the constant pressure from his father and an odd variety of customers but also trying to adjust in a world where he still hasn’t found his place yet.

This story comes from a desire to show an authentic portrayal of a foreign immigrant's life in Croatia, specifically residents from Asia. The inspiration for telling an “immigrant tale” arose from the creator’s own experiences living as an immigrant in America. Additionally, this film will highlight the struggles of small private businesses across the world who are struggling to make ends meet because of the pandemic.





Crisis is the graduate film for Benjamin Noah Maričak, a third-year undergraduate student of Production at the Academy of Dramatic Arts at the University of Zagreb - who serves as the Producer and Creator of the film. The chief creative team consists of Director Boris Vuković, Cinematographer Marko Milohnić, and Screenwriter Karla Leko.

In the lead roles are Seck Zeen Hong, as the film’s protagonist, and You Kwang Kim, as Ji-Hu’s father. Both of which are making their cinematic debuts in leading roles. The rest of the cast consists of Croatia’s premier emerging talents, such as Lara Nekić, Igor Jurinić, Klara Fiolić, Tara Dorotić, Lucia Luque Akrap, Laura Bošnjak, Laura Anić-Kaliger, and Dora Dimić Rakar. Alongside them appear acting veterans Fabijan Pavao Medvešek and Alemka Sappe.

The film is financially supported by the Croatian Audiovisual Centre (HAVC) and is currently being edited, with plans to premiere.

For more, follow our lifestyle section.

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