Tuesday, 9 August 2022

Dinamo Books Champions League Play-off Spot against Bodø/Glimt!

August 9, 2022 - Dinamo Zagreb advances to the Champions League play-off round against Bodø/Glimt! The Zagreb club won 4:2 at Maksimir on Tuesday night against Ludogorets (6-3 aggregate).

Dinamo played the second leg of the Champions League 3rd round qualifiers at Maksimir Stadium against Bulgarian club Ludogorets. Dinamo won 2:1 away in the first leg. Estimates are that around 15,000 fans were at Maksimir on Tuesday night. 

By advancing past Ludogorets, Dinamo secures their spot in the Champions League play-off against Norwegian club FK Bodo/Glimt. And that's not all - securing at least the Europa League group stage means 7.17 million euros in Dinamo's bank account. 


Dinamo: Livaković - Ristovski, B. Šutalo, Perić, Ljubičić - Mišić, Ademi - Špikić, Baturina, Oršić - Drmić

Ludogorets: Sluga - Cicinho, Verdon, Plastun, Nedyalkov - Yankov, Piotrowski, Cafunama - Rick, Igor Thago, Despodov

Match report

Dinamo's first good opportunity came already in the 4th minute. Ademi shot from 13 meters, but Croatian goalkeeper Simon Sluga defended for Ludogorets, resulting in a corner for Dinamo.

But it didn't take long for Dinamo to get comfortable. Josip Drmić scored with a header in the 12th minute for 1:0. 

A sense of calm swept over Dinamo after Jankov was sent off with his second yellow card in the 18th minute, forcing Ludogorets to play with a man down for the remainder of the match. And not even 10 minutes later? Dinamo was awarded a penalty when Nedjalkov clipped Špikić from behind. Oršić scored for 2:0 in the 27th minute. 

Ludogorets was mostly helpless for the remainder of the first half, with Dinamo pressing and using their extra-player advantage to tire out the Bulgarian club. And then Dinamo did it again - Oršić dribbed through the Ludogorets defense and nailed the far post for 3:0 Dinamo with just a minute to go in the first half. 

Ludogorets reduced the score to 3:1 when Despodov scored in stoppage time. It was 3:1 for Dinamo at the half.

The second half started with changes for Dinamo. Mišić, Ristovski and Baturina were subbed off and Ivanušec, Gojak and Moharrami entered the match. 

A penalty was awarded to Ludogorets in the 49th minute, and Despodov scored again to bring the result to 3:2. 

Drmić was subbed off in the 70th minute, and Petković entered the match. 

Another blow for the Bulgarian club came in the 73rd minute. Rick received his second yellow card for a foul on Spikic and was sent off, forcing Ludogorets to play with two men down. 

And then a chance for Dinamo's 4th goal came in the 84th minute when a penalty was called for Dinamo. Petkovic scored for 4:2 and Ludogorets received yet another red card, bringing them down 8 players to finish the match! 

And the red cards didn't stop for Ludogorets there - the president of the club was sent into the tunnel in the 88th minute! 

The ref added 5 minutes of stoppage time, in which neither team scored. Dinamo thus won 4:2 with a 6-3 aggregate and advances to the Champions League play-off against Norwegian club Bodo/Glimt! 

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

Tuesday, 9 August 2022

August in Grožnjan - the Center of the Arts World

August 9, 2022 - Numerous events organized in the small Istrian town of Grožnjan in August will see some of the greatest international artists. 

Tportal writes about the series of events, organized by the International Cultural Center of the Croatian Musical Youth (HGM). Currently, The Musica Antica, an early music workshop, the Michael Chekhov Summer Mentor Training Academy and the International School of Architecture are underway. Before August is over,  the Summer Piano School and seminars on horn, saxophone, oboe and clarinet will be held.

The Early Music Workshop, also called the "Musica Antica" Campus is organized by the HGM and the University of Ljubljana - Academy of Music/Department of Early Music. The Campus follows the growing artistic-performance and educational trend of studying historically aware performance practice and interpretation of the great oeuvre of secular and spiritual music from the Middle Ages until the beginning of the 19th century, taking into account the care of the musical cultural heritage of Istria County and northern Istria, musical ethno- cultural studies, historical musical instruments of the county and region. One of the programme's future goals is the production of original musical and musical-stage productions, performed on authentic instruments and with respect for historical performance practice. The artistic directors of Campus Musica Antica are Tonči Bilić and Egon Mihajlović, and the lecturers are Mihajlović, Bettina Simon, Lucia Rizzello, Franjo Billić and Chiara De Zuani. The final concerts of the Campus participants will be held on August 11 at 9:00 p.m. in the Kaštel hall and on August 12 at 8:00 p.m. in the church of St. Vida, Crešencija and Modesta.

The International School of Architecture, led by the award-winning architects Takaharu and Yui Tezuka and Jim Njoo, is also underway. The Japanese couple Tezuka are experienced in designing spaces for children, which was recognized by the OECD and UNESCO by declaring their Fuji Kindergarten the best school in the world, while Jim Njoo is a two-time winner of the International Urban and Architectural Competition Europan. The final presentation of the school's work will be held on August 13 at 3:00 p.m., through a walk through Grožnjan, and the formal lecture will be held on August 14 at 10:00 a.m. Architect Tezuka's lecture will be available via live streaming on HGM's YouTube channel on August 9, starting at 8:30 p.m.

The programs of the HGM in Grožnjan are supported by the Ministry of Culture and Media of the Republic of Croatia, the Municipality of Grožnjan, the County of Istria, the Tourist Board of the County of Istria, the Music School in Varaždin, the Center for Culture and Information Maksimir and others.

Tuesday, 9 August 2022

HUBOL: Croatia Doesn't have Enough Remdesivir for all COVID Patients

ZAGREB, 9 August, 2022 - Croatia is running out of Remdesivir, the antiviral drug used in the treatment of COVID-19, and new supplies have not come in yet, the Croatian Association of Hospital Doctors (HUBOL) warned on Tuesday.

Currently, 613 COVID patients are being treated in Croatian hospitals, which have 483 vials of Remdesivir at their disposal. Given that six vials are needed for the treatment of one patient, the present supplies are enough to treat 80 patients, the organisation said.

The Health Ministry on Tuesday denied media reports about a shortage of drugs used in the treatment of people infected with COVID-19, saying that there are sufficient supplies to meet the present needs.

HUBOL said that the hospitals running out of Remdesivir had ordered new supplies from the Ministry's Service for Medicinal Products in mid-July, after which they were told that the supplies of this drug had been used up and that the Ministry would order more of it.

These hospitals have used up their supplies of Remdesivir and have still not received new ones even though they placed their orders several weeks ago, HUBOL said, noting that the drug Remdesivir can be ordered only via the Ministry and that hospitals cannot get it on their own.

Some hospitals still have this drug, but their supplies are dwindling, and the Health Ministry is the only authority responsible for the redistribution of Remdisivir from the hospitals that still have it to those that do not until a new delivery arrives, HUBOL said.

It was only after the tragic death of the reporter Vladimir Matijanić that the Ministry ordered an inventory to ascertain which hospitals have Remdisivr and which do not. The Ministry is the only authority in charge of the distribution of this drug, HUBOL said.

The organisation said that the drug Ronapreve, which was referred to in the Ministry's statement today, has no effect in the treatment of the disease caused by the Omicron variant of the new coronavirus.

Tuesday, 9 August 2022

Croatia's First Half-Year Exports Up by 35.6%, Imports by 51.8%

ZAGREB, 9 August, 2022 - In the first half of 2022, Croatia's commodity exports totalled HRK 90 billion, increasing by 35.6% on the year, while imports went up by 51.8% to HRK 152.5 billion, according to the Croatian Bureau of Statistics (DZS).

The foreign trade deficit was HRK 62.4 billion and was HRK 28.4 billion higher year on year. Coverage of imports by exports was 59.1%, compared to 66.1% in the first half of 2021.

In the first six months of this year, HRK 64.2 billion worth of commodities were exported to the EU (+42.3%), while imports reached HRK 112.3 billion (+44.1%).

Exports to non-EU countries increased by 21.4% to HRK 25.8 billion and imports jumped by 78.5% to HRK 40.2 billion.

Expressed in euros, H1 exports totalled €11.9 billion (+35.8%) and imports reached €20.2 billion (+51.9%). The foreign trade deficit was €8.3 billion.

Croatia exported €8.5 billion worth of goods to EU countries (+42.4%), while importing €14.9 billion worth (+44.2%).

Exports to non-EU countries increased by 21.6% to €3.4 billion and imports jumped by 78.8% to €5.3 billion.

Tuesday, 9 August 2022

13.1m Bed Nights in June, Same as in Record Year 2019

ZAGREB, 9 August, 2022 - There were 2.7 million tourist arrivals in commercial accommodation in June, up 94% from June 2021, generating 13.1 million bed nights, or 100.5% more, while compared to June 2019, there were 9% fewer arrivals while bed nights were at the same level, data from the Croatian Bureau of Statistics show.

There were 2.4 million foreign tourists in June, up by 116.3% from June 2021, and they generated 1.2 million bed nights, up by 114.8%. Compared with June 2019, the number of foreign tourists was down by 11.4% and the number of bed nights was down by 0.3%.

The number of domestic tourist arrivals increased by 16.5% from June 2019, while bed nights increased by 11.4%.

Year-to-date figures indicate that there were 5.4 million arrivals in commercial accommodation and 21.7 million bed nights, which is a year-on-year increase of 134.1% and 127.9% respectively.

Compared to the first six months of 2019, that is 83.4% of arrivals and 94.9% of bed nights generated that year.

Among foreign visitors, the most bed nights were generated by Germans (30.1%), followed by Austrians (11.5%), Slovenes (9.7%), Poles (6.5%) and UK nationals (5.4%).

Tuesday, 9 August 2022

Croatia Logs 987 New COVID-19 Cases, 14 Related Deaths

ZAGREB, 9 August, 2022 - Croatia has registered 987 new COVID cases and 14 related deaths in the past 24 hours, the national COVID response team reported on Tuesday.

Currently, there are 6,194 active cases in the country, including 613 hospitalised patients, 20 of whom are on ventilators, while 3,590 people are self-isolating.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, a total of 1,194,349 COVID cases have been recorded in Croatia; 16,434 patients have died as a consequence and 1,171,721 have recovered. 

To date, 59.58% of the total population, or 70.85% of adults, have been vaccinated.

Tuesday, 9 August 2022

Ryanair Zagreb Base Plans for Weekend-Only Winter Operations

August 9, 2022 - How will the Ryanair Zagreb base work its winter operations this year? A look at how the capital city airport will transform into a weekend-only base for the low-cost airline. 

Simply Flying has revealed what the Ryanair Zagreb base has in store once the seasons change - precisely, the airline's plan to transform the capital city airport into a weekend-only base this winter. A first for the airline. 

Namely, the Irish low-cost airline will not reduce the number of aircraft based in Zagreb, with its three Lauda Europe Airbus A320s staying at Zagreb Airport, but what will change is the number of days the planes fly. Making it a weekend base means that the planes will only operate from Friday to Monday this winter. Thus, all flights on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays will be operated from other Ryanair bases.

So, how will this work?

Simply Flying reveals that all routes launched as year-round routes remain on sale and operate throughout the week, on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, with Boeing aircraft from its other bases around Europe. The busiest London Stansted-Zagreb route will also continue to run daily. 

Currently, all the three Lauda Europe A320s in Zagreb operate a full day of flights all week. The changes will be made with the end of the summer schedule at the end of October when nearly all routes will be at least partially operated by aircraft from other bases. As it stands now, only the Bratislava, Milan Bergamo, and Malta routes see aircraft from other bases. 

Simply Flying adds that this should not impact the capacity of flights, as Boeing planes actually offer higher capacity than the Lauda Europe Airbus A320s, but since frequencies will decrease after summer, so will the number of seats on offer. 

"Most interestingly, even aircraft that connect Zagreb Airport to airports that are not Ryanair’s bases will see non-Zagreb-based aircraft there.

This will be done with the help of a w-rotation, whereby an aircraft from one base will operate four flight segments on two rotations on two different routes from Zagreb Airport," adds Simply Flying. 

This will be done with a 'w-rotation', or when aircraft from one base operates four flight segments on two rotations on two different routes from Zagreb Airport. You can find examples of how that will look here

The July stats for Zagreb Airport are also in, with 329,203 passengers traveling through the capital last month - almost 175 thousand more than in July last year. When compared to the busiest year, Zagreb Airport hit 90% of the July 2019 figures. 

Zagreb Airport accepted and dispatched 1,628,437 passengers in the first seven months of this year, approximately 100 thousand more passengers compared to Split Airport, reports Croatian Aviation

A total of 1,782,871 passengers passed through 8 Croatian airports (Zagreb, Pula, Rijeka, Zadar, Split, Brač, Dubrovnik, and Osijek) in July this year.

For more on flights to Croatia and other travel announcements, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Tuesday, 9 August 2022

Croatian Health Ministry says COVID-19 Drug Supplies Sufficient

ZAGREB, 9 August, 2022 - The Croatian Health Ministry on Tuesday denied media reports about a shortage of drugs used in the treatment of people infected with COVID-19, noting that there are sufficient supplies.

In 26 hospitals across Croatia, there are 483 vials of Veklury (Remdesivir) and 236 vials of Ronapreve, medicines used in the treatment of COVID-19 patients, which is sufficient for the current needs, the ministry said.

The ministry on Monday carried out an urgent check of drug supplies in all hospitals following media reports about a drug shortage.

The partner of reporter Vladimir Matijanić, who died on 5 August after contracting COVID-19 and who was an immunocompromised patient, has said in a Facebook post that staff at the KBC Split hospital told them that drugs used for the treatment of COVID-19 symptoms were in short supply in the whole country and that therefore they could not give them to patients with immunological diseases or cancer patients.

"There is a sufficient quantity of medicines for the treatment of COVID-19 symptoms, like Veklury and Ronapreve, for the current needs of hospitalised patients in every medical institution," Health Minister Vili Beroš said.

"There is no justified reason why any hospital would be without a certain drug if treatment needs require it," the minister said, adding that all hospitals could also request emergency additional drug deliveries.

If any of the hospitals has denied appropriate medical care due to a shortage of the drugs in question, additional checks will be made to determine possible responsibility on the part of those in charge of drug supply, the minister said.

Tuesday, 9 August 2022

Croatia Still Lacking Five to Ten Thousand Tourist Workers

August 9, 2022 - 1.2 million jobs in tourism are vacant in Europe, while in Croatia the number is surprisingly high, and there is a demand for between five and ten thousand tourist workers.

This tourist season, 1.2 million jobs in hospitality and tourism in the European Union remained unfilled, with travel agencies being the most affected, followed by the aviation industry and the accommodation sector, and Italy has the biggest problem with a lack of workers.

Croatia has somehow prepared and adapted for this season when it comes to large employers, and the most problems throughout the season are micro-entrepreneurs who do not have the capacity or means for systematic staffing. The entire sector is asking the Government for concrete solutions that would speed up all processes for next year.

Analysis by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) showed that in 2020 the travel and tourism sector across the EU suffered the loss of almost 1.7 million jobs, only to see 571,000 jobs regained last year when governments began easing travel restrictions.

This year, tourist traffic in Europe is almost reaching pre-pandemic levels, which means that Europe is above the global average, but this good trend is significantly threatened by the lack of manpower, warns the Council.

They predict that travel agencies will be the hardest hit this season with a 30% shortage of workers (almost one out of three vacancies unfilled), while the air traffic and accommodation segment will have one out of five unfilled jobs.

WTTC collected labour force data for Italy, Portugal, France, Spain, and the UK. Their data show that Italy is the most affected of all the analyzed European countries because this season there is a shortage of 250,000 workers, leaving one out of six vacancies unfilled.

Croatia imported thousands of tourism workers by June

The tourism sector in Italy employed almost 1.4 million people before the pandemic in 2019, but in 2020 more than 200,000 jobs were lost. WTTC's analysis shows that the accommodation and travel agencies segment will be the worst affected, facing more than one-third (38%) and almost half (42%) of unfilled jobs, respectively.

This is followed by Spanish tourism, which this season lacks 137,000 workers, which means that one out of 8 vacancies will remain unfilled, with the aviation sector having the most problems, followed by hotels.

In French tourism this season, 70,000 jobs remained unfilled, i.e. one out of 19 vacancies. Before the pandemic, more than 1.3 million people were employed in the sector, and in 2020, almost 175,000 of them lost their jobs. In France, the aviation industry has the most problems, not being able to fill one out of three jobs, which thousands of passengers feel on their skin every day.

Brexit is costing the UK

Portugal has the smallest problem, lacking 49,000 workers in the third quarter, that is, one out of 10 vacancies remaining unfilled. Before the pandemic, more than 485,000 people were employed in tourism in Portugal, and in 2020, more than 80,000 jobs were lost.

In the United Kingdom, Brexit has dramatically accentuated the problem which all countries are facing, and the Government is not using the flexibility of the visa system to attract workers, warned Julia Simpson, executive director of the WTTC.

“Travel and tourism contributed almost £235 billion to the UK economy and employed almost two million people, and now they are at risk of losing a large number of travellers to other countries due to a lack of workers”, says Simpson. The UK has a shortage of 128,000 workers, that is, one out of 14 jobs is vacant. The aviation industry suffers there, too.

The WTTC and the European Travel Commission (ETC) have therefore identified six measures that governments and the private sector can implement to tackle this urgent problem

In the first place, they propose facilitating labour mobility within countries and across borders and strengthening cooperation at all levels, including issuing visas and work permits. Another measure is to enable flexible telecommuting, particularly if travel restrictions continue to prevent workers from moving freely across borders.

The next measure is to ensure decent working conditions, along with social security and providing opportunities for career advancement, to strengthen the attractiveness of the sector and retain new talents. The next measure is investing in the training and education of employees so that the workforce acquires new skills.

The promotion of education and practice with effective policies and public-private cooperation that supports educational programs and practice-based training is also sought. The last measure is the adoption of innovative technological and digital solutions to improve business.

By the end of June, Croatia had imported around 22,000 workers in tourism, and it is estimated that the sector lacks between 5,000 and 10,000 workers. Micro-entrepreneurs, caterers who only need a few workers each have the most problems but do not have the money and capacity to engage in finding workers, like the big ones.

Half of the seasonal workers return

“To relieve the administration and speed up the issuance of work permits, the idea is to maximally simplify the procedure for obtaining a work permit for foreign workers who are now working in Croatia, if they remain with the same employer.

Since about 50% of seasonal workers return, this would be a significant step forward, which would relieve the Ministry of Interior, and it is also important to know the estimate that about 30% of foreign workers give up engagement in Croatia precisely because of slow procedures.

At the same time, it is important that, if such a practice is introduced, it is communicated to the workers now, so that people have security for next year”, says the director of the Croatian Tourism Association Veljko Ostojić.

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

Tuesday, 9 August 2022

Western Sanctions Won't Harm Russia, But Harmed Croatia, says President

ZAGREB, 8 August, 2022 - The sanctions imposed by Western countries on Russia due to the attack on Ukraine are not working, and they will not harm Russia, but they have harmed us, President Zoran Milanović said on Monday during a visit to Hvar.

Describing the situation in the world as unstable and increasingly confusing, Milanović warned that "it all resembles a dandelion in the spring, and you just pray to God no one sneezes and blows it away."

The West's response is not good, said Milanović, adding that "we have sanctions that are not working."

He underscored that he "has been saying this from day one" and that he regrets that he was right.

"The sanctions are not working; they will not harm Russia, if that is the goal (...) and what has happened has harmed us," the President said.

Regarding statements by Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić that he will not go to the Croatian Adriatic and by Novi Sad Mayor Miloš Vučević that he could not understand why some Serbs go to Dalmatia for the summer, Milanović said that he was happy about Serbs vacationing in Croatia.

"They are welcome. (Serbia) is a neighbouring country and we don't have to agree on everything," Milanović said.

When asked why Vučić was doing this, Milanović replied that he did not know because he was not the president of Serbia but of Croatia.

"Good, at least Vučić is not talking about a Serbian sea, for now. There is a lot of folklore in that," said Milanović.

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