Sunday, 22 May 2022

Good News for Drivers: No Croatian Road Toll Increase This Summer

May the 21st, 2022 - Good news for drivers from both home and abroad this summer as Croatian road toll fees aren't set to increase. There will also be an innovative new way of paying which hopes to streamline the process.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, according to a report from Net.hr, this year, just like the previous two pandemic-dominated years, in order to support the tourist season, the seasonal Croatian road toll increase of 10 percent will not be introduced.

The move comes as welcome news as we approach summer and as the cost to drive continues to be an issue for road users, with inflation continuing to force fuel prices up and making a full tank an expensive commodity.

"The measure of assistance to bus carriers also remains in force, meaning the application of the additional discount of seven percent for EURO 6 vehicles is being extended, which with the existing discount of 42.4 percent, amounts to almost 50 percent of the Croatian road toll price," they explained from HAC when dicussing this summer's plans for the country's motorways.

Hrvatske autoceste (Croatian roads) confirmed that activities are underway to prepare the public procurement of a new toll collection system to make things easier, as well.

"A tender will be announced at some point this year, and according to current estimates, the system could be completed by the year 2024," they stated from HAC.

The new toll collection system will be based on ''free flow'', without stopping any of the vehicles using the roads, and will be carried out with contactless payment methods. The system will enable a simpler and more technologically modern way of paying Croatian road toll fees, and will also increase the flow of traffic at toll stations so as not to cause traffic jams, bottlenecks or delays.

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

Sunday, 22 May 2022

Croatian Government Incentives for Electric Vehicle Purchases Begin

May the 22nd, 2022 - Croatian Government incentives for the purchase of electric vehicles have begun, but precisely how does one get to the magical 70,000 kuna figure?

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Environmental Protection Fund is preparing this year's public call for co-financing the purchase of more energy efficient vehicles, which has been very popular with Croatian customers for years. Vecernji list learns that a public call will be published in June.

"In 2022, the Fund provided 108.3 million kuna to encourage the purchase of energy-efficient vehicles. Compared to last year, we've increased the total budget for both people and companies, which will now amount to 103.3 million kuna, last year we provided 90 million kuna, while the remaining budget of 5 million kuna is intended for the public sector. The method of application for both people and for companies will be the same as it was last year.

At the end of May, we intend to publish a public call for expressions of interest towards car distributors, and in June, a public call for co-financing the purchase of electric vehicles for people and companies. The amount of Croatian Government incentives per vehicle won't change this year and will amount to anywhere between 20 and 70 thousand kuna, depending on the category of vehicle,'' they commented from the Fund for Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency.

This means that this year, too, the implementation of Croatian Government incentives for the purchase of environmentally friendly vehicles will be carried out according to the procedure which was initially introduced last year, which has proven to be more efficient than the previous practice. To be more specific, last year, a new, changed procedural method was introduced, according to which the famous ''first come, first serve'' method was avoided, ie the model according to which Croatian Government incentives were only given to those who managed to apply first.

Aside from the fact that such a system was criticised by both people and by numerous legal entities, it was also unsuccessful because in the end, only 50 percent of the people to whom the incentive was approved, actually ended up using the incentive for their purchase.

Under this new system, people and legal entities no longer apply to the public call directly, but through authorised motor vehicle dealers headquartered here in Croatia. As such, this year, the Fund will first announce a public call to which dealers will be able to apply, who will then register their points of sale and available vehicle models through the Fund's application. At their points of sale, people and legal entities will receive an offer for a vehicle and the dealers will apply for Croatian Government incentives for them.

Those who want incentives will still have to be quick off the mark, meaning they'll need to prepare before the announcement of the public call, which means they'll have to fully study the offer of vehicles for which they can apply for an incentive and which are offered on the Croatian market, and there are more and more of them as time goes on.

The procedure after a successful incentive reservation is, therefore, just like it was last year. The buyer will be obliged to pay a minimum advance of 7 percent of the requested funds to the Fund, for example, if an incentive of 70,000 kuna is requested, the trader will have to be paid 4,900 kuna. The deadline for delivery and use of Croatian Government incentives will be nine months from the approval of co-financing.

By far the most sought-after co-financed vehicles last year were electric cars, for which 70,000 kuna will be available this year as well. For example, last year the funds were reserved for 1943 vehicles, of which 1785 were electric, 157 were plug-in hybrids and one was a natural gas vehicle. For plug-in hybrids (plug-in rechargeable hybrids) it will still be possible to get 40,000 kuna in incentives, and for electric vehicles of the L1-L7 category (mopeds, motorcycles, light quadricycles) 20,000 kuna will be available.

For more, check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Sunday, 22 May 2022

Only 20 Croatian Noble Pen Shells Left Alive in Adriatic Sea

May the 22nd, 2022 - There are only twenty living Croatian noble pen shells left in this country's part of the Adriatic Sea. A very important project is now underway to try to stop this shellfish from entering the history books entirely, from which it would likely never return.

As Morski/Bruna Rizvanovic writes, the noble pen shell (Pinna nobilis) is a strictly protected species in the Republic of Croatia, and is on the Red List of critically endangered species due to mass deaths caused by parasites (Haplosporidium pinnae) and bacteria (Mycobacterium sp.). The first confirmation of the outbreak in the Croatian part of the Adriatic Sea was received back in 2019. The contagion spread and affected the entire Croatian part of the Adriatic. Unfortunately, the plague did not bypass Lastovo's surrounding waters either.

The goal of the project entitled "The conservation of the noble pen shell (Pinna nobilis) in the Adriatic Sea" is to preserve and save this stunning Mediterranean endemic species of shellfish from extinction, and there are very, very few living specimens of the Croatian noble pen shell left to speak of. This praiseworthy project is being coordinated by the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of the Republic of Croatia, and is being funded by the Energy Efficiency Fund.

The project funds are intended for the implementation of in situ activities, such as setting up collectors for larvae, searching the seabed for living Croatian noble pen shell individuals and ensuring their full protection with the use of cages, shielding them from predators and anthropogenic impact, as well as further education. It also includes ex situ activities such as the placement of live individuals in controlled systems, their maintenance, and running laboratory diagnostics.

Currently, there are about 20 living Croatian noble pen shell individuals in this country's part of the Adriatic Sea, and marine searches for more are still ongoing. This week, the research team of the Croatian Veterinary Institute and the staff of the Lastovo Islands Nature Park have set up collectors to receive larvae in the waters surrounding Lastovo, which will be inspected in October. The collectors installed at six locations are located at a depth of 10 to 15 metres below the surface and are marked on with red buoys. If you spot them on your sailing route, be careful and make sure to totally avoid them.

If a Croatian noble pen shell is discovered and is potentially alive, you should very, very gently pass your hand over it through the water, and if it is alive, the shell will close itself in response to the disturbance. Care should be taken not to touch the individual and to disturb it as little as possible. You should then report your finding and its location by clicking this link.

Any intentional extraction of living or dead individuals is strictly prohibited by Croatian law.

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

Sunday, 22 May 2022

German Lurssen Group Opens Rijeka Engineering Centre

May the 22nd, 2022 - The German Lurssen Group has opened its Rijeka engineering centre, which will come very handy when it comes to the development of ideas and design.

As Morski writes, the German Lurssen Group, which specialises in the design and production of luxury megayachts, has opened the doors of its brand new Rijeka engineering centre. It will develop ideas and design some of the most modern and expensive vessels in the world there, and after the Rijeka engineering centre, the German group has announced further investments.

Since entering the Croatian market just a couple of years ago, the German Lurssen Group has become one of the most frequently mentioned names in all of Kvarner when it comes to investments. It first became the majority owner of the largest hotel chain in Opatija - Liburnia Riviera Hotels, and then chose Rijeka as a centre of excellence for the development and design of vessels, hence the new centre.

''This is a city in which we've found highly motivated and quality employees. This is where we see great potential in terms of engineering, as well as the development of tourism,'' said Peter Lurssen, the co-owner of the Lurssen Group.

Hundreds of Croatian experts are already working on projects that represent the future of the maritime industry, according to a report from HRT.

''Our people aren't heading abroad, they're staying here and carrying out high value-added jobs as parts of international teams and we believe that this is a great thing for our region,'' said Teuta Duletic, Executive Director of the brand new Lurssen Design Centre in Kvarner.

Yet another capital investment in this sense can also be boasted of, as in cooperation with ACI, they're also working on the construction of a nautical port, worth more than 360 million kuna in total.

''These are significant investments and will certainly affect the quality of the nautical offer in Croatia. We've already outlined this through the strategy of sustainable tourism development,'' emphasised Nikolina Brnjac, Minister of Tourism.

''Over the next five years, the face of the City of Rijeka will change, especially when viewed from the sea. Let's look at this investment as an investment in highly educated people, so it's definitely something good that is happening in Rijeka,'' said Marko Filipovic, Mayor of Rijeka.

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

Saturday, 21 May 2022

Zagreb Mayor Holds Talks with Berlin Mayor

ZAGREB, 21 May (Hina) - Zagreb Mayor Tomislav Tomašević has held talks with Berlin Mayor Franziska Giffey on the margins of the conference "What is the green narrative?", and invited her to visit the Croatian capital.

A delegation of the City of Zagreb, led by Tomašević, was on a two-day official visit to Berlin, the Zagreb city administration said on Saturday.

Tomašević and Giffey discussed ways to deepen cooperation between the two cities, and the sustainable development and green policies they pursue, the city administration said.

Emphasis was put on affordable housing, waste management, transport, notably bicycles as a mode of transport, public transport, and other topics common to big cities, Tomašević said.

Attending the conference "What is the green narrative?", Tomašević spoke about European green parties and responsibility.

Tomašević was invited to the conference by the Heinrich Böll Foundation.

Saturday, 21 May 2022

Croatia Reports 462 New COVID-19 Cases, 7 Related Deaths

ZAGREB, 21 May, 2022 - Croatia has recorded 462 new coronavirus cases and seven COVID-related deaths in the past 24 hours, the national coronavirus response team reported on Saturday.

Currently there are 3,440 active cases in the country, including 264 persons who are hospitalised and of whom six are on ventilators.

Since the outbreak of the epidemic in Croatia, a total of 1,134,027 COVID cases have been registered and 15,961 people have died as a consequence.

A total of 1,676 people are self-isolating.

So far 4,856,461 people have been tested, including 2,524 in the past 24 hours.

By Friday, 5,250,900 doses of a COVID vaccine had been administered, and 59.51 per cent of the total population, or 70.78 per cent of adults, had been vaccinated.

Saturday, 21 May 2022

Several Thousand Admirers of Tito Celebrate Day of Youth in Kumrovec

ZAGREB, 21 May, 2022 - Several thousand people gathered in Kumrovec, northern Croatia, on Saturday to celebrate the Day of Youth, which was a state holiday in former Yugoslavia that served to officially commemorate Yugoslav leader Josip Broz Tito's birthday, and which this year coincides with Tito's 130th birth anniversary.

The traditional celebration in Tito's place of birth was organised by the Federation of "Josip Broz Tito" Associations of Croatia, Krapina-Zagorje County and Kumrovec municipality.

When this many people gather, and they come from almost all parts of our former common state, it is justified to ask what it is that brings them together, said Jovan Vejnović, president of the Federation of "Josip Broz Tito" Associations of Croatia.

"The reason is the memory, not only of the past, but of the time when we lived better and were more secure," he said.

The leader of the Croatian Association of Antifascist Fighters and Antifascists (SABA), Franjo Habulin, said that the Day of Youth celebrates youth but that it would be wrong to fail to say that the celebration is connected with Tito.

Addressing the event, former Croatian president Stjepan Mesić said that he had a message for those who were looking for culprits for the crimes committed in the aftermath of World War II.

"The culprits are those who tried to change global relations with Nazi-Fascism, who established a criminal regime and committed crimes during the four years of war. At the end of the war they fled in panic but they did not forget to take the gold," Mesić said.

The day-long celebration in Kumrovec brought together several thousand people and the organisers believe it is this year's biggest gathering dedicated to Josip Broz Tito in the area of the former Yugoslavia.

Saturday, 21 May 2022

Luka Modrić to Become Face of SofaScore Sports Application

Maya 21, 2022 - The 'maestro' of Croatia and Real Madrid will be the face of the SofaScore sports application. 

Luka Modrić, captain of the Croatia national football team and superstar midfielder for Real Madrid, is becoming the face of the SofaScore sports application, reports Gol.hr

"We have agreed on the best Croatian footballer, and negotiations for MMA and cricket are underway. We want every sport represented in the application to represent the best Croatian athlete. For some sports, such as cricket, it is difficult to find prominent Croatians, but we are trying to find the best local representative for each sport," said Zlatko Hrkać, director and co-founder of Sofa IT, on the show Entrepreneurial Mindset.

The SofaScore app currently has 22 million users worldwide and has become an important tool in the hands of athletes, their coaches and agents, and sports journalists.

"The algorithm processes the data and based on the statistics the players get ratings. What matters to the players is what Sofa says. If they are satisfied, they share our ratings on social media. Since there is a lot of money involved in transfers, Sofa is also important to agents. We have become a relevant source of data for 67 media in 60 countries," says Hrkać, who founded Sofa IT with Ivan Bešlić.

The application now includes 23 sports. Football is the most popular, but in some countries tennis, basketball, volleyball, and cricket are also followed with great interest.

"Everything is revealed by TV broadcasts. What television broadcasts is popular. We are number 1 in Brazil. We have many users in football nations, we are doing well in Italy, France, and the United Kingdom, but also in Nigeria and Kenya. Americans usually follow one team in one sport. It is different in Europe. Croatians follow football and water polo and skiing. We follow everything we are good in," Hrkać revealed.

To read more about sports in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Saturday, 21 May 2022

Mektić and Pavić Win Geneva Open Doubles Title, Dodig and Krajicek Clinch Lyon Open

May 21, 2022 - It was a great day for Croatia's doubles teams, as Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić celebrated the Geneva Open doubles title, while Ivan Dodig and his American partner Austin Krajicek became Lyon Open champions!

Croatian tennis players Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić won the Geneva Open doubles title on Saturday, defeating Pablo Andujar Alba and Matwe Middelkoop 2-6, 6-2, 10-3 in the final.

The Olympic winners reached their ninth consecutive victory after an hour and nine minutes of play and celebrated their 11th title since joining forces. 

After losing the first set, Mektić and Pavić fought back in the second set and took the service away from the Spanish-Dutch side three times. The winners were decided in the third set, which Mektić and Pavić won 10-3.

This was their 11th joint title and a good announcement for Roland Garros, which they are entering with the highest ambitions. Just last week, Mektić and Pavić defended their title at the Masters 1000 ATP tournament in Rome, defeating American John Isner and Argentine Diego Schwartzman. It was their 15th joint final and 10th title in total, which they had been waiting for since the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

But that's not all. Another Croatian tennis player celebrated today in doubles. A little earlier, Ivan Dodig won the tournament in Lyon with his American partner Austin Krajicek.

The Olympic doubles runner-up Dodig and partner Krajicek beat the Argentine-Brazilian side of Maxim Gonzalez and Marcelo Melo 6:3, 6:4 in the final. The match lasted an hour and 18 minutes.

Dodig and Krajicek achieved the victory by serving four aces, and Gonzalez and Melo recorded three double faults.

The top-seeded team reached the final by defeating the American Max Schnur and the New Zealander Artem Sitak with a smooth 6:1, 6:2.

Bravo to Croatian tennis players today! 

To read more about sports in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Saturday, 21 May 2022

Rajko Grlić: How I Shot Some of the Most Famous Love Scenes of Croatian Film

May 21, 2022 - The renowned Croatian director Rajko Grlić writes in detail the secrets behind the camera of the remembered love scenes in his films ''You Love Only Once'' (1981) and ''The Border Post'' (2006).

Rajko Grlić writes for Telegram.hr

In the small inside pocket of a velvet jacket, I found a note that tries to answer the question I am most often asked: "How are love scenes filmed?"

"Love scenes", which is a euphemism for those sweet-simple things that are not talked about out loud in good families, are not recorded easily or quickly. Moreover, these recordings are not overly pleasant for the actors or the team, not to mention the director. Above them, especially at the beginning, there is always some tension, discomfort. And while they are there, it is difficult to record a scene that smells a bit of life.

''You Love Only Once'' (''Samo jednom se ljubi'') was a film that tried to say that the touch of the skin is stronger than all ideologies, so "love scenes", as evidence of this thesis, are represented in it in impressive numbers.

A recording call that changed everything

For a long time, a few months before the filming, I started talking to Vladislava Milosavljević and Predrag Manojlović about what we were going to do and how. She was insecure, reserved, and he was brave. I remember how amused he was by her timidity, how he annoyed her with stories that close-ups would be filmed afterward with professional porn actors.

To keep the discomfort to a minimum, we organized a recording of these scenes over the course of a week. Another mitigating circumstance was that we did them in the studio so that Pico Pinter could make a general light and still work with very small corrections. In short, we were both fast and isolated. In addition, we fulfilled Vladica's wish that only those who really had to be there, should be around the camera.

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''You Love Only Once'' (Image: www.rajkogrlic.com)

The first day of filming did not bring us good material. The second day was a little, not much, better. On the third day, just when we started, the assistant producer came requesting for Vladica to answer the phone because her mother needed her urgently. Vladica jumped out of bed and ran to the door that leads from the studio to the hallway where there are wardrobes, make-up artists, and production. She returned after a few minutes saying there was nothing urgent.

Love scenes have to move the story forward

She didn't even notice that she left and came back completely naked. We watched her and started laughing. She understood why we were laughing, spread her arms, and shrugged with laughter. Shyness, fear, discomfort, and everything that hovered above us suddenly disappeared. The third day was more than successful.

In that filming, I learned that the first day of filming such scenes, sometimes even days, can be calmly, and in advance, considered lost. That the actresses in the rehearsals are full of fear and apprehension, while the actors in that phase are strikingly brave. On the set itself, things sometimes turn around. They are much braver here and once they relax they work great. Actors, unlike actresses, very often lose their courage at that very moment, become timider, have too many questions.

I learned something else, perhaps most important: that these scenes have their place in the composition of the film, that, as critics would say, they are justified only when they are ambiguous, when in them, besides touching the skin, we can read something more, something that enriches those faces, something that moves the story forward.

Detailed rehearsals of Verica and Tony at the hotel

We filmed ''The Border Post'' (''Karaula'') many years later in similar conditions. We filmed all the love scenes in the studio, an abandoned depot in Ohrid where we built her apartment. It was then that I realized that what I learned by doing ''You Love Only Once'' is not always the rule. That the material on the first day of filming love scenes can be thrown away peacefully was repeated here. But the fact that he is braver in the rehearsals and she is more frightened that it would be the other way around on the set, did not happen here.

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Toni Gojanović and Verica Nedeska in ''The Border Post''. (Image: www.karaulafilm.com)

Verica Nedeska was braver in the preparations and on the set than Toni Gojanović, for whom, unlike her, it was his first film and he had no experience, not only with such scenes, but with filming in general.

During the rehearsals, Verica felt a little uneasy with Tony, and one day she came up with a suggestion that we should take a room in the hotel where we are staying, that she and Tony should take off their clothes, go to bed and I would explain to them, scene by scene, what they will do, where the camera will be, what will be seen and what will not.

How his whole life leaked out of the scene

A make-up artist was standing next to me in the hotel room, knowing what awaited her, and I was slowly explaining to Verica and Toni what, where and how I intended to film it. We went through movement after movement, scene after scene, seeing what was possible, what wasn’t, and most importantly: how they feel about it. After that rehearsal, we were sure we knew exactly what we were going to do and how we were going to do it.

But despite that, the first day of filming did not bring us anything good. When we got back to the hotel, I spent hours looking at that material and thinking about where the mistake was. And it lay in the fact that we all knew everything, that the scene became mechanical and that life flowed out of it and with it the most important thing: eros.

For the next day, I prepared small and slightly bigger surprises, talked to her alone and separately, gave them small tasks that the other person didn't know about, and the shooting went surprisingly smoothly.

'Bata' Živojinović in tiger shorts

It’s a whole other story when those scenes are done in a comedy. It is then a difficult, perhaps the most difficult "love-stage" discipline. So, in ''In the Jaws of Life'', I had with me the experienced 'Bata' Živojinović, a hero of partisan films who walks around in tiger shorts and for whom this was perhaps the first love scene in more than three hundred films he made, while opposite him was Vitomira Lončar, on her first film, covered only with a transparent veil of a wedding dress.

But that is a long story from another pocket that I wouldn't take out now. What my father, who apropos of "love scenes" used to complain about me calling him to premieres, not rehearsals, used to say: "Play, play, and hit the belt."

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

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