Sunday, 19 June 2022

Conflict of Interest Commission Fines Croatian PM Plenkovic 3000 Kuna

June the 19th, 2022 - At a recently held session, the Commission for Deciding on Conflict of Interest passed a unanimous decision according to which Croatian PM Plenkovic was fined 3,000 kuna for incompatibilities when listing his assets and income, which he can pay in three equal installments.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, this was confirmed by the President of the Commission, Natasa Novakovic, as reported by Dnevnik.hr, and the aforementioned commission launched proceedings against Croatian PM Plenkovic back in early October last year.

In the period from 2016 to 2018, he reported higher income for his wife than what was really the case. It was stated that her annual salary stood at 121,385 kuna, and during 2016, 2017 and 2018, she actually received significantly less than that because she was on maternity and then parental leave until the third year of their child's life.

In addition to that, Croatian PM Plenkovic failed to state that back in 1997, his wife inherited a third of a plot in the cadastral municipality of Makose near Dubrovnik, which spans a total of 759 square metres, with a house of 61 square metres also skipped.

Namely, the Prime Minister's wife is the co-owner of a third of the plot she inherited as a minor after her father's death and, as she claims, she didn't even know about the co-ownership share because she doesn't use the property whatsoever.

Officials are required to provide accurate information

Croatian PM Plenkovic did appealed against the decision of the Commission for Deciding on Conflict of Interest due to the proceedings initiated against him. In addition to his salary, his wife earned other income during that period, and she didn't consider it appropriate to report a smaller amount, it is stated in his statement, which was read on Friday at the session of the Commission.

As for not registering the property she acquired way back in 1997 in the municipality of Makose near Dubrovnik, it is stated that Ana Maslac Plenkovic didn't know that she had even become the co-owner of that property, so, as was stated in Plenkovic's statement, the Prime Minister himself couldn't have possibly known about it either.

It was explained at the session that this was only a very minor disparity, but it was also pointed out that officials are obliged to provide absolutely precise data.

Having in mind these two omissions, the Commission determined that there was indeed an issue, and that Croatian PM Plenkovic would have to pay a fine in the amount of three thousand kuna, which can be paid in three equal installments.

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

Sunday, 19 June 2022

Trattoria La Pentola in Rabac Ranked Among Best in World on TripAdvisor

June the 19th, 2022 - Trattoria la Pentola in the beautiful Istrian town of Rabac has found itself ranked among the world's absolute best, winning the Travelers' Choice 2021 international award.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Valamar Riviera's restaurant, Trattoria La Pentola in Rabac, has won the Travelers’ Choice 2021 international award, making it one of the ten percent of the world’s best restaurants on TripAdvisor. This new award will not only see this restaurant and Valamar gain more attention, but will further position the gorgeous Istrian peninsula high on the list for would-be tourists.

Users of the world's leading travel and tourism quality assessment portal, TripAdvisor, have recognised the value of Trattoria la Pentola in Rabac, awarding it this sought-after title based on the continuous excellent reviews it has always received from the global travel community.

“Our specialised and carefully designed offer can satisfy every guest, from those looking for a light snack or bruschetta accompanied by a glass of quality wine, to those with slightly higher gastronomic aspirations. At Trattoria La Pentola, we offer daily Mediterranean dishes prepared with ingredients sourced from local family farms (OPGs) in which the stamp of Italian cuisine can be clearly felt.

We also offer our guests hand-made homemade pasta, excellent pizzas, and barbecue dishes, homemade burgers, fish specialties and a selection of craft beers and local wines are available,'' said Dario Kinkela, the director of the food and beverage sector at Valamar Riviera.

It's worth mentioning that Rabac's award-winning Trattoria La Pentola is part of Valamar's famous modern gastronomic concept which, in Rabac together with Craft beer & grill and The Beat beach club, combines traditional recipes and modern cuisine, which raises the gastronomic offer of Rabac and its surroundings to a much higher level.

For more on local acheivements from all sectors, make sure to check out our dedicated Made in Croatia section.

Saturday, 18 June 2022

1000th Issue of "Hrvatska Riječ" Weekly of Croat Minority in Serbia Released

ZAGREB, 18 June 2022 - A ceremony was held in Subotica on Friday to mark the publication of the 1000th issue of the "Hrvatska Riječ" weekly newspaper of the Croat community in Serbia.

Addressing the ceremony, the newspaper's editor-in-chief Zlata Vasiljević said that many events, achievements and problems of the Croats in Serbia would not have been covered in the media if there had not been "the Hrvatska Riječ" newspaper.

This 52-page weekly is issued every Friday.

"These 1000 issues of the newspaper bear witness to political, societal and economic changes in the country in which we live, and they also bear witness to the political relations between Serbia and Croatia. What is even more important, these first 1,000 issues have covered all that has happened in the Croat community in Serbia," Vasiljević said.

The head of the Croatian National Council in Serbia (HNV), Jasna Vojnić, said that the leadership of this ethnic minority is proud of the newspaper and praised the journalists in the newspaper for being reputable, professional, fair and incorruptible.

She recalls many obstacles and problems and pointed out that in some areas in Serbia there is still fear of buying and reading the Hrvatska Riječ in public.

The head of the DSHV party, Tomislav Žigmanov, said that the newspaper had grown into "the biggest mine of information about the Croat community in Serbia.

Dubravka Severniski of Croatia's central office for the Croats abroad praised "Hrvatska Riječ" as a high-quality newspaper that helps ethnic Croats in Serbia to preserve their language and identity.

The publication of this weekly is financed from the budget of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina.

Saturday, 18 June 2022

Cavusoglu in Favour of Meeting of Croatia, Turkey, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina Leaders

ZAGREB, 18 June 2022 - Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in Sarajevo on Saturday that Ankara would not allow new tension in Bosnia and Herzegovina, advocating a meeting of leaders of Croatia, Turkey, Serbia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina to help preserve the country's stability.

For the sake of Bosnia and Herzegovina's stability and development we are willing to support and participate in any bilateral and multilateral political, economic and other initiatives that are acceptable to all sides, and we constantly encourage them in that sense, the Turkish official said at a news conference he held together with his BiH counterpart Bisera Turković.

The proposal to hold a quadrilateral meeting was put forward earlier this week by the Serb member of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Presidency, Milorad Dodik, during a visit to Ankara.

Bosnia and Herzegovina is crucial to regional stability and therefore we cannot allow new tension in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cavusoglu said, noting that everyone should act responsibly.

Dodik has proposed that the stabilisation of the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina should be discussed by the presidents of Turkey, Croatia and Serbia, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Zoran Milanović and Aleksandar Vučić respectively, as well as by representatives of Bosnia and Herzegovina Serbs, Croats and Bosniaks.

Turkey will support any format of talks and agreement if all political stakeholders in your country agree on it, Cavusoglu said.

He recalled that during his visit to Zagreb on Friday, he had made it very clear that Ankara would support all activities aimed at preserving Bosnia and Herzegovina's integrity.

Turkey respects the fact that Dodik is the Serb member of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Presidency, he said when asked about his country's position on Dodik.

Whether you love him or not, Milorad Dodik is a member of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Presidency, Cavusoglu said.

At meetings with Dodik, Turkey makes its positions on Republika Srpska's moves regarding Bosnia and Herzegovina's political and territorial integrity very clear, Cavusoglu said in an evident allusion to announcements by the Serb entity of the transfer of powers from the state to the entity level, which is seen as an attempt at secessionism.

Cavusoglu on Saturday held talks with his Bosnia and Herzegovina counterpart Bisera Turković, and the two ministers signed two agreements.

Turkey supports Bosnia and Herzegovina's integration with NATO and the EU, Turković stressed.

Cavusoglu also held separate meetings with Bosnia and Herzegovina Presidency members Željko Komšić and Šefik Džaferović, and on Friday evening he met with the international community's High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Christian Schmidt, and the head of the country's Islamic community, Rais Husein Kavazović. He also visited the grave of the Bosniak wartime leader and Bosnia and Herzegovina's first president, Alija Izetbegović.

Saturday, 18 June 2022

Ministry: No Information on Moscow's Claim About Killing of 74 Croat 'Mercenaries'

ZAGREB, 18 June 2022 - The Russian Defence Ministry said on Friday that 74 Croatian "mercenaries" fighting on the side of Ukrainian forces had been killed, to which the Croatian Foreign Ministry said that it did not have information on the allegations and warned against spreading unverified information.

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has no knowledge of the information in question," the ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

In added that its statement was corroborated by the fact that the Croatian Embassy in Ukraine had not issued any document for the transfer of a deceased person's remains to Croatia since the start of the Russian aggression on Ukraine.

"We, therefore, warn against the dissemination of unverified information of a sensitive nature," the Croatian ministry said.

The Defence Ministry of the Russian Federation on Friday published a table with the alleged number of foreign "mercenaries" killed while fighting on the Ukrainian side against Russian attackers.

The Russian ministry claims that since the start of the invasion of Ukraine, 6,956 "mercenaries" have fought on Ukraine's side, of whom 1,956 have been killed while 1,779 have left the country.

Most of them, according to Russian sources, are from Poland, Romania and the United Kingdom, followed by Croatia, and Moscow claims that 74 of a total of 204 Croatians have been killed.

It also claims that 51 Croatians have left Ukraine and that currently, 79 Croatian nationals are fighting on the Ukrainian side.

The number of alleged mercenaries includes also persons training Ukrainian troops and helping repair military equipment sent by Western countries to Ukraine.

Saturday, 18 June 2022

62nd International Children's Festival Kicks Off Tonight in Šibenik

June 18, 2022 - After the dress rehearsal last night on the summer stage in front of the Cathedral of St. James in Šibenik, now everything is ready for the grand opening of the 62nd International Children's Festival in Šibenik tonight from 21:15.

Šibenski reports that the 62nd International Children's Festival will be opened by the musical play "Finally the Orchestra", directed by Petra and Paola Radin, performed by the Zagreb Philharmonic, and will be attended by the Minister of Culture and Media of the Republic of Croatia, Nina Obuljen Koržinek, Hello little ones, and participants of the Drama Studio and Workshop Ivana Jelić at the Croatian National Theater in Šibenik, under whose auspices the MDF is held.

''Everything is ready. It was quite stressful to listen to it all because I was standing behind the stage and I didn’t see it all. We did a really good job. The play is interactive, the music is original, signed by Marin Rabadan. My sister and I wrote the text. There are a lot of great artists here. Dženisa Pecotić worked on costumes, Tihana Strmečki choreographed, Branko Lepen set design, props Dunja Nemčić. A team of great artists gathered around the play and the most important thing, the message of this play, is that no one stood out too much.'', said director Petra Radin.

Already last night, many children with radiant faces and their parents were sitting in the audience. Petra Radin, in addition to directing the play, is also directing the ceremony opening. That alone was enough to bring a smile to the audience's face and not hide their delight at what they hear and see, but join and participate in creating a magical atmosphere that adorns the MDF and the summer stage under the stars. The reaction of the audience to the opening was excellent''.

''I am glad that the children received a lot of applause for the opening, not only because they are children, but because they performed it masterfully. The text is phenomenal. We did it together. The sentences just came out of them. Somehow they are fed up with everything that has happened in the last two years and that they have had to endure. They wanted to say it out loud, they wanted to fight for their rights, to explain to their parents that it was time to listen to them. And that is true. The message is to all of us that we need to play more, that we don’t have to be so serious, and worried. That we must breathe, listen to each other and listen to the nature around us and live in coexistence. (...)'', said Morana Zibar.

Tickets for tonight's 62nd International Children's Festival opening have been sold out for a long time, but this year, too, MDF enjoys the support of national television, so the grand opening can be watched live on the third program of HRT.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Saturday, 18 June 2022

Croatia Logs 431 New COVID Cases, 3 Deaths, Over 5 million Doses Administered So Far

ZAGREB, 18 June Zagreb - In the last 24 hours, there have been 431 new cases of the infection with coronavirus, and three more COVID patients have died raising the death toll to 16,027 in Croatia, the national COVID-19 crisis management team reported on Saturday.

There are currently 2,190 active cases, including 158 hospitalised patients, of whom eight are on ventilators.

Since the first registered case of the infection with this novel virus in Croatia on 25 February 2020, over 1.14 million infections have been diagnosed.

Until this Friday (17 June), 5,256,551 shots of vaccines have been administered in Croatia, and 70.81% of adults have been inoculated.

12.2 million doses procured, nearly 5.3 million administered to date

To date, Croatia has procured 12.2 million doses of vaccines against this infectious disease, according to the data released by the Croatian Institute of Public Health (HZJZ).

Currently 1.3 million doses are being stored in the country. Croatia had to destroy 355,000 doses of vaccines after their expiry date.

Croatia has also donated two million doses.

Saturday, 18 June 2022

Croatian and Austrian Green Parties to Step Up Cooperation

ZAGREB, 18 June 2022 - The president of the Styrian Green Academy Sigrid Binder and the head of Croatia's Green Alternative, Zorislav Antun Petrović, on Saturday held a meeting at which they concluded that the bilateral cooperation between Green parties in Croatia and Austria was very good and vowed to further it.

Binder was quoted in a press release issued by the Green Alternative Orah as saying that she arrived in Zagreb to see how the local red-green coalition is functioning in the city.

She recalled that also in the Styrian capital of Graz, a coalition of the Greens, the Communist Party of Austria and Social Democrats of Austria is in power.

During their visit to Zagreb from last Wednesday to Saturday, members of the Green Academy were informed about the local municipal issues such as public transportation.

Binder noted that there are too many cars in Zagreb that do not only make transport more difficult but also worsen the air quality.

We hope that some of the solutions applied in Graz and Austria could be applicable here too, she said.

Saturday, 18 June 2022

Plenković: Constructing Pelješac Bridge One of Best Moves Proving Modern Sovereignty

ZAGREB, 18 June 2022 - Prime Minister and Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) leader Andrej Plenković said on Friday that the HDZ was committed to modern sovereignism and that the present-day sovereignism meant the construction of Pelješac Bridge to connect southernmost Croatia with the mainland.

Addressing a ceremony held to mark the 33rd anniversary of the establishment of the HDZ party in Zagreb, Plenković said that the priorities of the present-day sovereignty differed from the sovereignty's priorities some 30 years ago, and in this context he underscored the forthcoming inauguration of Pelješac Bridge on 26 July that will connect southernmost Croatia with the rest of the country.

The present-day priorities mean making efforts to join the euro area, he said recalling that the European Union's finance ministers endorsed Croatia's admission to the euro zone on 1 January 2023.

Also the modern sovereignty is proved by Croatia's admission to the Schengen area next year, and the investment in the procurement of multipurpose fighter jets and the highest investments in the Croatian defence system against a backdrop of the security threats, he said.

Commenting on the role of the state in times of crises, Plenković recalled the challenges his cabinet has so far dealt with: the case of the Agrokor company, the service of huge debts of Croatian shipyards, the coronavirus pandemic, two devastating quakes in northern and central Croatia in 2020 and the crisis caused by Russia's aggression against Ukraine.

We are here, jobs have been retained, we have a positive economic growth and we have an investment grade. We no longer have excessive budget deficit, we have exited from excessive macroeconomic imbalances. The authorities stand behind 700,000 workers in the private sector and their salaries, and has helped over 120,000 companies to survive the crisis, Plenković said.

Plenković said that the HDZ party is homogeneous today and keeps high approval ratings in comparison to similar parties in central and eastern Europe that were founded at a watershed era when the Berlin Wal fell, the Communist systems were removed and when a wave of democracy spread over eastern Europe.

Saturday, 18 June 2022

Albanian Minister Says Her Country Taking Steps to Stop Flow of Garbage to Croatia

ZAGREB, 18 June 2022 - In winter, particularly when strong southern winds blow, sea currents bring garbage from Albania along the coast of Montenegro to Croatia's southern Adriatic areas, which is an important environmental issue raised also in bilateral and multilateral meetings.

Therefore during a recent Adriatic-Ionian Forum in Tirana, reporters asked Albanian Tourism and Environment Minister Mirela Kumbaro about his topic, and on that occasion she said that sea pollution was a very important topic and she promised to provide answers in greater detail by e-mail.

A month after the forum, Minister Kumbaro said in her response that she had already taken some concrete steps in prevention of sea pollution which is also damaging to Albania and its burgeoning tourism industry.

She said that she had initiated a national clean-up plan and campaigns as well as the campaigns for raising awareness about this issue.

She also mentioned plans for investing into landfills and their rehabilitation.

Four years ago, Albania, with the support of the Swiss government, started identifying all the landfills near its coast and rated them in compliance with its national legislation.

The next step was to start relocating waste and to manage waste appropriately.

The Albanian government provides financial support to local authorities in these efforts, says Minister Kumbaro.

The supervision of waste management has been also stepped up.

On 1 June, a ban on the use of plastic bags entered into force in Albania.

Croatian MEP writes to EC about plastic waste in the Adriatic Sea coming from Albania

In early February, a Croatian member of the European Parliament, Karlo Ressler, sent a letter to the European Commission about plastic waste in the Adriatic Sea coming from Albania.

More that 90% of plastic waste and other types of waste come to Croatia's coast from the south, notably from Albania, this HDZ/EPP representative says.

Over 229,000 tonnes of plastics end up in the Mediterranean annually, and the sea currents and relatively shallow sea make Croatia exposed to plastic waste from the Mediterranean. More than a decade ago, Albania's government announced an investigation into plastic pollution coming from Albania to Croatia, however, there have been no results, said the MEP.

In his capacity as a member of the delegation to the EU-Albania Stabilisation and Association Parliamentary Committee, Ressler asked the EC to find ways to intervene through European programmes of environmental protection and Albania's accession negotiations to address this matter.

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