Friday, 4 November 2022

Moving to Croatia: Getting Phone and Internet Connections

4 November 2022 - Moving to Croatia can be stressful, with many hurdles to negotiate. A new TCN section to ease the pain, Moving to Croatia, starting with how to get connected and the mobile phone package options.

In 2022, there are three main mobile service providers in Croatia: T-Mobile (098, 099), A1 (091), and Telemach (095), and two virtual networks, Tomato (092; operated by A1) and bonbon (097).

There are two great sites for comparing prices of mobile phone and Internet services, Kompare and Procjenitelj troškova, but both are available only in Croatian.

As in most other countries, you have two options: prepaid and postpaid SIM cards. If you like the feeling of not having to worry about topping up your credit, postpaid option is the one for you, even though the deals are not as cheap as they are with prepaid tariffs. On the other hand, if you want to spend less and you like being more in control and having fixed limits when it comes to your monthly mobile phone bills, prepaid is the thing for you, even though there’s a possibility that you won’t have enough credit when you have to make a phone call.

You can buy prepaid SIM card on any Tisak, iNovine or any other newsstand that can be found all over the country, at most larger convenience stores (such as Konzum, Spar, Tommy or others) at the cash registers, or at the operators’ retail stores (mostly found in bigger towns and in shopping centres). They usually cost around 25 kn and include the same amount of credit for you to spend. You can top up you credit with various amounts, usually from 11 to 200 kn, at the same places where you can buy SIM cards, and some ATMs also give you the option to top up your phone. These days, most operators also give you the option to purchase or top up their card online. Don’t forget to activate a tariff after you’ve topped up your phone, because that way you don’t get charged for every single call you make and SMS you send, but you get a package deal and get different number of minutes, SMS texts, and GB of Internet included in the fixed tariff price. Some networks charge an additional fee of about 0.30 kn for each call you make. The tariff is valid for a month, but if you spend everything included in it, you can activate it again before a month has passed.

The best prepaid deals you can get are, at the time of this writing (Sept 2022):

  • 30 kn/month (1000 units (minute of call, SMS or 1 MB) at Tomato
  • 45 kn/month (2 GB, 200 minutes, 200 SMS) at Telemach
  • 50 kn/month (2 GB, 450 min, 400 SMS) at bonbon
  • 59 kn/month (3 GB, 2000 units (minutes or SMS)) at VIP
  • 69 kn/month (4 GB, 2000 units (minutes or SMS)) at Simpa/T-mobile

Postpaid options usually range from 50 to 500 kn a month, and, based on the price, include different amounts of minutes, texts, and Internet that you can use over a month. Some costs are not included in your chosen monthly postpaid option, like SMS parking or international calls, so bear in mind that the price you pay per month is probably going to exceed that amount. Most postpaid options include having to sign a contract for a period of 12 or 24 months, which also means you get a discount on mobile phones (the longer the contract and the higher the price, the bigger the discount). You sign a contract and choose your preferred method of payment in special stores for each operator, and the information on store locations can be found on their websites. If you wish to end your contract before its expiry, you will have to pay additional fees both for the remaining number of months for the postpaid option that you chose and for the phone, if you decide to buy it. Also, the phone you buy is usually compatible with that operator’s SIM card only, so if you wish to use it with a different operator later, you will have to unlock it. The postpaid tariffs are valid for a month, and if you spend everything included in your tariff, you’re going to be charged extra. There’s also an additional fee of 10 kn for network access.

The best postpaid deals you can get at the time of this writing (Sept 2022) are:

  • 50 kn/month (2 GB, 450 min, 400 SMS) at bonbon
  • 82 kn/month (6 GB, unlimited minutes and SMS) at Telemach
  • 105 kn/month (5 GB, unlimited minutes and SMS) at A1
  • 135 kn/month (10 GB, 5000 minutes or SMS) at T-mobile
  • 89 kn/month (9000 units (MB, minutes or SMS) at Tomato

Even though we live in a mobile phone era and we don’t need phones to connect to the Internet anymore, most people still like to have a good old landline phone in their home, so getting a package deal including phone and the Internet is the best choice. There are several options to choose from in Croatia, including A1, HT (including the brand they also own, Iskon), Terrakom, Optima and Telemach.

Most operators require signing a contract for a period of 12 or 24 months, which sometimes gets you an additional discount over a certain period of months. Your options also depend on the place where you live, because an operator’s infrastructure might not cover your neighbourhood, especially if you live in the countryside. When you visit each operator’s website, you’ll find the maps showing you whether your neighbourhood/apartment is covered. Broadband speed also varies depending on the operator and the location.

You can compare what they offer and their prices at a site we already mentioned, Procjenitelj troškova.

The options are numerous, include various combinations of services, such as different internet speeds, TV packages (including HBO or similar promotions), various landline phone options, discounts for longer contracts etc. We’ll just show you the options given at the time of writing (Sept 2022) for the flat Internet by each of the providers:

  • A1 – 179 kn/month, download speed up to 200 Mbit/s
  • HT – only offers a package with landline included, 239 kn/month, download speed up to 200 Mbit/s
  • Iskon – 159,90 kn/month, download speed unspecified
  • Terrakom – 99 kn/month, download speed 100 Mbit/s
  • Optima – 149 kn/month, 4 Mbps download
  • Telemach – 139 kn/month, optical internet, download speed up to 300 Mbit/s

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What is it like to live in Croatia? An expat for 20 years, you can follow my series, 20 Ways Croatia Changed Me in 20 Years, starting at the beginning - Business and Dalmatia.

Croatia, a Survival Kit for Foreigners is now available on Amazon in paperback and on Kindle.

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Additionally, in recent years the so-called „portable Internet connection“ options have become popular, and most providers have them. Those are usually not flat rate and the prices depend on the amount of traffic a month included in the package, so if you want those, check the providers' websites for details.

Thursday, 3 November 2022

Hvar TV: A Permanent Snapshot of Island Life from 2012

November 3, 2022 - It is 10 years since I came across one of the finest video snapshots of life on a Croatian island The year is 2012, and Hvar TV captured the essence of life on Croatia's premier island a decade ago for eternity. 

I remember the first time I saw them, at Hotel Adriana in Hvar Town. I had just started the Total Hvar portal and had been invited to an event where Croatian Masterchef Zdravko Kalabric was training young Croatian chefs for the Culinary Olympics in Germany.   

I was introduced to Maja and Jura from Hvar TV, a relatively new YouTube channel that was reporting on various aspects of life on Hvar. Within minutes, I found myself being interviewed on camera about the event. I remember saying "The wine's not bad" (which in British English is a compliment, only to be castigated on social media when the video came out. Who was this British asshole being so critical of our wine... 

A friendship - and a cooperation - was born, and Jura and Maja were a large part of my life in 2012, as we collaborated on some projects, as they allowed me to give my readers a unique insider view of life on the island. Ten years later, it is a real trip down memory lane to see some of these videos again, as well as a chance to thank them for their excellent work in permanently preserving a snapshot of life on Hvar at a certain moment in time. Our cooperation extended to adding English subtitles to some (but not all) of these videos. Here is a year of magic on Hvar as It Once Was a decade ago through the lens of Maja Zrnic and Jura Vodanovic from Hvar TV.  

Did you know that Hvar has its own island football league with ten teams who play each other home and away? And that in 2012, the champions were from Velo Grablje with a full-time population of just five. Maja and Jura followed them the whole season and produced a fantastic documentary, Lavender Smells from the Top - Velo Grablje is the lavender village on Hvar, complete with its own aromatic festival. 

 A winter postcard from Stari Grad. 

New Year in Hvar Town. 

There is life in winter. Billiard tournament at the Gariful Sport Centre. 

Days of Hvar Cuisine, a fantastic initiative that bought the kitchen of Kod Kapetana to Zemun in Belgrade each year, the first initiative to reconnect Belgrade's huge Hvar fan club with the island after the war. It is a wonderful event.

Secret Hvar and their original and (back then) very innovative off-road tour. 

Hvar restaurateurs gather in Jelsa to taste the new Tomic vintages.

Za Krizen - the UNESCO 'Behind the Cross' procession. What is it like to carry the cross and take part in this 500-year-old tradition. This is probably the best of any media on this incredible procession, and with English subtitles.  

Renaissance Dinner. A superb step back in time to 1612, as Ante Lacman of Hvar Tours brought 150 guests on a teambuilding to Hvar and put on a spectacular Renaissance dinner event, which included the Mayor of Hvar and I dressing up in tights. 

Fishing without complaints. Life as a fisherman on Hvar.

Luxury Dom Perignon night at Restaurant Gariful. 

The King of Meat - Djordje Tudor of Djordjota Vartal.  

Bogdanusa Wine Festival in Svirce. 

Days of Honey in Stari Grad.

Levonda Kids play the Levonda Blues.  

A Californian couple gets married in a Jelsa vineyard.  

The Puhijada edible dormouse festival in Dol.  

Kids Day in Hvar Town.  

Hvar Open Tour, one of the finest (and most short-lived) tourism products on the island, killed by those with an interest in not making it work. It was a wonderful hop on, hop off service from Jelsa, Vrboska, Stari Grad, the ferry, Hvar Town, and Agroturizam Faros, on a 2-hour cycle, with tickets at just 75 kuna a day. 

Grape Harvest on the Pakleni Islands.

Peskafondo squid fishing championship.

Stari Grad Wine Festival. 

 

Farewell, Summer. 

 

Veljko Barbieri cooks risotto at the Tomic winery. 

What a fabulous year!

The first Hvar TV video I ever saw is still one I enjoy watching from time to time - life in the Hvar harbour with the camera speeded up.  

Hvar Harbour Fast Forward.  

Hvar TV still exists, but Maja and Jura have progressed with their careers, filming much of the feature content for national television, including this superb piece on digital nomad life on a Dalmatian island  

Thank you, Maja and Jura, for all your fabulous work to document life on this special island. If you want to browse some more, you can visit the Hvar TV YouTube channel

****

What is it like to live in Croatia? An expat for 20 years, you can follow my series, 20 Ways Croatia Changed Me in 20 Years, starting at the beginning - Business and Dalmatia.

Follow Paul Bradbury on LinkedIn.

Croatia, a Survival Kit for Foreigners is now available on Amazon in paperback and on Kindle.

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Thursday, 3 November 2022

The Euro: What to Expect on Croatian ATMs on 31 December and 1 January

November 3, 2022 - There are less than two months left until the introduction of the euro. And while the citizens are already slowly getting used to the new currency, with the mandatory dual display of prices, preparations for the practical introduction of the euro are in full swing. What about the ATMs?

As HRT reports, from the first of December, Croatian citizens will be able to buy initial packages of euro coins, and in the middle of next month, the adaptation of ATMs for the payment of banknotes will begin. "For now, everything is going according to plan. Banknotes are arriving continuously, we are minting our Croatian coins. There is a lot of work, but we will be ready on January 1", said CNB Governor Boris Vujčić, in a guest appearance on HTV's central Dnevnik.

When asked what will happen from the night of December 31 to January 1, he said that there is a combination of computerised/automated and purely physical cash distribution.

"ATMs must be ready to dispense cash in euros, although we will have a co-circulation of two weeks between kuna and euro. A large number of ATMs will deliver euros on January 1st, and some will be able to deliver kuna until December 31st. We will coordinate this so that it is easy for people to get cash", he said, pointing out that it would be easiest to deposit cash in banks where it will be automatically converted on January 1.

He also commented on the inflation

"The inflation is caused by completely different things, not the introduction of the euro. It will increase somewhat after the introduction of the euro, but very little compared to this rate of inflation that we have, which is primarily caused by disruptions in the energy market, and partly also in the food market. The euro itself, when we introduce it, will contribute very little to the inflation rate", Vujčić pointed out.

The European Central Bank's decision to increase key interest rates entered into force today.

"In Croatia, the largest part of loans are cash loans - almost a million, and they are practically all at a fixed interest rate. Of the housing loans, of which there are a little over 200,000, 15 percent are fixed, and the rest are variable. Those who will feel the increase in interest rates are those whose rates are not fixed, he said and explained: 1 percentage point increase in interest rates on a medium loan, a medium housing loan, increases the monthly repayment installment by approximately 5 percentage points. So, on an average medial loan with an annual repayment of 3,600 euros, we have an increase in repayment by approximately 180 euros per year. This is not something people should worry about", the CNB governor pointed out.

He also said that the recession is not here yet

"We can see a slowdown in economic activity. Our growth forecast for next year is 1 percent, but there are risks. The biggest risk is the question of whether there will be a reduction in energy sources or not. If there is no reduction, then we will get through this winter relatively well, and if there is a need for a reduction, then we have a recession", concluded Vujčić.

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

Thursday, 3 November 2022

Spiritus: Special Croatian App Turns Graveyards into Museums

November the 3rd, 2022 - A very special application (app) by the Croatian startup Spiritus is turning graveyards into virtual museums, telling the stories of those lying at rest there.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Mladen Miletic writes, a team of Croatian tech experts from the Zagreb startup Spiritus has designed an application that turns cemeteries across the Republic of Croatia into virtual museums, and it has already attracted more than three million kuna in investments intended to expand this heartfelt idea to other European markets.

Through the application, the families of the deceased can write stories about their lives, as well as receive photo suggestions or stories about their loved ones that they may not have even known about. The Spiritus application was premiered in Vukovar, and on October the 31st, 2022, it arrived at almost all major cemeteries in the country.

"We've been preparing the project for more than a year now, and we hope that it will be recognised and supported by people. There are so many untold and inspiring life stories that we want to preserve for our descendants," explained Spiritus director Dino Jerkovic.

So far, the application has more than 700,000 memorials spanning more than 50 city cemeteries loaded into it, from Vukovar to Zagreb, Varazdin, Osijek, Karlovac and Split.

"We believe that every person who has ever lived has at least one story worth telling. These are often wonderful and inspiring life stories that will be forgotten over generations. We want to find such stories and enable families to keep hold of them forever," added Dino Jerkovic.

"We'd like to thank our previous partners for recognising the potential of this project and we're looking forward to future collaborations. The goal is that every family in Croatia has the opportunity to preserve the memories of their loved ones through technology. Pictures, stories and biographical information can remain indelible on the Internet, in fact they're eternal. As such, the memories of our grandparents can remain for all generations. Of course, we do check all of the content placed there. It's very important to us that all of the content on Spiritus is dignified and respectful of the deceased," concluded Jerkovic.

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

Thursday, 3 November 2022

Meet Vukovar 365, Full of Life - Valentina Šimak's Holiday Home

November 3, 2022 – November is always a difficult month in Vukovar. The feelings are a mix of pride and gratitude, sadness and hope. All further aggravated by the sudden interest in what goes on. And while the city often only gets one weekend of attention, people here live, work, and thrive every day. Just another example of that is a young lady called Valentina, who not only decided to take the plunge and start a business with her partner but was brave enough to do that in tourism. Yes, in Vukovar. In the beautiful area of Vučedol.

Could you tell us about yourself and your project?

I'm Valentina, I'm 28 years old, and I grew up in Vukovar and lived here all my life. I studied public administration, and I graduated in 2020. I worked various jobs until I found one in the profession; now I work as a school secretary. I often go to holiday homes with my friends to take a break from work and the hustle and bustle of the city or to escape from everyday life. The cottage, located 3 kilometers from the town of Vukovar, in the forest of Vučedol, has become our oasis of peace and a corner where all worries disappear. I thought it would be good for other people who visit our city to have their own oasis of peace, so I decided to open a vacation house called "Vučedolska Golubica" (The Vučedol Dove). Just as the dove symbolises peace, our home also exudes peace due to its location in beautiful nature.

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What inspired you to start something of your own?

Thinking about my hometown, my fellow citizens, visitors, and tourists who come from different parts of the world, I realised that our holiday home is all they need to spend quality time resting and relaxing. From there, they can take a short walk to the Vučedol Culture Museum, the beautiful Danube, and the island that can be seen from the shore, the wonderful wine road. People who enjoy walking and cycling will love the proximity and accessibility of all the sights and amenities.

What were the main challenges of starting such a business?

Every beginning is complex, and so was ours. I was always thinking about how to start a business, how to advertise, how to do marketing, and how to show people all the great things they could experience here... Really, there were a lot of challenges because I didn't know where to start. After we took the first step, though, all my worries disappeared. The visitors who came rated us very well and gave us the strength and motivation to be even better and more persistent in our goal. We strive to be better every day.

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How does your location in the east of Croatia affect the development of your business?

Vukovar is located in the very east of the Republic of Croatia, in our beautiful Slavonia. Our city has a lot of historical stories and events that every individual should learn about to experience Vukovar as we, the people of Vukovar, share it. For us, the city of Vukovar, a hero city, is our strength.

Our location is challenging since we are not at the coast. Visitors do believe that it is much better to go to the sea, but I can convince them with photo evidence that we also have our sea, our beautiful Danube. In summer, free boat transportation to the island (Vukovar's Ada) is organised. And it boasts a diverse world of content for all ages and desires. 

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Are you happy with your progress so far?

I am satisfied with what we have done so far, even though we are at the very beginning. The house has two floors, a kitchen, two bathrooms, and a bedroom with panoramic windows upstairs, while downstairs, there is a large living room and dining room. We are planning to build a children's playground on the property, as well as a swimming pool. We currently have a jacuzzi, an area for barbecuing, and a fire pit for outdoor cooking.

What is the situation with this type of tourism in Vukovar?

Most of our visitors come to Vukovar from Croatia. The reason is that few foreigners know our city's history and what it has to offer. I recommend everyone who hasn't been to visit us and see all the cultural sights of our city and take a break from everyday life in beautiful nature. Indeed,we are surrounded by fantastic nature and have wonderful things to offer.

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Are you connected with other similar businesses in Vukovar?

In the city, there are many renters, but we are unfortunately not connected. I want to connect with others to reach a place where everyone would present their suggestions and criticism so that together we can keep up with the times and take off into new business ventures.

What is it like to live in Vukovar, and what is unique about the area of Vučedol?

I would describe life in Vukovar as a priceless gift. Most of us from Vukovar know what the city experienced in its past and how it rose and became a wonderful, peaceful, small town over time. Next to Vukovar, which exudes uniqueness because of everything it has experienced, you can find Vučedol. This area is a peaceful natural oasis where our holiday home has found its place, adorned with untouched nature and the beautiful wild coast of the Danube, which is incredibly charming for fishermen. Of course, cyclists won't be disappointed either because a cycling route through Vučedol goes all the way to Ilok, following one of the most beautiful cycling routes in Europe.

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Why should people visit your holiday home?

After all, it can be concluded that our vacation home exudes uniqueness and peace, and gives you a touch of home. It's a place where you feel like it's your home. Why? Because it provides peace, security, and a sense of freedom. Visit us, come to us, and see how you can get immense quality, warmth, and acceptance for a small price. We will be at your disposal throughout your stay, ready for any questions and always helpful.

How can they reach you?

Book your stay on Whatsapp or Viber at +385989532320 and follow us on Facebook at Kuća za odmor Vučedolska golubica.

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

Thursday, 3 November 2022

Croatian Dalekovod to Engage in Big Job For Norwegian Client

November the 3rd, 2022 - The Croatian Dalekovod company is set to engage in a new job for a large Norwegian client - Statnett, which chose Dalekovod's offer during a tender as the best.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Suzana Varosanec writes, the latest job that Dalekovod has got its hands on, with the proviso that the contract will be concluded after the final confirmation, concerns the construction of a new 420 kV transmission line over in Norway, more specifically on the Aurland - Sogndal section, spanning a total length of 41 kilometres.

After an evaluation process in accordance with the tender criteria, the Norwegian client Statnett chose the Croatian Dalekovod company's offer, and the intention to conclude a contract was quickly expressed. At this moment in time, the appeal period is still running, and if there are no surprises or bumps in the road, Dalekovod's Management can peacefully wait for the conclusion of this important contract on the execution of works for this well-known partner.

They are just finishing the construction project of a new 420 kV transmission line between the substations Skillemoen and Skaidi for the aforementioned Norwegian client, which spans a total length of 89 kilometres and is specific given its geographical position in the far north of Norway. Because of that, it was built in arctic weather conditions.

Approximately 70 to 80 percent of the Croatian Dalekovod company's business revenues are generated on foreign markets. About 80% of that is realised in Scandinavia, which means that on an annual level, 50% of Dalekovod's income is generated by jobs carried out over o the Scandinavian market.

Scandinavia is therefore an important stronghold for this Croatian company, and there is still a significant investment cycle on which Dalekovod is building its plans, although apparently at a reduced intensity. The electricity transmission company Statnett is otherwise the Norwegian counterpart of Croatia's very own HEP.

The Croatian Dalekovod company's cooperation with Statnett started way back in 2007 and then continued with a series of projects in which Norway, due to its geographical shape and terrain configuration, has been successfully connecting the north and the south with a new distribution network for the past fifteen years.

As many as 350 Dalekovod employees have worked there on certain projects, sometimes under extremely demanding conditions. Similarly, only in later dynamics, cooperation was achieved on energy projects in nearby Sweden. Dalekovod's latest contracts concern two Swedish investors, Elevio AB, the owner of the distribution network, and Svenska Kraftnät, the national energy company. The management is also still trying to position the company on the demanding German market, and Dalekovod established a branch in Germany again this year. It is estimated that by 2030, the largest investments in energy will take place there.

Business recovery

The recorded 36% drop in the Group's revenues in the first nine months of 2022 compared to the same period in 2021 (when revenues amounted to 705.7 million kuna) was mostly influenced by the stoppage of work on two projects in Ukraine for obvious reasons, and less activity in Scandinavian countries.

Business recovery was noticeable in the third quarter of 2022, in which 264 million kuna of revenue was realised with a net profit of 3.6 million kuna. Dalekovod's management expects these positive trends to continue.

For more, make sure to keep up with our dedicated business section.

Thursday, 3 November 2022

Peljesac v Neum: How Many Vehicles Have Crossed the New Bridge?

November 3, 2022 - It is just over 3 months since the Peljesac Bridge opened, connecting the two parts of Croatia and bypassing the Neum Corridor. So how is traffic - Peljesac v Neum?

July 26, 2022 was an historic day in the history of Croatia, as the Chinese-made Peljesac Bridge (official name Peljeski Most, the Croatian translation) finally joined Dubrovnik and the south to the rest of Croatia without the need to pass through the so-called Neum Corridor in Bosnia and Hercegovina. It was a day of huge celebration and national pride, and images of Croatia's new showcase infrastructure project went all over the globe. On a personal level, it was a privilege to witness this significant part of Croatian history firsthand and to see how many proud Croats had made the journey to savour this historic moment, as Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic sat in the passenger seat as Mate Rimac drove him over the bridge in his Rimac Nevera, the first vehicle to pass over the bridge after its official opening.

I had been fortunate enough to grab a seat in a press car that crossed over the bridge several hours earlier - above, you can see that journey.  

The new bridge was obviously going to take a lot of traffic away from the Neum Corridor, and so it proved as I reported from the BiH border the following day - not a single car approaching the Neum border, but a steady stream of vehicles over the bridge.

And how many cars have passed over the bridge since that historic day, and how has traffic to Neum been affected? I reached out to the fabulously efficient Croatian Roads spokesperson, Tamara Pajic, this morning, and the answer was soon forthcoming. 

By 09:00 this morning, some 100 days since the opening of the bridge, some 940,406 vehicles had passed over the bridge, almost 10,000 a day. 

By contrast, traffic through Neum was down 70% for the equivalent period in 2019, the last normal traffic year before the pandemic. 

A very solid start. 

While for many, the joy of being able to now drive from Split to Dubrovnik and back without leaving the country is cause for celebration, the bigger benefit - at least in my opinion - is in the improved accessibility of the Peljesac Peninsula itself, as well as the magical island of Korcula.

To give you an idea of how accessibility to Korcula has changed, check out Korcula to Split via Peljesac Bridge: A Heavenly, Speedy Road Trip.

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What is it like to live in Croatia? An expat for 20 years, you can follow my series, 20 Ways Croatia Changed Me in 20 Years, starting at the beginning - Business and Dalmatia.

Follow Paul Bradbury on LinkedIn.

Croatia, a Survival Kit for Foreigners is now available on Amazon in paperback and on Kindle.

COVER.jpg

 

Thursday, 3 November 2022

200 New Fast Electric Vehicle Charging Stations in Croatia by 2030

November 3, 2022 - According to Hrvoje Prpić of Strujni Krug, by 2030, Croatia must have enough electric vehicle charging stations as if 5% of the total 'fleet' was fully electric.

As Poslovni writes, the European Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR) has reached a new level that will have significant effects on Croatia as well after the Committee for Transport and Tourism of the European Parliament adopted the regulation proposal for consideration, which is now going to the EU Parliament and the EU Council.

The new regulation established the so-called nationally binding goals that will prescribe how many European Union member states must set up electricity or hydrogen filling stations for light and heavy vehicles and also insists on the unification of payments via bank credit cards.

For example, for member states such as Croatia, which have less than 1% share of electric vehicles in the total fleet of vehicles, it is determined that by 2025 they must install charging stations with a power equivalent of 3kW for each fully electric vehicle and 2kW for each plug-in hybrid vehicle. According to the current situation, Croatia would have to install chargers with a total power of 11,524 kW.

Personal and light delivery vehicles

As explained by Hrvoje Prpić, the president of the Association of Electric Vehicle Drivers - Strujni Krug, Croatia will need to install 100-200 fast charging stations for electric vehicles by 2025, depending on their power, to fulfill this condition.

He adds that by 2027, the infrastructure of charging stations across the country will have to provide the same power as if 3% of the total fleet were fully electric. By 2030, the number of stations will have to increase as if 5% of the total fleet were fully electric. Thus, by 2027, and according to the current situation and the number of the current fleet, Croatia will have to install charging stations with a total power of over 70,000 kW, and by 2030 with a total power of more than 119,000 kW.

"If, for example, ultra-fast charging stations with a power of 150 kW are to be installed, which can charge an average vehicle in 10-25 minutes, Croatia will have to install around 470 such charging stations by 2027, and almost 800 by 2030," says Prpić. There are currently around 2.8 million motor vehicles registered in Croatia, of which 2.2 million are passenger cars. The number of electric vehicles is around 2,000.

The AFIR would set goals for the significant strengthening of the infrastructure on the TEN-T corridor, which connects all the main traffic points in Europe. This means that the number of charging stations for light and heavy electric vehicles on the routes Ljubljana - Zagreb, and Varaždin - Rijeka would be further increased.

For electric passenger and light delivery vehicles, the regulation aims to ensure complete coverage of charging stations along the leading EU network and thus ensure easy travel by electric vehicles throughout the Union.

The goal is that by 2025 there will be a station every 60 km with charging stations with a total power of at least 600 kW and at least one charging station of 300 kW. By 2030, the mentioned charging stations at the stops should be upgraded to 900 kW, and at least two charging stations should have a power of 350 kW.

Upgrading the rest stops

On the other hand, AFIR requires that, by 2025, for heavy delivery and passenger vehicles on the TEN-T corridor, charging stations with a minimum power of 2000 kW must be installed every 60 km, of which at least two will have a power of 800 kW. By 2030, these stations should be upgraded with charging stations with a total power of 5,000 kW, of which at least four will have a capacity of 800 kW.

Additionally, on all roads connected to the TEN-T corridor, member states must provide a network of charging stations every 100 km by 2025, which will have a total power of 2000 kW and at least one charging station with a capacity of 800 kW. By 2035, the charging stations will have to be upgraded to a total power of 5000 kW with at least two charging stations with a capacity of 800 kW.

Additionally, each urban junction on the mentioned roads will have to have a minimum of 1400 kW of power by the end of 2025, which will be distributed to four 350 kW charging stations, and by 2030 the total capacity will have to increase to 3500 kW.

Additional rest areas/parking lots will have to provide at least two charging stations with a minimum power of 100 kW with V2G technology by 2027 or at least four such charging stations by 2030.

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

Thursday, 3 November 2022

Dinamo Eliminated from Europe, Club Earns Over 25m EUR from Champions League

November 3, 2022 -  Dinamo needed a miracle to continue playing in Europe this season, but a loss against Chelsea on Wednesday night in London resulted in a last-place finish in their Champions League group. 

Chelsea beat Dinamo 2-1 in the 6th round of Group E of the Champions League, thus eliminating the Zagreb team from playing in Europe this season. 

Dinamo could have finished 3rd in the standings and continued in the Europa League only by beating Chelsea and if Milan beat RB Salzburg. Milan did beat the Austrian champion 4-0 at home, but Dinamo could not do the same at Stamford Bridge. 

Bruno Petković put Dinamo in the lead in the seventh minute, but Chelsea turned the score around by the end of the first half. Raheem Sterling scored in the 18th minute and Denis Zakaria in the 30th.

Dinamo thus finished the competition with one win, one draw, and four losses.

Chelsea finished first in Group E and Milan in second, advancing to the Champions League round of 16. RB Salzburg will continue playing in the Europa League.

The Croatian champion secured huge earnings this European season, reports Index.hr. Entry into the Champions League group stage brought Dinamo a minimum of 15.64 million euros, and another 2.8 million was received after beating Chelsea at the start of the competition. Furthermore, a draw in the fourth round against Salzburg brought Dinamo another 930,000 euros.

But that's not all. Each participant in the Champions League will receive a share of 600.6 million euros, which UEFA will distribute based on the club's coefficient in the last ten years. This amount will be divided into "coefficient shares," and each share is worth 1,137 million euros.

The best-ranked club in the Champions League will receive 32 of these shares, and according to the club coefficient, the lowest-ranked club will receive one share. There, Dinamo will receive 6.28 million euros.

Money from the marketing pool also goes into this. UEFA has secured an additional 300.3 million euros for Champions League participants, which will be distributed by the proportional value of the market in each club's country. When everything is added up, Dinamo will earn more than 25 million euros in the Champions League this season.

Champions League Round of 16

Group winners: Bayern Munich, Benfica, Chelsea, FC Porto, Manchester City, Napoli, Real Madrid, Tottenham Hotspur
Group runners-up: AC Milan, Borussia Dortmund, Club Brugge, Eintracht Frankfurt, Inter Milan, Liverpool, Paris Saint-Germain, RB Leipzig

Drops into Europa League: Ajax, Barcelona, Bayer Leverkusen, FC Salzburg, Juventus, Sevilla, Shakhtar Donetsk, Sporting CP

Eliminated from Europe: Atletico Madrid, Celtic, FC Copenhagen, Dinamo Zagreb, Maccabi Haifa, Marseille. Rangers, Viktoria Plzen

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

Wednesday, 2 November 2022

Strong Tourist Season in Baranja, More in Store for the Winter

November 2, 2022 - As early as in mid-September, the number of overnight stays in Baranja was equal to the total number of overnight stays achieved in 2019, which means that the record has already been exceeded.

Glas Slavonije reported on the positive trend which this eastern Croatian region has been enjoying. "Judging by the inquiries and planned events, we are expecting a great tourist year", said Matej Perkušić, director of the Baranja Tourist Board, stressing that it is obvious that, above all, domestic guests have acquired a new habit, "to travel and spend nights within Croatia, including Baranja."

He reminds that there is no season or postseason on the "continent", which is confirmed by the numerous visitors to several events in Slavonia-Baranja during the past months. Željka Bagarić-Dumančić from the Baranja Tourist Board claims that guests will have a reason to come to Baranja (but also a bit more).

"Let's start with the events included in the celebration of the Day of Beli Manastir, Martinje. Among the whole series of different and interesting month-long events organised by the City, Beli Manastir associations and institutions, I single out the preparation of traditional Baranja fish dishes, which will be held on November 5 in the Hungarian House of MKU Pelmonostor. On the very Day of Beli Manastir, a concert by the tambura group Fijaker is planned, and the day after a fair of local products with a rich gastronomic offer", said Bagarić-Dumančić.

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Steve Tsentserensky

Many guests will also be attracted by the traditional Karanac Winter Fair and Čvarak Fest on November 26 at the Karanac Field, organised by the Association of Keepers of Old Crafts (Udruga čuvara starih zanata), with the help of Baranjska Kuća and Baranja Tourist Board. This year too, visitors will be welcomed by numerous stands, a rich gastronomic offer and interesting content. This year's novelty is the winter Wine & Walk. So far, only the summer one has been held, and due to numerous inquiries from the participants, the local tourist board, in cooperation with the Baranja Winegrowers Association, decided to organise one during the colder part of the year as well. It will be held on December 10.

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Steve Tsentserensky

"We expect between 200 and 300 participants. On the nine-kilometer-long trail through Suza and Zmajevac, the famous wine meccas of Baranja, participants will be welcomed at numerous locations by Baranja winemakers and restaurants with top-quality wines and snacks. We will provide the walkers with a map, a wine glass and a winter hat, and the participants will need to make sure they wear comfortable clothes and shoes and a good mood", explains Bagarić-Dumančić, adding that the wineries Pinkert, Kovač, Kolar, Horvat, Gerštmajer, Svijetli dvori, Zlatno brdo, Kalazić, Josić, Szabo and Kusić will be waiting for the walkers. The energy will be taken care of (also) by the Kovač Čarda restaurant, the Oaza Mira vacation house, the "Tako je to nekad bilo" (As It Once Was) association, the Borarium Vinarium, and the Kusić cellars. The registration fee is HRK 300. The afterparty is in Katolički Surduk. Finally, let us not forget the Baranja Advent (Christmas markets) in Kneževi Vinogradi and Beli Manastir.

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

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