Thursday, 21 October 2021

Mljet Birthday Photo Contest: National Park Awards the Best Photos

October 21, 2021 - In celebration of its 61st anniversary, a Mljet birthday photo contest has been announced and everyone is invited to submit their photographs in the categories of natural heritage, cultural and traditional heritage, and recreational activities in the National Park.

On the occasion of the celebration of the 61st birthday, the Mljet National Park announced a photo competition, reports Turističke Priče. The categories by which the best photographs will be judged are natural heritage, such as photographs of forests, sea, lakes, animal and plant species, landscapes, then the category of cultural and traditional heritage where photographs of monuments, buildings, folklore, and other intangible traditional heritage are applied, and recreational activities in the area of ​​the Mljet National Park such as cycling, hiking, kayaking, diving, or some other outdoor activities.

The Mljet birthday photo contest is open from October 19 to 29, and the authors can submit more photos to the competition, which must be taken exclusively in the area of ​​the Mljet National Park. Residents of the island of Mljet and its friends, visitors, lovers of nature and photography are all invited to participate in the competition. You can download the rules of the competition and the application form via the LINK.

All photos will be used for the purpose of promoting the park, and it will be interesting to look at the shots of Mljet from the perspective of visitors, but also the local population. If you have pictures of the Mljet National Park, here is an opportunity for your photo to help in branding and attracting new visitors to the green island, which according to legend was chosen as the home by the mistress of the Greek hero Odysseus, the nymph Calypso.

Only the beauty of Mljet surpassed hers and thus attracted the eternal traveler, Odysseus, to stay on this island for many years. Are there facts in the legend? Numerous experts do not doubt that the island of Ogigija from Homer's Odyssey is unquestionably Mljet.

"Magical island green forest...", "If four springs flow in a row through Bistrica water, side by side close to having increased, but each to their side..." - Odyssey V, 70-71

Others are skeptical of this claim. Romantics would say - only the sea knows the answer. But whatever the answer to this dilemma was one fact in the stone remained a cave bearing the name of the Greek adventurer, Odysseus.

And your photo may remain recorded on the 61st birthday of Odyssey Island National Park.

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

Thursday, 21 October 2021

3,053 New Coronavirus Cases in Croatia

ZAGREB, 21 Oct 2021 - In the last 24 hours, 3,053 new coronavirus cases have been registered in Croatia, which is an increase of 56 percent compared with last Wednesday, Health Minister Vili Beroš told a cabinet meeting on Thursday.

"The share of infections in the number of people tested is 28.24 percent. 938 persons are receiving hospital treatment and 131 of them are on ventilators," the health minister said.

"The rise in the number of new cases of 56 percent compared with last Wednesday is a call for much-needed caution. The too large a pool of unvaccinated people gives the coronavirus a considerable space to spread," he added.

Beroš noted that of the total number of COVID-infected people hospitalized in the past week, 70.8 percent were not vaccinated. During that time, 100 persons were placed on ventilators and as many as 86 percent of them were not vaccinated.

Beroš, however, said that the number of hospitalized people in the fourth wave of the pandemic was lower than in the second and third waves thanks to vaccination.

The largest number of new cases was reported among young people, aged 9-19, and those aged 40-49, while the median age was 36.

By Wednesday, 55.38 percent of the adult population had been vaccinated and 1,489 people had received the third dose.

Beroš said that 73 percent of health workers had been vaccinated, including nearly 80 percent of doctors. The percentage of vaccinated doctors is close to 90 percent if those immunized by the infection are included, he added

No new epidemiological measures were put in place in the past week, and the present ones are in force until 31 October.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section and select your preferred language.

Thursday, 21 October 2021

PM Warns of Growing Number of Coronavirus Cases in Croatia

ZAGREB, 21 Oct 2021 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenković on Thursday warned of the growing number of coronavirus cases in Croatia, saying that the death toll would soon exceed 9,000 and stressing the importance of vaccination and compliance with epidemiological measures.

"We must comply with the basic protection measures - wearing a face mask, keeping a distance, airing the premises, and maintaining hand hygiene," Plenković said at the start of a cabinet meeting.

He stressed the importance and necessity of vaccination, especially for elderly people, noting that the elderly are at greater risk if they contract COVID-19. "One in four elderly persons aged 65 and over have not been vaccinated yet, and we are talking about 238,000 persons or about 25-27 percent."

Plenković warned that the COVID-19 death toll will soon exceed 9,000. "This is a high price we are paying as a nation and society. But now we have vaccines, and there is no reason for this number to be so high," the prime minister said, adding that the vaccines also effectively protect against serious forms of the disease.

He appealed to people who have still not been vaccinated to get vaccinated, citing the views of medical professionals and the government's Scientific Council as well as statistics.

74 percent of hospitalized COVID patients not vaccinated

Plenković said that 74 percent of infected people who have been hospitalized this month were not vaccinated, which is three in four patients, while 80 percent of patients who were or still are on ventilators were not vaccinated, which is four in five.

"These are very clear and convincing figures," Plenković said, noting that 93 percent of the people who died from coronavirus were above the age of 60 and 98 percent were above the age of 50.

He said that the Scientific Council, which met two days ago, stressed the importance of vaccination, especially for the elderly.

"We all agree with the view of the Croatian Public Health Institute on a third dose, that it should be administered to immunocompromised persons and to health and welfare workers because it will help in the fight against the epidemic," the prime minister said.

He said that the situation in Croatia is similar to the rest of the world. "The unvaccinated people represent a pool where the virus spreads the most and where mutations occur the most. It's a fact that vaccinated people can also transmit the virus, but that is less likely than among the unvaccinated, and in the case of infection the disease is much milder."

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Thursday, 21 October 2021

Croatia's Gross International Reserves Reach Record €24.4 bn

ZAGREB, 21 Oct 2021 - Croatia's gross international reserves reached €24.4 billion in September 2021, their highest level to date, increasing by €300 million or 1.3% from August, according to the data provided by the Croatian National Bank (HNB).

The increase was mostly the result of the government's foreign currency deposits with the HNB following the disbursement by the European Commission of €818.4 million as an advance payment for the purposes of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan.

Gross international reserves have increased by €5.4 billion or 28.6% since the start of the year.

All adequacy indicators of the country's gross international reserves suggest that they are sufficient to ensure the smooth running of the central bank's monetary policy.

Net reserves remained almost the same as in August, at €19.5 billion, the HNB said.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Thursday, 21 October 2021

EU Borders Need to Be Protected, But Violence is Unacceptable, Commissioner Says

ZAGREB, 21 Oct 2021 - The external borders of the European Union need to be protected, but without violence and by respecting human rights, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson said in the European Parliament on Wednesday.

"Violence at our borders is never acceptable. Especially if it is structural and organized. We must protect our EU external borders while upholding fundamental rights. And it’s possible to do both," Johansson said during a plenary debate on violent pushbacks of migrants at the EU external borders.

The EU must protect its borders and must protect human rights, she stressed.

Earlier this month, several European media outlets published footage of violent pushbacks of migrants at the Croatian border with Bosnia and Herzegovina. Similar footage of pushbacks of migrants from Romania and Greece was also shown at the time.

Shortly after the publication of the footage, Croatian Minister of the Interior Davor Božinović said that the masked men shown in the footage were police officers, after which three policemen were suspended from duty.

Johansson said she had spoken with the Romanian, Greek, and Croatian ministers of the interior.

"The Croatian minister announced an investigation. Since then, Croatia’s national chief of police said that three policemen involved in violent pushbacks will face disciplinary proceedings. And I received assurances that any necessary follow-up action will be taken," she said and added: "It is the duty of national authorities to investigate allegations and follow-up any wrongdoing."

Anže Logar, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Slovenia, the current EU president, said that effective control of the external borders is key to preventing security risks, illegal border crossing, and possible migratory pressure.

All tools need to be used to monitor who enters the European Union, Logar said, adding that pushbacks must not be allowed on EU soil.

The Commission's views were criticized by Social Democrat, Green, and Liberal members of the European Parliament.

Children are freezing and dying at Europe's borders and your greatest concern is border protection and Schengen, Dutch Liberal MEP Sophia in 't Veld said.

German Social Democrat Birgit Sippel said that a systematic attack on human rights is taking place at the EU's external borders and that the footage from the Croatian, Romanian and Greek borders is a scandal for the EU.

On Wednesday, Sippel, together with the leader and deputy leader of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats group, Iratxe Garcia Perez and Simona Bonafé, sent a letter to the Commission president expressing concern about "the highly alarming systematic nature of pushbacks of vulnerable people, often involving violence."

The letter says that such practices are especially alarming in the Aegean Sea, at the EU's border with Belarus, and on the Western Balkan route.

"It is also alarming that the latest investigations suggest that parts of the material used to carry out pushbacks are seemingly paid for with EU money. This includes approximately €177 million that have been granted to Croatia for 'migration management between 2014 and today," the letter says.

The three MEPs said that requesting member states to investigate pushbacks is not enough, calling on the Commission to launch infringement procedures against Poland, Greece, and Croatia.

On the other hand, right-wing MEPs criticized the Commission for taking a soft stance, calling for putting up a razor-wire fence at the external borders.

I haven't heard anyone complaining about security checks in the European Parliament. Why wouldn't we better protect Europe with razor wire and armed personnel to ensure security? said Danish MEP Petar Kofod, a member of the Identity and Democracy group.

Croatian MEP Karlo Ressler (EPP/HDZ) said that people trafficking is one of the most profitable criminal activities and "an instrument of perfidious pressure on Europe."

He said that the EU urgently needs a common response in which the policy of preventing illegal migration has no alternative. He, however, noted that there is no room for violence against migrants in Europe and that any individual violation of human rights, especially the human rights of the most vulnerable groups, is totally unacceptable.

Ressler said that Croatia, with a modernized police force and without erecting razor wire fences, is performing its legal obligation and duty to protect its own border and the border of the European Union.

Sunčana Glavak (EPP/HDZ) said that the Croatian police are doing an excellent job in protecting the territory of Croatia and the EU.

She pointed out that Croatia has so far arrested over 3,000 people traffickers at the border and prevented 30,000 attempts at crossing its border illegally.

"Dear colleagues, the Republic of Croatia is guarding your border too, the border of the European Union, in a legal way," she concluded.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Thursday, 21 October 2021

Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence 6 Months On: Kelsey Kay Love

October 21, 2021 - In April this year, 10 digital nomads from all over the world came together for the inaugural Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence (DNIR) program. As part of European Freelancer Week 2021, TCN catches up with some of them 6 months on - next up Kelsey Kay Love from Los Angeles. 

A year ago, the city of Dubrovnik held the first-ever digital nomad conference in Croatia - Dubrovnik for Digital Nomads - as part of European Freelancer Week. The city has made great strides advancing its DN credentials and strategy, thanks in part to the award-winning Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence program, which ran from April 23 - May 23. 

 

The program was all the richer for the presence of Kelsey Kay Love from California. TCN caught up with KKL 6 months later to get her current perspective on the program, Dubrovnik and the Croatian digital nomad journey.

kelsey-kay-love_4.jpg

1. It is 6 months since you arrived in Dubrovnik for the Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence program. Firstly, a brief look back at that month. How was it for you, and how did it change your perceptions of Dubrovnik as a nomad destination?

Dang 'ol dang, time flies. I can say, with zero hesitation, that the month spent in Croatia for the Digital Nomads-in-Residence program was my best month of life for both 2020 and 2021, and we're not even through the rest of this year yet. 

It was an incredibly memorable experience, not only because of my glorious fellow nomads and our amazing organizers, but in terms of it being my first ever reference of Croatia itself. Before that experience, I had no real frame of reference for Dubrovnik at all, as I'd never met anyone who'd spent any real time there. This opportunity changed that in every way; spending four whole weeks there during a period where tourism was still incredibly scarce was a real eye-opener, and allowed us to see the city's potential in a way that we likely couldn't have during any other normal year.

kelsey-kay-love_1.jpg

2.  Have you kept in touch with others from the project? Spent any more time in Croatia?

Yes! I have been on a couple of Facetime calls with the nomads, and speak regularly with them through Discord and social media.  

I have unfortunately not spent any more time in Croatia (yet), as I live just about half way across the globe at the moment, but dearly hope to return next year.

3. It seems that a lot has been happening in the DN scene in the last few months since the program. Zagreb Digital Nomad Week, Digital Nomad Valley Zagreb, the Cross Border Coworking Conference in Budva, Croatia performing strongly in the Nomad List 2021 survey. What changes have you noticed since arriving in Dubrovnik back in April?

At least from where I'm sitting in the States, there's a very noticeable trend and preference for remote jobs and work opportunities, digital nomad visas and a growing realization that living in Europe is easier than it ever has been, and perhaps ever will be, for U.S. citizens and residents. 

Because I still have a Google alert for 'digital nomad visa Croatia' — the very reason I found out about the contest in the first place — I also see how often Croatia is being talked about in international and local media, which is exciting and very well deserved. If Croatia wasn't a consideration for digital nomads before, I'd say it very likely is by this stage. 

kelsey-kay-love_2.jpg

4. Have you noticed any change in the way Croatia is talked about in the global DN groups you engage with online? In what way if yes?

After publishing a post about my experience on my own blog, Travelin' Fools, I received several emails and comments from complete strangers asking about coworking spaces and my opinions on the city itself as a long or short term liveable destination. To me, this clearly indicates an interest in Dubrovnik as an intriguing next option. 

kelsey-kay-love_3.jpg

5. What would you say are the key next steps for Dubrovnik on this journey, and for Croatia as a whole

Start marketing the opening of a Dubrovnik coworking space, regardless of a set opening date. Additionally, start talking to well-known travel writers, photographers and videographers and creating long term partnerships for content related to Croatia's growing digital nomad opportunities. The more content you have to work with — both in terms of quality and quantity — the better it will be to those looking for information on moving to Croatia, and what areas they'd potentially like to settle in. 

kelsey-kay-love_5.jpg

6. Your favourite memory/experience from DNIR, and when do expect that Dubrovnik will see you next?

I will never, ever forget eating lunch at Konoba Maha in Korcula. Watching giant Croats with tiny man buns fasten dainty leaves to my delicious cocktail before serving me a giant plate of peka? Into it.

Well, the nomads have already talked about a European reunion in time for Eurovision next year, so I fully expect to step foot in Croatia again in 2022. Until then, I'll have to enjoy my wine in an overpriced bar in Hollywood. Sigh.

For more news and features on digital nomads in Croatia, follow the dedicated TCN section

Thursday, 21 October 2021

Belje Red Wine Impresses, Leaves Italian and French Rivals in Dust

October the 22nd, 2021 - Belje red wine has left quite the impression and left their Italian and French competitors behind in the dust. While this isn't a surprise for anyone who has enjoyed a glass of Croatian wine in their lives, it certainly helps to bring even more much deserved attention to the many varieties this country produces.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Suzana Varosanec writes, Belje red wines have continued to sweep up various different awards throughout 2021 after winning 54 medals so far, of which 21 were ''golds'' and two were impressive championship titles.

They have now recorded yet another new global success: Belje red wine was declared the second best wine, which was evaluated with 91 points at the Emozioni dal Mondo Merlot e Cabernet Insieme in Italy, highly regarded around the world where many renowned producers of merlot, cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc apply, and which this year boasted 220 samples from 22 countries.

According to the largest Croatian grape producer with 650 hectares of its own vineyards in the Danube region, the Belje red wine in question is a premium blend of cabernet sauvignon and Merlot vintage from 2019, which left some of the most famous Italian and French cellars, such as Bordeaux Grand Cru from Saint Emiliona, in the dust.

The top quality of red varieties from the Belje vineyards was confirmed by three gold medals (out of a total of 56), for the premium blend of cabernet sauvignon and Merlot, premium merlot and Goldberg Red, all of which are wines from back in 2019.

Cabernet sauvignon merlot Vina Belje was also chosen among the fifteen wines awarded by journalists. According to the President of the Management Board of Belje plus Andrej Dean, this success is a continuation of the recognition and award they received at the Decanter for their 2008 Merlot vintage, which showed the world for the first time how much potential they have in the production of excellent red wines.

The fact that they have won 91 points, he says, shows that the blend cabernet sauvignon - Merlot is among the best wines of these varieties, not only in the Republic of Croatia but also across the world, and the acceptable price and availability on the market will certainly contribute to its further popularity among consumers.

For more, check out Made in Croatia.

Thursday, 21 October 2021

Croatian Capital City Listed Among World's Most Polluted Cities This Week

October the 21st, 2021 - The Croatian capital city of Zagreb was unfortunately listed among the world's most heavily polluted cities this week, more precisely on the 19th of October.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, earlier this week on the above-specified date, we, the citizens of Zagreb, weren't really able to ''enjoy'' the fresh air. The Croatian capital city has had its air quality scrutinised and complained about several times in the past, but this week it found itself among the ten most polluted in the entire world and considered unhealthy for vulnerable groups, according to data from the Swiss portal IQAir, which publishes daily data on air quality around the world.

IQAir units show that the concentration of PM 2.5 particles in the City of Zagreb was elevated by as many as 4.4 times higher than what is recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

PM2.5 are particles made up of a combination of solid and liquid which is floating in the air, they're microscopic and as such completely impossible to see with the naked eye. They are the result of the burning of solid fuels and exhaust gases.

On that infamous scale, the Croatian capital city of Zagreb came in a not particularly impressive eighth place, Sarajevo in neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina came ninth, while the Serbian capital of Belgrade took tenth place. The worst situation was found in Lima in Peru, Bishekek in Kyrgyzstan and, rather unironically, Wuhan in China. It is expected that in the coming days the air quality in Zagreb should be much better.

What about the air quality at the Croatian level?

The Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development regularly publishes the state of Croatian air quality on its website, and on the same day the Croatian capital city was listed among the worst in the world, the worst air quality on that same date was recorded in Zagreb, Koprivnica and Slavonski Brod, according to a report from Vecernji list.

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

Bad air quality or not, what not see what the bustling Croatian capital has on offer? Head over to Zagreb in a Page and select your preferred language.

Thursday, 21 October 2021

Zagreb Magic Omens Claims to be Most Modernly Equipped Game Room in Croatia

October the 21st, 2021 - Denis Devcic and Ivan Kosovec, two friends who opened the Zagreb Magic Omens facility just a few days ago claim that theirs is the most modernly equipped game room in all of Croatia.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Lucija Spiljak writes, the pair claim that if you're a fan of card of board games, then you'll likely find a great friend in both of them and in their latest venture. In this way, they say, they have fulfilled a long-standing desire to open a space where people can socialise, meet up and play their favourite games.

Devcic and Kosovec have been friends since back in 2018, when they met on the way to the Magic the Gathering tournament in neighbouring Italy. Three years later, they decided to leave their jobs in the very well known Croatian IT companies Infinum and Degordian and head out into the often challenging entrepreneurial waters together; first in the eCommerce world, then in a small physical store, and now they have opened the so-called “LGS” Local Game Store.

As they explain, LGS is a hobby store concept where all fans of board games and card games (so-called TCG-s, ie Trading Card Games) can buy their desired products, and in the store's game room, they can meet like-minded people, try out some new games or participate in tournaments.

“My childhood dream was to own my very own Local Game Store. I started Trading Card Games at the beginning of the millennium and this hobby has since become a very important part of my life. I grew up with Pokemon and Magic the Gathering and now with Magic Omens I'm ready to welcome a new generation of players and build a healthy community of people who share a passion for this hobby,'' said Ivan Kosovec.

In their game room, located on Savska cesta 144A, weekly events for all of people's favourite games will be held, as well as events from the most popular TCGs such as Magic the Gathering cards, Flesh and Blood, Pokemon cards and many other similar games.

Even when there are no organised tournaments, all enthusiasts can come enjoy their favourite games throughout the week at the new Zagreb Magic Omens location.

Devcic and Kosovec claim that due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the demand for social and card games has increased, especially when it comes to the much loved Pokemon TCG. More than 30 billion Pokemon tickets have been sold worldwide so far, the game Magic the Gathering had a profit of 581.2 million US dollars last year, and all this has led to the organisation of tournaments that bring together enthusiasts from all over the world.

In these results, Devcic and Kosovec saw the need to create such a community right here at home in Croatia through a proper space intended just for games. They've invested, they say, their own personal savings and countless hours of work. They will expand the offer of games over time, and they say that they also do well in retail, given the large offer of games that they deliver throughout the European Union (EU).

These young enthusiasts say they first want to build a foundation in the City of Zagreb as the best choice for board and card games, become a regional leader and an example to others, have clear results and make sure the community is satisfied.

"Our goal is to increase the overall community of people who play board and card games, people who could play them, but have never decided on such a hobby. We want as many people as possible to experience this type of entertainment which, in addition to being challenging, enables people to spend more quality time with friends.

After the opening of the Zagreb Magic Omens location, we expect more customers/visitors/players to come because we're in the centre, but also because we have tournaments and game rooms. People are already delighted and the attendance level is very high because people recommend each other. Word-of-mouth seems to do its thing. We have very strong community support in this initiative and we've heard a lot of praise from some longtime players.

We're focused on customers and we listen to what they need and we want to make it all possible for them. The interest is just incredibly high and we’re sure it’s only going to grow because we really care about all the players. I believe that we can do wonderful things in Croatia,'' concluded Denis Devcic.

For more, check out Made in Croatia.

Thursday, 21 October 2021

Tomislav Coric Claims Government Doing All to Stabilise Fuel Situation

October the 22nd, 2021 - Economy Minister Tomislav Coric has attempted to reassure the public that the government is willing to do all it can to deal with the situation around increasing fuel prices.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Suzana Varosanec writes, the government is considering additional measures in case of continued increase in fuel prices after 30 days of direct intervention in the market through the adoption of a decree on the matter, and according to the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Tomislav Coric, there will be a slightly fairer distribution of responsibilities to come.

According to Tomislav Coric, in the coming weeks, the Croatian Government will analyse the situation, and although they hope to reduce prices, he says, at the moment it isn't expected that this will happen soon, so the concrete actions of Banski dvori are again set to be guided by allowing the price to remain stable and trying to ensure a “fairer distribution of responsibilities that is initially at the disposal of distributors”.

By freezing prices for a period of thirty days, the main aim was for companies and residents to be able to "catch their breath and stabilise their expectations'' in the current situation.

According to Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, distributors' margins are high enough to take on this "first wave" of price increases, which, according to the calculations( for diesel fuels that businesses predominantly use) at today's prices means encroaching on margins of 63 lipa per litre of diesel fuel.

The government's move in the first wave is considered to be correct because it has temporarily stopped a whole series of price increases, according to consultant Davor Stern.

In addition, oil circles are speculating about possible government moves which are yet to come, including the possibility of correcting a systemic injustice without interfering with the tax system by amending the basis for calculating VAT, which would result in lower prices for the end users.

In this sense, if the calculation were done on the price of fuel, and with excise duties from which fees on roads and railways are exempted, such a base would result in a reduction in prices overall.

For more, follow our politics section.

Page 1 of 3280

Search