Saturday, 22 October 2022

Croatian Cafe Charging Extra for People to Sit by Outdoor Heaters

October the 22nd, 2022 - One Croatian cafe in the City of Zagreb has decided to start charging customers extra to sit by their outdoor heaters on the terrace, citing inflation and energy costs as the reason behind the unusual move.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, one Croatian cafe in Zagreb wants extra if you plan to be sitting and drinking your (probably) coffee outside on the terrace under the outdoor heaters. Coffee by the outdoor heater will cost you 14 kuna, and it will come at a cost of 12 kuna if you don't need warming up as well. In short, every guest in this particular Croatian cafe who wants to sit on the terrace under the outdoor heater must pay an additional two kuna for heating in addition to whatever their bill is for their order.

"I think that heaters are a luxury outside, in winter. We have enough interior space, if someone really wants to be outside in the fresh air, we'll turn the heaters on, but we simply have to pass that part of the cost on to the end user," said Ivan Oreskovic, the owner of this particular cafe. Oreskovic eventually decided on this move because of higher electricity bills, which grew by 200 percent and are now around three times higher than they were before. One kilowatt came at a cost of 55 lipa last year, it costs one kuna and 65 lipa this year.

"People sit outside for 30 minutes on average, so far we've borne that cost. Each heater consumes approximately 2 kilowatts per hour, that would be 2 times 1.6 which is 3.2 kuna - we used to pay one kuna for it. We passed the difference on to the customers, and we keep the main part of the cost to ourselves", explained the owner.

This is the only cafe in the entire country that includes a heater on its price list, at least so far, and people are divided about the idea. Some are ready to pay two kuna extra if they are satisfied with the service and the cafe, but others think that it isn't fair. As things stand, this kind of recipe for cost reduction and survival will be applied by many business owners working in the catering and hospitality sector, writes RTL.

"As for the amounts themselves - whether it's 2, 5 or maybe even 50 kuna, it definitely depends on the decision of the company owner who is responsible for the organisation of the business. I'm equally sure that business owners are definitely also taking into account the amounts that people can actually afford to pay,'' pointed out Ivan Tadic, secretary of the Association of Caters in Zagreb.

While this Croatian cafe has chosen this somewhat controversial model and others will likely follow, for most, charging extra for heating is the last thing on their minds.

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

Saturday, 22 October 2022

Exploring Croatian Recipes: Queen of Autumn, the Apple Pie

October 22, 2022 - In this old new series, we shall endeavour to explore one of the best parts of living in Croatia - the food. We're bringing recipes for everyday and special occasion meals and desserts, which may be traditional or more recent but always delicious. It is only fitting to start with the queen of autumn, the ubiquitous apple pie.

If you don't have your apple tree in Croatia, you will probably know someone who does. The old "eat an apple" when you're craving something sweet is almost like a rule of life, and there's plenty of them to keep your doctor away. Much like zimnica, when the time is right, and the apples are ripe, you know your life will revolve around them for a few days. You'll want to ensure that you have stored the good ones, handed out the ones of acceptable quality, and used whatever was edible from the dodgy batch. Then ignore the good ones until it becomes more urgent to use them up. That's where the Croatian version of apple pie comes in.

apple_pie_8.png

Of course, there is more than one recipe, depending on where you go and how old the grandmother is. But the one most people will know and love is the Lazy Pie (Lijena Pita). It owes its name to the fact that you can prepare it with just a few ingredients, a simple technique, and in a short amount of time - perfect, right?

For the crust, you will need the following:

 400g of flour (all-purpose)

- 180g of sugar (generic white)

- 180g of lard (traditional Slavonian) or butter (unsalted, store-bought, sad)

- 2 eggs

- 1/2 pack (5g) of baking powder

- a dollop (1tbsp) of sour cream (optional, but the old ladies say it makes all the difference)

Filling:

- apples (measured with your heart, 7-10 should be plenty)

- sugar (measured according to how sweet your apples are, 1-2 tbsp per apple)

- cinnamon (optional, definitely measured with your heart)

- ground walnuts (optional, but desirable, a sprinkling of)

Decoration

- icing sugar

How to:

Start by peeling and grating your apples. You will leave them on the side for the juice to drain - for this; you can use a colander, a cheesecloth, or, let's be real, your hands. Drink the juice, and save the apples. 

apple_pie_2.jpg

Next, you will knead your dough for the crust after combining all the ingredients. If you're using butter, we suggest crumbling it with your hands before adding everything else. No such problems if you're using lard, which is another reason it is superior to other fats. Knead into a homogenous ball and divide into two. Roll one out to fit your baking vessel. For the Croatian version, which is usually baked in a rectangular tray, you do not need to cover the sides, but if you want it to be a round pie, that could also work. Transfering your crust into the baking tray might be slightly clumsy since it tends to be soft, but don't worry if it breaks, just patch it up. No one will know.

apple_pie_7.png

Once your bottom crust is nice and comfortable in the tray, mix your filling of apples with sugar, cinnamon, and a couple of tablespoons of ground walnuts, whose purpose is to soak up any extra juice and prevent sogginess. Spread evenly on the bottom crust and roll out the other bit of dough to form your top crust. If you're feeling adventurous, you can try cutting out shapes or weaving your top crust, but the most common way is just a sheet in which holes would be poked using a fork. This is done to ensure your pie is free to breathe and let out any extra steam that could accumulate in the middle layer. 

apple_pie_6.png

Bake at 180 °C / 356 °F for 30 minutes or until the crust is a fashionable golden brown.

Leave to rest and cool completely before dusting with icing sugar and cutting into squares. Best served on a crisp autumn day, with a cup of coffee and three hours of catching up.

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

 

Friday, 21 October 2022

Osijek Centre for Missing and Exploited Children Receives Prestigious International Award

October 21, 2022 - The Osijek Centre for Missing and Exploited Children is the winner of the prestigious international award of the "Care About the Children" Foundation of Queen Silvia of Sweden. It thus became the first organisation from Croatia to receive this award, the Centre reported.

As Index writes, and as announced by the Osijek Centre, among more than 130 nominated organisations in Europe that deal with the protection of children from abuse and exploitation, the Expert Court of the Foundation has chosen ten to award the prestigious award to associations whose protection of children's rights is imperative.

The Queen Silvia Foundation in Sweden "Care About the Children" aims to meet the most basic needs of children, based on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The Osijek Centre points out that the award was presented on October 18, on the European Anti-Trafficking Day, at the Swedish Royal Palace, to prominent organisations for the fight against child trafficking and sexual abuse of children via the Internet.

The award was received from Queen Silvia by the head of the Osijek Centre for Missing and Exploited Children, Tomislav Ramljak, who commended the fact that such a highly positioned institution recognised the work of the Osijek institution, and the award of 10,000 euros, he added, will be an additional incentive for further investments in preventive programs.

Ramljak pointed out that educational institutions, the police, specialised associations, companies, and state bodies must work together to make the Internet a safer place.

"We must do everything in our power so that children feel safe to report any form of violence on the Internet if they experience it. This requires the joint work of the entire society," said Ramljak.

The Osijek Centre for Missing and Exploited Children reminds us that their long-term work resulted in the launch of the National Centre for a Safer Internet and the telephone number 116 000 - the international hotline for missing children in the Republic of Croatia.

Lectures in schools, education for experts, campaigns to raise awareness, and numerous preventive activities are recognised as of great value in the fight to protect children from abuse and exploitation on the Internet; the Osijek Centre points out.

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

Friday, 21 October 2022

Climate Change and Wind Danger - Do not Build Next to Adriatic Sea

October 21, 2022 - At a two-day conference on climate change in Split on Thursday, it was pointed out that nothing should be built right next to the sea because the Adriatic area may be hit by floods that will be a consequence of climate change and a raised mean sea level.

As Poslovni reports, the Split Mediterranean Institute for Life Research (Medils) is hosting a scientific conference on climate change that brought together Croatian and Italian experts who cooperate through the European Interreg project.

"The great length of our coast is a wealth, but we may also be cursed having such a long coast, which could become an expense in the future since there will be no protection for buildings that are built right next to the sea," said Daria Povh Škugor, senior program officer of PAR/RAC centre Split, which is part of the Mediterranean Action Program network as part of the UN Environment Program.

According to her, it is necessary to stop the construction of houses and buildings by the sea because there is no way to protect them from floods from the sea, whose level will rise. Referring to an expert study on flood estimates, she singled out the Bay of Kaštela as the most threatened.

"As for the population, the area of ​​Kaštela Bay and the cities of Kaštela, Solin, Split, and Trogir are the most threatened," said Povh Škugor. She added that this is one of the reasons why the two-day conference on climate change and the risks of flooding from the sea is being held in Split. "According to the latest information, the last time, the average temperature was two degrees higher than it is today, and what we all fear, the sea level was up to five meters higher than now. It is a bell that rings the alarm," warned Povh Škugor.

Dr. Natalija Dunić from the Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries, which deals with research into the physical conditions of the Adriatic, reported that the average level of the Adriatic Sea has increased by 10 centimeters in the last 30 years and could rise by 70 centimeters by the year 2100.

"When you have a large variety of seas, and when cyclonic disturbances occur and when the jugo (southern wind) blows on the sea, the water will penetrate to the coast - to Diocletian's cellars, on the Riva, in Marmontova Street to the HNK building," said Dunić, emphasising that high time something be done to prevent it.

She also said that by 2100, global mean sea levels are estimated to rise by more than one metre. According to her, expert estimates are that by the year 2600, the average sea level in the world could rise by 15 meters. In this regard, she mentioned predictions about the melting of the ice from Antarctica and that the rise in the level of the world's seas could also threaten the mountains in Europe.

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

Friday, 21 October 2022

Digital Croatia: E-Consultation Open for Public Input Until 18 October

October 21, 2022 - The strategy of digital Croatia for the period until 2032 is based on timely information and involvement of the general public so that all citizens can participate and give their suggestions, proposals, and comments. The Central State Office for the Development of the Digital Society (SDURDD) is in charge of creating the Digital Croatia Strategy until 2032. A Draft on e-Consultation was made with the consulting company Deloitte.

As Poslovni writes, digital transformation is a process that has been going on for some time. In Croatia, more than 1,700,000 citizens use the e-Citizens platform, which sets new standards for communication between citizens and public administration. In terms of digital literacy, which, along with connectivity, is a crucial element for a successful digital transformation, Croatia is above average, especially because young people in Croatia are at the very top of the EU in this category.

"There is no doubt that Croatia has a future, our young people are digitally literate and above average, and this guarantees that everything we're doing today makes sense. All the steps we will take in the next few years will transform Croatia and, through digital transformation, set new standards of communication, business, and learning," states Secretary of State Bernard Gršić.

Areas in which we are below the EU average, such as public services and connectivity, are challenges for which we have a clear plan, not only how to make up for the backlog but also to significantly improve Croatia's position.

"It is this Strategy that provides an answer to the question of "what" and "how," and I use the opportunity to invite all Croatian citizens to get involved to propose initiatives that can speed up and improve the process of digital transformation. This is a process that has no alternative, and its goal is to create assumptions that we can be agile, fast, and productive and, in this way, improve the standard of living of all Croatian citizens", notes Bernard Gršić, head of the Central State Office for the Development of Digital Society.

After the State Secretary, Gordan Kožulj, Director of the Business Consulting Department at Deloitte, addressed the media and pointed out: "With this Strategy, we want to set public policy priorities that stimulate technological development and innovation, the digital competencies of citizens and the increase in the number of experts in information-communication technologies and the application of advanced technologies in public and market activities. We want Croatia to be a country of digitally and economically competitive companies and digitized public administration with personalized public services in 2032."

In conclusion, fostering a participatory model of cooperation in creating the Strategy, more than 100 representatives from 41 organisations, including state institutions, the academic community, and the private sector, have contributed to the content of this Strategy through the Expert Working Group and four sub-groups. Through e-consultation, all other interested citizens can comment on the text of the draft Strategy before its finalisation.

The e-consultation can be found at the link Draft proposal of the Digital Croatia Strategy 2032.

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

 

Friday, 21 October 2022

A Week in Croatian Politics - Gas, Energy Drinks, Hospitals and Milanovic

October the 21st, 2022 - This week in Croatian politics saw everything from hopes of energy drink bans, the Russian media writing about Milanovic and former government ministers getting new jobs to gas prices, wage proposals and hospital construction plans.

MEP Biljana Borzan (SDP) thinks the Health Ministry and the Croatian Government should ban the sale of potentially dangerous energy drinks to minors

How many kids need to suffer the health consequences of consuming energy drinks before the government steps in and does something about it? Borzan asks, referencing the horrific case in which a twelve year old suffered a stroke.

"I've been warning people about this problem for years, I've submitted a proposal two times for a legal ban through Croatian parliament, but the Minister of Health and the government don't even care about it," said Borzan, recalling another energy-drink related death, this time of a thirteen year-old in Zagreb.

"I ask them, how many more children need to be harmed for you to do something about this? Whose interests are you defending with this carelessness and inaction?" asked Borzan. The MEP also pointed out that research shows that children and young people are increasingly drinking energy drinks, which are harmful to them in many ways, and a large number of children claim that they drink them because they need energy, which is of enormous concern.

On top of that, the very adult trend of mixing energy drinks with alcoholic beverages is also beginning to make an appearance among younger generations. Borzan believes the fact that energy drinks are even being consumed by kids should result in a ban on selling them to minors, but given the fact that kids are also mixing them with alcohol, nobody should be in two minds about the next move.

Koncar speaks out about employing controversial former government minister Darko Horvat, saying everything was strictly above board

Koncar rather surprisingly announced the employment of the former Minister of Spatial Planning, Construction and State Property, Darko Horvat, recently. Just keep in mind that Darko Horvat had to step down from his position as a minister within Plenkovic's government because of alleged corruption.

Koncar has stressed that despite the fact that they have employed a minister who had to step down, everything was done correctly and Horvat was selected for the position thanks to his qualifications as a graduate electrical engineer.

"Owing to the recent retirement of an engineer who strategically participated in technical and commercial work related to the field of electricity distribution, a job opening was announced as we were seeking an electrical engineer with significant operational experience in that area. Mr. Horvat was selected as a graduate electrical engineer with extensive experience in the field of electricity distribution, including experience in the field of business at both the Croatian and international level.

During the initial media announcements, incorrect information was circulating claiming that Darko Horvat was set to hold the position of adviser to Koncar's Management Board. In reality, his field of activity will be focused exclusively on the field of electrical distribution, Koncar stated.

After his resignation, Horvat activated what's known as the 6+6 option.

On February the 19th, when he was first arrested, Darko Horvat resigned from his position and activated the 6+6 option, which legally prevents him from being appointed to management positions within companies with which his former ministry or government cooperated. It isn't actually prohibited under the law for him to receive a fee for providing consulting services to or within a company in which the state has a three percent ownership. Koncar is 80 percent owned by Croatia's pension funds, the head of which is HDZ member Gordan Kolak.

Economy Minister Davor Filipovic has stated that there will be no shortage of gas for the Croatian market this winter, despite talks of the opposite being the case

It seems like all we're talking about recently is the spiralling price of gas and energy, and while the Croatian Government recently came to the decision that INA would sell all the gas produced here in Croatia to HEP, it turned out that this was simply not possible. INA has seven contracts that cannot be terminated. Minister Davor Filipovic commented on the situation.

''There's going to be enough gas, and that Croatian gas is going to be provided to all hospitals, schools, kindergartens and all institutions at a price of 41 euros. The government made a decision recently that is heading in that direction,'' said the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, Davor Filipovic, adding that the most important thing is that Croatian gas goes solely to Croatian institutions.

"It's known that we ordered INA to increase gas production by 10 percent. As for the change in the regulation, for seven customers there are fixed contracts that cannot be terminated unilaterally, to unilaterally terminate would be more harm than good and termination would mean those customers launching lawsuits against INA, and then INA would sue us. That's why we made that exception, and as soon as those contracts are finished, INA will be obliged to transfer all of the rest of that gas to HEP," explained Filipovic.

He noted that distributors who have experienced losses will be able to buy their gas from HEP, adding that both INA and MOL have taken a huge hit to their reputations owing to the recently exposed affair.

The Croatian Government offered teachers higher wages, but the Croatian Teachers' Union rejected their proposal for the second time

The Grand Council of the Croatian Teachers' Union unanimously rejected the Croatian Government's latest offer on wage increases which came to light on October the 18th. The new offer was deemed unacceptable because it wasn't even aimed at securing a greater increase in the base rate compared to their previous offer, but only at a different dynamic of the payment of the previously proposed increase in the base rate, the Croatian Teachers' Union announced when explaining the reasons behind their rejection.

"Increasing the amount we get for Christmas bonuses, holiday allowance and other such things can't compensate for the growth of the base rate or solve the issue of the salary lag either this year or next year. Therefore, the new offer was rejected,'' they stated.

The government initially offered the unions an increase in the salary base rate by four percent from October the 1st and two percent from April the 1st next year, but the unions refused to accept it. At the second meeting, they received a new offer, which was also binned.

Public service unions have been asking for an 8 percent increase in the base starting on October the 1st this year and another 5 percent starting on January the 1st, 2023.

Russian media discuss Croatian President Zoran Milanovic, claiming he has "admitted that NATO is partaking in the war in Ukraine" in his rejection of the idea of Croatia training Ukrainian soldiers

Recently, Milanovic stated that he isn't familiar with the idea of ​​European foreign ministers to train 15,000 Ukrainian soldiers here in Europe, but that upon hearing of it, he "doesn't support it".

"I don't support that idea because I don't support involving Croatia in this war more than it should be. It's bringing the war to Croatia. We stand in solidarity [with Ukraine] and that's as far as it should go," he said.

The Russian media were of course quick to twist Milanovic's statement and beliefs and have written extensively about how Croatian President Zoran Milanovic apparently ''opposes the training of militants". The Russian state news agency, TASS, reported his statements, and the RIA Novosti agency added that Milanovic had previously "emphasised that Russia and Croatia have become enemy states and had expressed concern about this fact." Russian Interfax writes that, according to the media, the Croatian Government had offered EU training for Ukrainian soldiers.

Regnum writes that Milanovic opposes the "training of Kyiv militants in Croatia" and that he doesn't support "any excessive interference in conflicts on the territory of the former Soviet Socialist Republic of Ukraine." Regnum also claimed that former Croatian football player and national team member Tomislav Dujmovic said around one week ago that Milanovic was ''on Russia's side'' and that he is ''observing the Russian-Ukrainian conflict more objectively than Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic is''.

Milanovic opposed the training of Ukrainian soldiers, but also the sending of weapons to Ukraine because of the danger that the Croatian Army itself would run out of weapons, MKRU writes. Milanovic would agree to send weapons to Ukraine if Croatia is compensated, they added, before the Iz.ru made the strange statement that ''Milanovic has confirmed that NATO is participating in this conflict.''

Milanovic's statements were also reported by Kommersant, which focused instead on the statement that the training of Ukrainian soldiers would represent Croatia's interference in the war in Ukraine. Ruska Gazeta wrote that, in addition to Zoran Milanovic, the Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs Peter Szijjarto also rejected the idea of Europe training Ukrainian fighters.

Transport Minister Oleg Butkovic claims that "Croatia is much more successful in comparison to some other EU member states''

On a recent episode of the radio show ''And now for the government/A sada Vlada", the Minister of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure Oleg Butkovic said that the Croatian Government has successfully dealt with some major challenges over the last six years, adding that they expect the growth of the Croatian economy in 2023, as in the last year, to be higher than the EU average.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic submitted the annual report on his government's work to the Parliament, which outlined economic growth of around 6 percent and the continuation of aid measures towards both people and companies throughout these challenging and in some cases truly unprecedented times.

"A very challenging year is now behind us, last year we achieved the third highest growth in the entire European Union and due to growth of 10.2 percent, we brought two packages into force with a total value of 26 billion kuna. In order get through this energy crisis as best as possible, the government also undertook a lot. Peljesac Bridge was finally completed and put into function, and on January the 1st, 2023, we'll finally enter the Eurozone and Schengen," Oleg Butkovic said during his time on the aforementioned radio programme.

He added that these are major developments, noting that they have at their disposal a package of 25 billion euros from the National Resilience Programme and a new financial envelope.

"We're ensuring not only reforms but the continuation of investments, and this opens up possibilities for this country's economic growth to be above the EU average in 2023 as well. The situation is good," stated the minister.

"Compared to other EU countries, Croatia has been much more successful," he believes.

The topic of the construction of the Blato hospital has reared its head once again, with the Health Ministry claiming that works will begin in two years

The construction of the National Children's Hospital in Blato (Zagreb) should begin in 2024, and in the coming weeks the call for tenders for the preparation of the conceptual design will begin, the Ministry of Health announced, emphasising that it will be the first hospital in the City of Zagreb to be located south of the Sava River.

This greenfield project worth around 300 million euros will be financed from the National Plan for Recovery and Resilience and other forms of European Union (EU) funding. The new children's hospital will span an area of ​​100,000 square metres in total, and construction is planned in two phases. About 50 thousand square metres of gross area will be built in each phase.

As far as land agreements with the City of Zagreb go, in the implementation of this strategic project, the Ministry of Health and the City of Zagreb are continuously holding working meetings in order to realise the transfer of city land in Blato through partnership cooperation, with the condition of the final and complete construction of the hospital. At the last working meeting in the Ministry of Health with the City of Zagreb, property and legal issues that need to be resolved were discussed.

Given that this will be the very first Zagreb hospital to be situated south of the Sava, he realisation of the Blato hospital project represents a significant contribution to global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as all of its energy would come from renewable sources. It will also represent a big step forward in the territorial availability of healthcare services not only for the residents of the Croatian capital but also for everyone coming to Zagreb for treatment, especially from the south of the country.

''Although it seems that the road to the new Blato hospital will be a very long one, we mustn't lose sight of the fact that the idea and desire to embark on this demanding project took even longer. Despite the two-year battle with the global coronavirus pandemic and all of the other challenges that have since come to pass, the government and the Ministry of Health are taking the proper steps in order to successfully realise this strategic project for the healthcare system, which will provide the highest quality healthcare for children in Zagreb and all of Croatia,'' the Ministry of Health stated.

 

For more on Croatian politics, make sure to keep up with our dedicated section and our Week in Croatian politics articles which will be published every Friday.

Friday, 21 October 2022

Novalja, Pag - Cycle on the Moon With the New Bikademy Study

October 21, 2022 - Bikademy, an innovative cycling tourism product, opened a new Study - Novalja, in the northern part of the island of Pag.

Pag is called Moon island for a reason. Its eastern part resembles the surface of the moon, with its landscape stripped by the northern wind Bura. Using the moon as a leitmotif, Bikademy launched the "Cycling on the Moon" campaign, emphasizing that we don't have to travel far to find unique experiences.

Bikademy-Rucica-Beach-5.jpg

Bikademy functions like an academy whose users are called Bikademy Students. To become a Bikademy Student, you need to download and register on the free Bikademy application. The application offers Studies that represent a specific region or city. Inside each Study, there is a list of Exams, locations within the Study, to which you need to cycle and check in via the application. The course is completed by checking in at each exam, after which Bikademy rewards students with gifts from their sponsor, Giant Croatia.

Bikademy-Novalja-Field-4.jpg

The Novalja study consists of seven exams: the charming town of Lun, the popular Novalja and Zrće beaches, Novaljsko Polje, the incredible Svetojanj fortress, Ručica beach, and Žigljen.

The campaign started with the publication of this video.

Krešimir Herceg, the owner of Bikademy, points out that the bicycle is the ideal means of exploring the destination because it is slow enough to experience the surroundings and fast enough to cover longer distances, which is perfect for exploring the northern part of Pag.

Bikademy-Lun-6.jpg

As a product, Bikademy complements the Pag Outdoor project, which brands the destination through outdoor tourism. "With synergy and connection, Novalja forms a new image. In addition to being a party destination, it is also becoming an ideal destination for active tourism, which is evident from the continuous growth in the number of active tourists," added the director of the Tourist Board of the city of Novalja, Marina Šćiran Rizner.

Bikademy-Svetojanj-Fortress-1.jpg

As Bikademy adds, a bicycle is all you need to visit the moon.

The opening of this Study was made possible by the Novalja Tourist Board, PPD, and Enna Grupa, and the rewards, as always, are provided by Giant Hrvatska.

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

Thursday, 20 October 2022

Five False Bomb Threats in Zagreb Reported Today

October 20, 2022 - The Croatian media received false bomb threats today, in which the perpetrators claimed to have placed 22 bombs in five different locations in the city of Zagreb.

The five locations were the Zagreb Airport, where they claimed to have deposited 12 explosive devices, two were supposedly left at the police station in Bauerova street and one in the police station in Grgura Ninskog street, and several were placed in two different McDonalds restaurants in the city.

HRT reported from the Zagreb airport, where they have arrived within the hour of the receipt of the threatening email, and they claimed that there was no disruption to the services at the airport, and that the planes were arriving and departing on time.

The Zagreb Police Department issued a statement saying that they have conducted thorough searches supported by the explosive-detecting dogs, and found no signs of explosive devices. The last location that was checked was the police station in Bauerova street.

Some of the Croatian media bring detailed accounts of the threatening email they've received around 4 pm, including index.hr. The email was signed by the moniker "Strelkov's and Limonov's Army", and mentions potential revenge for "nazi butchers from Azov, crimes performed by the Black Legion, Jasenovac, Devil's Brigade and their actions in Stalingrad and crimes during the Operation Storm". The threat also mentions Putin, and calls for "death to the EU, death to NATO, death to nazis".

Reportedly, the media in Novi Sad, Serbia, received a similar threatening email today - theirs warned of 22 devices in 9 locations, was signed by the same name and gave a different motivation for the attack. It turns out that these were also false bomb threats, as reported by Serbian media.

Thursday, 20 October 2022

Another Amazing Success by the Croatian Doctors in Patients Fighting Cancer

October 20, 2022 - A group of Croatian doctors from the Sestre Milosrdnice Clinical Hospital performed the procedure called "irreversible electroporation" (IRE) on two patients for the first time in this region.

Luka Novosel, MD and his team of physicians performed the procedure on two patients with liver cancers with developed metastases on October 18, the hospital has reported. They explained that this novel method doesn't use heat to destroy tumors, but rather specific electrical impulses that cause cell death, the so-called apoptosis, without any risk for other healthy surrounding structures and tissues. That leads to the natural death of the tumor cells, and the body independently and completely decomposes the tumor within 6 months replacing it with new healthy tissue, which is why scars don't get formed on the organs, the director of the hospital, Dr. Davor Vagić explained.

The method is a potential treatment for tumors and metastases located deep in the liver, which are inaccessible to surgery and other treatment methods. It is also often used in the treatment of tumors of the pancreas and prostate, which are difficult to reach with classical surgical procedures, the press release added.

The two patients who underwent the irreversible electroporation procedure were discharged from the hospital the very next day, without any complications or pain. They will continue to be further monitored and their disease possibly treated further.

The irreversible electroporation procedure carried out by the expert team of Sestre Milosrdnice Clinical Hospital was closely followed by fellow doctors from the countries of the region with the aim of education and introduction in their hospital centers as well, said the director of the hospital, Dr. Vagić.

Thursday, 20 October 2022

Meet the Croatian Indiana Jones - Prof. Dr. Sc. Aleksandar Durman

October 20, 2022 – So there are places in Croatia where people have continuously lived for 8000 years. And there was a civilisation on the bank of the Danube 5000 years ago that knew the stars, seasons, and how much a standard door frame would measure today. Oh, and they drank beer. The fact that we know that and so much more we owe Professor Aleksandar Durman, the living legend of Croatian archaeology. We had the honour to meet the man himself and sit down with him for an hour of conversation, which included practical demonstrations of why the moon wasn’t a practical tool for the Vučedol people, a few trips down memory lane, and a discussion on the future of tourism in the Croatian east.

durman_1.png

The man in action, Vučedol Culture Museum

Let us properly introduce the lively professor. He was born in 1949 in Zagreb, where he lived a happy childhood and studied archaeology and history. Asked about his interest in these areas, professor Durman says that archaeology came as a sort of plan B after he realised that he wasn’t that interested in physics which he initially planned to study. Archaeology seemed exciting and interesting, he adds, but since job prospects were scarce in the field, he decided to study history along with it. During his studies, though, he ensured that he was employed in archaeology and never looked back. When he was a student in the seventies, almost all the research was concentrated on the Croatian coast and the remnants of the Roman era that kept popping up there. Fair enough, he comments, but there was and is much more to discover in other parts of Croatia, primarily the east.

durman_4.JPG

Steve Tsentserensky

And he went on to do just that. In his consolidated CV, there is a page just about his research projects in Vukovar and Vinkovci, where he started working in 1977 and kept coming back until his recent retirement. He received multiple awards for his contribution, including the Vinkovci Gold Plaque (2011), the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Croatian Archaeological Society (2013), and the title of an Honorary Citizen of Vukovar (2020).

durman_11.jpg

City of Vukovar

If you've heard anything about the Vučedol culture and the museum, it was probably about the famous bird. This ceramic dish was discovered there in 1938 and became a symbol of Vučedol and Vukovar. We mean, of course, the Vučedol dove that was later reclassified as the Vučedol partridge. Professor Durman changed its “name,” providing an excellent explanation. Without revealing it, we’ll say that it has to do with social hierarchy, the nature of the job, and what partridges do when they sense danger. You can see the original in The Archaeological Museum in Zagreb, but the Vučedol museum in Vukovar will provide all the context and insight to help you understand why an ancient civilisation, the contemporaries of Egypt and Mesopotamia decided to settle just there. At the risk of repeating ourselves, if you head east, make sure to visit this stunning location.

durman_12.jpg

Back to our main character. An article about the professor wouldn't be complete unless we mentioned, possibly, his most significant discovery. That would be the Orion calendar which he discovered on the 21st of March in 1978. Fate, he says, having found it on the first day of spring. The little ceramic dish in question, according to professor Durman's interpretation, is one of the most significant witnesses of just how advanced the Vučedol civilisation was. The carved pattern on the dish apparently represents the night sky, with the four horizontal fields most likely dividing it into the four seasons.

durman_1.JPG

The Orion calendar, Steve Tsentserensky

The incrustations inside the fields represent the constellations visible in the area in 2600 BC. The most important one, you might have guessed, was the Orion. It was the dominant winter constellation, and it was reliable – when the three stars of Orion's belt would fall below the horizon, the Vučedol people knew spring was there. And since they largely relied on their crops for sustenance, the first day of spring also signified the start of a new year and new life. The stars played a significant role in the daily lives of the Vučedolians as well as their spirituality. The Orion dish was found in a locality near Vinkovci and has become the symbol of that city.

durman_9.png

Orion calendar mozaic in Vinkovci city centre, Steve Tsentserensky

Speaking of, it is Vinkovci that takes another special place in our article and the books of Croatian archaeological research. You might have heard something about it being the oldest city in Europe, but that, we dare say, is an understatement. Professor Durman found evidence supporting the thesis that the area of Vinkovci has continuously been inhabited for over 8000 years. Fun fact, not one but two Roman emperors were born in Vinkovci – Valentinian and Valens, whose name is now synonymous with some excellent craft beer.

 durman_2.JPG

Steve Tsentserensky

To put all of this in context, let us quote the professor himself when asked how we should present his findings and demonstrate the importance of these areas to both those who live here and those who visit. “The Vučedol culture was the highest level of Indo-Europeans at the very beginning. They had a calendar; they knew metallurgy, and even the measurements for door frames that we still use today came from there. They had a pictorial writing system before the hieroglyphics. Just consider that all we know about Greek mythology had its roots in the Vučedol culture”. Now tell us that is not fascinating.

durman_7.jpg

City of Vukovar

Finally, let us thank professor Durman for a unique, educational evening and his contribution to archaeology in Croatia, but especially in the east of the country. He has worked tirelessly to find, study and explain so much of what we know about the area today, and he has also travelled the world promoting it and emphasizing its importance. Among other things, he was a screenwriter for the Vučedol Secrets film, with its third part coming out soon. Naturally, we also asked him about the future of tourism in Slavonia, and we were happy to hear that he shared our view – the area is still a hidden gem, but its time will come. Archaeology and archaeological tourism will play a key role.

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

Page 17 of 3718

Search