Tuesday, 18 January 2022

Finance Ministry Issues HRK 1.7bn in Treasury Bills

January 18, 2022 - The Croatian Ministry of Finance sold HRK 1.7 billion worth of treasury bills at this year's first auction on Tuesday.

They mature in one year and the interest rate is 0.01 per cent. The proceeds will be used to refinance treasury bills falling due.

In advance of the maturity of treasury bills worth HRK 1.7 billion, the Ministry offered HRK 1.3 billion worth of treasury bills for a subscription. Financial institutions submitted bids worth slightly over HRK 2 billion and the Ministry accepted HRK 1.7 billion.

The low-interest rate is the result of a large surplus of liquidity in the domestic financial market, exceeding HRK 77 billion.

The balance of subscribed kuna treasury bills has now decreased by HRK 1 billion to HRK 13.68 billion.

The next auction is set for 8 February.

Tuesday, 18 January 2022

Croatia logs 7,548 new COVID cases, 55 deaths

January 18, 2022 - Croatia detected 7,548 new COVID cases in the past 24 hours while another 55 people died as a consequence of the virus, the national COVID response team reported on Tuesday.

There are currently 49,528 active cases, including 1,800 hospitalised patients, 220 of whom are on ventilators.

Since the outbreak of the epidemic in Croatia, a total of 826,380 cases of the novel coronavirus have been registered, 13,212 people have died while a total of 763,640 have recovered, including 6,406 in the past 24 hours.

Currently, there are 26,439 people self-isolating.

To date, a total of 4,010,890 tests have been conducted, including 16,768 in the past 24 hours.

As of 17 January, a total of 4,974,705 doses of a vaccine had been administered, which is 56.23% of the total population or 66.94% of the adult population.

A total of 2,281,915 people have received at least one dose of a vaccine while 2,186,570 are fully vaccinated, which is 64.30% of the adult population.

Tuesday, 18 January 2022

Real Estate Prices Continue to Rise in Croatia

January 18, 2022 - Real estate prices in Croatia in Q3 2021 were 9% up from the same period of 2020, the data from the national statistical office (DZS) shows.

The Q3 2021 rise in real estate prices continues on a year-on-year rise in real estate prices that has been going on since Q2 2017.

The largest increase in real estate prices was reported in Q2 2019, when real estate prices rose by 10.4% from Q2 2018.

According to DZS data for Q3 2021, prices of new flats went up 8.5% from Q3 2020, while prices of resale apartments rose by 9.2%.

Broken down by region, real estate prices in Zagreb grew the most, by 9.6% on average, while on the Adriatic coast they went up by 8.9% up, and in other regions by 8.2%.

Compared to Q2 2021, prices of real estate in Q3 2021 went up 1.7%, with prices of new flats going up by 1.3% on average and those of resale flats by 1.8%.

Compared to Q2 2021, prices of real estate In Q3 2021 were 1.3% up in Zagreb, 2.9% up on the Adriatic coast, and 0.4% up in other regions.

Tuesday, 18 January 2022

Economy Minister on Applying Reduced VAT Rate to Gas Supply

January 18, 2022 - Economy Minister Tomislav Ćorić said on Monday that applying a reduced VAT rate to the natural gas supply would definitely make the anticipated increase in gas prices as of 1 April lower, and he also believes that prices of oil products will stabilise at a lower level in the months to come.

Asked how the government would respond to the anticipated increase in gas prices, Ćorić said in an interview with the central news broadcast on Croatian Television that a lower VAT rate on gas supply would definitely have a significant effect.

"As you know, in addition to the current standard rate of 25% on the supply of gas, there are two lower rates, of 13 and 5 percentage points, and (lowering the VAT rate) would definitely help make the gas price increase as of 1 April lower," he said.

The minister said that he believed one should maximally try to influence the price through VAT and possibly treat electricity and gas supply as the supply of basic foodstuffs.

Ćorić noted that the current VAT rate on basic foodstuffs - meat, fish, eggs, bread and a number of other products - was 5%, which he said was an appropriate rate and should not be lowered.

Asked about an increase in fuel prices announced for Tuesday, Ćorić said that he believed prices of oil products would stabilise at a lower level in the months to come.

Increase in prices not related to euro changeover

The minister said that the increase in prices of energy products on world markets was spilling over to the production process and consequently causing the current increase in prices in Croatia and that the price hikes were not related to the euro changeover.

Asked if prices were being raised under the guise of inflation ahead of the euro changeover, he said that Croatia was expected to enter the euro area in a year's time, and that the current price increases were due to the fact that energy prices had increased significantly on world markets in recent months, which was spilling over to the production process and consequently having an impact on prices.

Tuesday, 18 January 2022

2022 Australian Open: Marin Čilić and Ana Konjuh Move to 2nd Round, Vekić and Martić Out

January 18, 2022 - Marin Čilić and Ana Konjuh have advanced to the second round of the 2022 Australian Open, while Donna Vekić and Petra Martić ended their run in the first round. 

Croatian tennis player Marin Čilić (ATP - 27th) advanced to the second round of the Australian Open, defeating Ecuadorian Emilio Gomez 6:3, 6:1, 6:2 after one hour and 43 minutes of play.

The only Croatian representative in the men's competition easily topped the 153rd tennis player in the world, who won a place in the main tournament through qualifications.

Čilić lost only six games and took advantage of seven break opportunities out of 11. Gomez made one break in the first set.

In the second round, Čilić will play against Slovak Norbert Gombos (ATP - 117th), also a qualifier, who defeated Timofey Skatov 6:3, 6:2, 1:6, 6:4 in the first round.

Ana Konjuh (WTA - 58th), the last Croatian representative in the main part of the tournament, advanced to the second round in the women's competition.

After two hours and 19 minutes of play, Konjuh defeated American Shelby Rodgers (WTA - 36th) 4:6, 6:3, 7:5.

In the third set, Konjuh was the first to break and served at 5:4 to end the match in her favor. However, Konjuh did not use three match points, and Rodgers returned. But Konjuh broke gain, won eight points in a row, and advanced to the second round. Konjuh had 5/9 on break points, and Rodgers 4/8. 

This was her first Grand Slam victory since Wimbledon in 2017. In the second round, Konjuh will play against the match winner between Danielle Rose Collins and Caroline Dolehide.

Donna Vekić finished her jubilee, 10th appearance at the Australian Open in the first round It was her premiere performance of the new season. Vekić lost to American Alison Riske (46th on the WTA list), winning only four games - 6:2, 6:2. Donna scored three aces, had a first-serve percentage of 44 percent, and did not reach a single break point. This was their sixth meeting and the third victory for the 31-year-old American.

After Vekić, Petra Martić was easily defeated in the first round after two sets against Jil Teichmann, 37th on the WTA list - 6:3, 6:3. Petra started the match with a break, only to lose her serve twice by the end of the set. The second set was decided after breaks in the third and ninth games. Martić scored two aces during the match with a first-serve percentage of 55 percent and used one of four break points.

This was Petra's 11th appearance at the Australian Open and seventh defeat in the first round.

Source: HTS 

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

Tuesday, 18 January 2022

Osijek to Host 29th Porin Music Awards

January 18, 2022 - The 29th Porin Music Awards will be held in Osijek this March, bringing the celebrated music event back to Osijek after 16 years. 

The Porin Awards, the most prestigious music awards in Croatia, will be held in Osijek on March 25 at the City Garden Hall. In addition to the central event, the Porin is preceded by numerous events called "Porin Week in Osijek", featuring concerts, promotions, literary evenings, welcome evenings, and other gatherings that will be enjoyed by all participants and visitors, who will also have the opportunity to get to know Osijek and Osijek-Baranja County, reports Lokalni.Vecernji.hr.

"We are proud to host the 29th Porin Award, for the first time at the City Garden Hall. This event is extremely important for the City of Osijek and Osijek-Baranja County because it contributes to branding and positioning Osijek as a tourist and musical destination," said Osijek Mayor Ivan Radić. Prefect Ivan Anušić emphasized that the City of Osijek and the Osijek-Baranja County have always proved to be quality hosts.

Prefect Ivan Anušić emphasized that the City of Osijek and the Osijek-Baranja County have always proved to be quality hosts.

"We organized all the events at the highest level, with a big heart and hospitality. People who leave want to come back to our area. Advent in Osijek, which won the selection of the most beautiful in Croatia, is one of the reasons why we had such a large number of overnights and is an indicator of how we manage to organize events, but also a number of capital projects that develop this region, Osijek-Baranja County, and the largest city in eastern Croatia, the city of Osijek. We will host the best local musicians in the best possible way," said Prefect Ivan Anušić.

An excellent music week awaits us in Osijek before the Porin awards.

"We are happy that we will come to the hall again and that Porin will come to life in the light it deserves, with top production and the best performers, musicians, authors, and producers. In addition to Porin itself, there will be Porin Week, from Monday to the event that will take place on Friday, where we will have various book presentations, concerts, and parties, in accordance with epidemiological measures that will be in force at the time," concluded Porin CEO, Davor Drezga. 

Osijek has already hosted two Porins - in 2005 and 2006. Porin will certainly contribute to better tourist results in the Osijek area this spring. 

For more, check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Tuesday, 18 January 2022

EHF Euro 2022 Second Round: Croatia and Montenegro First Meet on Thursday

January 18, 2022 - The Croatia handball team has learned their first opponent of the EHF Euro 2022 second round, which will be played this Thursday in Budapest. 

Croatia fell to France in the first match of Group C on Thursday, topped Serbia on Sunday, and crushed Ukraine on Monday to advance to the second round of the EHF Euro 2022. Though their fate in the second round wasn't entirely left up to them. 

Because France defeated Serbia (29:25) on Monday to advance to the second round with a maximum of three victories, Croatia too advanced to the next phase of the competition. 

Croatia advanced to the second round of the European Handball Championship as the second-placed team in Group C.

The Cowboys finished in Szeged behind France, which beat Serbia, and now travel to Budapest to play four more games as part of the newly formed Group I.

The competition format is such that Group I will feature the two best teams from groups A, B, and C (with the transfer of points won in the mutual match with the national team that also moves forward). 

First-placed Denmark and second-placed Montenegro passed from group A, which knocked out Slovenia in the direct calculation for the second place. Denmark and France, who is the winner of Group C, transferred two points to the second round.

As for Group B, the last round will be played on Tuesday. So far, Iceland is the best, recording both victories. On the other hand, host Hungary managed to recover from the shock defeat at the opening of the Euro against the Netherlands and beat Portugal in the last seconds of the second match (Hungary and Iceland and the Netherlands and Portugal will meet in the last round).

Although the list of participants in the second round has not yet been completed, Croatia has already learned their first opponents. Thus, Hrvoje Horvat's team will first play on Thursday, January 20, against the second-placed team in Group A (Montenegro).

C2 (Croatia) will play against A1 on Saturday, January 22, the current world champion Denmark.

There will be a clash against the winner of Group B on Monday, January 24, and two days later (Wednesday, January 26) a match against the runner-up in Group B.

From this second-round group, the two best teams will advance to the semifinals of the European Championship, while the third-placed team will play for fifth place. All this will take place from January 28 to 30 in Budapest. 

Source: Gol.hr

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

Tuesday, 18 January 2022

Plenkovic Talks Croatian Eurozone Entry: Cash At Home? Bank It!

January the 18th, 2022 - Plenkovic has discussed the impending Croatian Eurozone entry and told people who have kuna in cash at home or wherever else to bank it to make their lives easier when the transition happens.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Plenkovic also reminded people of Croatia's entry into the EU back in July 2013 and the referendum by which the Croatian people confirmed their desire to enter the bloc.

"The Schengen zone and the Eurozone are the only two deeper integrations that Croatia needs to join at this point. The year 2022 is the year of decisions on both," said the Prime Minister.

"Back in 2017, we launched a public debate on the introduction of the euro in Croatia, and a few months later the government adopted this strategy. Why is Croatian Eurozone entry happening? Because we're already a very highly euroized economy,'' he said, noting that 70 percent of tourism revenues come from tourists from EU member states which typically have the euro as their main currencies. He also mentioned that most savings and loans in Croatia are tied to the euro, as N1 also reported.

"Both savings and loans and trade and tourism revenues are linked to the Eurozone," Plenković said. He also spoke about the law on the introduction of the euro as the official currency in Croatia. "The goal is for the adjustment to go smoothly and to enable the economy to function, for people to be informed of things in good time and for Croatian Eurozone entry to be done in a fair and proper way."

In just one year, the only means of payment in Croatia will be the euro, and the kuna will enter the history books.

"This time in one year, the only means of payment in Croatia will be the euro. It's very important to understand the speed of completion of this process, with the introduction of the euro, everything in kuna in the banks will automatically be converted into euros,'' Plenkovic said.

He also spoke about highlighting prices in both euros and kuna.

"Prices will be highlighted in kuna and euros for another year, and for the whole of 2023," he added, noting that the double price highlighting will start in September this year and will continue throughout next year.

"Everyone will be able to exchange kuna for euros in banks, at Fina and at the post office. The transition process will take another year after Croatian Eurozone entry. An additional element is that after that deadline, people will be able to bring their kuna into the CNB and exchange that money for euro banknotes,'' noted Plenkovic.

"I'd like to invite people who have kuna cash at home to come and deposit it at the bank, because the money in kuna will automatically be converted into euros," he concluded.

For more, check out our politics section.

Tuesday, 18 January 2022

Omicron: Bernard Kaic Hints at Epidemiological Measure Alterations

January the 18th, 2022 - Epidemiologist Bernard Kaic has hinted at possible epidemiological measure alterations in Croatia, stating that the Omicron variant of the novel coronavirus behaves like a ''totally different virus''.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Omicron seems to be able to get around the immune systems of those who have had previous covid infections, but also in those who have been vaccinated against it. For example, among those who were registered as newly infected on Sunday, about 30 percent were vaccinated with two doses, and five percent with three (the third being their booster dose).

That said, those who have been vaccinated against the novel coronavirus and those who have earned their immunity naturally (by contracting and recovering from the disease) usually only have milder symptoms when they catch Omicron.

Bernard Kaic from the Croatian National Institute of Public Health has emphasised that the Omicron variant seems to successfully avoid previously acquired immunity because it behaves almost like an entirely new virus of its own.

He also pointed out that his colleagues from the field recently sent him the example of a young man who fell ill just one month after first contracting the virus and becoming unwell.

"We'll probably need to change the recommendation to get vaccinated earlier after having the first illness, let's say three months after a person has their first illness," Bernard Kaic told Dnevnik.hr.

"Those who have contracted and recovered from coronavirus should be vaccinated after being ill, regardless of whether they've been vaccinated before or not," said epidemiologist Bernard Kaic, who added that when it comes to Omicron, it appears much harder to remain uninfected.

Alemka Markotic, the director of Zagreb's ''Dr. Fran Mihaljevic'' Clinic for Infectious Diseases explained that the existing coronavirus vaccines don't offer protection against Omicron infection in a high percentage, but they do up to around 30 percent. They do however offer a far higher level of protection against serious clinical pictures requiring hospitalisation, and against death.

Alemka Markotic stated that two doses of the vaccine protect up to 65 and more percent, and the third booster offers protection over 80 to 90 percent - from more severe forms of illness and death.

''The unvaccinated are the reservoirs of new variants of the novel coronavirus, which dictate the development of the epidemic,'' explained Professor Vlahovicek.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, make sure to bookmark our dedicated section and select your preferred language if it isn't English.

Tuesday, 18 January 2022

HZZO: Search for Phantom Croatian Health Insurance Policy Holders Begins

January the 18th, 2022 - Following the release of the official results of last year's Croatian census, which revealed not only another worrying drop in numbers in terms of the population but other uncomfortable facts such as the sheer amount of those remaining people who drawing their pensions, it has turned out that there are very many ''phantom'' Croatian Health Insurance policy holders, too.

The hunt is now on to find 209,000 Croatian Health Insurance policy holders who aren't even registered as living in the country at all. HZZO (Croatian Health Insurance Fund) has its work cut out when it comes to cancelling the policies of all those who are still likely coming home for treatment but live elsewhere.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, despite the fact that the 2021 census has revealed that all of the country's counties as well as the City of Zagreb have fewer inhabitants than they had 10 years ago, Croatia still has 209,000 more Croatian Health Insurance policy holders than registered residents and more voters than adult citizens, writes Vecernji list.

According to the first results of last year's census, the Republic of Croatia has a maximum of 3,888,529 inhabitants, while on January the 3rd, 2022, it somehow had as many as 4,097,903 Croatian Health Insurance policy holders.

After the census, the voter register, which includes 3,690,623 adult citizens, will have to be "cleaned up".

Demographers have previously warned about issues caused by fictitious or ''phantom'' Croatian Health Insurance policy holders, explaining that they are most likely Croatian citizens or residents, Serbs who have left Croatia, Croats from neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatian citizens who emigrated but didn't ''check out'' of the system, and foreigners who own real estate in the country but don't live here.

It isn't possible to estimate just how many of these insured persons who aren't residents of Croatia use the so-called "free" healthcare, and how many are no longer here, don't use the system, and are only formally still registered with HZZO.

For more, check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

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