Thursday, 29 September 2022

Croatian Position on 2022 Digital Competitiveness Ranking Improved

September the 29th, 2022 - The Croatian position on this year's digital competitiveness ranking has improved somewhat, but it is still lagging quite significantly behind many countries.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the main finding of the IMD World Digital Competitiveness Ranking 2022 published by the World Competitiveness Centre (WCC) places Denmark in first place, the USA in second place, and the Republic o Croatia in 43rd place out of 63 observed countries.

"Governments and the private sector must invest in all areas – in talent, training and education, scientific concentration and research and development – ​​to protect their digital infrastructure from cyber-attacks and provide competitive e-government services. These are key steps towards the digital creation of a competitive economy," is the conclusion of this report.

"We're pleased with this result, which shows an increase of twelve places on the World Ranking of Digital Competitiveness, the highest that the Croatian position has ever been in. Growth was achieved across all three areas: knowledge, technology and readiness for the future. The ranking itself points to areas where we still need to work, such as knowledge transfer (59th) or the ability to attract foreign experts (59th), but also those where we show excellent results, such as the ratio of the number of students to professors (7th) or investments in telecommunications (5.) This is a recognition of the work we've engaged in so far, but also an obligation to continue with efforts that will lead us to an even higher place on this ranking, in order to ensure a competitive advantage for the Croatian economy and the improvement of society as a whole," pointed out Acting President of the National Competitiveness Council, Ph.D. Ivan Misetic.

The annual ranking quantified the capacity of 63 global economies to adopt and explore new digital technologies and use them to transform government practices, business models and society. It does this by categorising 54 different criteria – a mix of external hard data (two-thirds of the total) and IMD's Executive Opinion Survey (one-third) – into three broad groups: a) future readiness, b) knowledge and c) and technology.

"This ranking of digital competitiveness describes the importance of national factors in explaining the digital transformation of companies and the adoption of digital practices by the general public. Digitally successful countries emerge from a combination of digital talent, digital regulation, data governance, digitalisation attitudes and capital availability,” said Arturo Bris, Director of the WCC.

This year's results shed new light on those factors that make it possible to strengthen the capacity of both governments and the private sector to protect digital infrastructure from cyberattacks, according to experts. This kind of action is of key importance for the adoption and spread of digital technology, and the hope is that the Croatian position on this list will only continue to get higher and higher.

The full report is available here.

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

Wednesday, 28 September 2022

Croatian Returnee Reflections: Marko Petric, from Berlin to Zagreb

September 29, 2022 - Whisper it quietly, but more and more people are relocating to Croatia from the diaspora. In a new TCN series, we meet them to find out how they are faring and what advice they have for others thinking of making the switch. Next up is Marko Petric, who moved from Berlin to Zagreb.

I was born in 1993 in Split, Croatia. I am the oldest of three children born to our mom, a Croatian language professor, and our dad, a telecommunications engineer. My siblings and I grew up in lovely Posusje, in the West Herzegovina region of Bosnia-Herzegovina. 

Thanks to a generous merit-based scholarship, in 2009, I moved away from home to finish my two last years of high school at the United World College in Mostar (UWCiM), where I lived and went to class with kids from more than 40 other countries. 

Then, I got a full-ride scholarship to study at a liberal arts college in Maryland (Washington D.C. Metro Area). I was pretty involved in campus life there, having served as Class President and Model United Nations president, which in turn led to an opportunity to speak at the United Nations General Assembly Hall in New York City at some point.

After four transformative years, I graduated with a degree in Political Science and French and started working in PR and marketing as part of the largest network of nonprofits in the U.S., fighting for education, health care, and financial stability. I lived in the States for almost seven years. In April 2017, I packed my whole life in a suitcase and left. Admittedly, I was heartbroken about it, but the uprooting taught me an important lesson — one of letting go. 

After that, determined never to return to my hometown or Croatia, I ended up in Bergen. In case you’re not familiar, Bergen is Norway’s second-largest city, nestled between seven mountains on the west coast of this stunningly beautiful country. It’s also one of the rainiest cities in the world, and as you can imagine, this Mediterranean boy was not having it. I left after about eight months.

On my way out, I stopped by Berlin, Germany, for what was supposed to be a two-day trip. As I was there, I realized Berlin had a thriving startup scene. I had already been looking to break into the software industry, so naturally, I found myself wondering: "Why not move here?" Everything happened kind of quickly — almost accidentally, even — but I did end up living there for two years. I loved every minute of it.

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1. You made the switch to Croatia. Tell us a little about the decision process and how long it took for you to get on the plane.

Yes, eventually, I did the exact thing I swore I’d never do: I moved to Zagreb. Moving to Norway and Berlin were both very spontaneous decisions. I YOLO’ed it. But moving to Zagreb did not happen by accident but rather for love. It was not a straightforward journey, though. I suppose you could say there was a fair amount of reluctance to move on my part. It almost felt like it was written in the stars, or whatever, always looming over my head as one perfectly sensible option that merits serious consideration. I simply refused to acknowledge it as such.

Perhaps the implication in my mind was that moving back to where I came from would be admitting defeat in some crazy game that I was playing with myself. Months of deliberations with my partner, who is from Split, preceded the switch. At the time, he was living in Greece but moved to Berlin to be with me (passing up a great job offer in Spain along the way). As time passed, I was happy with where I was, but he had limited job prospects in his line of work in Berlin. So at some point, the move became inevitable and something I needed to accept. Eventually, I did. I knew that I’d be able to continue doing marketing as long as there was a stable Internet connection. And on the upside, I’d be much closer to the Adriatic (I live for summers on the Croatian coast!), as well as to my parents in Herzegovina.

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2. What did your family and community back home think of your decision at the time?

I got a mix of reactions. All my friends were a bit perplexed, but they said: “Happy if you’re happy.” My parents always supported me in all my decisions, and they were elated that I was moving closer to home. That was for sure. However, I could tell they were having some reservations because they knew I had worked my whole life to build a better life elsewhere. Of all three kids, they always considered me the least likely to move to Croatia. So the irony was evident to us all: Both of my siblings were already living abroad when I announced I would be moving to Zagreb. The lesson I learned from this move was to never say never.

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3. Where did you get your information about the realities of Croatia prior to coming?

At that point, I stopped keeping track of local news in Croatia. I knew HDZ was in power, Andrej Plenkovic was the serving PM, and there were two weekly flights from Zagreb to Berlin (in case I wanted to run back). But beyond that, I didn’t know much because I had never lived in Croatia for the long haul before.

So in many ways, it felt like moving to a foreign country. After almost a decade spent across the U.S., Norway, and Germany during my formative years, moving back to the Balkans required me to reacclimate to the local ways of being.

I was lucky to know some people here already, so I relied heavily on friends to give me the information I needed ahead and after our move. Of course, I also researched information online across many sources, including TCN.

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4. What were you most nervous about making the switch? What was your biggest fear, and what was the reality of what you found?

Job opportunities and economic circumstances at large were my two main concerns. Considering the lower standard of living in Croatia relative to EU members in the west and the north, I knew my best shot was freelancing. As 2020 rolled around, amid the pandemic and a global shift to a new, digital reality, I finally decided to make my side gig my full-time gig. And that is the story of how MP Creative Services, my full-service digital marketing business, was (officially) born. 

Currently, MP Creative Services is on the back burner, as I am focusing on a role I took at Five, an Endava company. As a growth marketing specialist there, I work at the intersection of marketing, behavioral economics, data analysis, and product design to drive mobile app growth for some cool U.S. brands.

5. Think back to the time before you arrived. What were your perceptions about Croatia, and how were they different from the reality you encountered?

"Hercegovac u Zagrebu" was not a cliche I planned on embodying at any point in my life, but I became precisely that when I moved here. The metamorphosis implied developing specific coping mechanisms for when I’m just going about my business and someone starts talking crap about Hercegovci. The funny thing is, when I was younger, I tried to distance myself from that part of my identity as much as possible (probably because of its negative connotation). But as I grew older, I embraced it, and now I find myself defending it against libelous Purgeri — generally, in a playful, joking context.

As an openly gay man, my other big concern was that I did not want to go back into the closet and start denying that part of my identity again — one that I worked so hard on embracing in the first place.

Croatia is a deeply conservative society, with traditional Catholic values at the core of the nation's DNA. I was worried that I would struggle with that, but I decided never to reduce myself or pretend to be someone else for the comfort of others. I needed to be brave and true to myself at all times. I understood that, with every interaction, I had the opportunity to dispel misconceptions and build dialogue — hopefully, seeing a change of heart in someone every once in a while. This matters to me because it's not just about me; it's bigger than that.

To my surprise, I’ve experienced more kindness during my time here than I ever expected from the people of Zagreb and Croatia. It was to the point where I felt like the closed-minded one because of how stubborn I was in the generalizations I made about an entire population. Of course, this does not mean other gay boys/men and girls/women across the country are not suffering injustice and inequality daily. But based on my experiences with people whose paths crossed mine, I am more hopeful about the kind of society we can build for future generations than I have ever been in the past. 

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6. You are still here, so obviously, the pros outweigh the cons. Tell us about some of the things that you love about being in Croatia, as well as some of the things you don't like.

Well, I have been here for almost three years now. And I would be lying if I said I have fallen in love with living in Zagreb. I am still working on it. On the one hand, I have fallen out of love with Croatia because — now that I live here — I have stopped idealizing it. On the other hand, I have also fallen in love with it because of the people who live here, the passion and dedication I see them put into the things they do, and the great stuff they bring into the world when they put their minds to it.

Sure, many aspects of living in Croatia suck. There’s no sugarcoating it. Food, rent, and utilities are too damn expensive, yet salaries remain below the EU standard for most. Things are about to get even worse with inflation raging and the winter coming. Working families and seniors are affected the most. Speaking of seniors, too many retired people have no choice but to supplement their income by digging through the trash, looking for discarded bottles to trade in for a couple of kunas. Such is the fate of the average worker retiring in Croatia today.

We’re still using Tito's Communist regime and the Homeland War that ensued as a scapegoat for everything wrong in the country today — almost thirty years after the war ended. In the meantime, corruption remains widespread, killing the system from the inside, like Stage 4 cancer. In terms of rights, many have none. Women's rights are still an issue, as are gay rights, ethnic minority rights, and the rights of immigrants arriving on the border. The list goes on… But keeping things in perspective, no country is perfect. In my book, it comes down to finding someplace worth fighting for, someplace worth calling home. I suppose I found that ‘something’ here.

In 2003, Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit famously called his city “poor but sexy”. Berlin is no longer poor, so I will take the liberty of conferring this title upon Zagreb. Poor but sexy is a great way of describing it because its charm is indeed in the rundown Austro-Hungarian facades, colorful street art, trendy food spots, and hipsters hanging in front of the National Theater.

Don’t forget about the balmy summers, either! The city clears out, and you can enjoy parks, forests, and Jarun Lake all to yourself. And as the summer slowly fades away, all the artists, creators, innovators, and other eccentrics who call Zagreb home return. The city comes alive again, almost overnight. Before you know it, it’s time for Advent — Christmas lights, ice skating, mulled wine, and friends. 

Okay, fine! I do like Zagreb. 

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7. What advice do you have for others thinking about making a move from the diaspora?

Just do it!

That would be my advice to anyone considering moving to (almost) any country. I think embracing the unknown, leaping into uncharted territory, and taking yourself out of your comfort zone is the only way to grow. And trust me when I say: Croatia will give you a run for your money.

Worst-case scenario: Even if you end up hating it, you always have the option of moving back home. The country you, your parents, or your ancestors went to in search of a better life. Perhaps they found it. Perhaps not. In any case, we all get to be the authors of our own stories. The world is your oyster. (And serendipitously, Croatia is one of the best places on the planet to sample this decadent treat. If this is not a sign…) 

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8. How do you think Croatia can better assist those who are looking to return to the Homeland?

Oh, man, where do I even start…

Generally, I think our government should actively be looking into ways to make it simpler for people to come here and contribute to our society, whether it’s by bringing know-how or investments, opening a business, starting (or moving) a family here, or any other number of ways in which they could enrich the fabric of our society.

Tax cuts for the first year might be a reasonable idea to explore. Programs assisting families moving with kids with needs such as daycare, school, medical care, and so on. And in the post-pandemic world, offering more online resources across a spectrum of public services is paramount. This opens up the door to opportunities to work closely with the private sector, especially tech companies that have the know-how to bring forward-looking, ambitious ideas to life.

Andrej Plenkovic’s government, as profoundly flawed as it may be, seems to understand this on some level. The digital nomad visa project is a great example: While ‘forward-looking’ is not a word I’d use to describe much else of what goes on in Croatia’s politics these days, this truly is the kind of rare political project that can have a deep and lasting impact on the country’s growth trajectory. Though the effort was spearheaded by the Dutch-born entrepreneur Jan de Jong (arguably a greater patriot than most native Croats), the government still handled the legal and logistical prerequisites with unprecedented expediency. I bet no other political project was executed that fast in the country’s modern history. 

Then, there’s also the question of the booming software industry, expected to surpass the behemoth that is tourism in a few years in terms of value-add GDP. Yet government policies had very little to do with that success. Croatian software companies are achieving truly remarkable results on the global scale with no outside help. As a country, we should be making it easier for them to attract talent and investments. By designating the software industry as a strategic, thereby empowering promising startups, we empower the Croatian economy, making it more resilient to pandemics, wars, inflations, and other capitalist maladies.

California is fine and well, but it’s possible to build a multi-million-dollar company in Croatia too. It’s been done several times over the past 10 years, and there’s always room for more innovation. Also, we’re lucky to have many in the Croatian diaspora communities around the world in our corner. Many passionate people out there have the expertise, the motivation, and the cash to help build Croatia’s “silicone dream”.

Little geniuses are sitting in schools across the country right now. With the right support, in the future, these kids might find solutions to some of the world’s most pressing issues — maybe even save the world. This is why I hope we divert more resources to education, bringing our schools and universities up to par with those in Finland and other countries pioneering new, innovative education models. We have to make sure we start introducing kids to technology as early as possible, giving them the tools they need to learn new skills. That’s how we attract more families looking for a safe place to raise their little geniuses.

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Thanks, Marko!

You can follow more stories in the Croatian Returnee Reflections series in our dedicated TCN section.

Would you like your returnee story - positive or negative - to be featured in this series? Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Subject Returnee.

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

Follow Paul Bradbury on LinkedIn.

Croatia, a Survival Kit for Foreigners will be out by Christmas. If you would like to reserve a copy, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Subject 20 Years Book

Wednesday, 28 September 2022

Discover the Croatian Danube: An Idyllic Weekend in Dalj

September 30, 2022 - From the canals of Aljmaš; and the slopes of Erdut, after having enjoyed steaming hot fish stew from a hanging pot and wine from the largest barrel in the world, continue your journey east, and you will shortly arrive in Dalj. Another hidden gem of Slavonia and Croatia. A place where the Danube is just the right temperature in the summer, where the fruits taste sweet, and where the stars aligned to make it the birthplace of one of the greats.

The first signs of life in Dalj date back to the Bronze Age, around 1350 BC. One of its first names, from the Roman times, was Teutoburgium, and its significance was that it was positioned on one of the four main routes towards Dalmatia. Just like the rest of eastern Croatia, Dalj underwent changes in power and demography, resulting in a rich heritage mix of Catholic, Orthodox Christian, and Ottoman influences. The Christian religions remained and are both still an essential part of Dalj’s culture. The silhouette of the village is adorned with Catholic and Orthodox churches, and the church of St. Demetrius is the largest cathedral of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Croatia. Right next to it, an inviting palace with a garden full of flowers – the summer residence of the church’s patriarchs found its home. Naturally, its location is prime, with only a green park between it and the Danube.

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Author

The Danube, of course, is what life revolves around. The geography of the village has remained such that people from every part of the village can reach the riverbank quickly and straightforwardly. They go there to walk, relax, swim, fish, or enjoy nature. In the summer, the Dalj beach is the absolute centre of all activity. Gathering from all parts of the village, families, and friends either walk, swim, or let the Danube take their boats there. Once they’ve reached the sand and the shade of the banks, the party can start. Whether beach volleyball, music, drinks, or barbecue, something happens daily to keep everybody’s minds off the summer heat.

Just like Aljmaš and Erdut, Dalj is an excellent stop on the Danube not only for refreshment and activities but for wine and food. The local gastronomy shines bright in Stari Mlin, a restaurant serving the best of Slavonia daily, with live music on weekends, occasional events, and special celebrations. It is a trendy venue for team buildings as well. There is plenty of room both indoors and on their summer terrace.

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Restoran Stari Mlin

The menu celebrates the Danube, with carp, catfish, and perch taking centre stage and plenty of meat dishes in supporting roles. We recommend calling in advance to try out their famous traditional catfish stew or fire-roasted carp. Even if you’re not feeling hungry, sit down for dessert or coffee and enjoy the view and the Danube breeze.

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Steve Tsentserensky

After a delicious filling meal, it would be a mistake not to let your heart take you straight to wine. A special surprise awaits in Dalj. Head over to the Antunović winery, the first female-owned and established Croatian winery, and find out why it became one of the most awarded wineries in Croatia.

If you’re looking for a specific reason to visit Dalj, where you can experience the lovely autumn atmosphere while learning about the local traditions, try the Fair of Old Crafts and Customs and Gužvara Fest. Use the chance to try out traditional tools and witness true craftsmanship or taste some of the local delicacies. The emphasis lies on Gužvara – a traditional yeast dough dessert filled with ground walnuts or poppy seeds. It is a must-serve at Slavonian feasts and gatherings. Saturday, the 8th of October, is the day.

Tradition is an integral part of life in Croatian villages. Following suit, the big days in Dalj include kirbaj (also known as kirvaj), Crkveni God for the Catholic population, and Krsna Slava for Orthodox families. Both events celebrate the village's and family patron saints, respectively. 

Finally, let us not forget to mention Dalj's greatest - Milutin Milanković. This mind of the future, an influential mathematician, physicist, and astronomer, was born in Dalj, went on to travel Europe for his studies and work, but came to some of his most important conclusions right in his backyard, inspired by the Danube and a big pine tree, which still stands there 143 years later. Stay tuned to find out more about, possibly, Croatia's most underrated museum.

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Steve Tsentserensky

Special thanks to Jovana, the  Erdut Municipality Tourist Board directorErdut Municipality Tourist Board, and the perfect host for our day in Dalj.

How good is your knowledge of eastern Croatia? Take the CROMADS test above - how many places do you recognise?

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

Wednesday, 28 September 2022

CWN/MHŽ Opens Nominations for the 2023 Croatian Women of Influence Awards

September 28, 2022 – The Croatian Women’s NetworkTM/Mreža Hrvatskih Žena is calling for nominations for its coveted Croatian Women of Influence Awards and Future Leaders Awards, which will be conferred at a gala event on International Women’s Day Wednesday, March 8th, 2023 in Zagreb, Republic of Croatia

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Recognizing leadership, innovation, and community impact

“Since 2016, CWN/MHŽ has been recognizing and celebrating Croatian women the world over with the only award of its kind. We are thrilled to be returning to Zagreb following a two-year hiatus due to pandemic restrictions,” noted Caroline Spivak, founder of Croatian Women’s NetworkTM/Mreža Hrvatskih Žena. “It is a privilege to be able to shine a light on the most inspiring and influential Croatian women and to celebrate their achievements.”

The Croatian Women of Influence Award recognizes the leadership, innovation, and community impact of Croatian women. A companion Future Leaders award recognizes enterprising young women between the ages of 16 to 21 who demonstrate extraordinary talent and leadership. “Supporting the success of young and emerging leaders is an area where we have the most significant opportunity to champion future generations of successful Croatian women,” said Spivak.

 

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Nominations can be submitted by visiting www.crotianwomensnetwork.org and will be accepted up until October 23, 2022.

Awards will be presented at a gala event celebrating International Women’s Day, following CWN/MHŽ’s signature conference: Advancing Women, Advancing Economies. Realize the Potential! on Wednesday, March 8, 2023, in Zagreb.

The Croatian Women’s NetworkTM/Mreža Hrvatskih Žena (www.CroatianWomensNetwork.org) is a global forum that celebrates, champions, and connects distinguished women of Croatian ancestry from around the world who work together to inspire and champion each other. The Croatian Women of Influence Awards and the Future Leader Awards honor their achievements.

 

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 Media Contacts: 

Ivana Perkovac
Profile Communications Corp.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
+385 (92) 1660-630

Caroline Spivak
Founder, Croatian Women’s Network™/Mreža Hrvatskih Žena
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
+1 (416) 371-9740

Wednesday, 28 September 2022

Konzum Locking Prices of 100 Products Until End of 2022

September the 28th, 2022 - As of tomorrow, the large Croatian shopping chain, Konzum, is set to lock the prices of 100 of its products until the end of this year as inflation continues to bite.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, as of Thursday, September the 29th, Konzum will lock the maximum prices of 100 of its products from the basic consumer basket in order to help its loyal customers in the challenging current situation in which the prices of almost all foodstuffs are continuously increasing. These 100 products come from a whole range of categories that aren't covered by the decision of the Croatian Government on direct measures to control the prices of certain food products, which came at a cost of about 40 million kuna for Konzum.

These locked prices will not change until the end of this year, but they may still be further reduced. At the same time, customers using the Konzum MultiPlusCard card will be able to purchase up to 1,500 products at a lower price from September the 29th. MultiPlusCard prices will be lower by an average of 20 percent, which is the total value of the discount in the amount of 60 million kuna.

"We're the market leader and our every move is closely monitored. The situation we're in isn't easy for anyone, especially for our customers, and that's why we constantly, through numerous initiatives, try to make their everyday life as easy as possible.

This isn't only a question of our social responsibility, but also of our obligations and our influence as the largest retail chain in all of Croatia. I believe that even with this latest move, with which we'll lock in the maximum prices of another 100 products and provide additional benefits to MultiPlusCard users, our customers will recognise our efforts to reduce their household budget costs,'' said Zoran Mitreski, president of the Konzum Management Board.

The Konzum products which will have their prices locked are from the categories of fruit and vegetables, fresh meat and fish, dairy and bakery products, frozen products, products from the chain's delicatessen, canned foods, beverages, hygiene products for both children and adults, cleaning products and others, and more information available is on Konzum's website.

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

Wednesday, 28 September 2022

Fines For Failing to Separate Zagreb Waste as of 1 October Revealed

September the 28th, 2022 - The fine amounts for those who fail to separate their Zagreb waste as of the 1st of next month when the new system comes into force have now been revealed.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, as of October the 1st this year, a new system for the separation and disposal of Zagreb waste will finally be launched, which is a new way of municipal waste collection service spanning the area of ​​the City of Zagreb.

The move has been made because of two main things, namely that the city's problematic waste containers will finally be under the control of their users and that a system will be introduced that encourages users to separate their waste, and then they'll only pay for the amount of mixed municipal waste that they actually produces, Davor Vic, the director of Zagreb's Cistoca, said for Dobro jutro, Hrvatska/ Good morning, Croatia.

"With the appearance of official, standardised bags in stores, counterfeit bags have now also appeared. Creating these was a criminal act," he emphasised, adding that the original bag has been protected. When asked how it will be possible to get the yellow bags intended for separating plastic and metal, Vic said that they will continue to be available as they have been until now. The distribution of new bags will start in October, and people can also come to Zagreb Holding on Vukovarska (Vukovar street), where they can pick up these bags for themselves, as well as buy the new standardised blue ones.

What will the fines for the improper disposal and separation of Zagreb waste under the new rules amount to?

When asked what the fines will be for people who don't behave in accordance with this new decision, Vic said that the fines will be 500 kuna for individuals and 1,000 kuna for legal entities, adding that the City of Zagreb has created a price list of services where the relationship between the minimum public service and the variable part is high. This relationship must encourage users to properly separate their waste.

"The more people separate their waste, the lower their bills will be. Today's system doesn't encourage this at all and we expect that we'll manage to reach the required percentages so that people don't need to pay fines,'' he pointed out in an interview with HRT, emphasising that discounts are being provided in the form of additional bags that won't come at a cost for people who need to dispose of diapers, as well as for households with small children up to three years old. More detailed information about this can be found on Zagreb Holding's website.

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

Wednesday, 28 September 2022

Air France Offering Flights from Zagreb Airport at Lower Prices

September the 28th, 2022 - The very well known air company Any France is launching flights from Zagreb Airport to various international destinations at slashed prices over the coming days.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, this year, the airline company Air France is offering a large number of destinations for travellers from Zagreb Airport at reduced prices in the company's brand new Le Rendez Vous campaign.

Ticket prices for long-haul destinations across the pond in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean have been reduced. Promotional destinations include major metropolises such as New York, Miami, Los Angeles, but also exotic destinations such as Mauritius, Cancun, Saint Martin and Bangkok.

If you have always wanted to visit a faraway or exotic destination or perhaps take advantage of a weekend tour of one of the European destinations in Air France's promotional campaign, it is now easy and much cheaper to do so from Zagreb Airport.

The Air France Le Rendez Vous promotional campaign is set to run from September the 27th to October the 6th, 2022, and tickets can be used until March the 31st, 2023. The offer is also valid for return tickets, and the price includes all taxes.

For more on where you travel from Zagreb Airport, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Wednesday, 28 September 2022

Rijeka Boat Show Begins This Friday With Record Number of Exhibitors

September the 28th, 2022 - The Rijeka Boat Show is set to begin this Friday with a record number of exhibitors set to be present, according to yesterday's press conference.

As Morski writes, this year's Rijeka Boat Show was officially presented to the media yesterday, and over the three days of the fair, from September the 30th to October the 2nd, at the Karolina Rijeka Quay, about eighty exhibitors will present attractive brands from the nautical world, Croatian shipbuilding and a variety of related equipment to visitors.

The media was first addressed by Jana Sertic, head of the Department for Entrepreneurship of the City of Rijeka, who stated:

'''Rijeka needs a strong and relevant nautical fair such as this one. The Rijeka Boat Show is growing, it survived the pandemic and the potential for further development lies in the context of the development of the construction and commissioning of the Porto Baros marina. We're witnessing the transformation of Rijeka into a nautical destination, and the city is increasingly opening up to the sea. Therefore, the support of the City of Rijeka to the Rijeka Boat Show is unquestionable, and I hope for further cooperation in the years to come.''

Vedran Babic, a representative of the organisers, recalled the long tradition of nautical fairs in the City of Rijeka, which began as far back as 1984, and added:

''The success of a fair project is measured, among other things, by the number of exhibitors. When we started, in 2019 there were 25 exhibitors at the fair, all of whom are going to be present this year as well. Today there are as many as 80 of them, so we had to expand the exhibition area, which we're very satisfied with.''

Marko Mikasinovic, head of product development of the Tourist Board of the City of Rijeka, is happy about the significant destination potential of the city, which the Rijeka Boat Show fits perfectly into. He believes that we're sailing on a good course, and that the effects for tourism will be greater.

Drazen Tomic, director of the Legal Affairs and Human Resources Department of ACI d.d. noted that the Rijeka Boat Show is a fair whose importance has grown significantly in previous years, which has also been confirmed by the fact that back during previous seasons, despite taking place in the challenging conditions of the global coronavirus pandemic, achieved significant sales results.

''One of the most significant investments in nautical tourism in Croatia, the construction of ACI Marina Rijeka, can certainly give the fair even greater momentum and further strengthen it. We believe that in the coming years, both ACI Marina Rijeka and the Rijeka Boat Show will grow together and profile the City of Rijeka as a relevant nautical destination,'' he concluded.

The director of the commercial affairs department of the Rijeka Port Authority, Captain Rajko Jurman, spoke about significant investments in the port basin and the development of the Port of Rijeka into a modern transport "hub" with the help of funds from the European Union (EU) funds programme.

The organisers expect over 10,000 visitors over the three fair days on the 5,000 m2 surface. The working hours of the fair are on Friday and Saturday from 10:00 to 19:00, and on Sunday from 10:00 to 17:30. Ticket prices are 15 kuna for visitors aged 10 to 18, 30 kuna for adults, while children under 10 can enter for free.

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

Tuesday, 27 September 2022

Croatia Beats Denmark On Penalties for U21 Euros Spot!

September 27, 2022 - The young Croatia national team is going to the Euros! Croatia beat Denmark on penalties on Tuesday, securing their spot at the 2023 U21 Euros. 

The U21 Croatia national team faced Denmark on Tuesday for a spot at the 2023 European Championship. Four days ago, Igor Bišćan's side won 2:1 against Denmark in Pula, and today in Vejle, they played the return match of the additional qualifications.

The young Croatia team was after their third consecutive European tournament. In 2019, Croatia did not make it out of their group, and Spain was better in the quarter-final last year. 

The match on Tuesday ended with Denmark winning 2:1, and as Croatia celebrated an identical result in the first match last week, the game went into extra time. As the match remained 2:1 at the end of extra time, the winner was decided by a penalty shootout. Croatia goalkeeper Dominik Kotarski was the hero, saving shots from Thomas Kristensen in the fourth round and Mathias Ross in the sixth round. 

Denmark took a 2:0 lead with goals from Matthew O'Riley (10) and Morten Frendrup (19), but Croatia brought the match to extra time with a goal from Igor Matanović in the 84th minute.

Croatia has thus qualified for its fifth European Under-21 Championship and the third in a row. In their four attempts so far, Croatia had gotten out of the group stage only once, in 2021, when they were eliminated in the quarter-final. 

The Euros are scheduled from June 21 to July 8, 2023, and will be played in eight stadiums in five cities. Matches will be played in the Romanian cities of Bucharest and Cluj-Napoca and the Georgian cities of Tbilisi, Batumi, and Kutaisi. Romania will host the opening match, and the final will be played in Georgia.

The group draw is scheduled for October 18 in Bucharest, and the national teams will be divided into four groups of four teams each.

The three best national teams from the Euros will qualify for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. As the host of the Olympics, France has already secured their place. 

Lineups

Denmark: Hermansen - Carstensen, Kristensen, Ross, Kristiansen - O'Riley, Frendrup, Kjaergaard - Isaksen, Tengstedt, Daramy

Croatia: Kotarski - Hodža, Vušković, Soldo, Čolina - Pršir, Franjić, Sučić - Vidović, Beljo, Šego

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

Tuesday, 27 September 2022

Virovitica-Podravina County Invests in Geothermal Power Plant

September 27, 2022 - The energy crisis is proving to be an excellent opportunity for some. In the Virovitica-Podravina County in the municipality of Čađavica, a significant investment in a geothermal power plant has been launched.

As reported by SiB, the geothermal power plant should start operating in two years. Drilling is currently in process, where 3,200 meters have been reached. The main goal is to reach 5,000 meters, at which depth the water has a temperature of 150 degrees Celsius.

RTL's Boris Mišević spoke about it with Igor Andrović, the prefect of the Virovitica-Podravina County.

"I should congratulate the investor for having the courage to take on such a risky project. We don't know what they might find at 4,500 to 5,000 meters, but we do believe that the plans will continue developing as it was imagined, that there will be hot water, as well as water flow. This power plant running on geothermal resources is the largest in Europe, reaching 20 megawatts, and it could supply half of the county. It is a big thing when you are energy independent, when you have a crisis, and you have your own resources. There is a possibility that an entrepreneurial zone can be developed here, that the business plan might change, as there will be a surplus of thermal energy that can be used for production so that it is used more," said Adrović for RTL.

He also said that owing to the geothermal power plant, the price of electricity will be more favourable than if it were imported.

"Here, you have your own resources 24 hours a day; you don't depend on the wind or the sun, the level of the rivers. Here you have a 24-hour flow of hot water, and this will certainly make energy much cheaper," said Adrović.

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

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